The Bass-ment

EXCLUSIVE! 5123-B “Dive Bomber” Bass (The



Here it is, the first proof of concept that I found. A fellow who goes by 'DC Bass' in other parts of the 'Net, standing with Fred himself and this magnificent Falcon. So some of you have seen this before and thought, "That's Awesome! But it just isn't ORANGE enough, is it?" So I came up with a plan to "Trem-up" my new 5123-B so that it would look a little bit more like its ancestors! 8-)


Although it turned out to be simpler than this in reality (really!), this was the initial plan, as well as a plea for help and guidance on my first major Mod!


Wow that's Pretty! The only way I could see that bass being any better lookin', would be to add a Bigsby on the front, like God intended!


In the end, a stock Bigsby B-60 went right on, replacing the original 4-string G-Cutout tailpiece, with the addition of two new holes. The Bigsby covers two of the three original G Tailpiece holes, leaving one exposed dead center, about 1/16" below the strap button. This will be left "open", as this has become a 'reversable' mod, where the original G Tailpiece will cover all trace of the Bigsby installation if replaced.

Additionally (and to my delight), the stock string pins were both adequately spaced, leaving the outermost pins unused, as well as strong enough to hold the tension of the heavier gauged bass strings. A simple bend of the ball end, just as you would when stringing a 6-string with a Bigsby, with a bit of over-extension to bend a curl into the lowest part of the string, makes for easy string changes, and gives the string a nice even tension around the bar as it exits the Tailpiece on its way to the Headstock. As such, no modifications to the Bigsby were required at all!

Thanks to all who offered encouragement and advice, here is the fruit of our labors!


Looks awesome, great job Sean


Glad it worked out Sean!

Is it just me or does that bridge look way out of whack? Why the extreme angle?

How's it sound? I've got to think a Bigsby on a bass would be a blast. Cool to see the stock one worked too. I might have to give this a go. I've been looking at building a bass, might have to include a Bigsby just for fun.


Agreed, oh how would I like to play Rebel Rouser on that one


Nice! Just what it needed!


Very Cool, I have been wondering if anyone ever puts a Bigs on a bass..


Thanks, all!

When I began the hunt for this bass originally, I described it as looking like "every hollow body in the 50's, except the color is the same as the center of an amber sunburst, only without the burst, and it's missing the pick guard."

After delving into Gretschland, I quickly discovered that what it was really missing was, of course, the Bigsby!

FF909, I promise there will be video, I'm working on re-building my recording studio, and haven't adequate space to make a recording, check back...

Otter, I'll play RR, just for you :)


As for the bridge, it does appear to be a pretty huge slant, right? There are three reasons for this:

  • I like the look of a slanted bridge, and so I usually set the saddles in a straight line within the TOM before intonating so as to maximize the angle.

  • With the addition of the Bigsby, the high G saddle had to be adjusted to the extreme of its travel, further exacerbating the slanted look, otherwise the Bigsby would not physically clear the bridge base during use. If you zoom in on the left side of the side-by-side picture, you'll see the bridge is as far forward as possible (while still maintaining intonation), and while playing, the Bigsby has maybe 1/2mm clearance from the bridge base.

  • My 5123 just intonates at a huge angle! If you zoom in on the pic with the original tailpiece and bridge, you'll see that the bridge base is less slanted, but the bridge saddles are slanted to the max within the TOM.

Number three has actually cause me some Tru-Arc Trouble :( Since this bass does intonate at such a steep angle, the combination of a Tru-Arc and proper intonation results in a terrible buzzing on both the E and D strings. Otherwise, there would be a Bigsby, and a Tru-Arc on this bass (there will be!) As soon as Proteus at Tru-Arc and I get it figured out, there will be some Bass Tru-Arc vs. Gretsch TOM demos as well!


Wow!! Looks awesome and adds alot to the already cool look of the guitar.

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