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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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To Bigsby or not..

I have been thinking about putting a Bigsby on my 1997 MIA Telecaster. I really love the guitar and love the idea of putting a Bigsby on it. I have some reservations about it though. As of right now everything is stock. I am hung up on keeping it original for some reason. I don't ever plan on selling it because it has special meaning to me. I would love to be able to use a Bigsby on it and I believe it will add to the overall vibe. Being that it is a 1997 it is not really going to go up in value. ( maybe in another 20 years) And I won't sell it so it really make no sense to me. The tuners are not that great and will need to be replaced in the future so my whole internal struggle about keeping it original would be blown out of the water. As for buying another guitar and putting on a Bigsby, like a nice Squier Tele, I don't have a budget for that. So I figure I will turn to my good friends here for some advice and maybe talking me into or out of doing it. BTY I am thinking about putting on the B5 Bigsby with the Bigsby logo on it, not the Fender one..

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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Get a vibramate :

http://vibramate.com/index.php

allows you to put a bigsby on without making mods to the guitar. You can see how you like it, and then take it off with no harm to the guitar. You can always decide to make the change permanent at a later time.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have never heard of the vibramte. That is one cool product!
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The vibramate sounds like a good idea. Overall, I'd say go for the Bigsby. It sounds like it's something that you really want and that you'll use. I know you mentioned that you don't plan on selling it. The instrument should make you happy first, and in this case you don't really need to worry about resale value. Personally, I'm not that big on mods, but I fully endorse it if it's something that you think would make a big difference in your playing experience with that guitar.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Those vibramates look cool. Thanks for the tip.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks voodoo. Sometimes I get all bent on the future and stuff like "it will be worth $XX in the future" I do believe that it the Bigsby will work for me and I know that I will have to change out the tuners and probably the imput jack one day.. Hey maybe it will even make the guitar more valuable when the Bigsby crave hits again in 20 years! LOL
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was looking at the vibramates and it looks like it works on Teles with an ashtray bridge plate with 4 screws. I don't have my Tele with me now but I looked at the picture of mine and it looks like my bridge only has 3 screws. I could be wrong though. I will have to check when I get home. Plus the vibramate costs $100.00, almost as much as the B5..
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afungus amungus View Post
Thanks voodoo. Sometimes I get all bent on the future and stuff like "it will be worth $XX in the future" I do believe that it the Bigsby will work for me and I know that I will have to change out the tuners and probably the imput jack one day.. Hey maybe it will even make the guitar more valuable when the Bigsby crave hits again in 20 years! LOL
I'm looking at getting a Tele soon and I'm going through this exact same decision making process. I'm at the point now where I want to keep the stuff I get, so the issue of resale to me isn't as big of a concern. It's more along the lines of I want a bigsby, but if I end up using it way less than I thought then is it worth it? I'd like to have it in case I need it. You never know when the local surf band will need a fill in That vibramate is cool. I've never heard of that before.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm looking at getting a Tele soon and I'm going through this exact same decision making process. I'm at the point now where I want to keep the stuff I get, so the issue of resale to me isn't as big of a concern. It's more along the lines of I want a bigsby, but if I end up using it way less than I thought then is it worth it? I'd like to have it in case I need it. You never know when the local surf band will need a fill in That vibramate is cool. I've never heard of that before.
That is a big fear with me too! I would hate myself if I ended up installing the Bigsby and then use it less and less, then never. I also worry about how it will change my playing style and hand placement.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My biggest concern with wang-bars is that tuning stability is sometimes lost - not a good thing for live performance but fun for jamming or home-use.

Hope you have a really good tech to set it up.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My biggest concern with wang-bars is that tuning stability is sometimes lost - not a good thing for live performance but fun for jamming or home-use.

Hope you have a really good tech to set it up.
I have thought about that. I had a few guitars with bars on them and remember breaking a string and the whole thing goes all wonky on me. It's been a long time since I have broken a string though. I used to even block some of my guitars so the bar only went down. This whole Bigsby thing could be opening a can of worms again.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by afungus amungus View Post
That is a big fear with me too! I would hate myself if I ended up installing the Bigsby and then use it less and less, then never. I also worry about how it will change my playing style and hand placement.
I think from a playing style aspect it won't be too bad. I always feel that I can get used to almost anything if given enough time with it. The beauty thing is, getting a bigsby just gives you an excuse to buy another guitar down the line. "I have one with a bigsby, so naturally I need one without..."
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 02:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think from a playing style aspect it won't be too bad. I always feel that I can get used to almost anything if given enough time with it. The beauty thing is, getting a bigsby just gives you an excuse to buy another guitar down the line. "I have one with a bigsby, so naturally I need one without..."
If I had the cash now I would have a guitar with a Bigsby built for me by Ron Kirn. Got it all sketched out and everything! Then I would just keep my current one as is.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The Vibramate looks neat; I want to try one.

I bought a cheaper tele to put my Bigsby F5 on. My other tele was awesome and I loved playing it, so I figured why experiment on my good one?

It cost a bit more, but now I have 2 awesome guitars!
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by variantboy View Post
Get a vibramate :

http://vibramate.com/index.php

allows you to put a bigsby on without making mods to the guitar. You can see how you like it, and then take it off with no harm to the guitar. You can always decide to make the change permanent at a later time.
BEST ADVICE EVER. I absolutely loved Bigsbys on all the guitars I had tried, Les Pauls, 335, Gretch e.t.c. and I own a Les Paul with one, so naturally thought I would love it on a Tele. Gladly I bought the Vibramate to try - turns out I dont like erm on Teles!! Changed the whole feel of the tele for me and sounded different. So glad I didnt drill. Go for it, you may love it, at least you can go back. If you love it you can attach more permanently.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I put one on a Squier Affinity because I was afraid I'd lose my string ferrules on the string-through body... A nice way to see if you like the Bigsby. The $149 Tele cost less than the B5...
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The Vibramate is a cool idea and, in my opinion, better than the standard bridge option for a tele with a Bigsby. I had a tele that came stock with a Bigsby. The strings routed through the tremelo and over a bridge that was very similar to a Gretsch bridge. It had two metal posts that dropped into holes in the bridge plate and the entire bridge would rock just a bit...just enough to bring the guitar out of tune if you set your palm on the bridge with too much force. To make things worse, I found it very hard to maintain tuning stability with the Bigsby. To be fair, I find it hard to maintain tuning stability with any tremolo/vibrato system. It does look cool and there are guitar players with far more talent than I have that make them work great.

That American Standard 3 hole bridge is going to give you fits...there are very few aftermarket products made for them.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Seems like that Bigsby bar would get in the way of the control plate...
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It'll drop to about 90 degrees. My problem is that they usually don't come all the way up over the strings unless you grind down the part that stops it.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Seems like that Bigsby bar would get in the way of the control plate...
Bigsbys, at least from my experience, don't just swing freely. You can put them in a position and they stay there. If you have a whammy bar on a strat and don't screw it in far enough, it will just sway freely back and forth and could potentially get in the way of the controls, but with a bigsby you can set it out of the way and it stays there.
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