Intonating problem with a Bigsby......

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Ghostdriver, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver TDPRI Member

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    Ok guys,
    I am building a budget Tele with a Bigsby. I noticed that there are ‘dual’ access screws available to aid with intonating from the front aspect of the saddles as the rear is obscured by the Bigsby ‘frame’.

    the question is, has anyone tried to create the dual access effect by customising existing saddle screws, either by filing a slot or using Dremel to cut one....any help would be appreciated.

    I have seen them for sale but 30 quid for three screws is exorbitant in my view.
     
  2. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I will be looking w/ interest, at anything the hive-bain comes up with.
    There are some 90 degree angle screw divers, but I've been underwhelmed w/ performance.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  3. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    Bigsby's are some of the coolest looking things ever

    They sound and feel great

    For 5 secs in those one or maybe 2 songs you think you need them in.....lol

    There are other ways to make Summertime Blues work....lol

    There are other ways to do everything a Bigsby does with just your hands

    You dont absolutely need a Bigsby or trem arm ever.....lol

    Why do I say all of that ???

    They are some of the most pain in the ass things ever on a guitar.....especially a Telecaster

    Save the comments about needing this or that bridge or some kind of special workaround....lol

    I tried them all

    None of them add up to great tone/tuning/feel on a guitar.....lol
     
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  4. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver TDPRI Member

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    Fair do’s but I already built a few without a Bigsby and I guess I just need to scratch that itch with regards to making it work, so far I have fabricated my own bridge, and have a ****e Chinese arm and relicced the terrible chrome off, it’s just the technical issues really I am trying to overcome, intonation looking like it will be the most difficult given the restrictions in accessing the screws from the rear.
     
  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You might want to just shell out.

    I've cut my own bridge notches etc, and modded my intonation screws. I used a Dremel cut-off tool for the screws. However, getting the notches centered reasonably well was a PITA. I ended up using some spare aluminum stock to make a hole, tapped it, then screwed in the intonation screw to keep it still. I clamped the aluminum block down, and locked the screw in with a nut. I did the notch by eye, depth set by how far I left the screw sticking out the jig. It's worth it, but if you don't have a tap, block or jig, cutting wheel and dremel, then you actually save money just buying the special screws.
     
  6. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well that wasn't very helpful. Bigsbys Always add up to a better tone, better feeling guitar. Tuning? Meh, overrated. :)
     
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  7. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    lol....

    i love the way bigsbys look.....and....what they imply.....99.9% of the time they are a pain in the ass.....lol

    that said....the way a guitar looks....and how that look conveys things hard for words to capture is often more important to me than a sound or tone believe it or not

    still.....im done torturing myself trying to make bigsbys easy, friendly, workable or kind....lol

    i will admire from afar.....lol
     
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  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep, I'm there with looks. Guitars are all the same: plinky, twangy, doom inducing, but imperfect folk instruments. How they look is everything.

    I'm a Bigsby disciple. I string the in the dark with one hand and all that. Tuning problems? User error. I had two Teles, one with the Bigsby b16 and the other with a b5. Both are tuning stable, dive bombing, string strangling machines. They can work for the player and not the other way around. Its Zen stuff I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    I have at least 10 guitars with Bigsbys and none currently give me any trouble. Once you take the time to learn their idiosyncracies, they are awesome. First, you have to mate them with a bridge that will work properly with them. Second, I modify all of my B5-B50 Bigsbys with a hold down bar to just the bare axle and ball bearings to reduce both friction and break angle. Nothing is quite as expressive IMO.
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    What type of bridge are you working with? I have had my best luck pairing B5/50 Bigsbys with a Jaguar bridge - something very low profile that can rock slightly. If you are trying to use it with a Tele bridge, you may be in for tuning stability issues.

    My most recent B-Blender project with the Jag-style bridge.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  11. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver TDPRI Member

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    I should actually also add I am not new to Bigsby’s, I actually have a Gretsch 6120, it’s just the Tele intonation I am looking to conquer
     
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  12. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    bigsbys suck as instruments particularly on telecasters imo
    glad its working for what you do

    i will never own another one....especially the knock off B50s
     
  13. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    imo the worst bridges ever if you care about intonation
     
  14. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    any kinna waang bar , those things the go B-R-O-O-O-I-N-G, ? yeah ? I hear Chris Isaac and former Isaak guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, R.I.P. the man behind the dreamy sound of Isaak’s multimillion-selling hit, “Wicked Game, Wang bars have a place in this cold hard lump of soft dirty coal that passes for a heart, now I see those things on guitars and see them with a whole lot more respect. And yes I have two stats with the wang bars are still in the original factory plastic bags that they came in.
     
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  15. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    I love the idea of intonation screws that can be adjusted from the front. I had to cut an allen wrench short to get in the gap to adjust the Mastery bridge on my tele with a bigsby.
     
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  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Neither of these things are true. The regular Tele bridge works fine if you have the expectation for basic subtle use. Steel saddles, notches, it’s fine. The Floating Tremolo bridge is great under the same circumstances with heavier gauges. The intonation issues only happen when you start going nuts with it. There are other tricks and tips I’m holding back on.

    Use lubrication on the Tele 3 saddle design. The intonation screws, saddles. Don’t use lubrication on the rocking bridge design. Friction is your friend on that one.
     
  17. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    lol

    its been exceptionally true on every bigsby tele i have ever had some 1st or 2nd hand knowledge of .....perhaps your experience is different.....good for you
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don’t get the Bigsby hating on a Bigsby thread. I mean if it didn’t work out for some guys, how does that person have anything to constructive to contribute? It’s user error.

    I didn’t make this stuff up. I’ve set up nearly all Bigsby models to play in tune and even use in the extreme.
     
  19. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Meister

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    You would be the first I know of that can accurately make that claim.
    Good for you.

    I like Bigsbys alot

    I wont ever own another one unless Im forced to by an exceedingly special guitar out there in the universe.

    I cant think of one thing anyone really needs a bigsby for that they cant get real close to with another technique
     
  20. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You should probably talk to some Gretsch guys then. Sure, some might hate B5s and B7s but anyone with some experience can get those running almost as responsive and tuning stable.

    If you don’t want a vibrato, then probably best not sayin anything derailing to those that do. Hard tails will always rule in stability, and to get something similar with any vibrato, it’s Floyd Rose time.

    Another non-truth with technique. No way one can get Chet Atkins or Kevin Shield chord shimmers, pre-bends or Link/Neil craziness without a vibrato.
     
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