The Workbench

Is it possible to buy the “string-thru’ Bigsby bar?

1

Now that "string-thru" Bigsbies are an official Gretsch offering, does anyone know if any parts dealers stock just the "string-thru" bar, rather than an entire Bigsby? Joe C?

Bonus points if the dealer also stocks the Duane Eddy handle

2

I don't know if you can get the Gretsch version, but you can get them from Callaham. I have one on a guitar, it's really not all that much handier than a regular Bigsby with pins IMO. Threading the whole string through that bar is fiddly too.

3

I've seen the Callaham ones. They look great, but I was hoping for cheaper, considering a regular Bigsby shaft costs $20. Worst case I can get the machine shop guys at work to drill one out for me.

4

That gets back to the old 'removable pins' thing where you could unscrew the pins out of Bigsbys made up thru the early 70s. I always hated the pins.

5

Having someone familiar with a drill would be the cheapest solution. How are the pins attached now? I have a Japanese cheaply made copy with the string thru setup. Seems to make more sense than the pins. I'm mot sure if there are break angle issues, tho.

7

Pins are now a "press fit" set up. Easily removed using a small Vice Grip.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

They may be press-fitted (though pull as I might with the vice grips it won't budge), but the hole doesn't go all the way through, so it'd still have to be drilled even if I could pull it out.

8

They should just lengthen the pins like Duane had them do for his signature model.

9

I'd buy the Callaham model in a heartbeat if they did them in gold. My 6120s and Falcon all have gold Bigbys. Anyone know where to find them in gold?

10

I don't know if you can get the Gretsch version, but you can get them from Callaham. I have one on a guitar, it's really not all that much handier than a regular Bigsby with pins IMO. Threading the whole string through that bar is fiddly too.

– WB

My experience with the Callaham bar. It's great when you do a complete restring, and just put all 6 through at the same time. It is really difficult to do a single string as if you broke one on stage. The angle when the bars under tension is really tough to get a single string in there. Beginning to think that the pins work much better in a live performance application for Quick single string replacement.

11

I was sold on the string thru solution shortly after having a bigsby was a necessity for me . Never did it, lazy me, but in the meantime I've gotten to where I can do it in my sleep. Just keep a pair of needle nose pliers handy.

12

I use a foam wedge called a "Gretsch String Buddy", to hold the strings in place while changing them on my pinned Bigsby. It makes string changes a snap. Yes to the needle nose pliers too! I bought my String Buddy for a few dollars, but they can easily be made yourself out of spongy foam, or even Styrofoam.

I bought mine because it has "Gretsch" embossed on it, and I thought it was kind of cool. I think many of us like little doodads that have our favorite guitar brand name on them.


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