Modern Gretsch Guitars

Changing My Gretsch Setzer Hot Rod 6120 Tailpiece

1

I would like to ask for advice regarding the removal of my Bigsby tailpiece. I love the tone of this instrument but I do not have any use for the Bigsby. I would be interested in hearing the downside of making this change (balance, tone, finding another tailpiece, resale and so forth). Thanks for any suggestions that you may make for or against. Some I have talked with have already offered, "if it's not broken don't fix it."

2

I rarely use the Bigsby on my Falcon, which is the only Gretsch that I have with one. Normally I just swing the arm back and ignore it's presence other than being aware of how cool it looks on there. There are alternatives though and I'm sure more folks will chime in.

3

This goes against most Gretsch wisdom here which is "It ain't a Gretsch without a Bigsby" but I removed the Bigsby from my Duo Jet and replaced it with a G Tailpiece. I noticed that the top is able to vibrate more freely and the tone is enhanced. I do love Bigsbys but I think from now on I'm only going to have them on solid body guitars, not chambered, semi hollow or hollow body guitars.

I was playing my friend's 1955 Duo Jet and loved the difference in tone and playability. Then I saw this video and it sealed the deal for me. I'm happy with the G Tailpiece.

5

Apostates.

– Proteus

See? You made me literally laugh out loud.

6

There’s a lot to be said for having a hard tail. Better tuning stability, sustain*, ease of restringing, etc., so having a Bigsby is something of a trade-off. It’s such an integral part of my playing I’d never be without, but if you’re not using it then rip that bad boy off.

*Not necessarily better sustain on an arch top, but I would assume so. While I do have a hard tail Gretsch arch top I rarely play it so maybe others have more experience who are better placed to comment.

7

Sounds fantastic without a bigsby, feels like shit. Here's my hotrod (now owned by Roadjunkie) when I got it sans bigsby. Played it like this for a while.

8

Thanks very much for the informative comments and the added humor. Does anyone know if the G cutout tailpiece uses the same mounting holes as the Bigsby at the end of the guitar? Lovely looking hotrod, BTW. Also do you think that I will feel any difference with regard to the balance of the guitar with the lighter G cutout?

9

The holes didn't line up but it is secure with just the strap pin in there. I didn't drill any new holes. My guitar became a bit lighter. The balance is great.

10

I doubt you’ll feel a negative difference in balance. Gretsch were making guitars with fixed tailpieces long before they added Bigsbys. Plus the Bigsbys are super light aluminium whereas the fixed g-cuts are steel.

Think about this, apart from some fancy trimmings there’s nothing between a double Annie and a 6120 other than the tailpiece, and Annies balance fine.

11

I am grateful for these comments everyone. Thank you.

12

Thanks very much for the informative comments and the added humor. Does anyone know if the G cutout tailpiece uses the same mounting holes as the Bigsby at the end of the guitar? Lovely looking hotrod, BTW. Also do you think that I will feel any difference with regard to the balance of the guitar with the lighter G cutout?

– Peter McCormack

I felt no difference in balance, and the guitar was slightly lighter of course. Tonally I felt like open chords had a bit more metallic ring to them, in a vintage way. not cheep. Tuning is perfect haha.. mind you I had a tru arc serpentune bridge on it, that is the most simple and amazing upgrade you can give a guitar in my book...

(and unlike amazon sh$t guitar pedals, it actually costs a bit of money because its made here in the states by folks that actually care about their product's origin, design, tone and longevity... PROTEUZZ!!!)


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