Vintage Gretsch Guitars

vintage Bigsby prices?

26

"I pay all shipping costs."

28

JBJ... exactly! In both cases ('57 Black Beauty and '58-'60 Burst), if there's someone who feels the need to add a Bigsby to one of these hugely valuable guitars, then spending $2k for it doesn't seem like big deal.

Here's one like JBJ's (appropriate for a '58-60 LP Burst) for $1200. Reasonable?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RAR...

29

Worth more than my Burst version? HaHa

– JazzBoxJunky

Looks real cool JBJ.

Yours

Drew

30

In both cases ('57 Black Beauty and '58-'60 Burst), if there's someone who feels the need to add a Bigsby to one of these hugely valuable guitars, then spending $2k for it doesn't seem like big deal.

I can't imagine there's any market for adding a Bigsby to an original '50s Les Paul. I would hope not, anyway. But ultra-authentic money pit reissue projects, sure.

31

I dug up this old thread as I've been privy to some recent vintage Bigsby transactions that serve to prove that even several years later, there are still decent prices out there for nice vintage vibratos.

Exhibit A: '56/57 B6 with Duane arm and original bridge acquired by a buddy of mine for just north of $300.

32

That same Bigsby fan buddy scored not one but two (separate transactions) Duane arm '56/57 B7 units, each for around $400.

33

One of our esteemed GDPer brothers was recently offering up this '58/59 B6 for $175... a great deal for vintage equipment!

34

I was feeling pretty fortunate to grab this quite uncommon gold version of that same '58/59 B6 for $360.

35

So I guess the point that Afire makes about being patient is still in play. If you need a specific vintage model, then you may pay screaming retail. But with some patience there still seems to be nice vintage period Bigsby units surfacing in the secondary market for reasonable prices.

36

I was feeling pretty fortunate to grab this quite uncommon gold version of that same '58/59 B6 for $360.

– kc_eddie_b

So YOU got that gold one! I had the naïeve hope it was going to go under the radar, being advertised as a 60's B3.....

37

Ha! I think it DID go under the radar!

38

Fascinating thread ......thanks Guys

39

I dug up this old thread (again) because the topic continues to resonate with me, as I encounter vintage Bigsby units on the secondary market. The latest muse is this vintage B16 (for sale for $800 a few months back). My understanding of the B16 history (and I'm seeking historical insight from ya'll) is that Bigsby made these for about 2 years ('52/'53?) in the fixed-arm format, exclusively for the Fender Tele. Legend suggests that P.A. Bigsby and Leo had a falling out over the introduction of the Strat, and the B16 was discontinued.

The B16 in question has a swivel-arm (Philips bolt) that would suggest it's from the '58-60ish timeframe, but to my knowledge the B16 wasn't being made in that timeframe (or at all until the modern repros appeared in the past decade or so). Please correct this assumption if anyone has evidence to the contrary. Because in lieu of documented B16 production in the late 50s or early 60s, these vintage examples that surface with swivel arms would have to be considered original fixed-arm specimens that have been upgraded at some point... yes? If that is a reasonable conclusion then (getting back to the main topic of the thread)... the $800 price tag for this vintage B16 and original dog-bone bridge, and neck shim doesn't seem so egregious considering the limited production of the '52/'53 fixed-arm B16 units. Still looking for perceptions from the community on all this!

40

I haven’t been following the B16 Bigsby as close as the other models, but I never heard that they were actually discontinued in the mid 50s. I can only assume without documentation that they were still being made but in smaller quantities in the late 1950s. If that is the case, they would have followed suit on the updated handle and bolt versions.

Here is an auction from Vintage Correct that is usually pretty accurate on descriptions. This indicates that he B16 was around in the 80s or possibly 90s. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vi... This is certainly a post 1966-ish version with the pressed in pins.

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Thanks for jumping in Joe. The one in the auction you shared is clearly not from the golden era (50s/60s), but other than taking their word for it, what makes this one different from one made in the past couple of years and relic'd?

I am open minded to the potential that the B16 was made after the purported discontinuation in '53-54ish... but if that was the case, where are they? I've been looking for late 50s and 60s Telecaster guitars with B16 units that match the vintage of the guitar (or at least close)... but they just don't seem to be out there. The famous Bob Bain early 50s Tele (depicted) has one with a cast-arm circa '56/57, but it's not clear if that was a modified fixed-arm example or not.

42

I can't wait to buy Ball's Manual on Bigsby Vibratos!


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