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Bigsby for Top-loader Tele

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by DMace, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. DMace

    DMace Friend of Leo's

    Jul 30, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Searched the forums but couldn't find anything conclusive, so...If I've got a top-loader bridge, can I simply install a Bigsby and run the strings through the holes? --sounds a little too good to be true, so I'm assuming it's a more complicated mod than it appears. And is the B5 the model I'll need? Thanks for any info.
     

  2. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

    Feb 17, 2007
    Portugal

  3. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Oct 26, 2007
    Louisville, Ky
    You'd have to put slots in the bridge plate for the strings to go over.
     

  4. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Several have installed B-5 Bigsys using vingage style bridges. Notches are cut in the back lip of the bridge. This would be fairly simple with a toploader bridge since the location for the notches is cleary marked.

    Here's an example where a modified B-16 was installed and the strings actually go through the toploader holes. It's hard to tell from the picture but perhaps the strings are running through teflon tubing as is done with the Hipshot B-bender.

    ......[​IMG]
     

  5. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

    Feb 17, 2007
    Portugal
    I was talking about that same picture ;)
     

  6. DMace

    DMace Friend of Leo's

    Jul 30, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for the info, guys.
     

  7. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    They give you these little Teflon tubes for running the strings through with the kit. Isn't the idea of this for the top loaded or a drilled hole like a top loader has?

    Me, I see the notched plate idea and I like the one less change of direction for the string in theory. But having not set one up both ways my opinion is just that.

    Do you notch and loose most of the break angle over the saddles, or use the tube and maintain the break angle by the string getting pulled down to the hole?
     

  8. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    232
    Mar 14, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Resurrecting this necro thread as I have a top loader question. I have a vibramate and the vibramate bridge which worked fine but a new tele I just got has a string through, very modern Mightu Mite bridge ... Before swapping that out completely with the vibramate setup, I do have this bridge floating around, a six saddle top loader with the holes pretty near the bottom.... Will this work with a B5? 20180614_190836.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018

  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Having the strings move back and forth in those metal holes will result in string breaks. I've got no experience with putting teflon inserts in string through holes, but I suppose that could work. I don't see why you wouldn't just use the vibramate bridge however.

    One of the things I don't love about B5's and B7's is the tension bar changes the feel of the bigsby a little. I prefer the feel of a B6 as it's smoother and less stiff. Unfortunately some guitar setups require a tension bar. A Tele (without a lot of neck shimming) is such an example. Running the strings through the holes in the bridge after the tension bar will further stiffen the feel of the bigsby in my opinion because it's sharpening the break angle even more than the tension bar does.

    I'd recommend just mounting the bigsby on the guitar as far back as possible and using the vibramate bridge so that the strings pass from the tension bar directly to the saddles.

    I'd also highly recommend the Callaham string through bar for bigsby. Changing strings on a B5 is a royal pain. The string through bar eliminates that. Note though that the Callaham parts only work with the B5, not the B50.
     
    norumba likes this.

  10. norumba

    norumba Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    232
    Mar 14, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi,
    Thanks for the insight...I could use the vibramate bridge no issue, but the individual saddles is kind of intriguing and the saddles themselves look like better quality than the stock ones on the vibramate bridge. Just an idea.
    I've used B7s on les pauls and I feel your pain re the tension bar. One workaround I used is to simply pop off the roller from the tension bar, letting the string s go under the axle itself. The smaller diameter of just the axle is enough to ease up the stiffness.
    The Callaham through bar looks convenient but I've never found stringing b5s or b7s that difficult; make a j hook on the ball end by wrapping it around a sharp end of a pencil, feed it through, crimp it tight around the pin before stringing to pitch, bingo. No slipping. 45 dollars seems high to not have to do that, for me, lol:)
     

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