August 7th, 2011, 05:40 PM
I recently picked up an MIM blacktop tele. I replaced the stock pickups with mean 90s which give it a great vintage tone and am now contemplating the idea of puting a bigsby b5 on it.
It looks like this kind of mod is pretty straight forward if the tele has an ashtray style bridge but with the smaller hardtail bridge on my blacktop I'm not sure if there is a proper replacement bridge out there that would allow for this type of mod.
I'm curious if anyone out there has done this kind of mod or have any ideas on what kind of bridge would work with a project like this:confused:
August 8th, 2011, 08:47 AM
I have been carefully researching the same idea for my Blacktop. I think the most appropriate way to do this is to use a cut off ashtray bridge like this one http://www.guitarfetish.com/Cutaway-Wilkinson-Compensated-Tele-Bridge-Brass-Saddles_p_1805.html and notch the back out should you need to for string clearance. It won't be a direct fit, so will probably require filling the existing mounting holes (or you could probably just leave them be). I'd just leave the string through holes there even though they won't be used.
Hope that helps!
August 8th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Check out AB Negative's blacktop here: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-discussion-forum/283502-new-guitar-day-car-blacktop.html He's added a bigsby and says what parts he used.
August 8th, 2011, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the info and the links guys. I checked out AB Negative's mod and really like what he's done with what seems to be minimal permanent effect to the body of the tele. I'm thinking I may go that route in the chance that I decided to change it back again somewhere down the line.
In any case I really do like the sound of the mean 90s in this guitar and think a bigsby will sound awesome with them.
August 8th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Looking at A. B.'s guitar, the location of the Bigsby is pretty close to the end of the guitar. The lever is way back there (although longer levers are available). There are bridges out there that allow closer placement of the Bigsby (like the three-saddle ashtray bridged notched for the strings). A more difficult installation, but with better results tone-wise, is a body mounted bridge (like a Les Paul). This is NOT reversable.