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Building a Franken Tele - Bigsby or No? Pros and Cons..

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by The Revolution, Mar 3, 2013.

Bigsby on a Tele?

  1. Yes, you'll get wang and twang

    6 vote(s)
    54.5%
  2. No, you'll blunten the axe with that piece of metal

    5 vote(s)
    45.5%
  1. The Revolution

    The Revolution Tele-Meister

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    Darwin Australia
    I am building a Franken Tele:twisted:, from an old swamp ash 80s Schecter strat body that I've plugged the Floyd Void with a big heavy piece of Aussie Ironwood. I have a 69 strat neck to put on because I threw the Schecter neck as far as I could into the abyss.

    Had a brain wave to putting a bigsby on, just to use on the B String as an awkward kinda B Bender, but then I though about hooking all 6 strings up to it and using it as a (!) vibrato bar.

    Ive got an ashtray bridge ready to screw down, probably not the best for hooking a bigsby off the back of, I may put something else there...but what I would like to know most of all is, am I going to lose much "Tele" tone by having a bigsby? If I lose a little of that tele tone, what am I gaining (apart from vibrato..and sex appeal)?
     
  2. Feargal

    Feargal Tele-Holic

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    Pros, it fun.
    cons, its complicates a simple setup.
     
  3. The Revolution

    The Revolution Tele-Meister

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    Darwin Australia
    ADJUNCT to my question: Double stop bends with a Strat vibrato don't really work because the pitch of the unbended note is affected by the note that you are bending. In other words you hit two strings, you bend one note and try to keep the other note unbent, but they BOTH bend because the vibrato bar has moved a little as it reacts to the bent string. Frustrating.

    Does the bigsby suffer from this? And does it stay in tune when you go for those big bends? (I don't mean when you are using the vibrato bar, I expect that to put it out at some point)
     
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  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bigsbys are not hard to install, and I really love em'.
    I'd recommend NOT using the "rocking" bridge.
    Bigsbys work well with the "vintage" style three saddle bridge.
    The rocking Jazzmaster/Mustang style bridges have moving parts
    which unnecessarily rob sustain, and are harder to set up.
    You can get a (Bigsby) Vibramate and mount the device to it.
    You then have the option of removing it at will, without leaving
    screw holes in the guitar.
    Lastly, if you do use the "rocking" bridge, spend the money on
    a Mastery brand.
    It's a much better/more stable bridge.
     
  6. PeterUK

    PeterUK Friend of Leo's

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    Nottingham, UK
    I agree with the above and I used a Mastery Bridge.

    My Bigsbycaster is one of my favourite Teles. It stays in tune, looks great and I love it.

    :) Peter
     
  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity

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    Osaka, Japan
    Slap one on there, what the heck! Plenty of teles out there with 'em. If you use a typical tele bridge and just file notches in the back of it for the strings to go through to the Bigsby, you should still have the twang.

    BTW, GFS also sells a tele-style bridge plate with a locking roller saddle set-up that's designed for trems. I didn't get the one for a tele, but I got the one that's designed to replace a TOM bridge to go on my surf mutant (see avatar), along with the GFS X-Trem vintage style tremolo. It works pretty good, but you'll have to shim your neck 2-3 degrees, most likely; they're taller than tele saddles.

    38 bucks US for this:
    [​IMG]

    $25 for this:
    [​IMG]

    They also have these trems that are quite a bit cheaper than a Bigsby, FWIW:
    [​IMG]

    I got the middle one. It was just under 50 dollars.

    No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.
     
  8. andrewsclues

    andrewsclues TDPRI Member

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    Bucks County, PA
    From the OP...

    "Double stop bends with a Strat vibrato don't really work because the pitch of the unbended note is affected by the note that you are bending. In other words you hit two strings, you bend one note and try to keep the other note unbent, but they BOTH bend because the vibrato bar has moved a little as it reacts to the bent string. Frustrating.

    Does the bigsby suffer from this?"


    I am curious to know the answer to this too... any takers?
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Doctor of Teleocity

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    ^^^
    To address this (Strat bridge) problem, you have to balance the trem springs
    tension to the string height/string gauge tension.
    To explain this better, what is critical is that the bridge plate does not
    move when doing the bend.
    Tighten the spring claw till the bridge does not float.
    Obviously the bridge will move if it floats, causing de-tuning of the unbent strings.
    You can use any gauge stings if the bridge base stays flush to the body.
    I champion heavier strings, and higher action.
    Bigsbys are more stable than Strat style bridges, IMO.
    The Tradition guitar company makes a Trem King system that works well
    to address this problem.
     
  10. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian.

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    Quebec, Canada
    Short answer, yes.

    Less short answer, yes but the Bigsby has far less tendency to do this because it seems much happier in it's "default rest" position and needs a bit more pressure get it going. No much but more but not the spongy feel most Strats have. I have found I can count on my Bigsby to stay in tune after Comfortably Numb but my Strat is almost always toast by the end.
     
  11. zeke54

    zeke54 Tele-Holic

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    central calif.
    Is this the only Tele you have ? If you have another I feel it's fun to have one with a Bigsby in the family too . As a youth in the '60s I used to drool over my Fender catalog and lusted for a Tele with a Bigsby , it just looked so cool ... so I made a partscaster Esquire with one and I'm finally satisfied . Hadn't played it in awhile so I got it out last week and it felt so good I couldn't put it back in the case . I also agree with newtwanger , Bigsbys don't feel "spongy" like Strats do . Good description , newtwanger , I could never put my finger on it . Z54
     
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