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About henry_lee

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  1. hey swicket - congrats. you've almost got me convinced to pull the trigger. any pics before & after?
  2. Howdy - Sounds like you have J-45 TV with the closed-back tuners with white oval buttons? If so, I have them on my J-45TV and I'm pretty sure they are Gotohs. Having installed many, many vintage style tuners, I'd wager the Grovers will not match up 100%. Nor will Waverlys. Gotoh does make a similar tuner with a nickel knob, which should be the exact same spec as your stock tuners: http://www.allparts.com/Gotoh-3-x-3-Keys-Nickel-p/tk-0875-001.htm (edit: looks like Stewmac carries these.) Having had many Martins with Waverlys, I'm really tempted to swap mine for the ivory buttoned Waverlys. Just a little hesitant to start messing with an otherwise perfect guitar. Anyway, hope this helps.
  3. gorgeous guitar. very jealous! let us know how it sounds once it arrives. )
  4. wow, again thanks so much for all your work on these. all of them sound AMAZING, but I'm really drawn to the videos of the 1942 and 1952 J-45's. It really showcases the difference that decade made (materials, specs, etc.) thanks again!
  5. excellent!!!! thanks for sharing! not helping my gas for a vintage J-45 though! dyyyyaaaaaaaaam. so nice!
  6. One last note + pic for posterity... I don't often look at these things, so I was surprised how well this one lines up. It's almost a perfect triangle for the screws with the strap button located right in the middle. (my camera angle is little off) I believe I used the original center screw / hole and drilled for the top two. Top screw spacing measures 1 + 5/16" distance between top and bottom center screw is right on the edge of 1 +1/4". Hard to tell with it mounted, but very well could be 1 +3/16" as the Stewmac site suggests. Anyway, attached is a pic. Good luck whatever you decide to do and have a great Holiday Season!
  7. Hey Mark - I was working across town today and couldn't take any pics of my reissue, I can probably take some pics tomorrow though. I don't think any of 2006-2008 reissues came with Bigsbys. I installed the B6 on mine and love it. I know what you mean about the cost though. They were / are pretty expensive new and used. Great guitars though. I could **almost** sell my '54 and be perfectly happy. Will post some more pics tomorrow.
  8. for inspiration: http://tinyurl.com/ycjl4be
  9. looks right at 1 3/8", center to center. if you decide to go for an alternative guitar altogether, I highly recommend the limited run ES-175's w/ P-90's. <---- my avatar is a 2006 model w/ factory P-90's. There's at least one on eBay right now with a Bigsby already installed. I've had a few Gretsches, both vintage and reissue. While they're fun, unique guitars - I wish I had just gone ahead with the ES-175 in the first place. Could've saved thousands of $$$$. again, hope this helps in some way!
  10. they say a picture is worth a thousand words... well here are 4-5. mine is a '54 with the same tailpiece as his '53. I installed an original 50's Duane Eddy style Bigsby with the stamped patent info.... (took months to find / get delivered from the UK.) anyway, you can see what you'd be up against. I marked up your pic with the approximate hole locations in red. the green indicates the existing countersunk / drilled holes for the ground. after seeing them together, I think NONE of the holes on mine lined up, including the strap button. again, not for the faint of heart. lol...
  11. hey guys, sorry I haven't replied sooner, very busy weekend. I agree with the other guys, the Bigsby install is not to be taken lightly. especially after seeing your gorgeous '53. personally, I'd be inclined to leave it as-is. to answer some of your questions based on my experiences: - string pitch / break angle is compromised a bit with the Bigsby. - plastic button can be a *****. mine was half cracked when I got the guitar, so I cut it and re-drilled for a new strap button (in my case, a schaller strap lock button) - drilling holes can be dicey. the bottom center hole usually lines up, but in most cases that I've come across, the top two original holes will not match a Bigsby. So if you drill for the Bigsby and go back, there may be two holes on the **outside** of the hinge. sometimes you get "lucky" and can use two out of three. - I use D'Addario 12-52's on all my ES's. I like the tone / playability of the slightly heavier strings. The Bigsby actually gives and helps facilitate bends as it gives with the tension as you bend. Pretty cool. I think brundaddy has some good points. although I might opt for plastic washers rather than using any felt on the guitar. Again, my experience has been that felt eats the crap out of nitro over time. Even old nitro, it may leave a ring / impression in the lacquer. Again, your '53 looks stunning. I'd really leave it as is and find a reissue to mess with. If my '54 was that clean I would've done the same. Anyway, hope this helps. Best of luck!
  12. Hi Mark - BIG ES-175 fan here... I've also done Bigsby installs on two ES-135's, an ES-125TDC, an ES-225-TD, an ES-5, THREE ES-175's, and a '64 Gretsch Double Annie. I've also installed numerous Bigsbys on a bunch of Fender and Gibson solid body guitars - including B-5's, B-6's, B-7's etc. I intend on going to my grave with my '54 ES-175D, so no one could dissuade me from adding a B6 to my guitar! lol... My main guitars and only electrics are 50's ES175D & 225TD and a 50's reissue 175D w/ P-90's. All of which have Bigsbys. Moving forward... The B6 is the ideal Bigsby for an ES-175. No drilling on the top of the guitar, nice tension on the spring / strings, etc. However, the mounting pattern for the screws does not match up with the original tailpiece. So you gotta drill at least 1 or 2 holes to install a Bigsby B6 on a non-Bigsby Gibson. Trust me, I've done it numerous times. Yep, the strap button can be problematic... In my case I took it out and replaced with a Schaller strap lock button on every guitar. You can do whatever you want with the bridge... a properly cut ABR-1 is perfectly fine. Others prefer a roller bridge. I like the ABR-1's and have never had any issues with tuning or setup. Just get the bridge & nut slots filed properly and you're good to go. On a '53, I'd go for an original 50's Bigsby and compensated aluminum bridge. Either way, good luck and post some pics!!! p.s. I must say, as much as I love the old Gretsch's, there ain't no Gretsch on the planet that can compare to an ES-175 with P-90's! )
  13. Hey Dennis - Nice to "meet" a fellow Bay Area Gibson fan... wow, that's some collection you have there in your sig! Anyway, yes, I used to have a rehearsal space at Rocker (behind the shop) and wandered in on a whim one day in 2008 to see if they had any J-45 TV's... This was right at the time they started blowing out a ton of Gibsons at invoice + 10%. So I got it for a screaming deal. Right place, right guitar, right time I guess! (I ended up getting a NOS 1998 Historic ES-5 for a screaming deal too... wow. What a guitar, but that's for another post!) Anyway, yeah another thing to add about the J-45TV's... coming from a Martin HD-28V, I was used to stiff action on the longer Martin scale. So I stuck with the factory setup on the J-45TV 'til just this past November. I ended up taking the guitar to Gryphon in Palo Alto and had them set it up for .013's, adjust the relief a tad, had them make a nice bone compensated saddle, and took just a hair off the action at the nut. WOW what a difference. The tone and playability are amazing. I have hundreds of dollars of StewMac nut files and gauges, and a decade or two of experience doing all sorts of setup and repair. But sometimes it really pays to have a pro set up your guitar! I highly recommend a pro setup to anyone looking to purchase a guitar. It's so worth it.
  14. totally love my '07 J-45TV. absolutely awesome from day one, gets better every day. probably has more to do with the fact it's my only acoustic now. I play it every day, and have a serious bond with it. my previous acoustics included a 1971 Martin D-18, 90's Martin D-28, 2002 Martin HD-28V, 2008 Martin 00-15, a 90's Guild D4 and a friend's 50's Martin 00-17. Needless to say they are all gone and I only miss the beauty of the HD-28V. I owned the D-18 for about 14 years and don't miss it at all. The J-45 was just the one for me. The only other guitar I'd want would be a late-40's or early 50's J-45 in solid condition. Until then, the J-45TV is much more guitar than I deserve. I play in a duo and we're more on the country-ish side of indie rock for lack of a better description. The guitar sounds great with my female singer partner. we play loud, soft and everything in between. The J-45TV has the voice I've heard in my head for years. Only wish I discovered them sooner. I could've owned a serious pre-war J-45 with all the money I've wasted on guitars I no longer own. Interestingly enough, we're recording at a local studio in January and the owner offered use of his early 50's J-45 so I'm looking forward to comparing with the real deal. If you're in the Central CA coast area, might be worth a trip North or South to check out a variety of them. I played mine against a Woody Guthrie, a Modern Classic (Standard) and even a AJ and the TV was incredible. bottom line: I feel really lucky to have mine.
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