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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Who Has a Bigsby On Their Telecaster?

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages
Rob Jai
Contributing Member
**

Northern California

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Jun 30th, 2010 03:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you have a Bigsby installed on your Telecaster - do you like it?

I've never been fond of the look of a bigsby on a Tele. They just look out of proportion, large and clunky to me.

With that said, I've just recently started playing my Tele again after playing mostly Strats and a Jazzmaster, and have fallen in love all over again with the "Tele tone" that I get from it. I had forgotten how great these guitars sound.

Unfortunately, I NEED a tremolo. I play primarily in a surf band and rely on light trem accents to a large amount of the songs in our set list.

So, while I'm not fond of the look of a Bigsby, the ease of installation is appealing. No routing or major surgery needed.

If you have a Bigsby on your Tele, how is it working for you? (Pictures always welcome, as well).

Dadical
Contributing Member
**********
*

I am not a complete

idiot - I have several pieces missing!
Jun 30th, 2010 03:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You mean like this?

Works for me!

Tele295
Contributing Member
********

St. Somewhere

Djangofestive
Jun 30th, 2010 04:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had this Bigsby on my Thinline since 1997 or so. It's fabulous, a real surfer's dream Tele.

Ol' Paint

Tele295
Contributing Member
********

St. Somewhere

Djangofestive
Jun 30th, 2010 04:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's a detail shot of the modified bridge. You can buy them like this now, but back then, we had to cut it out with a grinding wheel

Modified Bridge

Blake DeKalb
Contributing Member
******

Alexandria, Virginia

No slang is a signal, son.
Jun 30th, 2010 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think IPLAYLOUD has an Esquire copy with a B16 Bigsby.

Clarence

USA

Jul 1st, 2010 07:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you look around you can find a Tele Plus from the mid 90's that had a strat style trem, & G&L has that option on their ASAT's as well. Having said that, I like a bigsby on a Tele and think the vibrato is smoother than that of a floating tremolo. Fender has several trem versions on Tele's - the new "Classic Player Deluxe" and from a couple of years ago I believe they had a 60's MIJ with a bigsby.

Blake DeKalb
Contributing Member
******

Alexandria, Virginia

No slang is a signal, son.
Jul 1st, 2010 07:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ah, yes...

Here it is.

Teleman027

Massachusetts

STAY POSITIVE.
Jul 1st, 2010 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's a picture of my little death trap of a guitar. She's certainly unique, and I love it. Bigsby's are AMAZING.

The Telebasterd

Rob Jai
Contributing Member
**

Northern California

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Jul 1st, 2010 08:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mine is a toploader, so I shouldn't even have to replace or modify the bridge. (as far as I can tell?)

Plug and Play

Dadical
Contributing Member
**********
*

I am not a complete

idiot - I have several pieces missing!
Jul 1st, 2010 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You'll have to open the string holes to remove all contact with the bridge plate. The strings pass under the roller bar then up to the pivot on the Bigsby. They'll bind or drag if they contact the plate.

Also, you'll get better results if you shim the neck up a little in order to keep close action while raising the bridge saddles. This will restore (or nearly restore) the saddle break angle.

Tele295
Contributing Member
********

St. Somewhere

Djangofestive
Jul 1st, 2010 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I see ZZ Guitarworks now has a no-drill Bigsby retrofit for the 72RI Thinline, complete with a 3-piece brass saddle bridge. This thing has my name all over it!

'72Tele Deluxe/Thinline EZ-Mount System

Rob Jai
Contributing Member
**

Northern California

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Jul 1st, 2010 11:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"You'll have to open the string holes..."

Well, in that case, I'd probably be better off going the full route, using a conversion kit that includes the correct bridge and bridge plate.

Trying to open the holes to the point where the string angle allows the strings to pass through with no contact could open a can of worms that I don't want to deal with.

Thanks to everyone for all of the pictures so far. Some great looking Teles out there.

Hoodster

Mike in Oregon

U can add dirt, but U can't add clean
Jul 6th, 2010 01:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You may also want to consider a Trem King. I just had one installed on my main Tele and it's incredible.

Trem King

69tele

Rockin Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
Jul 7th, 2010 04:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

have one on my Fender Japan Tele, very cool

like so

Straightface

US

Jul 7th, 2010 03:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Check out the stetsbar. I've never tried one but have heard good things about them.

link

Hoodster

Mike in Oregon

U can add dirt, but U can't add clean
Jul 8th, 2010 08:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just posted a demo of my Trem King equipped Tele. Anyone considering a Bigsby (as I was) should really give this unit a look.

Trem King Thread

Rob Jai
Contributing Member
**

Northern California

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Jul 8th, 2010 01:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Ernest - GREAT looking tele!

Hoodster - now, THAT'S closer to what I'm looking for.

It keeps the Tele "look" without being too obtrusive. Of course, it requires more surgery than I was planning on, but it looks and sounds great. Thanks for the info, and the YouTube demo. I'll definitely be looking into the Trem King further.

(This message was last edited by Rob Jai at 01:54 PM, Jul 8th, 2010)

mrench01
Contributing Member
*

Novi Michigan

Aug 2nd, 2010 04:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have the B5 Bigsby Trem in my Tele with a Vintage Tele Bridge. Like others you have to notch the top loader holes to let the strings pass through.

I used the Fender Vintage Tele bridge because I didn't want the feel and action to change. And using a Dremel and painters tape to protect the chrome on the bridge it was super easy to notch. I did very slight "V" notches with the bottom being the top-loader string holes.

Two notes! (would be helpful to anyone).

1) Take time to find grooved brass barrel string saddles for the bridge. The reason why is that the old "through" the body string mounting actually helped locate the strings on the brass saddles. The Vintage saddles are smooth and there are no groves for the string to get located / centered. Once you put the Bigsby on, there is noting to keep the strings from moving side to side because you are now using the Bigsby trem to mount the strings. I found that either late 50's style all thread saddles, mid to late 60's style grooved string saddles will fix this issue.

2) Possible grounding issue. If you use GraphTech compensated saddles (you will have issue #1) the bridge will no longer ground the strings. So the Tele will Buzz. I used a new stainless steel 8ga high "E" string to make a small jumper from the bridge plate mounting screw to the front screw on the Bigsby B5. This fixed any grounding issues.

I would say the side to side location issue on the brass saddles is the only down side. And if you use grooved saddles or the all thread style this isn't an issue. The plus side is that the Tele still feels and plays like a Telecaster should. I had a Fender Bigsby with the Mustang style bridge and I never liked how it felt with the higher action and neck shim. My 2003 MIM Tele play great.

I can send anyone detailed photos. Just send me a message and I'll get em out.

mrench01
Contributing Member
*

Novi Michigan

Sep 6th, 2010 03:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was contacted by several people about photos of my B5 Install. So to keep the e-mail to a min I set up a Photo Bucket album with close up macro photos of how i installed the bridge.

~Mike R~

MJR's Hot Rod 2003 Sage Green Hot Rod Bigsby Tele.

Greg
Contributing Member
********

Highland CA

Close to Corona
Sep 6th, 2010 09:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I saw a Tele at GC with a Bigsby on it recently, think it was a Squier. Inexpensive and SWEET!

(This message was last edited by Greg at 09:19 PM, Sep 6th, 2010)

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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Who Has a Bigsby On Their Telecaster?




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