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Bigsby maintenance/setup
guitarinchris
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Hey all,

I just bought this guy: [img="http://www.gibson.com/files/USA/Guitar%20of%20the%20Month/LP295GTCB1_Les_Paul_LP-295_Goldtop_h.jpg"]

It has a Bigsby bridge, graphite saddles, and a bone nut. What can I do to make sure tuning stability is at it's highest on this guy? I've never owned a Bigsby before, and I'm just wondering if the setup is closer to that of a hardtail guitar or a floating bridge. Is there a thread for this already? I couldn't find one.

Thanks!

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Post Date: 8/10/2009 @ 10:40 am
RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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Wow! Very sweet guitar! Congratulations! Which pickups?

I've got a Bigsby on a GreTsch 6122-62. Has a rocking bar bridge. Will be interesting to me how the Bigbsy performs on that ABR, although with those saddles I'd imagine you'll be just fine. Have another cheaper Bigs on my Sons heavily modded GreTsch 5120. Installed a handmade brass compensated bar bridge on that one.

I'd recommend;

- a good solid wrap on those tuning machines (are those something better than the standard Green Keys? I replaced them on my Les Paul Studio with TonePros/Kluson lockers); Left the cool Grover Imperial's on the -62 and my Country Club (Tailpiece and Dyna's, no Bigs), and replaced the machines on the Boys 5120 with Schaller Lockers).

-keep the nut lubed with graphite (I gave up the pencil lead for Big Bends Nut Sauce; little pricey but well worth it to me and a little goes a long ways)

-keep your strings fresh; obviously dependant on how much you play and how much oil/acid sweat your hands impart; I love the Vintage Gibson 10-46's on my Studio, but it's a hard tail.

-and when necess, use a little light oil, ie 3 in 1, on the moving points of the Bigsby

Post Date: 8/10/2009 @ 12:37 pm

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
guitarinchris
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Thanks!

This baby's got 57 Classic pickups, graphite saddles, bone nut, and a variation on the typical tuning machines--seems like it's just the screw around the tuning peg that's different. I would like to switch to locking ones, though, as I'm inept it seems at getting good wraps on a consistent basis, haha.

I restrung the puppy last night with a fresh set of .10's. Tuning stability on this thing is amazing, even when beating on the Bigsby.

Thanks for the oil tip, I never would have thought about that one. I'll keep it in mind if things start going whacky at some point.

I'll grab some Big Bends Nut Sauce. Thanks for the recommendation.

And boy does this thing sound sweet. It's number 81/1000!

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Post Date: 8/11/2009 @ 8:55 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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Henry Mars
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I have one on an old Gretsch. I never had any problems at all. I don't think you need to do anything special.

______________________________________________________________________
....that's real nice kid. Now can you play that in Db for me?
Ashby Trent


Post Date: 8/11/2009 @ 12:56 pm

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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A pleasure, Chris. Man, I gotta stop looking at your guitar. Just love that!

Just tried to find a pic but can't locate it. Have you seen the 90th Les Paul Birthday Tribute Signed Les Paul Gold Top Surpremes that they only made 90 of that have been popping up on the bay w/in the last year?

Henry, not to tread on Chris but would love to hear a little about your GreTsch.

Post Date: 8/11/2009 @ 4:25 pm

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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Henry Mars
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dafreeze said:

A pleasure, Chris. Man, I gotta stop looking at your guitar. Just love that!

Just tried to find a pic but can't locate it. Have you seen the 90th Les Paul Birthday Tribute Signed Les Paul Gold Top Surpremes that they only made 90 of that have been popping up on the bay w/in the last year?

Henry, not to tread on Chris but would love to hear a little about your GreTsch.
[/quote


It is on of the first Chet Atkins Tenneasean's. That guitar has been all over and in all situations from large rock concerts to small jazz venues all over the country. It has taken a beating and is still ticking. It has the original pickups, which I still love. The Bigsby set up is one of the best IMO.
The finish is worn off the back of the neck from playing 18 hrs a day. It will never leave my home again.


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______________________________________________________________________
....that's real nice kid. Now can you play that in Db for me?
Ashby Trent


Post Date: 8/13/2009 @ 5:57 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
guitarinchris
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Wow, sounds like an epic guitar!

Took the new Paul out on her first gig last night. Man oh man. A few tuning issues related to the drastic humidity of the building, but it sounded and played really well!

I'm really digging the 57 classic pickups. Way more than my burstbucker pro's in my other les paul.

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Post Date: 8/13/2009 @ 9:30 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
Avatar for dafreeze
dafreeze
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Henry Mars said:
It is on of the first Chet Atkins Tenneasean's. That guitar has been all over and in all situations from large rock concerts to small jazz venues all over the country. It has taken a beating and is still ticking. It has the original pickups, which I still love. The Bigsby set up is one of the best IMO.
The finish is worn off the back of the neck from playing 18 hrs a day. It will never leave my home again.

===================================================


Wow! '59? Does it have a neck pup? Filter'Tron(s)?

Post Date: 8/14/2009 @ 3:44 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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guitarinchris said:
...Took the new Paul out on her first gig last night. Man oh man. A few tuning issues related to the drastic humidity of the building, but it sounded and played really well!

I'm really digging the 57 classic pickups. Way more than my burstbucker pro's in my other les paul.

===================================================


I bet it did! What do you all play?

Had a 135 at my house for a couple months a Bud wanted to sell. Had the PAF's. What a compliment/contrast to my Studio w/490R/498T's! Really liked it. Ended up passing on it as it had a bad alignment issue (pups, bridge and stopbar) and he wouldn't come down on his asking price. Wasn't crazy about the Bluburst or the 50's neck profile anyway.

Those Les Paul 90th Birthday Tribute Supremes I mentioned above. Bet we don't see anymore go for $6K.

Post Date: 8/14/2009 @ 3:49 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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Henry Mars
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dafreeze said:

Henry Mars said:
It is on of the first Chet Atkins Tenneasean's. That guitar has been all over and in all situations from large rock concerts to small jazz venues all over the country. It has taken a beating and is still ticking. It has the original pickups, which I still love. The Bigsby set up is one of the best IMO.
The finish is worn off the back of the neck from playing 18 hrs a day. It will never leave my home again.

===================================================


===================================================


Wow! '59? Does it have a neck pup? Filter'Tron(s)?

I believe that the PU's are FilterTrons, Two PU's. I'm not sure what you mean by a "neck PU".

______________________________________________________________________
....that's real nice kid. Now can you play that in Db for me?
Ashby Trent


Post Date: 8/14/2009 @ 5:02 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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Was thinking the Tenesseans only had one pickup. In the bridge.

Post Date: 8/14/2009 @ 11:59 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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Henry Mars
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The one I own has two PU's. I tried a few Gretsch Tennesee Rose models recently with a view toward getting a replacement to jam with.
What they are making now sucks. They shouldn't even be permitted to put the Gretsch logo on the head stock. A once great ax has become junk.

______________________________________________________________________
....that's real nice kid. Now can you play that in Db for me?
Ashby Trent


Post Date: 8/14/2009 @ 1:08 pm

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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That's not been my observation or experience.

Post Date: 8/15/2009 @ 3:24 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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Henry Mars
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The guitars that are called Gretsch theses days are shadows of what they once were.

______________________________________________________________________
....that's real nice kid. Now can you play that in Db for me?
Ashby Trent


Post Date: 8/15/2009 @ 5:54 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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If anyone interested in a newer GreTsch has let this Gentleman's opinion sway yours, you're doing yourself a great dis-service. Lot of history behind the GreTsch company. ie Baldwin, FMIC, and both these seperate eras greatly influenced the quality of the guitars, one for the worse, the other, Fender, for the better. Certainly everyone has on opinion, but some of ours are tainted, for whatever reason. Some simply like to be negative for various reasons, as well.

It's my opinion that he's wrong, and I'm so confident in that opinion I know it to be fact.

I'd love to have a vintage GreTsch myself, but I'm told their quality was spotty, and there wasn't a great consistance to construction. They're a bit rare, and they aren't cheap.

I'm no expert, nor do I ever come off as one. I've an aquaintance who was a QC inspector for them back in the days. Great read, his book is. He's partial to them as well for obvious reasons, but he doesn't feel the way Henry does. Not even close. Nor do thousands of other guitar players. I know, literally, over a hundred of them.

I own Gibson, Fender, a sweet hopped up Epiphone (bought for my Son and modded by us), Gretsch, Taylor, and until recently Rickenbacker. The quality of my new Proline GreTschs is not exceeded by my Rickenbacker or my American Deluxe Strat. Two extreemely fine instruments.

And although hopped up as well, the Electromatic 5120 modded I bought for my Son w/TV Jones Classics, RCS/Switchcraft guts, brass handmade compensated rocking bar bridge and soon to be Schaller lockers is as sweet a sounding a guitar as I own. The stock 512x series are a real bargain, in my opinion, as well. This opiniou is also shared by thousands of guitarists. I picked up the guitar I described, with a cowboy case, 1 yr old and barely used for $750.

I'm confident many if not the majority here can out play me any day, but few can possibly have a passion for music and guitars that exceeds mine.

Here's a brief excerpt from a friends response to another in a reply that is simply regarding an individuals request for input of whether he purchase a Tele or a GreTsch. The author's my age and is one he!! of a guitar player. Has more experience in his little finger than I have in my whole body. I've edited nothing.

----------

Username, I know I come off as some kind of Gretsch fanatic, but I arrived here in a very honest and experience filled way. I don't usually give my whole resume on this sight but since some here discount what I am saying I will tell a little of my story.

I have played guitar for some 38 years and have owned just about every brand of guitar you can think of. Why you ask? Searching for the right tone! I have owned Strats, Teles, a Les Paul which I still own, Guilds 5 of those, Electras, Deans, Epiphones, Taylor, Washburns, Martins, Yamahas, so many I have lost count! I played professionally from the age of 16 till I was 24 and then quit to raise a family, but all the time I was playing one form of music or another.

I have also owned tons of amps from Ampeg to Vox, including Fenders, Musicman, Legend, Alamo, and now Gretsch. I have played in three bands at once and was a member of the American Federation of Musicians. I have played in Southern Rock bands a Rhythm and Blues band and a three piece rockabilly, and three top 40s bands before I turned 21. Needless to say I have paid some dues and know a little sumthin about guitars and what I like.

I have found Gretsch guitars to be the most versitile and beautifully made guitars on the market today and I also find the President of the company to be a wonderful and generous guy, not to mention the world wide marketing manager, who is one of the smartest and most friendly guys in the music biz. Gretsch is the only guitar company I know who give away tons of guitars and amps as well as cool goodies to normal folks like us at jams and Gretsch sponsored events.

A Tele is a great guitar for what it is, but a hollow bodied Gretsch is a much finer instrument! It is a bound body, and neck with lots of detail, where a Tele is a simple shaped and painted chunk of wood. Think about the hours of work it takes to make a hollow body guitar, nothing sounds quite as good and gives you that full tone..

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Sorry for derailing you post, Chris.
__________________

Post Date: 8/16/2009 @ 5:37 am

RE: Bigsby maintenance/setup
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dafreeze
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Post Date: 8/16/2009 @ 5:44 am


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