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Epi Les Paul Black Beauty 3... Bigsby mod. (Pic's fixed)


Flyer91
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I finally got some time to do the Bigsby mod to my new (so this is an NGD post too) Epi Les Paul Black Beauty 3.

This mod uses the same Bigsby B7 and Vibramate V7 LP, as is used for the Gibson Les Paul.

 

I'll let the picture do most of the talking.

 

Here is the work area with the LP BB3 in it's case....

IMG_2714-1.jpg?t=1421952335

 

IMG_2715-1.jpg?t=1421952339

 

All the new parts, and ready for some surgery ........

IMG_2716-1.jpg?t=1421952339

 

I really like Ernie Ball Super Slinky 9-42s, and use them on most of my guitars ... so I buy them in the bulk pack box.

IMG_2717-1.jpg?t=1421952339

 

First step .... remove the strings ....

IMG_2719-1.jpg?t=1421952340

 

Next, remove the stopbar, stopbar bolts, and the rear strap button ...

IMG_2720-1.jpg?t=1421952340

 

Install the main Vibramate plate. Note the orientation of the rounded and square tabs, as well as that of the printing ........

IMG_2721-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

The Vibramate tail plate is first bolted to the Bigsby hinged tail piece using 4 screws, then the assembled tail section is attached to the guitar via the the strap button.

This is only partially threaded back into the wood until you get the two mounting screws up top started (sorry for the soft focus).

Also, I had to file down the mounting boss of the strap button to an oval shape, to get it to fit through the slot in the Bigsby's tail ......

IMG_2723-1-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

The Bigsby mounted by using the screws into the threaded tabs of the Vibramate, and the button screw fully secured .......

IMG_2722-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

Completed shots with the new EB SS 9-42s installed .....

IMG_2724-1.jpg?t=1421952341

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Part 2 ...

 

IMG_2725-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

 

IMG_2726-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

 

IMG_2727-1-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

 

 

Although the Vibramate system makes this a 100% "bolt on" mod, I'm not sure if I like how high it sits using the Vibramate plate, so I might redo it, and just drill holes to mount the B7 right to the guitar.

However .... the string's break angle from under the roller bar, up to the bridge saddles is just about perfect tho .... so maybe not ;)

IMG_2728-1.jpg?t=1421952341

 

It was a fairly easy project, and took about 45 minutes .... mostly spent on filing down the strap button mounting boss and re-stringing/tuning.

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Thanks ...

 

Yeah the Bigsby Vibramate makes it a "bolt-on", and totally reversible "no holes drilled" mod.

You just need to make sure you get the right one for the Bigsby and guitar you are modding.

 

Also ..... I'm using Schaller strap locks on it, so the button is not stock. But the stock button would also have had to have it's mounting boss/flange filed to an oval to fit into the Bigsby's hinged tail piece slot.

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I did a little research when I fitted a bigsby and some people postulated that bolting the bigsby straight on creates a very sharp break angle over the bridge which leads to higher probability of tuning issues, the standard fixes for this are usually to fit one of those metal adapters (like yours) or to move the bigsby further from the bridge. If I were you I would stick with the adapter plate.

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Thanks for the positive comments guys.

I'd love to be able to take 'luthier-like a bow' ... but in all honesty using the Vibramate really made it an easy job.

 

Yeah, I had read about the issue with the the break angle at the roller bar to the bridge, being an issue if mounting the Bigsby B7 directly to the guitar (and not using the Vibramate).

But I also saw a post somewhere where a guy cured that issue by also using a Wilkinson Roller Bridge (or something similar).

 

The roller will also go a good distance to help cure de-tuning problems (if any) that a tremolo can cause ... but if I find I have de-tuning issues using the B7, I'll give some Nutsauce a try first.

If that doesn't help (and assuming I 'do' have any chronic de-tuning issues) I'll get a roller bridge, and go to direct mounting of the B7.

 

Yup ... the two top knobs are somewhat close, and my pictures don't show that very well

Although it might be a 'bit' cumbersome if you use your thumb and finger to turn the knobs, I typically turn them by pressing my pinky up under them and moving it back and forth, so no problem for me.

 

But ... if contemplating a similar set up, you might want to see these images here "Les Paul Black Beauty 3 with Bigsby pictures" to get better shots of it all, than what my pictures show.

 

After I've lived with it for a while, I'll re-post how it's going.

 

On edit: Here's a shot of the Wilkinson (~$25) roller. As you can see ... it can be very forgiving, to moderately forgiving of a steep angle ... depending on where you need to set the intonation at

wibrrobrlost2.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks ...

 

Yeah the Bigsby Vibramate makes it a "bolt-on", and totally reversible "no holes drilled" mod.

You just need to make sure you get the right one for the Bigsby and guitar you are modding.

 

Also ..... I'm using Schaller strap locks on it, so the button is not stock. But the stock button would also have had to have it's mounting boss/flange filed to an oval to fit into the Bigsby's hinged tail piece slot.

 

Any concern with the Schaller button sitting down in the Bigsby slot? Is it still sticking out enough to get easy lock onto the strap?

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