Modern Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch String Through Bigsby , Your Thoughts

2

My first experience has been with my Broadkaster Jr (Players Edition). I looked forward to the string-through Bigsby. But frankly, I am underwhelmed.

First -- I’ve never had major issues with restringing traditional Bigsby-equipped guitars. So take that for whatever it's worth.....

Part of my attraction to the new Players Edition models was the notion of quicker/easier string changes. The String-Through feature (IMO) has its own challenge in that I found it fairly difficult to insert the tip of the strings into the holes on the string shaft. It might be easier if the holes in the shaft were parallel to the top of the guitar. I've actually had problems inserting the strings into the shaft.

So – is it faster? No (IMO) – just different. Time and practice may change that view.

3

On Bigsbys up thru the early 70s you could remove the pins and do string-thru that way. Then they came with pins that could not be removed. If they have made a change again, all the better.

4

I've installed two of the Callaham string through bars.

While I'm used to the pin style bars, I do like the string through bars better. Either way works, I just prefer the string through feature.

5

String thru seems simpler, easy to deal with. They ought to be cheaper as there are less parts and less labor involved. Operation should be the same.

6

I have guitars with both. I lean towards the string thru as noted by wabash slim, they are easier do deal with, especially when the players edition model comes with locking tuners.

When I'm changing strings on the pinned style on my 6122-59, it can be frustrating at times.

What I've learned is that keep the chardonnay in the fridge until after the job is done.

7

I'm not sure I like the way the string exits and bends on the splice.

8

I've installed two of the Callaham string through bars.

While I'm used to the pin style bars, I do like the string through bars better. Either way works, I just prefer the string through feature.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

I have one guitar with the Callaham string through bar, and I think it's just as finicky as the regular ones.

9

I have one guitar with the Callaham string through bar, and I think it's just as finicky as the regular ones. WB

I think Walter's issue is the same as mine.

I have fairly large hands (wear XL gloves). When changing one string, for me, inserting the end of the string into the hole in the bar is NOT "quick and easy". The opening through the bar is not parallel with the top which makes it difficult to see the hole where the string goes in. I find it easier to do the "J bend" and slide the ball over the pin.

When changing ALL strings the string-through is easy. I flip the Bigsby arm assembly over, shove all six strings in the hole, then flip it back to the normal playing position and pull the strings through and complete stringing as normal.

10

I always change strings one by one - keeps the guitar under tension, and keeps my bridge in place.

11

I have a G6119 players edition, strung thru Bigsby and locking tuners.I find it no easier or faster to work with compared to my DSV with normal pins, must say the longer pin on the DE 6120 are great. I have however noticed enhanced secondary sounds that may be the string thru and wrap,unsure what's causing it.The locking tuners I would live without also,string breakage seems an issue.

12

The locking tuners I would live without also,string breakage seems an issue. rodney wylie

I agree with you on the locking tuners, too. I've stopped using the locking feature and wrap the strings in the traditional way.

My comments on the string through Bigsby and locking tuners are in no way intended as criticism of the Players Edition/Broadkaster guitars. I love my Broadkaster Jr -- its feel and look. The treble bleed and new tone features are outstanding, and I'm really liking the Fulltron pickups. The Bigsby and locking tuners are not "fatal flaws" for me. I just don't seem them as advantages or improvements.

13

Yes same with me, my 6119 T player edition i a sweet guitar, body depth and scale length along with the H bracing works really well and certainly in the band situation with higher volumes is better than my older 6119 classic, both have quite different sounds and feel.I would say my 6120 DSV stays in tune and works superb with bigsby and brass nut is a dream.

14

To me it really doesn't matter but I'm sure for a lot of people it's easier for a string change...I prefer vintage cause I'm a vintage geek who enjoys the original features...the pins are mighty strong though aren't they...I've really never heard of to many instances of them snapping or breaking...

15

On Bigsbys up thru the early 70s you could remove the pins and do string-thru that way. Then they came with pins that could not be removed. If they have made a change again, all the better.

– DCBirdMan

Pins are easier to remove now. Takes about a half of a second.

16

Pins are easier to remove now. Takes about a half of a second.

– Jonathan A. Sipes......maker of aluminum dust.

But are the pin holes drilled all the way through the bar???

17

But are the pin holes drilled all the way through the bar???

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

They are not.

18

They're not? They were on the old ones. I don't have a real problem stringing the Bigsbys, but I do wish they'd just make the pins a little longer. It seems like such an obvious improvement.

19

They're not? They were on the old ones. I don't have a real problem stringing the Bigsbys, but I do wish they'd just make the pins a little longer. It seems like such an obvious improvement.

– Billy Zoom

YES!!! Agree 1000%. It seems like such a no-brainer.... Longer pins are standard on the most recent Duane Eddy model(s), why not include them with all models??

Back in my days in the US Army, my First Sergeant used to say,"...It sounds like a GOOD idea, but let's try it anyway..."

20

I have a Player's Edition Double Anniversary and I love the pinless Bigs!

21

i've never seen the need for locking tuners on my '53 Club. I use a Wilkinson roller bridge and Grover Imperial tuners and I use the Bigsby more or less continually and don't have any problems with tuning stability. As far as holes through the bar for string anchors, it seems like a good idea but I would be concerned about strings breaking due the the sharp bend exiting the holes. I worry about this stuff because I use my Bigsby constantly not just an occasional wiggle on the last chord like most. If you try a Wilkinson, be sure to tighten all of the screws securely after adjustment or you will kill your sustain. If everything is tight the bridge is like one solid chunk of metal and it sure did improve sustain on my Club.

Here's an example of my Bigsby style. The guitar is a DeArmond Starfire Special with a B11 Bigsby tailpiece fitted. It has a stock tuneamatic though I put a strip of black electrical tape under it to simulate a floating bridge. With a tuneamatic it will sometimes need a little nudge to return to an in-tune status. With the Wilkinson, my Club always returns back to in-tune without any help.

22

The strings won't break on the string-thru style as the double wrap at the ball end is strong enough to take the angle. That's why Paul Bigsby (genius) designed the early units with removable pins.

23

I like it so much, I installed the Callaham string-through bar in my Guild X160 Rockabilly, and I ordered the Grover RotoGrip locking tuners for it.

And I ordered the Callaham bar for the new-to-me 6120 that should be here tomorrow! It already has the RotoGrips on it.

Anyone who had ever had to replace a string on the side of the stage with minimal tools or space or light will appreciate the string- thru and lockers. That’s why Gretsch put it on their “Players Edition ”., not on their other, more classic collections.

For the guitars at home, casual playing here and there, stock bigsby pins and regulars tuners are just fine, but for the night after night club grinders, the players edition mods have great practicality ! I can’t yet swing the $ for the players edition 6120, but I can adopt some of the elemental features into what I’ve got now, so it’s all good! Works for me!

24

I've installed two of the Callaham string through bars.

While I'm used to the pin style bars, I do like the string through bars better. Either way works, I just prefer the string through feature.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

I put one on and it change the angle of my bigsby arm, which is now higher and less preferable for me. I probably keep mine lower than most.

Did anyone else experience this? I'm just sticking with the ones with the pins but, as said, wish they were longer.

25

No. The arm is pretty much the same on mine.


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