General tech questions

Need Bigsby advice

1

Bigsby question. I am in the process of buying a semi-hollow guitar (with only a centerblock under the bridge & stop tailpiece) and want to add a bigsby. I am not interested in a B7 (or B70), so I need to decide on either a B30 or B60. I plan on installing a Towner tension bar where the tailpiece studs are. It seems to me that the B30 handle will come up a little short whereas the B60 handle sould reach the playing vicinity better.

Anyone have ideas/opinions?

2

B3s are made for smaller guitars like Duo Jets. You're right, the B6 or B60 would be the right size for a 16" wide guitar.

3

Just out of curiosity, why are you averse to a B7?

The B5 is also a viable option for you. Not saying it's the BEST option, but it is an option.

4

The arm of a B3 would end up in the same spot as a B7, since the bodies are the same without the tension bar. But if it's a relatively large guitar, and since you don't need the tension bar, I'm inclined to think B6 (or B60) is the better option.

Just out of curiosity, why are you averse to a B7?

I'm guessing because it requires drilling a hole in the top?

5

Even though it is not an expensive guitar, I don't really want to drill into it as soon as it arrives. Also, the guitars I've played that have a B7 seem a bit stiff for my liking. I will attach a photo so you know what the Schecter Jazz 6 looks like. It's the one that I bought, and it should be here tomorrow. It has the depth of a ES335, so I probably need to consider the endpiece size - the B6 is probably made for a thicker guitar, although the B60 doesn't have the pointed hinged piece.

6

The more important factor than the size of the lower bout is the bridge. If the bridge is mounted directly into the top like this a B-3 or B-30 is your best bet; a B-6 will have too shallow a break angle, which can lead to strings popping out of their slots (especially with light strings). My Epiphone Sorrento has a B-3, and when I got the guitar with .010's, it didn't work well. I changed to .011's which makes it just work, but this is the style of guitar the B-7 was invented for. If your bridge is on a wooden base like this, a B-6 should be just right.

7

I'm thinking that you are right - a B3 or B30 is probably the one I want. I just need to decide whether it needs a Towner tension bar.

8

I found a photo of of one with what I think is a B30. What do you think about a Towner Tension Bar? Is it necessary? I guess it would cover the holes and I could adjust the tension easily. Thoughts?

9

Another question - what about the B11? You hardly ever see them, but they are described "for thin hollowbody and semi-hollowbody guitars".

10

If you want a LONGER arm you could get a Merle Travis arm and shorten it to your preference.

11

If you want a LONGER arm you could get a Merle Travis arm and shorten it to your preference.

– FritzTheCat

That's an idea - or even a Chet arm. Hmm

12

Break angle won't matter at all with a Towner (and probably without). B3, B6, B7 will all work. Just a matter of deciding what feels best.

13

P/N 0495-0815 HANDLE, FLAT WITH STUD, NUT, AND SPRING, STAINLESS 9 1⁄2”

I've got one of these on an Epiphone Riviera on a B12 Bigsby, I cut it down by about an inch it works very well for me. The spring location on the B12 is same as the B3.

14

P/N 0495-0815 HANDLE, FLAT WITH STUD, NUT, AND SPRING, STAINLESS 9 1⁄2”

I've got one of these on an Epiphone Riviera on a B12 Bigsby, I cut it down by about an inch it works very well for me. The spring location on the B12 is same as the B3.

– Mr Tubs

That longer arm, along with a B3 just might do the trick. Thanks for the assistance! I'm still mulling over the tension bar.

15

I wouldn't use a tension bar unless it's really needed. To me they are a sometimes necessary evil. You can always install it afterwards if it's really needed, but I'd say if the strings aren't jumping out of their slots, you're generally better off without it.

16

It's the tension bar that's making the B7 feel stiff to you. Adding one will probably put you back in the same territory.

Also, don't worry about the endplate on a B6. If they fit a clipper (and they do), they'll fit anything.

But DO worry about the break angle. That'll -ahem- make or break it.

17

Good one Baxter...

I think we have a plan - a B6 with no Towner bar. According to my calculations, the B6 is about 1" longer than a B3, and I think that will be good for the handle accessibility. Also, I was looking at the add-on tension bar and it seems a little wimpy next to the mass of the Bigsby.

Thanks for the advice. I'll post a pic and maybe even a soundclip when it's done.

18

Not to hijack this thread but I am also looking to buy and install a b30 bigsby on my new gretsch. It is a special jet g5259. I want to know if the b30 is the right length AND if they were every made in nickel or something more dull than chrome?

19

Not to hijack this thread but I am also looking to buy and install a b30 bigsby on my new gretsch. It is a special jet g5259. I want to know if the b30 is the right length AND if they were every made in nickel or something more dull than chrome?

– powerjet

From what I have learned, a B3 or B30 will not have enough break angle on your bridge since the guitar has a flat top, and since you have a bridge/tailpiece combined you can't add a Towner tension bar. A B5 or B50 would be the likely model - possibly even a B7. Both have a tension bar.

20

Well, I changed my mind again. It's a B3 with no Towner unless I find it necessary. It's in transit.

21

I have gone back and forth on the break angle and commented with the fella who posted this video of his b30 equipped special jet...

He said it worked fine for him so that has lent me toward the 30. I have also thought about putting a b5 on there as well but dont know if I would be into as much as the b3/b30. I kinda like that long string length behind the bridge rather than the choke angles provided by the tension bar.

I dont wanna use one of those Towner devices.

22

If the strings don't come out of their bridge slots, it should be good. I know that the response will be better.

23

Well, I installed a Bigsby B3 on the new hollowbody. It's very responsive and solid - no new screw holes and the bridge break angle is sufficient - BUT I will be needing a Towner tension bar after all. During my first play with it back together I was loving the sustain I was getting unplugged, but not the chimey overtones coming from the strings between the bridge and Bigsby. I tried muting with my hand and even a strip of cloth woven through the strings there and in both cases the chimes were gone along with them, the sustain. Anyway, the tension bar should take care of that and I will be a happy picker.

The witch hat knobs needed to go - especially with the push-pull coil-splitting pots and my wife picked out the retro "radio" knobs to match the binding (both are an aged cream in real life). Always nice when she wants to help accessorize.


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