General tech questions

Duane Eddy Handle

26 evil plan has been discovered!

Actually, I've never seen this happen. Not once in forty years of being around these guitars. (Did I just say forty?) The handle falls off? For real?


They fall off?!


The only issue I have with the Duane handle is that they always seem to loosen themselves.

I've never heard of this happening to any Bigsby handle much less a Duane Eddy handle. Not saying it didn't happen, but you may well be the first to bring this up.


Can someone succinctly state what differentiates the DE handle from the butter knife handle? I am assuming that there must be greater mass beneath the top of the handle that can't be seen in overhead photographs. To me, they look very similar.

– Ric12string

The DE handle is cast aluminum, the stock handle is stamped steel


Seriously, I have had the Duane handle on two different 6120s and both times they loosened themselves from the rest of the Bigsby. I thought it was a well-known problem! It's the only reason I don't have one on my SSLVO right now. I love the Duane handle - I agree, it's the best. No flex, so the feel is perfect.

Now you guys have made me want to put it back on! I use nylock nuts and everything, and on my RHH it was stock from the factory.


If any handle literally loosens up and falls off, it wasn't assembled properly.


So I'd like some advice regarding a switch from a bread knife to a fixed Bigsby trem arm. I have a 2001 6120-W57 that has the stock bread knife trem arm on it. Suddenly, for various reasons I'm thinking about putting a fixed trem arm on it. 1. Vanity, yup I do think that song is about me. Eddie is the reason I picked up guitar, and the reason I bought a Gretsch, I figure it might as well look like his, its just such a classic look (now if I could figure out how to angle my bridge all wonky and still maintain intonation). 2. I'm hoping the have the trem arm be in a consistent place every time I pick the guitar up, this would obviously do that. 3. I'd like to get the trem arm a little closer to the strings. My current trem arm seems to be very "angled up" off the body of the guitar. From all the pictures I've seen of the fixed arm, it appears as though the fixed arm is more parallel with the body of the guitar. Herein lies my question for you all. When I order the fixed trem arm, do I need to get a smaller spring to allow the trem arm to fit a little closer to the body of the guitar? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


Try one of the 'softer' springs from Reverand. It's easier to compress so your strings will pull the flat arm down further and be more parallel to the body.


Remove the nylon washer at the top of the spring beween the spring and the arm?

Dropped the arm on my 6120 about 1/4".

No negatives as far as I can see.


I tried a Custom Shop '55 6120 many moons ago with the fixed arm. The tension was fine right out of the box and I suspect with the new Cliff Gallup model they're making more of these to vintage specs. For a 6120 you may want to get a gold anodized version; they look quite different from the gold plated version. Darryl Higham (the Eddie authority) got one of the 55 Custom Shops and added a P-90. Eddie's wonky bridge is the result of an art director's ego and he looks alarmed in those photo's.


I'm not sure what I'd do if some jag-off started messing with my floating bridge. But I'm probably not quite the gentleman Eddie was. I've always thought modding a 55 would be the most hardcore way to construct an Eddie copy. Sand down the pickguard and what not. That's awesome. I just have the stock silver bigsby that came on my 01 model. I guess I've always been willing to let that slide. I prefer the silver on orange rather than the gold. Thank you all for your input. My new handle arrives monday, I'll let you know how it goes and will try to post a picture.


Speaking of floating bridge, I've never had all the strings off at once in 16 years of owning the guitar. Would you recommend painters tape to hold the bridge in place?


Painter's tape works


ya.. the stock butterknife handle has no ergonomic appealThe Duane style feels right!


ya.. the stock butterknife handle has no ergonomic appealThe Duane style feels right!


Yep, getting the DE handles on my -59QM and Phoenix made them feel "just right".

While things were apart, I also added the Callaham "string though" bar, a Reverend Soft Spring, and screwed the B6C down like Norm and ToneMan have talked about.

Zero complaints with this set up, and the handles are now the perfect height with the pic guards removed.

A little fine tuning made these great guitars even better.


Installed mine today! My 6120 is finally complete


The DE handle is one of the biggest improvements I made


I also neeeeeed one, but i am a lefty. So I have to live with the butterknife


I also neeeeeed one, but i am a lefty. So I have to live with the butterknife

– blueflame

I have to say, having had one less than 24 hours, the DE handle feels and looks nice, but 90% of the improved responsiveness it gives you can be achieved by removing the smaller "inside" spring on a regular butter knife handle. I've been doing it for years.


The only downside I've noticed, and it's gone away a little, is that it doesn't swivel as smoothly as the butterknife

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