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Putting a Bigsby on my ES-335


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Hey fellas,


Been a Gibson fan for awhile already and I was a regular on the Epiphone forums.


I just got my first Gibson and it's a BEAUTIFUL ES-335. Great finish, plays great, and those of you who own semi-hollowbodied guitars now what I mean when I say that it's "lively" unplugged.

I'm contemplating on putting a Bigsby on it. I want to put it on for aesthetic and functional reasons. I have a Strat and I use the tremolo frequently.


I guess what concerns me is drilling in holes in a VERY nice guitar. I've put a Bigsby on my Casino before so I know what the process entails..


Can anyone chime in with their experiences?


Most appreciated!


Oh and here's some guitar porn:




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My advice would be to wait a while since you say the guitar is still new. Then see if you really need it on there.Also, are you planning on selling the guitar in the future, because adding a bigsby will lower the value


This. When I got my first les paul, I was adamant that I needed to put a bigsby on it. I had the money lying around, but a friend told me to wait. 7 years later, the guitar still has no bigsby and never will.


I want a les paul with a bigsby and will definitely buy one at some point, but I'll buy one with a bigsby already installed so I don't have to regret drilling holes in my beauty. I'm not too keen on the ZZ guitar works "screwless" bigsby either.


Nice guitar by the way.

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I really don't mind the studs where the stop-bar was because I would have gotten a "Custom Made" plaque made for it anyway.


I think I'll wait on it a bit and see how I feel. It's not too convenient for me to only use my Strat when I want tremolo/vibrato as I like both the single coiled sound and the humbucker sound.


More than likely..it's getting a Bigsby slapped on. Just not right now.


Thanks for the insight guys!


She sounds better than she looks!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Looks good. I've a similar finish on my 335, and use a bigsby a fair amount on my other guitar. Whereas the 335 is my main go to guitar, i miss the bigsby (plus they look mean as hell as well :) )


Only thing that is stopping me is what to do about the holes from the tail piece. Cannot think, nor have seen, a way to plug the holes while leaving the guitar looking sweet.


My tastes swing away from the custom shop plaque (although yours looks great).


Any ideas on how to plug the holes, on a very similar finish as Anthonys guitar. One I'm contemplating is leaving the current studs/screws but no actual tail piece bar.


Any ideas?

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I'm starting to feel like a broken record, saying this but...


You do NOT need to drill holes and you do NOT need to buy a 'Vibramate' either. Unless you just want to throw your money away, or else drill holes in your guitar all willy nilly.


The strap button screw alone anchors the tailpiece very securely. I have a B12 on my es 137 Custom in this manner and after almost 4 years of playing shows around the country, I have never had a problem of any kind.


When installing the Bigsby, you string up the guitar while there is still some wiggle room on the strap button screw so that the string tension aligns everything nicely, then you tighten the screw down and you're good to go.

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