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Tune-o-Matic Bridge and Bigsby tuning problems.


cooperman1275

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My 2014 WildKat came fitted, as standard, with an Epiphone branded Locktone Tune-o-matic bridge and a Bigsby B70 Vibrato tail-piece. From my experiences, and other on-line negative reviews, this combination has given rise to concerns about the guitar's ability to stay in tune.

 

The problems are somewhat minimal if the Bigsby is being used lightly. However, after about six months use, my third and fourth string saddles were again moving when the Bigsby was used and failing to return to their original position. The saddle retaining spring wire is no match for the power of the Bigsby. This could be corrected to some extend by regular application of a grease lubricant to the saddles.

 

I have now completely cured the problem by upgrading the bridge to a roller saddle version.

 

This was a very inexpensive upgrade that has transformed the guitar into something really special and was actually easier to do than a full re-string.

 

Price wise, the roller saddle version is only about 50% more expensive, as a component.

 

Epiphone should give serious consideration to fitting roller saddle bridges to all Bigsby equipped models. The tiny increase in cost would be more than offset by the reduction in the number of negative revues etc..

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My 2014 WildKat came fitted, as standard, with an Epiphone branded Locktone Tune-o-matic bridge and a Bigsby B70 Vibrato tail-piece. From my experiences, and other on-line negative reviews, this combination has given rise to concerns about the guitar's ability to stay in tune.

 

The problems are somewhat minimal if the Bigsby is being used lightly. However, after about six months use, my third and fourth string saddles were again moving when the Bigsby was used and failing to return to their original position. The saddle retaining spring wire is no match for the power of the Bigsby. This could be corrected to some extend by regular application of a grease lubricant to the saddles.

 

I have now completely cured the problem by upgrading the bridge to a roller saddle version.

 

This was a very inexpensive upgrade that has transformed the guitar into something really special and was actually easier to do than a full re-string.

 

Price wise, the roller saddle version is only about 50% more expensive, as a component.

 

Epiphone should give serious consideration to fitting roller saddle bridges to all Bigsby equipped models. The tiny increase in cost would be more than offset by the reduction in the number of negative revues etc..

 

I just installed a Bigbsy on my SG and left the Nashville bridge on there and really don't see what all the fuss is about. I certainly don't have any problems with saddles moving (I think that would be more of a function of bridge quality than strength of the Bigsby) and my guitar stays in tune pretty well. Sure it goes out of tune a little bit, but not so much that it's really noticeable. When most other people talk about tuning issues and Bigsbys, they make it sound like it goes so far out of tune that you have to re-tune every time you use it. Sure, most people would probably really appreciate it if Gibson started putting roller bridges on all Bigsby equipped guitars (Tonepros is now making a Nashville bridge with roller saddles), but for someone such as myself, it's not worth the $100 to get the Tonepros roller bridge just to have a tiny increase in tuning stability.

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the roller bridge does seem to be a big help to most.

 

I have three guitars with bigsby's one has a roller bridge, but I don't necessarily see in my experience that the tuning ability of he others is inferior to the roller bridge.

 

I've got a pretty light touch, and I use the bigsy's sparingly so perhaps for me, there is more tolerance with tuning.

 

 

But happy to know you're in good shape now, those wildcats are cool little axes.

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I put a bigsby on my dot studio and changed to a gotoh TOM, I don't have any problems with tuning at all. I've had mixed experiences with the stock bridges, some work fine and some rattle and moved constantly, the one on the dot studio was awful.

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the roller bridge does seem to be a big help to most.

 

I have three guitars with bigsby's one has a roller bridge, but I don't necessarily see in my experience that the tuning ability of he others is inferior to the roller bridge.

 

I've got a pretty light touch, and I use the bigsy's sparingly so perhaps for me, there is more tolerance with tuning.

 

 

But happy to know you're in good shape now, those wildcats are cool little axes.

I've got a Wildkat as well, and I also added Bigsby's to my Dot and Casino, and I have a Gretsch with a Bigsby and a floating bridge. Maybe it's me as well, but I've never had any tuning issues with any of these guitars. Granted, I use the Bigsby's sparingly, and don't dive bomb, but for me, none of them are "broken" so I won't be "fixing" them anytime soon! [biggrin]

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it's not worth the $100 to get the Tonepros roller bridge just to have a tiny increase in tuning stability.

 

My upgrade roller bridge was an unbranded cheapie which cost only £14 (approx 21 USD) and gave a massive increase in tuning stability. Real value for money and a great result for a low cost experiment.

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Could you post a link to the one you bought? Thanks.

 

It was a "High Quality Tune-O-Matic Roller Saddle Guitar Bridge - B005" from Northwest Guitars in Widnes, Cheshire, UK.

 

"Produced in the same factory as our “Wilkinson” hardware"

 

The following link should work OK...........

 

http://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/copy-of-high-quality-tune-o-matic-roller-saddle-guitar-bridge-b005/#reviews

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