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tele kit build-firebird neck pup w/ bigsby

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Psinatra, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    okay folks, I'm into a tele build. And by "into", I mean that I'm gathering parts.

    Here's what I'll end up with:

    -Precision guitar kit body
    -Warmoth neck 7.25" radius. roasted maple. Vintage frets. I realize small frets aren't popular, but I come to this as a rickenbacker player and they have small frets"
    -Mojotone jonny winter firebird neck pickup
    -SD antiquity '55 bridge pickup.
    -fender road worn vintage tuners
    -Bigsby b16

    I believe that the colour will be a yellow similar to those 70's musicmasters. Like and aged white. Black pickguard. But there's a huge part of me that just want's a black guitar with a black pickguard. (But I already have two other black electrics.

    I'm at the stage where I need to order the neck, as well as figure out the bridge for that bigsby. It didn't come with one and there seems to be some trickiness with finding the right one. Sorkin, Bigsby OEM, mastery or something else. I'd love to hear thoughts on that.


    I'll post pics when I can
     
  2. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    20210417_113216.jpg


    One thing to note about the b16 and precision guitar kits is that the bridge pup route is a bit oversized so there is a gap at the edge of the bigsby that needs to be filled
     
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  3. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Just ordered everything I need to finish this build. (Except for paint. Still on the fence)

    I'm getting the neck made by Great Lakes Custom Colour. They're like the Canadian reranch but they also build necks and bodies.

    https://greatlakescustomcolour.com/

    So far, their service is really great and I could customize whatever I want. It was a bit cheaper than a warmoth and they also ship two free cans of nitro topcoat to help finish it.

    The only thing I still need to buy is a pickguard. (that will depend on final colour)

    The reason I'm holding off on the colour is that I want to see how this neck will look. If it's too dark, I don't know if I want a light body
     
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  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Just checking, but are you certain the cavity is oversized? The Bigsby B16 is designed to fit 50s-spec Tele bodies. Some makes out there have a longer body, i.e. greater distance from the bridge/neck pocket to the rear end. I have a USACG body that was too long for the B16, so I very carefully routed the end off with spiral bit. This can be critical for being able to intonate the floating bridge as well, should you go that way.


    8718B84C-7EFC-4836-8070-3E88CF4ABD2C.jpeg
     
  5. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Thanks a lot for this. As far as I can tell, the shape of the guitar is correct. I measure from the back of the guitar to the neck cavity and it was consistent to some template plans that I found online.

    Does this seem like the best approach for you?
     
  6. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm sure the body is fine, but some plans'makes are slightly longer than others. I think the USACG body was between an 1/8" and 1/4" longer than what the B16 was designed for.

    Place the B16 on the body and post a pic if you can, otherwise I can't measure anything until later in the day to compare.
     
  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    No that's too large of a base, but the saddle will work.

    This is the one you want:

    https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/bridge-bigsby-telecaster-new-style

    I like Tru-Arc bridges with a Bigsby B16, they can be made in brass, aluminum, steel and even glass. The Serpentune Tru-Arc is compensated for a unwound G strings. The Tru-arc has to be ordered to fit the Bigsby base in the link above.
     
  9. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! I'll post better pics in a few days when I can get back to my shop. This isn't a USACG body, it's a precision guitar kit. I've hear that the best one is Warmoth. Apparently even some fender kits are off.

    are there correct autoCAD files around? I'm very comfortable with CAD.
     
  10. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Thank you so much! That really helps. Will this work with my 7.25" radius?

    This really shouldn't be as difficult as it is to find a bridge for this thing.
     
  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    No problem!

    You'll have to do some file and sanding work to get the Bigsby saddle to 7.25" radius, or adjust the string slot with nut files to get the string action where you want it.

    Bigsby stuff seems harder to come by these days, hopefully that changes soon...
     
  12. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Thanks!

    I just bought one off of eBay.

    But yeah, it's weird that such a specialized part doesn't come with the right bridge
     
  13. nnieman

    nnieman Tele-Meister

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    Nice!!

    I have been dealing with Great Lakes but I have yet to actually spray anything.
    I have 4 bodies ready but the weather has been inconsistent (I spray in my garage with the doors open).

    I love b16 teles but have yet to actually build/own one.

    Nathan
     
  14. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    I'm totally excited about the neck. They were able to do options that warmoth couldn't. I messaged them on Facebook late Saturday night and we were back and forth on Sunday morning deciding the options. I had an invoice Sunday night.

    Plus, they throw in two cans of nitro along with the neck.

    (I'll use them for the body because I'll tru-oil the neck)
     
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  15. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    Watching with interest..

    Mine's not a build, just a Squier SSH that I've modified with a Firebird pickup, Texas Special, just waiting to install the bigsby, it's just sitting on the body for the photo here. I've since installed black gotoh locking tuners. IMG_20200515_182735.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    Actually, the B16 DOES usually come with a bridge - and with that huge aluminum shim that is required to put the neck high enough above the body to make the B16 work (what are you planning to do about the shimming situation?)

    I have two Teles with B16s: I use a Compton bar bridge (similar to the TruArc already mentioned) on one, and an ebony bridge I carved myself on the other one (I was going for an archtop tone with that one).
    The original Bigsby aluminum bridge works, but tends to make a Tele sound a bit thinner, more jangly, than I prefer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  17. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    Does that bigsby one compensate for an unwound G?

    They aren't very clear at all and I've emailed them several times, too.

    Anyway, I'm actually quite happy about the jangle. I'm a life long Rickenbacker fan and I thing this build is right up my alley
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The Bigsby B16 kit comes with a bridge for a wound G. Typically you'll have to hunt for the unwound G bridge as an add-on item.

    If you stick with the stock bridge, I'd sand the base flat. Their rocking mechanism doesn't work as intended.
     
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  19. Psinatra

    Psinatra TDPRI Member

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    I'm a little shocked at how poorly designed this is. It's a specific piece of hardware designed for telecasters.

    And the stock bridge rarely comes with it? And you have to make modifications for it?

    I even had to shave down the bobbins of my pickup to fit it into the hole
     
  20. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, it is a sandcast item, so, pretty rough; often they don't sit completely flat on the body, and have to be straightened or sanded.
    Also - the B16 should come stock with bridge & shim form the factory, if it doesn't, you should take it up with the store where you bought it - they might have taken it out to sell separately; and since it comes from a time when wound G strings were still the norm, it's not surprising that it comes with a bidge compensated for that - modern replacements for unwound G are available, as @BorderRadio pointed out...
    BTW, as for pickups having to be sanded - I have tried various pickups, and the only one that was ever so slightly too large was a DiMarzio PreB1, all others fit right away.
    Oh and I also recommend sanding the base flat when using the original bridge - it does work, but not reliably (if you ever had a Jazzmaster or Jaguar, you might be familiar with that caveat).
     
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