Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Vintage Modified Cabronita Tele with Bigsby owner opinions

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by ShadowChancer, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. ShadowChancer

    ShadowChancer Tele-Holic

    Apr 14, 2012
    Central Scotland
    hi guys , whos got one , and what`s it like ? none of the local stores have one to try , your opinions / thoughts appreciated , especially the Bigsby and tuning issues /stability
    LordByron likes this.

  2. marsh99

    marsh99 Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2011
    London, England
    I have one and overall I like it. In fact I have both the Bigsby and the hard tail Squiers in the house at the moment but the hard tail isn't mine.

    I was attracted by the Bigsby and it works great, tuning is much more stable than I expected and return to pitch is good. It doesn't feel as nice as the Bigsby on my Gretsch so worth remembering we're talking about a guitar built to a price here.

    Downsides for me on this model are the thin sounding bridge pickup, it sounds neat in the middle position but very thin and 'brittle' on its own - and there is no tone control to tame it. I keep saying I'm gonna replace it with something more beefy but haven't gotten around to it yet. The other downside is overall finishing, particularly the frets. My Bigsby model was pretty good with one slightly high fret around 17/18 on the high E. However the hard tail had a completely dead fret at 2, which is a bit shocking in terms of QC. I had the store sort that out!

    The Jazzmaster style bridge also brings its own idiosyncrasies to the party so that's something to think about in terms of setup. You need to be able to deal with the inevitable buzz and rattle and how to overcome it.

    As I said overall, these are good guitars but like a lot of cheaper guitars they need some work to make them better. I'd recommend the Bigsby model, especially if you're familiar with setting up a Jazzmaster bridge. I'd be wary of buying mail order because of the fret issues.

    The Bigsby cab is one cool guitar in my opinion, hope this helps!

  3. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I love mine. Good set-up right from the factory. Frets are great. The middle position sounds best to me. The Bigsby stays in tune. I ordered mine and was happy with it.

  4. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 20, 2009
    Smyrna Ga.
    I had one but sold it and bought the fixed bridge double tron version. It was a nice gtr. and the bigsby was stable. However, I'm used to a Gretsch type Bigsby and the action on the tele unit felt a little stiff. Had I kept the gtr. I would probably have put a cocentric tne knob as the neck pickup seemed a bit muddy and the bridge was to bright IMO. The middle position sounded fantastic. Good Luck

  5. fil9998

    fil9998 TDPRI Member

    Oct 31, 2014
    I got one. I think it needs a better bridge pick up
    -imho duncan little '59 splittable or quarter pound or a noiseless t298 or a twin blade B&B Lawrence wilde's -

    Mine arrived very badly setted up (low E falled out of the neck and High E was in the place of B ... solved adjusting neck screws on the back)

    Once properly setted it is very well made and easy to play
    high E set at 1.0 mm high and low E set at 1.4 mm at 12° fret ... very nice with no buzz.

    basswood of the body adds very less to the sound of the pick ups because it IMHO kills almost any vibration expecially low frequencies and gives to this telly some "dull" sounding...

    BUT... basswood is very light and cheap ... and the bigsby is very heavy and expensive... so using basswood maybe solved the equation ...
    saddles are a little tricky and strings might tend to "dance" / float around; changing spacing between strings almost easily
    BUT with 10s or -better- 11s strings this is almost solved.

    The guitar imho is really worth the money (about 300 $) ... but it is not imho a guitar that makes you happy you purchased it instead of a MIM or a MIA ... as a "classic vibe" squier IMHO does ...

    the bridge pick up neeeds to be replaced and a tone control is needed.
    I plan to put a concentric volume-tone pot with a paper-oil ex-soviet capacitor

    this guitar has got a distinctive sound expecially on the middle switch position which I like very much ...while neck pick up sounds "like a wolf chanting in a wood box" :) and bridge pick up is TOO bright and TOO "slim" souding

    very 50s and 60s ... but I find it not so versatile .

    I only wonder how this guitar would sound if they made it in some better sounding wood and with a better pick up in the bridge and a tone control ...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014

  6. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    ive got the non-bisgby version and I love it.
    I think its as well built as my squier cvc
    and I think the cvc line is the best fenders
    being made today so thats saying a lot.

    I had to choose between the bigsby and the non-bisgby
    but since I despise bisgbys It was an easy choice.
    PLus the bigsby one they had weighed at least 10 lbs
    and the non-bigsby a hair over 7lbs.
    Lastly I chose the non-bigsby because it has a filtertron
    in the bridge as well as neck. These pickups are great! they do need to see a 500K pot
    though. The stock 250K was making them sound dull and lifeless

    the only flaw and its not even a flaw to me but a good thing-the finish
    chips and scratches very easily. This is great if you're like me and like the look of well used, beat-up guitars. If you like the look of sterile,
    never even looked at guitars this may be a bad thing.

    the finish looks great and is done well, just its very thin. stupid thin.

  7. Deafen

    Deafen Tele-Meister

    Mar 28, 2003
    North Carolina
    Love mine. Great fit and finish, I actually prefer the stiffer Bigsby (and you can drop in a softer spring if desired), and the neck is excellent. Even has a little flame on mine. Tuners are serviceable, if unremarkable.

    +1 on all the comments about the bridge pickup - too thin. I replaced mine with a CS Texas Special, which sounds fantastic. However, since i've got another TS tele, and I have the parts lying around, I'm going to swap in a SD Little '59 and swap the volume pot for a 500K. This should open up the neck pickup and give me a solid humbucker bridge option.

  8. Deafen

    Deafen Tele-Meister

    Mar 28, 2003
    North Carolina
    Quick followup - did those swaps this morning, and it's just as I anticipated. The neck pickup opened up beautifully, with a little more chime. And the Little 59 is, well, a Little 59. With the 500K volume pot, this sucker just SINGS now.

  9. Starry

    Starry TDPRI Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    Waterford, Ireland
    Sounds amazing, I was thinking of doing the same, but putting a TV jones classic in the neck too. Do you think this would work well?

  10. duceditor

    duceditor Tele-Meister

    Jan 5, 2011
    Monadnocks NH
    I've only had the guitar in my hands for a few hours and so far only played it through my `76 Twin Reverb with very little fiddlin'. But this much I can say, and that very much to my own surprise: This is the BEST finished electric guitar I have ever owned. The neck/fingerboard/frets are simply perfection. Noticiably smoother than the supposedly had "rolled" fingerboard edge on my Fender American Standard Tele -- itself a lovely guitar. And the paint is better too. It is a modern poly (and will no doubt age -- or not age! -- just as one would expect from such a finish. But it does not have the feeling of being heavy and thick as on my other poly-finished guitars -- it looking and feeling much more like the nitrocellulose finish on my (also black) Gibson Les Paul.

    The chrome, too, is superb. Especially on the baseplate. (The chrome on the bridge itself is only so-so -- identical to that on the offsets from which it was taken.)

    The Bigsby is smooth as glass. Unlike the original US model it uses nylon bushings instead of roller bearings. At least as new this is in no way inferior. And because it uses a 2nd roller bar it creates a steep break angle behind the bridge thus even with the stock .9 string set there is no issue with the strings moving about on the saddles.

    So far I have discovered no output imbalance between the PUPS but there is much yet I have to discover about this guitar in use.

    More later. But for now... wow wee! :D

    LordByron likes this.

  11. duceditor

    duceditor Tele-Meister

    Jan 5, 2011
    Monadnocks NH
    Went over to Pure Nickel strings -- .10 - 45. That, as expected, tamed the harshness of the bridge PUP without seeming to overtly mute the neck PUPs chime.

    The change to a higher-tension set of .10 made it advantageous (but not actually necessary) to adjust the neck relief - an easy job with the headstock-end adjuster. With that done the string height again was on the money but as expected intonation was sharp across the board following the change and that needed adjustment as well.

    'll need to spend more time getting this guitar's ultimate voice via amp choice and setting -- always important, but especially so on a guitar with no tone control(s).

    Here are some pix I took this morning...







  12. LordByron

    LordByron Tele-Meister

    Feb 3, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Mine had been relegated to my "office" guitar for occasional after hours noodling and demoing new pedals when they arrive. But a strage thing happened recently, I received a JHS Ruby Red OD I had bought, plugged the Cabro into it and ran it into the AC10 I keep at the office. Holy balls! It sounded amazing. I have since picked up a couple of killer Lovepedal ODs that likewise work great with the Cabro and a Vox-ish amp. My current #1 Gig rig is Cabro> Lovepedal Tchula>Vox Night Train head or Mesa TA-15 Head w/ a 1x12 Greenback cab. It is pure rock and roll... and I LIKE it! :)

  13. Big-Tele

    Big-Tele Tele-Meister

    Nov 4, 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    I put a 500k vol pot and replaced the bridge pickup with a GFS repro '50s and put a 500k resister across the bridge pickup, so it sees the vol pot as 250k. Also replaced the jack with an electrosocket. Its very well made and great to play, on a par with my blacktop strat. My number 1 go to at the moment for jamming.

  14. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015
    Got mine a few months ago. It's been a crazy-busy time for me. (All my postings on TDPR = I'm stuck at the computer 12 hours a day, days on end.)

    There's been one guitar out of (?) many I have to fiddle w/ every day or go mad that I haven't put back into the music room this whole time. And it's been this one.

    I was real lucky to snag one with a fine added tone pot and a rail bridge pickup. Neither the prior owner nor I know what that bridge PUP is (I haven't really investigated this), but it sounds great by itself and in tandem w/ the stock neck PUP.

    I do have to get thicker strings on it, and a softer spring in the Bigsby. I also got a better bridge/saddle set I've yet to install. But even without having had the time to put all this stuff on, and even despite the faint blasphemy of a Bigsby on a Tele, it's a fun, poetic guitar. Its neck is just barely big enough for me, but it plays real smoothly. Its frets feel about perfect, the fit and finish are great (okay, the tuners might be better), and now that I took the ugly white pickguard off (made the whole guitar look like pastic), I think it looks lovely with that pale yellow neck. I use the Bigsby quite a bit but subtly, and it returns to pitch pretty well. That better bridge/saddle set should help further there. Tons of tones, and that smokey-smooth neck PUP is just great. Seems to have reverb in it.

    Add the needed tone control and better bridge PUP, and this is a wonderful guitar, especially for its modest cost. I could easily see this being someone's favorite and only Tele, or even only guitar. (Such one-guitar owners are said to exist, on distant planets....)

    Get one and post your impressions!

  15. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015
    Great guitar and seriously great pix, there! Talented stuff.

  16. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

    Mar 7, 2013
    wild west
    I got 2 when they came was wired wrong (out of phase) no biggie..I set the bridge as low as possible to get it stable..great tele setup for the money...sold one to a buddy...then I got an archtop with bigsby and I have teles with benders soooo..sold the other..might be tough to find...they were limited run...the guy that bought my second one drove about 700 miles to come and get it..

  17. dimchandelier

    dimchandelier NEW MEMBER!

    Feb 16, 2017
    I've had one for about a year now. The bridge set screws keep loosening up and the strings slip off too. I've been reading about replacing the bridge with a Mustang style bridge. I'm concerned about the string spacing lining up with the grooves in the Mustang bridge. There's mention of 52mm or 55mm string spacing. Not sure what the Cabronita has. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Other than that, I love the guitar. Haven't played my Strat in over 6 months.

  18. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

    You'll want the narrow spacing with the MIM or Squier

  19. dimchandelier

    dimchandelier NEW MEMBER!

    Feb 16, 2017
    Thank you Mr. Ebb

  20. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

    Seems most here in agreement that Squier necks are smallish, and many MIM Cabs were sent out with Am standard bridges, causing high e to be near falling off the fretboard. There are photos of this here under 'cabronita' search.
    Also pole alignment issues here.
    The narrower spacing helps on all three counts.
    If you order from Rutters he needs to know it's for a MIM , Squier, or Amercan Cabronita.

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