Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
This_Dying_Soul

restringing a bigsby

Recommended Posts

what a pain in the ***! [cursing]

 

to make it worse, my Gretsch doesn't have a fixed bridge.

 

On the upside, I proved to myself that I know more about setting up my own guitars than I realized because when I finally got the strings to stop popping off the tailpiece when I tried to wrap them around the tuners; I had no problem repositioning the bridge and setting the intonation... ok, the intonation was tricky because if I wasn't carefull the bridge would move around and I'd have to start all over again. [cursing]

 

I can't wait until I've done this a few times. It'll get easier I'm sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I can't wait until I've done this a few times. It'll get easier I'm sure.

 

It does :)

 

Always string one at a time too, like with a Floyd Rose re string

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does :)

 

Always string one at a time too, like with a Floyd Rose re string

 

Matt

 

Unless I also have some other major work to do I always string all instrument like Matt does. Keeps the neck relief from going slack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prebending those ends of the strings is the key on a Bigsby. I have one on a Les Paul and one on my Gretsch, I think the Gretsch is easier than the Les Paul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prebending those ends of the strings is the key on a Bigsby.

 

Exactly. Take a pair of needle nose pliars and put a 90 degree bend about 1/4 to 3/8 inch above the knob end. Keep tension on the string while tightening/winding the string down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great suggestions for the Gretsch & Bigsby. When I do a complete cleanup on the guitar and maybe treat the fretboard I always mark the bridge location with some painters masking tape to help me out. The worst I ever got into was with my Ric 325c64. I received it in and wanted to do a complete clean/polish job on the git. Off came all the strings and the tailstock. Cloud 9 until I tried to re-string the "vibrato" tailpiece and all the parts didn't have any tension to allow for an opening to string. The boys at the Ric Resources helped out and had a great laugh as well. I guess I'd joined the Ric club with that stunt. Definitely a ONE STRING AT A TIME Vibrato to deal with. It truly was a triple [cursing] [cursing] [cursing] day and took me about 1.5 hrs of it falling apart and coaxing the pieces to help me out.

 

Only worst I've gotten into was as a kid when I took a Westclox "Big Ben" apart to fix. All was going fine until the the mainspring jumped and popped all the cogs & wheels out w/o me being able to see where some came from. Got the Ric back but the "Big Ben" died on the operating table! [biggrin]

 

Aster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue painters tape to mark the bridge location, pre bend the string, and use a piece of foam to hold the string on the Bigsby, done deal, no problems! It doesn't take me any longer to change strings on my guitars with Bigsby's than those without. Instead of the foam piece, you can also put tension on the string and then capo across the neck to hold it in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It works with a floyd also. I put cardboard under the floyd while it still has the old strings on it; then no fear about the floyd going while due to no resistance. Even with this method I still do only one string at a time since its a old habit. It still helps.

 

Lol Yeah I still do one at a time also.msp_thumbup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always done one string at a time - since the summer of '63 and my first guitar. Once in a while, as mentioned, all at once for cleaning or other "mechanic" work.

 

Never recall special problems with the Gretsch I had in the '70s except I "fixed" it so the Bigsby didn't work. Never cared for whammies.

 

Tape to mark the bridge...

 

Beeee Careful. Some tape can do nasty things to the finish. I used a decent quality masking tape back in "the day," but perhaps some of the new blue stuff might be safer - but...

 

m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real men change three strings at a time!, :lol:

all kidding aside, it's a good idea for floating bridges, and if you have a under saddle pickup on a acoustic you shouldn't take all the tension off at the same time as the sensor can shift and start rattling...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah normally I do restring one at a time but these strings were 1 1/2 years old and I wanted to clean the fretboard and stuff too.

 

When the fretboard is dry or has a lot of buildup on it is the only time I take off all the strings.

 

Either way, I personally find restringing a Floyd to be easier. It's getting the string to stay at the bigsby end while I attach the other end to the tuner that frustrates me. I'll have to remember about using pliers to prebend.

 

I have seen some mods available to convert the non-fixed bridge - a tune-o-matic style bride on a rosewood base- to a fixed bridge. I might just see about having this mod done so I don't have to reposition it every time I clean the fretboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first got a Bisby I thought changing was a challenge. Two changes later and I was a pro. To reenforce the points already made-

 

1. Put a right angle in string at the ball end to make it easier to hook on the Bigsby's pins. Needle nose pliers work well for this.

 

2. If you have standard tuners, use a capo to hold the strings' tension while you thread it through the tuner.

 

To make things easier, locking tuners are the way to go. One of my SGs has Sperzel Trim-Loks and string changing is a snap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what a pain in the ***! [cursing]

 

to make it worse, my Gretsch doesn't have a fixed bridge.

 

On the upside, I proved to myself that I know more about setting up my own guitars than I realized because when I finally got the strings to stop popping off the tailpiece when I tried to wrap them around the tuners; I had no problem repositioning the bridge and setting the intonation... ok, the intonation was tricky because if I wasn't carefull the bridge would move around and I'd have to start all over again. [cursing]

 

I can't wait until I've done this a few times. It'll get easier I'm sure.

 

I still don't think I got it right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found that with a Floyd rose. Just put a wedge Under it at the height you want. Perhaps a coin thickness object. Then you can change them all. Just tune it up without tightening the nut lock down. Do a good stretch tune again then lock it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A small blob of 'Blu-Tak' poster adhesive over the pin end does the job for me.

 

 

That's a great solution. I'd thought about finding something to put over the pin end next time I changed strings. I'll have to go grab some of that stuff before my next string change.

Share this post


Link to post
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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...