Ashtray Bigsby (post pics and help please)

afterdarkmusic

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Posts
93
Age
36
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
LOTS of ways to go about this, but I'll try to keep it short:

-Get a USA B5, better for upgrades and replacement parts. Not B50, B500, but the original USA sand-cast or Allparts version.

-RomanS is spot on about the tension bar, you want to have a decreased break angle, which is counterintuitive but best for tuning stability and 'feel'. That said, "medium" break isn't too bad either, which is where I am, I think.

-Consider Callaham's upgrades, I've gone that route and am very satisfied. I drilled out my stock bar myself though, because I have the drill press and machining experience. It's still narrow string spacing but doesn't matter with the Callaham grooved roller.

-A slotted saddle is best, less important if you get the grooved tension roller bar. I'm using Glendale Groovies right now, but a creak I can't get rid of on the B/E saddle has led me to pull the trigger on a Mastery M4.1. COMING SOON.

-Intonation can be set easily if you mod appropriately. I made a jig to cut slots on the opposed side of the intonation screws. Works like a charm.

Finally, tighten that handle down for no slack. I used some bronze bushings on the handle screw to keep friction low, and use a Reverend soft spring. Everything that moves, all of it including the touching saddles and intonation screw heads get a drop or two of Tri-flow. Exception was the bearings, which are already lubricated. Smoooooooth...

Pics:
View attachment 389171
Gorgeous pickguard! Can I ask where you nabbed it?

And excellent advice. Thanks for taking the time to write that all out.
 

BorderRadio

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
11,976
Age
42
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Gorgeous pickguard! Can I ask where you nabbed it?

And excellent advice. Thanks for taking the time to write that all out.
Ah thanks for saying. I'm not affiliated with these guys but I'm a repeat customer: Decoboom. The Streamline model. Gratuitous pic...

IMG_3217.JPG
 

guitfiddles

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Posts
134
Age
48
Location
Florida
One insight: place your B5 as far away from the ashtray bridge as possible (as close to the edge of the body as possible) - this will help with tuning stability;and use notched saddles (or use nut files to notch your unnotched saddles) - Bigsby strign spaving is more narrow than the average Tele string spacing...
Also, if your string break angle above the bridge saddles allows: loosen that set screw on the bottom of your B5 that holds the axle of that extra string pressure bar in place; then push out the axle with a thin screw driver; remove the thick sleeve around that axle; move the axle in place again, screw in the set screw, and mount the Bigsby; the thinner string pressure bar resulting from this will give a more shallow break angle over the saddles, and this will make the action of your Bigsby slightly more like that of a "real" (= no extra pressure bar - B16 B3, B6) one.
I wish I could visualize what you are talking about here because it sounds like great advice. Any chance you might have some photos of what you’re suggesting?
 

guitfiddles

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Posts
134
Age
48
Location
Florida
LOTS of ways to go about this, but I'll try to keep it short:

-Get a USA B5, better for upgrades and replacement parts. Not B50, B500, but the original USA sand-cast or Allparts version.

-RomanS is spot on about the tension bar, you want to have a decreased break angle, which is counterintuitive but best for tuning stability and 'feel'. That said, "medium" break isn't too bad either, which is where I am, I think.

-Consider Callaham's upgrades, I've gone that route and am very satisfied. I drilled out my stock bar myself though, because I have the drill press and machining experience. It's still narrow string spacing but doesn't matter with the Callaham grooved roller.

-A slotted saddle is best, less important if you get the grooved tension roller bar. I'm using Glendale Groovies right now, but a creak I can't get rid of on the B/E saddle has led me to pull the trigger on a Mastery M4.1. COMING SOON.

-Intonation can be set easily if you mod appropriately. I made a jig to cut slots on the opposed side of the intonation screws. Works like a charm.

Finally, tighten that handle down for no slack. I used some bronze bushings on the handle screw to keep friction low, and use a Reverend soft spring. Everything that moves, all of it including the touching saddles and intonation screw heads get a drop or two of Tri-flow. Exception was the bearings, which are already lubricated. Smoooooooth...

Pics:
View attachment 389171 View attachment 389172 View attachment 389173 View attachment 389174
I’ve done the full Callaham compliment on two of my Bigsby guitars and also the reverend soft touch springs. It makes the Bigsby so super nice.
 

RomanS

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Posts
7,427
Location
Vienna, Austria
I wish I could visualize what you are talking about here because it sounds like great advice. Any chance you might have some photos of what you’re suggesting?
Can't really take pics, because then I'd have to do the whole process...
Short version: That tension bar of a B5 is a thick sleeve mounted on a thin axle. If you remove the sleeve, the strings will pass only under the axle - so, a few mm further away from the body -> less break angle over the saddles.
 




New Posts

Top