Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Beginner Mod - I want a Bigsby for my ES-339


Darcy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've got a 2019 ES-339 in Matte black, want to install a Bigsby. It doesn't have to be a Bigsby, but brandname seems important here & I want an American made kit. I'd rather not drill holes into it but I'll consider it, as long as it's quality hardware. I want Chrome color.

Concerns / Questions:

  • Damaging the finish via screw holes or long-term connection of Vibramate.
  • Does it affect tuning stability? (I have Grover locking tuners on it).
  • Extra weight with/without Vibramate.
  • Will it still fit in the OHSC (light brown 'leather' case)?
  • Do I need to, or should I, also buy a roller bridge? What other parts should I get? Spoiler? 
  • Bigsby B7, B5 or B3?

I looked on Amazon (limited to Canadian Amazon) but instead found what I think is what I need here:

https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/bridges-and-tailpieces/bridges-and-tailpieces-for-electric-guitar/bigsby-vibrato-tailpieces-for-electric-guitar/

I don't mind doing the leg work, I'm just wondering if any of you could refer me to an existing post or even a good YouTube vid on how & what to install.

Thanks, all!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have a 339 that I wanted a trem on, also I didn't want to damage the guitar with mounting screws. So, I got a "Duesenberg Les Trem II" that uses the StopBar mounts and has way more usable range than a Bigsby. It is very high German quality takes just a few minutes to install/uninstall and does not damage your guitar.

NXuGO2m.jpg

I also added a roller bridge and went to Humbucker sized P90's.

Note: The Duesenberg Les Trem II has an angled Dive Arm that is held in place by a set screw, so you can lower it for being inside a case. With the Dive Arm set for maximum Dive, it can Dive almost as far as a Strat Tremolo. I usually have it set lower and fits in my 339 hardcase without too much trouble. Also note that I have not had to replace the German Steel Spring on any of my 6 guitars that have these, the oldest is 5 years old.

My guitar is a 2020 Epiphone ES-339, that spec wise, is almost Identical to the current Gibson model.

UcqGuWz.jpg

Edited by mihcmac
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Twang Gang said:

Mihcmac has your solution above, but as has been said many times on this forum "friends don't let friends Bigsby". 😜

Thats correct, friends don't let friends Bigsby. The Bigsby is an old archaic design that doesn't really work well for anything but swells. The Duesenberg does a whole lot more and doesn't damage your guitar.... 

One of the main problems with staying in tune when you use a tremolo is usually with the nut binding, it needs to allow the strings to slip back and forth allowing the string pressure to equalize on both sides.

Edited by mihcmac
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to call BS! I have Bigsby’s on many Guitars. Gretsch Guitars uses them exclusively & Gretsch is building about the finest Guitars on the Planet.. Short of Custom Shop… Gretsch also has Custom Shop that rival any Guitar on the Planet as well.

There are 2 Series of Bigsbys in each of their models. An inexpensive one in which the Model ends with a 0.. Such as a B70 & a top quality one without the 0.. such as a B7. They work perfect! Always go for the high quality… 

They are also the best looking…

Also, if you don’t want holes in your Guitar use a Vibramate.. They are incredible, leave no holes & allow for complete reversal to stock. You’d never know it had ever been there..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guitar tech at my local shop loves Bigsbys. I think they look great but I've only used them a couple of times, of course they work fine. I ordered the Duesenberg Les Trem II in Chrome color, back ordered but there's no rush. I might order a roller bridge for my Gibson's Duesenberg trem project to do a full upgrade all at once.

I'm thinking I'll try both - I'll get a Bigsby for my Tele Deluxe, something that will let the guitar fit in the deluxe case (black plastic Fender case). By the sounds of it, I'll need extra springs for the Bigsby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Larsongs said:

I have to call BS! I have Bigsby’s on many Guitars. Gretsch Guitars uses them exclusively & Gretsch is building about the finest Guitars on the Planet.. Short of Custom Shop… Gretsch also has Custom Shop that rival any Guitar on the Planet as well.

There are 2 Series of Bigsbys in each of their models. An inexpensive one in which the Model ends with a 0.. Such as a B70 & a top quality one without the 0.. such as a B7. They work perfect! Always go for the high quality… 

They are also the best looking…

Also, if you don’t want holes in your Guitar use a Vibramate.. They are incredible, leave no holes & allow for complete reversal to stock. You’d never know it had ever been there..

Would you recommend the B7 over the B5, B3, etc? Is it an increase in quality/ability the higher the model number goes? I might end up putting the Duesenberg trem on my Tele Deluxe, and getting a Bigsby for my Gibson ES-339.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Darcy said:

Would you recommend the B7 over the B5, B3, etc? Is it an increase in quality/ability the higher the model number goes? I might end up putting the Duesenberg trem on my Tele Deluxe, and getting a Bigsby for my Gibson ES-339.

Bigsbys’s website gives the models of Bigsby’s that are designed for what kind of Guitar.. There may be a couple that work on a certain model. The models not ending in 0 are the higher quality… Choice can be subjective.. 

Do check out Vibramates website also.. They work perfectly with Bigsby’s to make it possible to not damage the Guitar with holes or scratches.. They allow the ability to remove a Bigsby, if you want, & not leave any holes or other marks.. Brilliant! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Larsongs, I'm looking on the Bigsby site & I'm still not sure. which gear to get. I'm appreciating the help everyone's giving me of course, there's just a lot of ambiguity & missing info.

There's about 50 aftermarket items that claim to benefit Bigsby's tune stability, I don't know which are worth the investment. Not to mention, I don't want a beautifully light guitar turn into a 12lb monster...

So keeping in mind my 2019 Gibson  ES-339 'Satin'  style guitar is NOT figured, just flat top:

From Bigbsy's site, (intention is to use a Vibramate) :

B3 Specifications: Designed for use on thin electric hollow and semi-hollow guitars.
B5 Specifications: Designed for flat top solid body guitars (including SGs, Les Paul Jrs, Telecasters, and Rickenbacker 325s).
B6 Specifications: Designed for use on large hollow body guitars.
B7 Specifications: Designed for use on arch top electric guitars.
B11 Specifications: Designed for use on thin hollowbody and semi-hollowbody guitars.
B12 Specifications Designed for use on arched top electric guitars.
B16 Specifications: Designed for use on Telecaster style guitars.

My ES-339 seems to fit into several categories. I have to mate the Bigsby to an appropriate Vibramate -  Vibramate.com is an awful website, but suggests the V5 series. Nowhere does it say it'll work with which Bigsby. Like, is it Bigsby B5 only works on a Vibramate V5, or will a B3, B5, B7, B11 all fit on a Vibramate V5? It's a mess & it simply doesn't have to be.

I'm assuming these would all work together, but do I really benefit from all of them? Considering total weight, which of these are worthy of exclusion?

  • Bigsby B3
  • Vibramate V5
  • TonePros TP6R Tune-o-matic Bridge with Roller Saddles
  • BiggsFix Tuning Stabilizer V3
  • Vibramate Spoiler
  • Towner Down Tension Bar adapter

I promise to shut up about this as soon as I can, and appreciate everyone's advice.

Thank you,

 - Darcy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To get a chrome Les Trem 2 from Duesenberg will take a while (Cosmo music suggested 4-6 weeks, Duesenberg claims 5 days), and the sharks are in the water on Reverb, asking twice the price due to the shortage of chrome Les Trem 2's for right handed guitars.

Ok, so I consider a Bigsby instead. If not for help from you all in this forum, I'd be nowhere. I'm still amazed with how genuinely awful, non-intuitive & unhelpful hardware sales' websites are. What goes with what?  I'm sulking like a toddler here but these are kits are like a junk drawer. Getting everything I need means having to order hardware spread across 5 sites, each with its own promise of "oh yeah sorry about that, it's gonna take 4-6 weeks though we told you 3 days, we didn't bother telling you" type of thing going on.

No wonder Amazon does so well.

  • Amazon: "Supplier, do you have it & can you get it to our warehouse or to the customer within 3-4 business days?"
  • Supplier: "Um, we're not 100% sure that we...."
  • Amazon: "..No then, ok. Contact us when you get your act together. Bye!".

 The Duesenber trem seems to be a much more innovative, lighter, low profile system. It's about $140 (CDN) delivered. Add a roller bridge to that & it's still under $200. I'll buy American before Chinese, but consider German & Japanese parts to be on par with American products.

For the Bigsby B5, (CDN $), with optional upgrades:

  • Bigsby B5 with Vibramate v5: $265
  • Locking roller bridge: $50 (Schaller: $75)
  • Vibramate Spoiler: $50
  • Callaham front roller upgrade kit: $75

I'm gonna wait for the Duesenberg to come back into play. Maybe when I know more about Bigsby systems I'll reconsider...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing against Deusenberg but more Guitars use Bigsby’s than any other Tremelo… There’s a reason…. But, stay with the ones not ending withthe 0….. The Kalamazoo’s.

Here’s a video about installing Bigsby with a Vibramate.. Which makes it completely reversible leaving no holes….

 

Edited by Larsongs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is distasteful for Towner to promote their business here but I think they make a nice product. 
 

I’m using Towner hardware and a B3 on my SG and I personally like it better than the vibramate. 

 

a couple points that might not be obvious.. you can use a B5 and vibramate on your 339 but that’s designed for a flat top and your guitar is an arched top. That means the vibramate won’t sit flat on the top and will have a gap underneath. That will be functionally ok but may or may not bother you aesthetically. Personally I find the vibramate B5 setup to put the tailpiece sortof obnoxiously close to the bridge 

 

the Towner and B3 would make use of the stopbar holes with the downward tension bar. I feel this part looks clean and does what it’s supposed to. The B3 is sortof a better choice for your guitar overall but would need to be screwed in if you don’t do the Towner kit

 

the duesenberg tremolo could be amazing but I’m just completely not in that market. If I want a high performance trem to go hog wild on then I want a Floyd rose. If I want something for a little wiggle that I can easily retrofit on my Gibson then I don’t want it to be butt-ugly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...