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Bigsby B60 question

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Dougf, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Dougf

    Dougf Electromatic

    18
    Jun 21, 2017
    southern minnesota
    Kind of new to gretsches and bigsbys, my new electromatic 5420T has the B60 Bigsby tremolo. Just curious if there is much to be gained by switching to the B6 Bigsby over the "licensed" B60, on the surface I don't see much of a difference.
     
  2. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The needle bearings in the B6 are much, much better than the nylon bearings in the B60, but other than that, it's not a "must have" upgrade, unless you're one of those who "must have" a USA-made Bigsby. They DO feel a bit different-- the USA models tend to be a bit more responsive.

    Also, if you do swap, be prepared to drill new mounting holes for the hinge plate. The B6 and B60 have different bolt patterns.
     
    loudnlousy and Dougf like this.
  3. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I have both a B5 and a B50 and im assuming the differences are the same. The US made B5 has a much better feel to it.
     
  4. Dougf

    Dougf Electromatic

    18
    Jun 21, 2017
    southern minnesota
    Can the nylon bearings sleeve/roller in the B60 be replaced with a needle bearings sleeve/roller off of a B6?
     
  5. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Age:
    37
    Aug 15, 2008
    england
    TBH imo i can't feel much difference.
    They just look better.
     
    Dave-B likes this.
  6. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I don't believe so. I'm pretty sure that the fitting is different.

    But then again, I've never tried.
     
    Dougf likes this.
  7. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    847
    May 23, 2016
    Scotland
    Other than appearance, I don't notice any difference between a B6 and a B60. Both feel and sound exactly the same to me, and both stay in tune equally well.

    If you feel the B60 is a bit stiff, just fit a $10 Reverend soft spring.
     
    Dougf likes this.
  8. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    One would think there must be a bearing that would fit.
     
    Dougf likes this.
  9. kulmacet

    kulmacet Electromatic

    Age:
    58
    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    DFW Area
    I switched mine out and the look of the B6 V cut Bigsby adds another layer of coolness to an already cool axe.
    The screw holes will not line up but there are plenty of videos on how to clean this up and mount the B6.
    I'd do it.... and good luck
     
    Dougf likes this.
  10. RubenAlvarado

    RubenAlvarado Gretschie

    118
    Jan 8, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    The biggest difference to me is $200. I'd be all over it but last time I bought one, it was at cost through the music shop I worked at, so it wasn't as hard on the wallet. This time though - I'm gonna have to wait for a while. It's not a big enough deal for me.
     
  11. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    The US Bigsbys are better, but not significantly. And there are even differences on the licensed versions. The Guildsby on my Guild is a licensed version but it feels like handmade. Much better than the electromatic Bigsbys. You can swap the B60 easily by changing the hinge to the B6: no drilling, plug n play!
     
    Dougf likes this.
  12. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    60
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    New B6 is about $109 on the 'bay. V-Cut B6C "Gretch" goes for around $150. The USA Gretsch version is, in my opinion, quite a visual upgrade over the B60, regardless of the better construction.

    Absolutely, with a mill and a lathe there is no limit to the mods you can come up with and perform. Needle bearings all round and all that good stuff. Finding something off the shelf you can just use.... well it's possible I suppose.
     
  13. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    With what's already been said let me add that my B60 on my 5120 works fine and i see no reason to change it, and i'm a modding fool.
    Unless of course a B6 falls into my lap:D:D
     
    MTurner likes this.
  14. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Hey people ! I need some experts there :

    I bought a part bigsby B6 base, but it comes without the needle bearings. I really don't know how to find the right specs to order from my local store...

    I saw somewhere on internet "kn 060910" ... is there anybody to confirm. Here the cheapest 060910 I found, isn't good ??
     
  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I thought the B60 had caged needle bearings just like the US made? Only B70s and B50s have the nylon sleeve—but on the roller bar.

    Anywho, the bearing for the B60s I owned is an HK 1015 metal caged needle bearing. Metric, 10mm.

    My USA Bigsby replacement needle bearings are UBI KN-060910, USA made.
     
    RomanS and Ricochet like this.
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    How much PITA is it to replace these things?
     
  17. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Is there somebody who know where to find these KN-060910 bearings on the internet ?
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    PM'd
     
  19. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I haven't had the pleasure of trying to replace or install. Bought the spares to build out a NOS "F"-logo B5 frame. Ended up selling the frame. All I knew is I'd need to build a jig and use some kind of arbor press to do it right.
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  20. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Jig, arbor press? Ok, I’m out!
     
    BorderRadio and russmack like this.