November 27th, 2011, 05:21 PM
Hello, fellow Gretsch-aholics! Glad to join in the fun! Here's a truly left field question: Does anybody know what the inner components to the Webster tremolo unit look like? This was the tremolo that appeared on Vikings and White Falcons from about 1964-1970. Basically, an arm runs through the string anchor rod, through the body and is attached to a plate. This plate then has a spring attached at the other end which pushes up on the underside of the top of the guitar.
The reason I ask is I have a '66 White Falcon that originally came with this tremolo. I've owned this Falcon since 1980 but in 1983 decided to switch out this unit for a Bigsby. Unfortunately, all the parts for the Webster tremolo were lost. I recently won another Webster unit on ebay but it is only the part that mounts to the outside of the guitar. I desperately need photos and/or detailed descriptions of the parts inside (i.e. rod, plate, spring.) So few of these tremolos seemed to have survived over the years and it's a rare sight to see a Falcon or a Viking with one of these attached to it these days. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
November 27th, 2011, 05:44 PM
Post close-up pics please for better help.
and welcome to g-t
November 28th, 2011, 11:11 AM
Welcome aboard falcongent! :D
As gros said some pictures would really help here, and we'd love to see a shot of your gorgeous vintage Falcon, too :D
November 29th, 2011, 07:33 AM
Here is a photo of my '66 White Falcon today. And, yes, it was converted to left hand. Now, before everyone starts sharpening their pikes at both ends, let me say this is how I received this guitar in 1980. The conversion had already taken place so I feel no remorse about the orientation. Just TRY and find a '66 lefty White Falcon! And, if you do, just TRY to afford it! Anyway, this was no museum piece to begin with. Some previous owner planed off the sparkle binding on the neck and f holes as well as removing the pickguard. It was also missing the white backpad. As I said earlier, in 1983 I had a Bigsby installed. My late brother did a beautiful job in creating the lefty Falcon pickguard. It remained thus until I found out about Art Wiggs. I had always wanted to restore the binding to the neck and was happily surprised when he told me he had the last of the Falcon sparkle binding. So, off to Wings it went. I did have the matching half moon inlays added, a common feature of lefty Gretsches in the 60s. Now, in 2011, I have the opportunity to complete the restoration by installing the Webster tremolo. Judging from the illustration for the patent, all I need to do is find/fabricate the metal elbow arm and the plate it's attached to. I tried out a Bigsby spring in the area where the original compression spring was installed and it seems to fit just fine. It would be nice to verify I'm on the right track as I doubt I'll ever find the acutal parts to complete the tremolo unit. Still, you never know. I never thought I'd come across the Webster tremolo at all, since they were around for a very brief time. So, I again extend my request to anyone with knowledge, photos or the actual parts to share the intel.
P.S. Sorry for the delay, but it took 2 days to get one photo to upload!
November 29th, 2011, 07:51 AM
Go have a look at this database, this may help you also
December 6th, 2011, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the reference. Lots of pretty Falcons, but no pix of the insides. It would sure be nice to see how the tremolo is put together on the inside of the body. Oh well, the quest continues.
December 6th, 2011, 04:11 PM
Is this the Bigsby you have in mind?
Edited to add:
It would be interesting to see the patent. Could you post a copy or a link?
December 8th, 2011, 02:51 PM
Yep! THAT's the ONE!! Now, if only anyone could open the back and peer inside, what treasures would be seen!
December 8th, 2011, 04:21 PM
I found the patent.
Vibrato Patent (http://gretschpages.com/history/memorabilia/3162083/)
There is two on the Gretsch Guitar database with vibrato.
WF I (http://gretschpages.com/guitars/models/examples/1267/)
WF II (http://gretschpages.com/guitars/models/examples/1822/)
The owners' user names are listed. You might try contacting them.