Opinions on Stock Pro Jet Bigsby?


OK so, I'm considering a few options for a Pro Jet.

Both are the older Mahogany bodies. One has the Trapeze Tailpiece and the other the stock Bigsby.

Any issues with the stock Bigsby or should I go with the Trapeze, pull it and install my own Bigsby?



I recommend getting your own Bigsby. The one that comes on the Pro Jet has a tension bar that I personally hate the feel of. The only reason you might need the tension bar is if you hit the strings hard when you play. Some folks like the extra angle the tension bar affords, especially those who want to play hard without fear of knocking the strings out of their notches.


I don't have any issues with my G5235T. I don't go overboard with the wiggle stick tho. The Tru-Arc helps.


The licensed B50 on my pro jet feels noticeably different to the B11 and B6 I have on other guitars. Like the arm bends a fair bit before the notes change. Other people have mentioned this about my Pro Jet as well.

I do not know if this is because it is a B5 style with the tension bar. The arm feels thinner than the other arms I have.


A friend has a proJet and the Bigsby isn't as good as a domestic unit. Install your own; many more options available.


Thanks for the input.

So, I guess my best bet is a Pro Jet Trapeze model.

Bigsby B7 or is there something else I should look into once I acquire a Pro Jet?


Before replacing the stock Bigsby, try cutting out the tension bar altogether by routing the strings directly over it -- go straight from the Bigsby's string roller bar to the bridge saddles. The break angle at the bridge might seem rather shallow but no more than, say, on a standard Jazzmaster or Jaguar.


Thanks....I haven't purchased one yet. I'm still looking at options and prefer one with a case which seems to be the minority.


I think any tension-bar Bigsby (like the B50 on a Pro Jet) can be improved enormously with a Reverend soft spring. Makes it less clunky feeling and more responsive all round.


I will share the views of others on the Projet's stock Bigsby. It's the wrong unit for the wrong guitar. I avoid the down tension bar altogether and string over it. I can play hard, soft or in between and my strings never skip their saddles, any of them. With the bar engaged, the warble becomes almost non existent. I removed the washer, etc. and I'm fine with the action now.

To me, it's still the wrong unit for the guitar. The guitar is an archtop style guitar with a flat style bigsby installed. There are gaps everywhere, even if it is mounted solidly. It's more akin to a Tele or flat top guitar. Just me. I will add that if you decide to use the stock unit and string over the bar, you will need to get some Hard as nails sort of nail polish to put on either end of the roller so it doesn't rattle, and it will if it's not stuck down.


I purchased a 2010 Pro Jet, performed a very minor setup, and the guitar plays very well. It's black with the original hardware including the Trapeze tailpiece. I notice that it must have been bent because it's resting on the top.

It's much lighter than my previous Pro Jet which was 10+lbs. This one is 7.62 lbs and the difference is very noticeable. I popped the covers off the two control cavities and it also has a lot more routing than the previous model. The body looks to be Mahogany with a Maple top.

So now that I have a platform to work with some changes are in order. I prefer a Bigsby (or similar) that responds to a very light touch and only needs a small amount of movement to do it's job.

Any suggestions on Bigsby or other model?

I'm also going to swap pups but I'm up in the air on that. I've watched some vids on the Gretsch, TV Jones, SD, and original DeArmond Dynasonics but there's also a lot of variance in pricing. I may go with just a Dyna in the bridge and a bucker in the neck position for more variation. It's a different guitar but I liked some of the Gretsch Penquin vids with Dynas.


I would get the Gretsch V-cut B3 without a tension bar. I have seen them mounted on Pro-Jets and it should work for you unless you have a really wild attack. A B7 would work as well. If you do go with a B5, mount it further back than Gretsch does on the ones equipped with a B50. That should smooth out the break angle some. If you get a Bigsby with a tension bar, the advice about the Reverend spring is good. You might even want to try one with the B3.

Keep us posted on what you do.


Here's what I would do with a 1st gen Pro Jet: Get a Bigsby B7, shim it slightly to decrease the break angle (see Billy Zoom model), get a Reverend soft spring. Pickups: I'd go with a pair of DeArmond 2000 reissues. They fit directly in with maybe some minor filing to the cover edges. (Dynas would need body routing for the longer pole-pieces!) If you've got some money left have Paul Setzer make you a nice pickguard. Done.

But be warned: You'll still want a pro-line anyway!


sascha: Perhaps one day that will be true...BUT....I really do like the look of the Pro Jet so a Pro-line would need to have the Dynasonic style pups with no pickup rings and have the Thumbnail inlays on the fretboard. I don't know if they made a Duo Jet version like that.

BTW guys I have a 60's Gretsch V-Cut B3G coming my way that has most of the gold worn off. I know it doesn't go with chrome but it has such a cool look to it I decided to get it anyway.

I was watching a few videos of Gretsch Penguin's and liked the sound. I may give the Gretsch Dyna's a try.


Here's a pic of a Pro Jet with the mods I mentioned. Isn't she pretty? Good luck!

P.S. In the pre-FMIC/transition era some few Duo Jets with Dynas and thumbnails were produced. Not in the current range as the combo was never regularly available. Very few originals exist that were made in 1957/58 when Gretsch changed specs.


It looks great sascha !


Ok so I was planning to buy the 5435T even thought I am NOT fond of the Bigsby that comes with it (B5?). Should I get a 5435 instead and add a Bigsby B7 later? And if I do so will I have to modify or fill holes in the guitar?

Or should I get the stock 5435T, sell the B5 and then get the B7?


The 5435 comes with a stop tailpiece. If you remove that tailpiece and you would have to to mount a Bigsby, you are left with the holes or studs. Several ways you can deal with that.

  1. You can pull the studs and leave the holes there. A Bigsby might possibly cover them, particularly if you use a B7. You could also fill the holes and refinish. With Black, they would be noticeable but probably only up close unless you do a really poor job.

  2. Use the studs and mount a Towner bar for a tension bar. Then put a B3 Bigsby on. Preferably the Gretsch version with the V cut. You can google Towner bar. That is a fairly elegant solution, if pricey.

  3. Leave the studs and put some sort of plug over them. You may be able to find a tension plug that fits at a hardware store. I did this with a black Epiphone Sheraton. I mounted a B7 and found some black plastic plugs at a Harley shop and got them to fit. Here is a picture of how this looked.

With any of these, you are going to have to drill holes in the guitar, whether in the butt or top of the guitar.

You may want to see if you can find a 5235 that came with a G tailpiece. You could then take that off and mount a B3, B7 or whatever you wanted without any holes on the top to deal with. But then you would have less desirable pickups.


Don thanks so much for the detailed and informative response! Holy cow this is helpful and I think the Towner bar with a B3 is an ideal solution for me. Ok, I have a plan now!

Thanks again


Don thanks so much for the detailed and informative response! Holy cow this is helpful and I think the Towner bar with a B3 is an ideal solution for me. Ok, I have a plan now!

Thanks again

– Mr_Christopher

Glad to be of assistance.


As a last mod to my Bigsby, I took the advice here and bought a Reverend Soft spring to replace the stiff one as delivered. Everything I've tried that I've heard about here has worked so I'm looking forward to next string change and a new softer spring.


Towner is great to work with and very responsive. You will need to get imported bolts separate to use the Towner bar with Electro's.


Son of a gun if the Reverend Soft spring solved all my issues with a weak response Bigsby!! I installed it yesterday at a string change. Immediately, the Bigsby was more responsive, better warble and shimmer and was at least as responsive as my strats.

A ten buck part seemed to solve my issues. I still string over the bar, but haven't done one other thing to make this guitar play better than this simple piece. It did not change string height, action, nor tuning in the least.


Here'a an update. I have a 2010 Pro Jet, still mahogany body and neck with a maple top but much lighter than the one I had previously. It'a a little under 8.5lbs which is fine with me. I put a new Tusq nut on, installed a B7 Bigsby (1960's tarnished gold model) and swapped out the pups for a set of 1980's Rickenbacker Hi Gain pups with the ball ends, non adjustable.

I also have a pseudo Tele with a Rick pup in the bridge and a Gibson T-Top in the neck and so I spent about and hour playing and tweaking the pickup height on both guitars.

The Pro Jet now sounds great. I get about the same high end but a much better mid and low end on the Pro Jet than the Tele/Rick now. The middle switch position really sounds nice. This guitar also plays so well it's hard to believe.

One tuner knob slips a bit so I may put locking tuners on it and then a Truarc to top it off. This guitar jangles and chimes very nicely now. Pics tomorrow as I have band practice a bit later.

Thanks for all of the advise offered !!!

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