General tech questions

Which Bigsby do I need?

1

Just got a 2003 G6118 and want to put a bigsby on it. I think I need a 3 series but can anyone confirm that for me? Thanks!

2

B6 is what you need. the B3 is shorter

3

B6 is what you need. the B3 is shorter

– GaryE

Yep. B6 is the one you want.

5

Mr Zoom has nailed it!

6

I have a 2004 Gretsch 5125 made by Peerless in Korea. It came to me with a B70 tailpiece and I obviated the string tensioner by stringing over it. I like the softer feel - the downpressure of the tensioner made the action feel stiff.

This guitar has the set bridge with posts screwed into cups embedded in the top like a Les Paul. I am replacing the Tune-O-Matic bridge with a Compton in stainless steel.

What model USA-made Bigsby would suit this axe best? I am concerned about the height of the bridge presenting a break angle which may lift a B6 up off the face of the guitar. The B70 is screwed down (which I don’t much like).

7

Tim H. needs a B6. a B11 might look cool, but it's too short for a big archtop.

Hogben needs a B7 or a B12.

8

I have a 2004 Gretsch 5125 made by Peerless in Korea. It came to me with a B70 tailpiece and I obviated the string tensioner by stringing over it. I like the softer feel - the downpressure of the tensioner made the action feel stiff.

This guitar has the set bridge with posts screwed into cups embedded in the top like a Les Paul. I am replacing the Tune-O-Matic bridge with a Compton in stainless steel.

What model USA-made Bigsby would suit this axe best? I am concerned about the height of the bridge presenting a break angle which may lift a B6 up off the face of the guitar. The B70 is screwed down (which I don’t much like).

– Hogben

I played an Ibanez Artcore years ago that if you pulled up on the B6 style Vibrato bar it would lift up off the body. I think this had more to do with not enough arch in the top then break angle.

They made a version of the 5125 with a B60 and floating bridge.

9

Tim H. needs a B6. a B11 might look cool, but it's too short for a big archtop.

Hogben needs a B7 or a B12.

– WB

So you are saying the axe needs a tension-bar Bigsby, one that is screwed down to the top to work? I’m bypassing the tensioner and like the softer action better. How much better than the B70 are the B7 or B12? I notice the B12 has one screw and the B7 two.

10

I played an Ibanez Artcore years ago that if you pulled up on the B6 style Vibrato bar it would lift up off the body. I think this had more to do with not enough arch in the top then break angle.

They made a version of the 5125 with a B60 and floating bridge.

– Charlie Vegas

Later versions of the 512 series have the floating bridge. Mine is fixed - is it taller and thus requires a screw-down model Bigsby?

11

Your 5125 will probably have a shallower neck-angle. Most of these guitars need a B7 or B12 due to this reason. If you run your B70 the way you do without any problems a B6 could work, though. But since you will end up with holes in the top from the B70 I'll probably leave it as is.

12

So you are saying the axe needs a tension-bar Bigsby, one that is screwed down to the top to work? I’m bypassing the tensioner and like the softer action better. How much better than the B70 are the B7 or B12? I notice the B12 has one screw and the B7 two.

– Hogben

Well, if it works now, and you like the action, I suggest you play it and enjoy it.

In an awful lot of cases, a guitar with a body-mounted bridge like the early version electro you're talking about needs the tension bar for the strings to stay put and have playable tension. Which is why I suggested what I did.

13

One thing about the tension bar Bigsbies is even if you don't use the tension bar, the Bigsby is still screwed to the top of the guitar and therefore helping with the break angle. If you go replacing it with a non-screwed Bigsby, you may find the tailpiece lifting up off the guitar top and have an unusable angle.

You might try taking the screws out of the top of the guitar on your B70. If the tailpiece stays in place, you could probably get away with a B3 or B6. If the tailpiece lifts up as soon as you remove the screws, you might want to stick with the B70.

Of course, as Walter says, if you like the way it feels, why are you changing anything?

14

One thing about the tension bar Bigsbies is even if you don't use the tension bar, the Bigsby is still screwed to the top of the guitar and therefore helping with the break angle. If you go replacing it with a non-screwed Bigsby, you may find the tailpiece lifting up off the guitar top and have an unusable angle.

You might try taking the screws out of the top of the guitar on your B70. If the tailpiece stays in place, you could probably get away with a B3 or B6. If the tailpiece lifts up as soon as you remove the screws, you might want to stick with the B70.

Of course, as Walter says, if you like the way it feels, why are you changing anything?

– Otter

That’s the best idea yet. I’ll try doing that to see if a B6 would work...

... and it works fine without screws even if I lift up on the bar to raise the pitch a whole step. So I guess a B6 or 11 would work for this guitar.

Thanks for the good advice.

I like the B70 un-tensioned so I’m guessing I’d like one designed to be strung that way - and it might have a nicer action than the Korean import version.

15

You can see the break angle is minimal but I am using flat 12s with a wound third. I’m trying to do Travis/ hybrid picking for a vintage sound most of the time with this axe. So far, I like the tension and have no problem with strings jumping out of saddles. The factory screw holes for the B70 don’t exactly line up.

16

Rule of thumb, if your guitar has a floating bridge, pinned or not, use a B3 or B6. If your bridge is on thumbwheels that screw into studs in your guitar, you want a B7. There are exceptions but this is the rule of thumb.


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