Bigsby B5 w/V5-JAM on a Tele

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by RottenTheCat, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    Some feedback requested, of which there's seldom lack of around these parts!

    The plan is to put a B5 on my Warmoth body thinline.

    Excessive break angle over the saddles always make me cringe a bit with a vibrato. My ol' ES-333 had a B3 (no hold down) and worked pretty well with the stock ABR-1 on the '333. Not perfectly, but nearly so. Break angle was rather shallow, but strings stayed in place.

    So... in my infinite lack of wisdom, I'm thinking about using a Vibramate V5-JAM under the B5.

    For those unfamiliar, the V5-JAM is for the Jazz/Jag bodies, and covers "the hole" that would be left behind when a B5 is added. The outline fits the B5 perfectly, and its about 3/32 thick, raising the B5 a bit.

    So.... all feedback welcome!
     
  2. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 TDPRI Member

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    I got excited when I saw this. I’m getting an offset made and considering a B5 but want it reversible if I don’t like it - but I see the B5 Jam goes over the old Jaguar tremolo cavity using the old screws. Darn!

    I did have a B5 copy and in spite of roller bridge, well cut and lubricated nut it’s break angle was too steep and it was nothing like as good as s B3 I have in a hollow body with hardly any break angle.

    From what I understand the vibramate raises the unit so should decrease the height. I have also read that putting felt at the mounting points to allow for less than perfectly flat mounting gives some adjustment to stop torque through the pivot points from causing friction and snagging which will improve things as well as reduce break angle




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    Sent the V5-JAM back. Angle looks ok. Gonna notch and mount tomorrow sometime. The plate seemed interesting because it fit the B5 without sticking out. But... Just not needed. Felt on B5 is thin, but... Thats easy to change
     
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The B5 on a Tele won't suffer the extreme break angle as sometimes seen on B5/archtop designs like a LP or Pro Jet. In many cases the break angle is optimal if you get the original B5 and not the F-logo design. The original allows one to locate the vibrato as far back as possible from the saddles, allowing for a decreased break angle. In addition, one can reverse shim the neck (shim on headstock side of pocket) to get even less break angle. This is exactly how I installed my Bigsby B5 and Mastery 4.1--great tuning return to pitch, even after dive bombing it. I can't really measure the B5 angle, but it looks like less than 10 degrees. IME, 7-8 degrees is perfect for a Bigsby. Over 12 degrees or so is asking for more trouble.

    I rip off the felt on Tele Bigsby B5s and B16s. I like the direct to wood contact and inability for the vibrato body to flex.
     
    Vinnie1971 likes this.
  5. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    Things are so hard to judge just by eyeballing online images. Now that I have the B5 in hand (or in box as the case may be), I see the angle ain't so bad. The plate went back. I'll probably get rid of the pads as well. Even the bar had a felt pad _and_ a rubber piece on it... jeeze. The bar needs a bit of smoothing, its underside is rough edged, aka a stamping.

    Ordered up a Gotoh notched bridge with their own saddles. I'm spoiled. Back in the day, I had a full shop of fun toys to make whatever I needed. Bridgeport, surface grinder, 10" Jet lathe... all sorts of tooling, index fixtures, and trusty InterRapid indicators.

    Today, I'm old, retired, and have Dremels, Fordoms, lots of hand tools, but no machine tools. I couldn't do myself justice by hand working my bridge for notches - hence the Gotoh. It does look nicely finished in the pictures. Doesn't have GOTOH written on it, which I like. And how can you screw up a brass saddle? Those I can still make myself if need be, with some patience and my drill press.

    Should be back in Bigsby land soon. LOVED the B3 on my ES-333... it did that guitar well. Even made some "custom" inlays to cover the stud mounts using nickel plated steel jacket buttons that were floral engraved. Looked ok too.
     
  6. gsh1968

    gsh1968 Tele-Holic

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    That bridge (Allparts TB-5134) isn't actually made by Gotoh, hence no "Gotoh" logo. Allparts have the plate made in S. Korea and add the Gotoh In-Tune saddles. Their advertising blurb is confusing - they call the saddles "BS-TC1" saddles which is the name of a complete bridge which comes with the In-Tune saddles. The saddle name is "In-Tune BS".
     
  7. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    I was just about to post that! As long as its reasonably flat, I'm good with it.

    (edit in)

    I spent time _before_ purchasing the bridge, looking at as many non-vendor images on Google and various other websites. After I got thinking... and realized, that's not Gotoh, but just Gotoh saddles, I went back and looked again. What I was trying to discern is three things. Flatness, workmanship on the "notches", and thickness of the material.

    From what I can see, after looking at posted images, is that the workmanship is pretty good. Looks like they did a decent job of it, and buffed the crap out of the places where your hand is likely to rest while muting the strings (one reason I wanted to buy, rather than notch my own). Hard to tell from pictures, but flatness, or out-of-flatness, didn't jump out of the pictures. I had a early 70's Tele (my first "new" guitar), that had a wavy bridge that squealed like reverse plate wires on a push pull amp, any time you got the volume above bedroom levels. There are fixes... but I'd rather have a decently flat part to start with. Then... thickness. Don't want flimsy, and I've seen lots of flimsy ones over the years of being a guitar crank. The kind you could fold between your thumb and first two fingers of your hand. Should be much stronger than that, which means proper steel, of proper thickness. I won't get into the cork sniffing "must be .0625" or whatever. Just so its sturdy is good enough for me.

    I can't find anything where folks are complaining about 'em... so....

    Guess we'll see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019 at 9:33 AM
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