Originally Posted by stevo
Some points to think about:
Intonation: Looks about right to me. Any adjustments from this point should be done with a tuner, not a ruler. Not sure what this has to do with buzz.
"Ideal Bigsby Bridge": Note that it's a Compton bridge - removing it would be a step backward. And Tune-o-matics are terrible for buzz unless you know a couple of tricks. (I think he had a Melita.) But in general, people around here are sold on Comptons or Tru-Arcs for pretty much everything. Comptons are designed to work with Bigsby vibratos just fine! - they ranged from a dampend buzz to an all out ring.
My guess at this point is ghost vibrations between the saddles and Bigsby. I started noticing these after I installed my Compton. The easy fix is to thread a velcro cable tie in and out of the strings or thread some surgical tubing in and out of the strings. (After you filet it in half.) This provides ample dampening and I haven't heard the ringing or buzzing since.
Forget break angle at this point, you've got a cool setup. Even if break angle is the issue, dampening the strings as mentioned above is all you need to do. You'd have to raise those strings and that's not a good thing.
I don't see why you wouldn't want to do ALL adjustments with a ruler. I'm not sure where you get your information, but simply tuning isn't going to do anything for intonation if the bridge is in the wrong spot.
Moving the bridge forward, if necessary may allow adjustment of the height of the bridge, which also may be part of the cause.
Knowing the height of the strings at the 12th and 15th frets using a mechanic's rule would tell a lot as to whether the bridge is adjusted correctly and there is an issue with neck relief.
If the guitar is setup correctly, string buzz will not be an issue. If the buzz is minimal when unplugged and not apparent through an amp, this might be normal, but an annoying level of buzz isn't normal and IS a setup issue.
I don't mean to pull the "I'm a guitar tech" card, but I've been working on electric and acoustic guitars for almost twenty years. I've never needed to use a cable tie to resolve string buzz.
A couple points:
The bridge position directly affects the tension point of the string; if the bridge is too far away it will not only cause intonation issues it may also reduce the tension of the string at the nut. The overall tension is still the same, but the distribution is different. This can cause buzz, open and fretted.
The bridge position on your guitar appears to be (possibly) okay on the low E but a too far at the high E. Even though this is a compensated bridge, it still needs to be correctly angled for correct setup.
The type of bridge is less ideal than the Synchro-Matic. The Synchro allows locking of the saddles to which provides a dual service as it also prevents the saddle from rattling.
The "ghost vibrations" Stevo mentioned are irrelevant as the current bridge doesn't have moving saddles and the issue is still occurring.
I'd be willing to bet if you check intonation all the way up the neck, you have some flat notes on your higher strings when the guitar is in standard.
Take a look at these two examples:
This Eddy Cochran is a lefty, so take this into account, but this guitar as a compensated bridge, yet the angle is still adjusted for intonation. It is also closer to the rear pickup, yet the guitar is the same scale length as yours.