The Workbench

Callaham upgrade: Worth it?


Hi Folks!

Anyone here done the Callaham string shaft and/or front roller upgrade? I understand the shaft swap would make it easier to restring, and the front roller being grooved would in theory keep the strings from sliding on the bar ever so slightly when doing Bigsby work, but I'm not sure if it would make a huge difference. (sort of the ol' "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" thing )

Has anyone here done the upgrade? What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.


Yes, I've changed out two of my Gretsches to the Callaham "string through" bar.

Top quality workmanship, great fit, and the holes have a little wider spacing so the strings pull straight over the bridge to the bar. The standard bar pulls the strings "in" a little.

Well worth it to me, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I like them, and again for me, string changing is easier.

If you have machine shop tools available, one could drill the existing holes completely through the bar, and then chamfer each end as needed. Machine shops could do the same, but would charge as much, if not more than the Callaham unit costs.

Chet, Paul Yandell, and our own Norm did this to their vintage Bigsby bars. I thought that if it was good enough for them, then it should be worth a try for me, and it was.


Perfect, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thank ya Sir!


Perfect, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thank ya Sir!

– subvamp

You bet and you're welcome.


I have one guitar I put the Callaham bar on, and I have not felt any kind of urge to do it to any of my other Bigsby equipped guitars.

That said, I can see how they'd be super useful for a B5/B7 type Bigsby with the tension roller. Those are a PITA to change strings on.


I have an extra one that I'd like to sell, never used, still in bag it came in. If you are interested PM me and I'll give you a good price on it.


PM sent

– Don Birchett

sold, thanks Don!

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