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Old August 18th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bigsby and Tone

Hi Folks,

I was watching youtube videos on Bigsby installation and found the one below. The person says, and seems to demonstrate, that you get an improvement in tone after installing the Bigsby on a telecaster. Is this your experience or is this just a fluke?

Thoughts?




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Old August 18th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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not for me. i have installed two and found virtually no difference in tone
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Old August 18th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't tell the difference.

In theory it adds more mass which adds more tones, but I couldn't tell!
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Old August 18th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That video is not just some random music store guy or guitar reviewer. This is an instructional video made by Bigsby. For some reason, "improved tone" is a big part of the marketing for Bigsby tailpieces.

In my experience, it's about as much difference as you would expect from hanging about a half-pound of steel on the butt of your guitar. In other words, almost none.

The bridge-to-nut scale length is the same and therefore so is the string tension when it's in tune. If you're one of those people who thinks they can hear a difference between top-mounts and string-through bridges, then you'll probably think you can hear a difference with a Bigsby... But I bet you'd fail in a double-blind listening test.

The guy in the video is chicken pickin' a country riff in the beginning. Then at the end he plays strumming riff with a pick and expects you to hear how much the Bigsby has changed the tone. All that actually changed was his playing style.

I LOVE the subtle vibrato that a Bigsby enables, but when it comes to improving your "tone", it's snake-oil.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd say it slightly decreases sustain and makes for an almost imperceptibly less aggressive attack. The difference is small enough to be in my imagination, ignored, or both. A subtle wiggle of the Bigsby, however, will keep the guitar sustaining for days.

It's not a tonal difference, but it is a difference in sound. I hate the word "tone" when applied to guitar sounds. Overused and virtually meaningless. Yuck.

I think it's supposed to be a synonym for timbre, but with the way it's randomly tossed around, there's no way to be sure.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The guitar sound changes minimal after installing the bigsby.... but the Bigsby must be good quality
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Old August 19th, 2010, 04:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
If you're one of those people who thinks they can hear a difference between top-mounts and string-through bridges, then you'll probably think you can hear a difference with a Bigsby
Would you care to expand on this please?
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Old August 19th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just find a Bigsbied Tele and try it out. If you are so in love with your current tele and don't want to change the tone, don't mess with it. Buy another tele with a bigsby.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is a significant difference when a Bigsby is installed on a hollow body because it alters the tension on the belly. On a solid body the only real difference is there is a certain springiness to the strings, hardly surprising as they're now connected to a spring.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Devil View Post
I'd say it slightly decreases sustain and makes for an almost imperceptibly less aggressive attack. The difference is small enough to be in my imagination, ignored, or both. A subtle wiggle of the Bigsby, however, will keep the guitar sustaining for days.
When you put the Jazzmaster bridge flush on the bridge plate, it increases sustain quite a bit. I always felt like the Bigsby kit with the boards.ie mods made my Esquire sound a little more rock 'n roll. I concede that the attack might be less than with a traditional bridge . . . but I can handle that. A Bigsby'd Tele still sounds a helluva lot better than a Strat.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I cut the plain lip of the JM-style bridge and turned it around so that the intonation screws face the neck. Easier to intonate and the strings only touch the saddles.
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