The Workbench

Which Bigsby for a Telecaster?


I'm building a Frankencaster and I want a Bigsby. It's a Telecaster copy. I'm not needing one right away, I gotta save my pennies. I also need tuners and pots but they're easy to find.

So what works and how expensive is it?


Well now that the pickups are mailed, I have some Gotoh copies on the cheap.


I knew tuners were easy to find. Send me an email. To be honest, it may be a couple of months at least before I'm in the market. I just checked out pre-schools for my daughter and every penny counts.


If you use a B-16, you need to either shim the neck or angle the neck pocket. If you shim the neck, the regular Telecaster pickup is pretty far from the strings. A humbucker would be ok.

Stratosphere has a B-16 for $180. I think someone just sold one used here for a bit less.

A B5 is easier to come by, and you can get a licensed one for any price you want. People don’t seem to like the tension bar. They should work ok if you have everything else figured out.

The B-16 looks awesome.

There is the cutoff B-16 or B-5 like Tavo has done.

You could go with a Les Trem or the Stetsbar.

I like the look of the Jazz-Teles with the Mastery trems.


The B-16 looks awesome.

Chopped B16

A chopped B7?

Fender B5

Jazz Tele

Chopped B5


That chopped B 16 looks outrageous! Is that a Tru-Arc bridge? I'm thinking that's the way I wanna go.


Tavo’s the guy who knows. It involves a little bit of grinding and polishing.

You still want the changed neck angle with that, I think.


Groovy. I'll contact the man. I don't have the skills.


Yeah, I'm thinking that I'll have to shim the neck some.


Just take a gander at this site, and imagine the possibilities....



If it has a traditional ashtray bridge, I'd just file some notches in the back and bolt on a B5.

(not my guitar)


The B16 is much more responsive vs. the B5, much smoother, no tuning issues, no nothing. It‘s worth the effort. It sounds awesome and you’ll enjoy the advantages of a barbridge on a Telly. You should use a bolt-on-pickguard neck pickup that can be easier/higher adjusted.


(not my guitar)

Nevertheless, i like it that they treated the Bigsby with the same colour paint as the guitar. Nice detail!


One thing to keep in mind with a B16 - the bridge needs to be the correct distance from the rear of the body. I would have thought this was obvious until I tried to put one on a cheap copy where the bridge was about 3/8" closer than a Fender and it wouldn't work. Probably only an issue with the real cheap-o copies; I sold the junker and got a Squier Classic Vibe and the B16 is fantastic.

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