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

Previous 20 Messages   Next 20 Messages  
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)

cmm71
Contributing Member
****

Spokane, WA

Sep 6th, 2010 10:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had one on a tele once, I found that everytime I touched the arm it would never return to pitch...I was always retuning. I sold the guitar and I don't have that problem anymore. I hate tremelos and I especially hate Bigsby tremelos.

Malcolm

Edmond, OK

Sep 10th, 2010 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

just for curiousity sake...
What is a ball park figure for having one installed?

mrench01
Contributing Member
*

Novi Michigan

Sep 11th, 2010 09:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Can't tell you a ball park figure. I did the install myself. Since I only needed a B5 Tail, I didn't buy the typical Tele-Bigsby kit. IMHO that raises the action too much because it uses a Mustang type Bridge. You also have to drill 2 large holes for bushings for the Mustang Bridge. You also have to shim the neck to get the action down because the Mustang bridge is too tall for the Tele.

I am a firm believer that this is why there is a tuning stability issue in this setup. The Tele-Bigsby kit that uses the Mustang bridge allows the bridge to rock slightly. This prevents the strings from returning to their original position when you use the Term.

When you use the Fender Vintage style bridge and notch it, you don't have to use the Mustang bridge or the new bridge plate. All you need is the B5 Tail. You also don't have to shim the neck because the action remains the same as a stock Tele.

I use the Big Bends Nut-Sauce on the nut and bridge saddles. I don't have any real tuning stability issues that a Strat would have.

Do keep in mind that with the notched ashtray bridge, you will need grooved saddles to keep the strings located side to side and centered over the pickup poles. Check my link to the Photo Bucket folder of my Tele. Any questions I can answer.

~Mike R~

guitarmoog
Contributing Member
******

Belgium

...giving 15 possible pup combinations
Sep 20th, 2010 01:37 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!"

I'm waiting for one of these to arrive for my MIM '72 Deluxe RI. Will post pics and report back when it arrives.

guitarmoog
Contributing Member
******

Belgium

...giving 15 possible pup combinations
Sep 25th, 2010 02:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My EZ Mount Bigsby and Space Bridge arrived from ZZ Guitarworks, and I fitted it the other day.

First impressions are really really good. It was very easy to fit - exactly as they describe on their website - although it took quite a while to get set up correctly. I had the neck angle quite sharp but had to flatted in back to a more conventional Tele angle so that the strings run unimpeded from the tension bar to the bridge saddles. The EZ Mount B50 comes fitted with a much thicker tension bar to give more down angle between it and the saddles, so the tilted neck is unnecessary. One thing not mentioned in the manual that comes with the kit is that there are 3 different thicknesses of spacer supplied to go between the strap pin and the mounting plate, and these have a big effect on keeping the downward pressure on the top of the guitar right. I found the thickest one was by far the best.

The space bridge is a work of art, and different to a modded standard strat hardtail bridge in that the back lip is bent up and over to form a palm rest, and give more rigidity to the part where the intonation screws go through it.

One very clever feature is that the bridge and the bigsby mounting plate itself have widened screw holes so that you can compensate for any alignment problems by moving them sideways before tightening down the screws.

When I mounted the trem, I though it seemed a little shakey as it isn't firmly held onto the top of the guitar, but once strung it feels very solid. The grooved compensated saddles also help with alignment, although, as you can see in the picture, I should probably realign the bridge a little as the intonation screws aren't straight the way I've done it.

The sound is excellent. I think it has slightly more sustain than it did with the strat-type bridge and through body stringing, and the extra mass seems to help here. Amped, you do lose a bit of the Tele zing from notes, and it seems to move the Deluxe a little closer to SG territory. However, the middle position still retains some janglyness.

The kit comes with a tub of nut rub (similar to Nut Sauce), so I applied this to the nut, string trees and bridge saddles, and, after a bit of stretching the tuning stability is good - certainly as good as any Strat trem I've used.

All in all, I'm impressed and pleased with it. I'll report back again in a month or two when it's had tome to settle in and a few gigs under its belt.

'72 Deluxe Reissue with EZ Mount Bigsby

IPLAYLOUD
Contributing Member
*********

..playing cool lines

on cool Guitars wearing cooler Shirts
Oct 26th, 2010 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not an easy addition. It must be done by someone who KNOWS these crazy animals.
The Aluminum Bridge is made for a WOUND G. This one had aluminum added and shaved to accomodate an unwound G.
The angles are tough. A shim is needed to change the neck angle. On this one, the base of the B16 was planed down, allowing a thinner shim to be used.
They guy who installed it is a true Pro. It never goes out of tune...may be the most solid tuning Guitar I own!

B16

Kadabra

UK

Which bit do I bash now ?
Nov 12th, 2010 06:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Have a natural 72 (3 serial #)custom with a factory bigsby. Yearbook shows them as an option but never seen one for sale so I guess that they were not very popular.

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




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