Paul Bigsby - genius ? Sure, but...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mike Eskimo, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    I don't currently own a guitar with a Bigsby, but there's a guy who really knows how to use one:



    I've had the pleasure of watching Darrel Higham play at close quarters and he has Eddie Cochran's style totally nailed.
     
  2. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    Saw that dude with Imelda May several years ago when they were still together. I liked him - Imelda knocked me out. Two songs, and I was a fan.
     
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  3. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    That's too funny. You have to study the guitar to figure out how to play it, is that not a good design either? The Jazzmaster trem is actually petty simple, the problem is that most guitarists are pretty simple, too. Pretty much anybody can figure it out in about 20 minutes, it's just that most people never bother. It ain't rocket surgery.

    True, once you've got a Bigsby set you the way you like it, you really don't need to touch it again. That's a little disingenuous though since the Bigsby doesn't include the bridge, which is the complicated part. If you take the bridge out of the equation, there isn't much to a Jazzmaster, either.
     
  4. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    I took the bridge & nut out of the equation on 2 Jaguars as well as adjusting the spring tension. Ultimately the closest to that unit being usable was with the lock button and then you lose the ability to go up in pitch.

    Not to mention the play in the arm having a certain amount of movement with no reaction vs no play on a Bigsby unless you want it.
     
  5. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Meister

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    About a year ago I got one of those because I was worried about breaking a string at a gig, but have since taken it off because now that I play guitars with bigsby’s I never really break strings. When my tele had a regular bridge, I seemed to break them often.
    Also, if one does break a string on stage, it’s better to just have a backup guitar.... with a bigsby.
     
  6. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    They are both the nicest people you could hope to meet. My wife's a big fan too. :)
     
  7. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    Nah.



    Worthless.

    Bob
     
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  8. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    With perhaps a surprise winner. Second place is the PRS SE, and I have one, and as far as I'm concerned, it's perfect.

     
  9. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Don‘t forget- the Bigsby guitars/vibratos were born initially in the late 1940‘s. This was roughly 80 years ago!
     
  10. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Two Floyds, two six points, one stop bar and a Bigsby. One of the Floyds stays in tune for weeks at a time, the other one wanders a few cents every few days. My Les Paul isn’t that stable.

    I do not find restringing my Bigsby to be easy or even pleasant. I can restring both Floyds in the time it takes me to do the Bigsby. And my PRS has locking tuners: string changes are super fast and super easy.

    Bigsbys look JUST right on certain guitars, but I’m not a fan of their functionality.

    But if we all liked the same stuff, there wouldn’t be enough to go around.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Very roughly ... it was 70 years ago.
     
  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a setup issue, my JM trems are just as responsive as my Bigsbys, no play in the arm at all. The feel differs because of the difference in springs, but Bigsbys feel different with different springs, too- I don't dig the stock spring at all, the Reverend spring is a vast improvement.
     
  13. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    I put new strings on my Gretsch last night and it made me think of this thread. I play with my son-in-law at his house on the weekends and I usually leave it at his house. Friday evening when we played I noticed how dusty and dirty the guitar was, and how old and raunchy the strings had become, so I took it home for a good cleaning and some new strings.

    It had been a very long time since I had put new strings on simply because of the tedious nature of the task. I never pre-bent the ball end of the strings before, but after reading this I decided to try it. It did help some. I couldn't find where I put my capo to try that too, but everything seemed to go okay. I was finished cleaning and restringing in about an hour or so, I think.

    My Gretsch is a lower end, made in Korea, Electromatic 5125 single-cut, hollowbody. I have since installed locking Grovers, an adjust-o-matic roller bridge, and TV Jones classics. It's the only Bigsby equipped guitar I own, but wouldn't mind having another. Over the last couple of years it is my most played guitar. If I ever buy another electric it will most assuredly have a Bigsby on it.

    While I have owned my Gretsch for over ten years now there is still much for me to learn about archtops, most importantly placement of the floating bridge after restringing. What is normally done to position the bridge? Last night I just measured from the nut to the 12th fret and doubled that measurement, and then placed the bridge that distance from the nut. Afterward, it seemed to note fine, so it seems that the intonation is correct. I never had anyone show me any method for performing this task. A few years ago I put some double-sided tape under the base of the floating bridge to maintain its position, but no longer do this. What is the standard method?
     
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  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I don’t know of any standard, but that’s what I do: measure to the 12th and double it. I locate the high E this way, then intonate (I use solid bar bridges). I do know a ‘proper’ built archtop sometimes has the middle of the “F” in line with the bridge center line, so I can reliable do use this with most of my Gretsch guitars.

    For string changes either do one string at a time, or use masking tape to mark the corners of the base.
     
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  15. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    When I first got the guitar it seemed to be going out of tune easily, then I discovered the problem was me. I found that my aggressive strumming/picking was a bit too heavy-handed. It was causing the floating bridge base to shift slightly out of position. It took me a while to figure out, a bit longer to adjust my playing. That's when I started putting the double-sided tape underneath the base. Is there another way?
     
  16. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    The wooden bridgebase needs to be sanded to match the radius of the archtop as close as possible. The feet of the bridgebase should be rubbed with violin rosin which keeps the bridge base together with the string tension in place. The close wood to wood contact gives a better tone, by the way.
     
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  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sure, you could use a combination of heavier string gauges and/or pinning the bridge. There are several methods to pin a bridge, but I like the half-floating method. Basically the bridge still transfers vibrations through the base. The pins only locate the bridge and prevent lateral movement. You’ll need to located the pins precisely, or make slots in the base like Gretsch recently started doing. The slotted base is smart when you use a solid bar bridge, you can continue to adjust intonation for different string gauges.

    8B9F62E3-17E7-47F9-96EF-19CA84468C4E.jpeg
     
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  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    That's good advice, rosin won't hurt the finish and is easily removed with Fiddle-Brite. Usually, just sanding the base of the bridge with 100 grit sandpaper is enough friction to hold the bridge in place. The times I see players struggling with a floating bridge, someone has polished the face of the guitar where the bridge sits, often with pledge or some guitar polish that leaves a slick shine.
     
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  19. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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  20. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had a Gretsch 6119 w/Bigsby and never had any particular difficulty re-stringing it. Now a Rickenbacker 12-string, THAT's trouble.
     
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