Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

To Bigsby or Not to Bigsby?


mr newhaven

Recommended Posts

hellllllllllllllllo nurse!

 

there was someone on the forum a little while ago that posted pics of their Les Paul VM with a newly acquired Bigsby B7.

 

im not gonna lie it got me jealous as hell looking at his pics!

ive toyed with the idea of getting one for a while and looking at how good it looks especially on my exact model of les paul makes me want one more than ever.

 

here is my question...

 

first off the B7 is the only real option correct?

or can i do a B5 if i wanted?

 

secondly i hear alot of different takes on the Bigsby when it comes to tuning and i wanted to make sure that if i bought this and installed it...i would have to sit there re-tuning the damn thing everytime i play a scale or wobble the hell out of the arm...

 

does anyone have les paul/bigsby experience?

and if so what have you found?

 

i am looking to buy it at the end of the month...because right now i see some golf clubs that need to come home with me!

 

thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

first off the B7 is the only real option correct?

or can i do a B5 if i wanted?

 

You could put a B-5 on. Check out '0 7170' on page 146 of the English language version of "The Beauty of the 'Burst" if you have access to a copy.

 

Three points concerning the B-5;

 

1) It is not generally regarded as the prettiest offering. Doesn't matter if you don't intend to sell.

 

2) It will feel significantly lighter as it is smaller and the mass isn't at the extreme end of the body. Could be a good thing for a VM!

 

3) You will need to find some way to disguise the stop-bar stud holes. Although not noticeable when a 'normal' Bigsby is fitted, they are in plain view with a B-5.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for the input PIPPY.

 

yeah i dont plan on selling this les paul...or keeping it for "investment purposes" this is for me...to play the hell out of and just plain ol enjoy!

the B5 i know fits on sg models so i was wondering if there would be a sizing problem between the flat-top and the carved top

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mr Newhaven.

 

I was editing my post as you were replying!

 

Hope the second version tells you something you don't already know!

 

 

yes this second revision is more helpful thank you!

i think based on your input i might try for the B7 instead...i dont mind holes in my guitar but would rather not have them visible if i could help it.

 

now as to the tuning issues...are there any?

 

is this not a very practical mod?

(i know they arent too bad to install...but what i mean is will this mod give me more trouble than its worth in terms of everyday playability and tone?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

now as to the tuning issues...are there any?

 

is this not a very practical mod?

(i know they arent too bad to install...but what i mean is will this mod give me more trouble than its worth in terms of everyday playability and tone?)

 

As far as tuning issues go; judging by the popularity (cyclical) of the unit there shouldn't be anything insurmountable - otherwise all those players wouldn't have gone down the Bigsby route. Having said that' date=' the fitting of aftermarket tuners was also popular. A connection perhaps? I've no issues with my Klusons but neither have I fitted a Bigsby. I'm [i']fairly[/i] sure you'd be fine.

 

Practicality? How often would you use it? I had a succession of trem. equipped Strats and almost never used the bar. Almost being the operative word...It depends entirely on your repertoire.

 

Tonewise? Perhaps a little more sustain from the extra mass. If bolted down solidly, of course.

 

Just to finish off; in 'T B o t Burst' there are 3 bursts with a Bigsby fitted, yet there are a further 9 where the stop-bar has been restored. Make of that what you will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'll have to stop meeting like this!

 

i changed my tuners to grovers when i first bought my les paul but still have the original tulip ones

 

The subject of Grovers raises an interesting point; before I bought my Gibson I had an Epiphone LP (which was beautiful to play) with Grovers fitted. After buying the Gibson the first thing I noticed after strapping it on (it sat on my lap in the shop) was how much better balanced it was - the Epi was much more neck-heavy. It turns out that a set of Grovers is much heavier than a set of Klusons - hence the balance shift. If you were to keep your Grovers on it may restore some of the original balance (had that been an issue, of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, I'm the poster in question with the modded vm.

 

Hmmm... maybe I should contact Bigsby and say that I've helped them sell some Bigsby's with my pics... Ooooh maybe I could get paid or get some free stuff!!! I'm a sucker for free guitar stuff... and money!

 

I've heard of people doing B5's B7's and B3's on their Les Pauls. In general it seems that those who use the B7 are the most satisfied with their mod. The B3 is still a pretty good option if you don't want to drill holes in the top of your lp. But I didn't even consider that because the tailpiece holes wouldn't be covered up as they (nearly completely) are with the B7. I'd rather have 2 pickguard-screw-sized unseen holes than two huge caverns peering out at me. But that's a personal taste.

 

As far as tuning goes, I haven't hadn't a too much of an issue with tuning. If you use the Bigsby heavily, it is going to mess with your tuning though. I'm probably going to end up putting on some locking tuners eventually. But I've always had some issues with tuning on my guitar so the little difference the Bigsby makes isn't a big deal (to me at least) at all. If you want the Bigsby, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

 

I do recommend using 11's with the Bigsby. This helps the tuning immensely. I use 11's anyways since I'm normally downtuned 1/2 step to 2 full steps down. You may be able to get away with using 10's though. Don't quote me on that one though. Note that the Bigsby is not for divebombs or large shifts in pitch. I think the farthest pitch shift i can attain is maybe a step but I don't recommend doing too much more than a half step or so, because any farther and you will most likely have to deal with some of the aforementioned tuning problem. With the half step (which can be used in both directions) there's fewer problems with tuning.

 

Overall I'm glad I did it. I love the look of the Bigsby and I love the vibrato affect. It seems like it has affected my tone a bit as well. I personally like it. My notes seems more defined and clearer but that may just be me.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!!

 

btw, if you really want to be able to have very dynamic pitch shifts I'd look into something along the lines of a Stetsbar. I didn't go with one because I didn't like the look or price (it'll cost around $300!)

 

You'll probably hear a lot about roller bridges. I don't have one on mine. I've heard too many negative connotations to them to entice me to go through all of the effort of trying one. I'm going to put on some graph-tech saddles and a graph-tech bridge. That supposedly will work about as well as a roller bridge as far as string breakage and tuning go and I won't have an ugly roller bridge installation to deal with!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...