Modern Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch String Through Bigsby , Your Thoughts

26

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.

– lx

Total B.S.

27

Total B.S.

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

I had a '56 6120 with the pins removed and never had a problem with a string-through Bigsby. I find it hard to believe that it is "Total B.S."

What's your experience?

28

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.

– WillieDSW

Nope, I've installed two, and no difference in arm height.

29

Ok, what's so hard about drilling holes if you want string through on an old one that has pins? Elif

30

Ok, what's so hard about drilling holes if you want string through on an old one that has pins? Elif

– munman

Nothing if you have a drill press and press vice. Pull out the pins, drill the holes through, chamfer the "ball" end of the hole, debur the other side of the hole and polish the bar.

Dang easy, if you have the tools that will keep the bar in position while drilling.

For those that don't, a machine shop could do this, but would probably charge as much or more than what a Callaham unit costs.

FWIW, the Callaham bar has a little different string spacing than the stock bar. It's wider, and the strings line up and pull straight with the string grooves in the bridge. No more string angle on the outer strings. ( from the bar to the bridge)

Whether or not this is good or bad can be debated I guess, but that's what the Callaham bar has.

31

I had a '56 6120 with the pins removed and never had a problem with a string-through Bigsby. I find it hard to believe that it is "Total B.S."

What's your experience?

– lx

Total BS because if PA Bigsby had designed them to be removed in order to work as string-through, he would’ve a) mentioned it, b) chamfered the edge.

32

Total BS because if PA Bigsby had designed them to be removed in order to work as string-through, he would’ve a) mentioned it, b) chamfered the edge.

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

It's been a while since I had a close look at the vintage inserts. Did they have rolled pins or steel pins? I guess then it's a happy accident that the size of the inserts accomodates the strings. Don't know about a) as I've not read the book, b) makes sense as the modern version looks neater with the edge chamfered.

33

I did some googling and some research online, and apparently Callaham isn’t the first to have this idea or offer this replacement part.

I know on my 64 Tennesseesan it had the removable pins. But I never got around to taking them out.

There was another individual on one of the forums that was talking about drilling the bar and countersinking the holes to make a string-through bar. I think he was even offering them up for sale. And this was years ago, it was an old thread I saw. I’m sure people have been thinking about this mod ever since there have been Bigsby vibratos.

Regardless of who first thought of it, or who first made it, it’s a great idea and a cool convenience! I love Gretsch and I love my Guilds , but no guitar is perfect!

That’s why we are so fortunate to have TV Jones and Callaham and Grover, and Compton, and ABR, and, and, etc, etc, to enable us the ability to modify our guitars easily, and to return them to stock just as easily.

34

And Bigsby tailpieces were among the first items with which we could modify our guitars.

35

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.

– senojnad

I agree completely. The Spoiler combined with locking tuners is still the quickest and easiest.


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