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Bigsby?



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#1 waynepunkdude

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:33 PM

They look cool but how stable are they?
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#2 Burrito

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

If they are set up well they are excellent, if they are badly set up the guitars tend to go out of tune easily. I have one on a tele that never seems to go out of tune

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#3 waynepunkdude

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:43 PM

Ace I want a Dot or a Ibby, thought I had one but the seller pulled out :(
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#4 ezbass

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:14 PM

They have to be treated with respect as to to their limitations. I fitted one to a Gretsch 6 string many years ago and coupled it with a roller bridge and Sperzels. Fantastic for shimmers and wobbles, but would need a little up pull to reset it following anything approaching a dive bomb. Great tone and, on the right guitar, fantastic looking.
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#5 waynepunkdude

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:17 PM

Looking at an Epi Wildkat

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I won't use the trem very much I just love the look.
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#6 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:22 PM

Once the setup is dialled in, mine is pretty stable. I have a modified three saddle telecaster bridge with notches at the back for the strings to pass over, and apply a little bit of lubricant at the saddles when I change strings (I'm currently using woodwind cork grease, just because I had some handy). When used for vibrato, it's spot-on but as mentioned above, you need to tweak the arm to get it to settle again after a dive bomb. I really enjoy the bigsby - at home I like to crank up the tremolo and reverb on my amp, hit a minor chord with some bigsby wobble and pretend I'm soundtracking a David Lynch film!

Edited by Beer of the Bass, 28 May 2013 - 07:23 PM.


#7 Wil

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

I have one on my Gretsche Corvette and it's great for adding a little shimmer to chords and seems more stable than any floating trems I've used.
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#8 BigRedX

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:51 PM

Trems are great provided that they've been set up properly. IMO for anything non-locking that also means roller saddles on the bridge, a well-cut and lubricated nut and if you want to do more than semi-tone wobbles locking tuners.

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#9 Ancient Mariner

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

The biggest drawback of the Bigsby type is that they seem to be so heavy - every guitar I've tried with one fitted has felt like a boat anchor - even the semis. The other thing is that they will only give a gentle wobble, which is fine for most styles (and arguably easier to use in a musical context) but no good for dive bombing.
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#10 waynepunkdude

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:46 PM

It's my 30th birthday present, it's gonna be mostly for show but I would like to play it too.

Nothing said here has put me off at which is great.

Thanks chaps.
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#11 ezbass

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:02 PM

Bigsby and P90s, mmm gastastic!
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#12 Schnozzalee

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:36 PM

Restringing was a ballache on mine, I prefer a non locking tremolo, a bigsby's movement is very slight without detuning. I didn't mind the weight, but I never notice until someone mentions it to me, balanced perfectly.

#13 Wil

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:57 PM

Ah yes, restringing can be a little fiddly. One plus though is when you break a string (as I did at a gig on Friday... 3rd in two gigs, must play lighter!) it tends to hold tuning so you can at least get through the song!
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#14 skankdelvar

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

Bigsbys are grand. Retro-fitted one to a cheap Chinese semi. Completely changed the 'tone' - probably something to do with break angles off the bridge.

Viz: re-stringing. An entire ballsache, though it's a lot easier if one:

* Crimp the string's end wrap through 90 degrees so the ball-end sits on the pin easier.

* Maintaining tension on the string to keep the ball-end on the pin - using one hand thread the string under the second bar (if fitted), over the bridge, up the neck, hold it tight then - Whammo! - slap a capo on with your other hand. Holds the string tight down to the neck and stops it falling off the Bigsby.

* Now you've got two hands free for the normal 'stick the string in the tuner and wind it up' bit. Once the string's tight enough not to fall off the bigsby, take the capo off.

* Repeat until guitar is fully strung, then tune to pitch

Doing it this way is a bit fiddly but it only takes a few minutes longer than re-stringing a 'normal' guitar. Not recommended for mid-gig emergencies.

The other thing is you sometimes get unwanted ringy overtones from the bit of the string between the bridge and the Bigsby. I usually tear off a bit of kitchen roll, fold it and thread it between the strings at that point. Mutes them off lovely.

Edited by skankdelvar, 28 May 2013 - 11:09 PM.


#15 bigsmokebass

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:51 PM

I had one on my old gretsch baritone, they're ok for what they are but restringing them was a pain in the ass, I daren't think about it in a live situation as you'd be better using a back up guitar :-/

Some people really praise these but others really hate them. Personally, I'd try one before you buy one

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#16 iiipopes

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:46 PM

Make sure your nut slots are perfectly cut, beveled and burnished with a good "witness" front edge. Make sure, just like any other guitar, the frets are dressed properly and the guitar itself has a good setup. Make sure strings are installed properly with two or three neat winds around the tuner post so the strings don't bind. A roller bridge or something like the "bowtie" rocking bridge is necessary so the strings don't hang. The Bigsby itself needs a proper spring, and some folks use a heavier spring than stock for stability, even an automobile brake spring. Teflon spacers between the spring and the base and between the spring and the handle help as well. Lubricate the swing arm. There are many different models: long, short, with down force bar, without, top mount, end mount, etc. Make sure you have the correct model for your instrument. Finally, use 12-gauge strings. 10's and 11's are too flimsy to hold a good balance of tension to keep it in tune. As for me, too high maintenance, too little use. I don't have whammys on my guitars. No, I don't own a Strat, either.

#17 Mr. Foxen

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:33 PM

Couple of teflon discs either end of the spring loses some of the squeak.

#18 Beer of the Bass

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:51 AM

View Postiiipopes, on 30 May 2013 - 06:46 PM, said:

Finally, use 12-gauge strings. 10's and 11's are too flimsy to hold a good balance of tension to keep it in tune. As for me, too high maintenance, too little use. I don't have whammys on my guitars. No, I don't own a Strat, either.

I wouldn't say that 12 gauge strings are essential with a Bigsby, although they may help. Mine is stable enough with 11-49 or 10-52 sets that I don't consider it a problem. I have friends with non-trem guitars who have to tune between songs more often than I do.

#19 waynepunkdude

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:33 PM

Just purchased this.

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#20 RhysP

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:48 AM

Get yourself some of this. it'll make a big difference to tuning stability.
I've used it on all the Bigsby equipped guitars I've owned & it works great for vintage style strat trems too:

http://www.soundunli...CFaTItAodGkUA1Q

#21 BigRedX

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:22 PM

Thats a fine looking guitar! I was checking out a version in red myself only the other day.

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#22 waynepunkdude

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:27 PM

View PostBigRedX, on 12 June 2013 - 12:22 PM, said:

Thats a fine looking guitar! I was checking out a version in red myself only the other day.

£205, I think that's a bargain.
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#23 BigRedX

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:34 PM

At that price it certainly is! Second hand?

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#24 waynepunkdude

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:36 PM

Yep but in as new condition, need to pick it up from Swansea but it shall be with me soon.
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#25 uncle psychosis

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:44 AM

Nice work. Good guitars those, but the location of the pickup selector would annoy me!
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#26 BigRedX

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:52 AM

Pickup selector location is always tricky. Put it somewhere easy to get at and you increase the chances of it being changed accidentally. Put it somewhere safe and it can be awkward to use. You can't really win.

There is another Ibanez Artcore model that has the selector on the upper bout like a Les Paul.

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#27 waynepunkdude

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:29 AM

as it's just for noodling on at home I can see it being too much of a problem, I've never seen the point in the ones with the the knob on the lower horn.
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