Bigsby's, Supro's, and my first vintage guitar, oh my....

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Marn99, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Hey everyone,
    So I have been pursuing a vintage guitar to call my own for a while now, and have basically narrowed it down to a 1960's Supro Dual Tone in white. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell that I am a HUGE David Bowie fan, so when I saw that he played a 1961 Supro Dual Tone with a Bigsby B5 Tremolo installed on it, I knew I had to have one just like it. Now I know in the 60's Supro started to market their guitars with the Res-o-glas Fiberglass bodies, and it has been super confusing to me on if I should buy a wood bodied one or a fiberglass one, especially considering the higher cost that the vintage guitar market demands for res-o-glas. Now, the one David Bowie owned appeared to be a wood bodied one, as it had a body shape like this.
    1pict0001_3.jpg
    And it appears that the Fiberglass Dual tones have a body shape like this
    57sdt.jpg
    But then I went on Reverb and I see ones with the older body shape and the seller says its fiberglass.
    confusing right?
    So I thought that maybe this question might help me narrow it down, can a bigsby B5 even be installed into a fiberglass body? If the answer is yes, is there any way to know if Bowie's Dual Tone was a wood or fiberglass body?
     
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  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I dunno man, I read a thread here about a guy making a resin body like the old Supro's. Seems those are hollow, but you'd know if it had a set of screws on the back.

    supro-dual-tone-2.jpg
     
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  3. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    You and I are of a like mind. I would love to own an old surpro dual tone. I see them every now and then but I really hate the idea of sinking money into a guitar I haven't played. They're pretty cheap in terms of the vintage market but still, 1000 dollars is more than I like to spend on a guitar that may not play well :confused:

    I've also been on the lookout for a hagstrom Kent, but it's the same deal.
     
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  4. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Those Res-o-glas bodies have a raised spot along the edge where the two fiberglass pieces meet right? If so than Bowie's Dual tone would be a wood bodied one then.
     
  5. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    another bit of info, the Supro started fiberglass in full around 62/63, but res-o-glas before that date isn't unheard of.
     
  6. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    You could fit a Bigsby to a resoglass body but you'd need a block on the inside to reinforce it. Easy enough to do, just glue a couple of 10cm x 4cm maple blocks either side of the centreblock under where the Bigsby holes will go.
     
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  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've had mine for over 30 years. It's the only guitar I can't sell.
    It's seen hundreds of gigs and has the slide tone of the gods.
    I use the bridge pickup.
    If I roll off the tone, it does what you would expect until the pot is completely off. Then...SHAZAAM!
    Not sure why this is so, but it's amazing.
    Other than slide, it's a dreadful guitar to play.
    The headstock angle is wrong and the strings want to jump out of the nut.
    The neck is held on with ONE SCREW.
    Tuning stability is worse than any knockoff POS I've encountered.
    The neck is huge and weirdly shaped...
    I could go on...
     
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  8. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a 60 or 61 that has had a Bigsby added. I'm guessing a Bowie fan had it one time. It is wood. There is a thread about it here that I'm too lazy to look up.

    Charlie mentions some of the weirdness of these things.

    Keep in mind too that Eastwood makes a version that would be reasonably affordable if not a total ccopy - humbuckers instead of single coils, for example. And guitars under the Supro name have just been introduced. Again, not exact copies. Can't remember if any of them sport a Bigsby. Check their website.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  9. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  10. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Well I guess the evidence settles it. Bowie's 61 Dual Tone is a wood bodied Supro.
     
  11. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't remember how I did it...it was many years ago...but I remember it being very easy to do away with the tilt adjust and use that spot for a 2nd attaching bolt.
    Now you have TWO bolts...in line...holding on the neck!
    Boy howdy!
    And...as I understand it...these things actually cost more than a Les Paul in their day.
    No wonder they didn't sell many!
    They really are crappy.
    But that TONE!!!
     
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  12. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    So I have heard, on the topic of price, 50 some years later they seem to be becoming a victim of the vintage guitar markets ridiculous prices, that's why I asked this question on whether I which kind of Dual Tone I should get because the sooner I can get one the better.
     
  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    From the pics, I'd say DB"s Supro is wood, chrome hardware, plastic script logo.
    I think that's 61-62...same as mine.
     
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  14. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Bowie is my favorite artist; I've seen him 4 times. I saw the Reality Tour at the Milwaukee Auditorium with the Stereophonics. His guitar had a Bigsby. I would assume that it was a wooden Supro. Can you mount a Bigsby on a hollow guitar? I wouldn't think so. 2003! You were 5. You're a youngster with good taste. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    yep, you can see it right there on the picture of this guitar, notice on the edge just before the horn of the cutaway where the finish has worn off and reveals a small amount of wood underneath. I am supremely jealous that you got to see him live, that was the Reality tour right? unfortunately his last. My family came to Milwaukee in 2008 from Ann Arbor, and while Bowie never came there, Iggy Pop grew up there!
     
  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I saw Iggy once on the Raw F'ing Power tour in the basement commons at UWM. He toured with In Living Color and the show was amazing.

    I saw The Glass Spider Tour, Sound & Vision Tour, Earthling Tour and the Reality Tour.

    He's amazing.
     
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