Corvette going sharp after using Bigsby??

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Miguello, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    I'll have to say this is a first for me, and I have set up several guitars with Bigsby's, to the point where the spring almost falls out when pulling up, and the guitar will stay in tune. Tuning after using the Bigsby was dismal, it absolutely refused to stay in tune. So fast forward to tonight. I installed a TonePros roller bridge, locked the pins with the set screws, and began the multiple tunings to get everything evened out and to a steady tension. After 2-3 attempts, it was in tune, and will stay in tune unless I use the Bigsby. Even if I only push down on the arm, The G is sharp when I release the arm. Not a little. Almost off the chart on my DeltaLab clip on tuner. I have had strings stay flat from nut binding, but this is a new one for me. I tune all the strings, push down on the arm, and when I release, the G is way sharp. The bridge is not moving at all, so I am more than a little confused.

    When I had the strings off, the roller seemed to move freely. I have had many that would bind on the bushings (import Bigsby's) and needed the ends sanded a bit to free them up. I am ready to take the USA B5 off of another guitar and see what it it does. Yeah I know the holes don't line up perfectly, but I would drill and dowel the original holes to install the US B5 if it would end this issue. Any solutions? I have already decided to upgrade the tuners, though I know that is really not the issue here, or at least I think it's not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  2. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    59
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Hate to be the guy hawkin' my wares here..... hopefully someone else chimes in to tell you about their experience with Bricksbiggsfix on their Vette
     
  3. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Sharp after bigsby use sometimes indicates binding at the nut.
     
    southpaw185, Outlaw, hcsterg and 3 others like this.
  4. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    It is full of graphite(in the slots of course) and I have had strings stay flat from binding in the nut, but never had one go sharp from it. Weirdness. I am totally in love with the guitar, as far as tone and how it reacts to pedals. The sound is amazing. Just have to get this ironed out, and I will go all out to solve it.
     
    GlenP likes this.
  5. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    This. When you dip the Bigsby, you increase the string length between the bridge and the tuning pegs. Some of that extra length is behind the nut. If a string gets caught in the nut, then when you release the Bigsby, then instead of re-tightening evenly and returning to pitch, the string will stay slack between the nut and the tuner, and all of the tightening will happen between the nut and the bridge. This will leave your string sharp.

    Try rubbing some pencil graphite or another lubricant into the nut slots. [EDIT: I just saw that you've already got graphite in there. On to step 2!] If that doesn't solve the problem, a quick trip to the luthier should fix it. I don't have the skill or the files to do proper nut work, but my luthier was able to fix this problem for me in five minutes. He wouldn't even let me pay him for the job.
     
    southpaw185 and Henry like this.
  6. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    I used one of the fixx devices on one of my SG's a year or so ago. It truly performed a miracle on it. It is ROCK solid. There doesn't seem to be excessive string angle on the Vette though, at least not compared to other guitars I have worked on. I will get my local Luthier who is a wizard, to make a correctly slotted nut for it. I am wondering if a wound G would help any?
     
    hcsterg and section2 like this.
  7. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    72
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Miguello!
    welcome mat texas.JPG
     
  8. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Oh, and you can't go wrong with a Brick's BiggsFix on your Bigsby. @Setzerhotrod has invented a great device!
     
    hcsterg likes this.
  9. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    Already have a lot of graphite in the slots, so definitely puzzling. My local shop is closed on mondays, but I will see if he can take it in tomorrow. The tuners seem a bit on the cheesy side, so I will see if he thinks that would be worthwhile. Yep, already used a Biggsfix on another guitar. And thanks for the welcome. I am so used to facebook groups these days, it's nice to be back on a true knowledge base of friendly people. Many people are downright jerks on facebook, lol. I have blocked at least 200 people in the last couple of years.
     
    rockinforJesus and GlenP like this.
  10. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    This. I did a fixx on a Vette. Absolute improvement.
    That break angle DOES need help.
     
    GlenP likes this.
  11. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    You should have seen the SG, it was a 45 degree angle, if not steeper!! These guitars seem tame by comparison!
     
  12. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    Yet not staying in tune, right? Lol. I’ve honestly just about given up on tremolos. Too much work and balancing too many moving parts.
     
  13. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    No expert here, but strings going sharp after Bigsby use has almost always been a poorly cut or dressed nut in my experience.

    Take it to a pro with lots of Gretsch or Bigsby experience.
     
    jay_mci, Outlaw and audept like this.
  14. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    NUT!
    I put a Tusq XL nut on my Epi Les Paul with a B5. Now it stays in tune with bigsby use.
     
    Outlaw, hcsterg and section2 like this.
  15. Miguello

    Miguello Electromatic

    14
    Feb 10, 2020
    Houston, TX
    So how do you use the quote tool on these new message boards? The old school boards no sweat. On these newers it always says added to multiquote or whatever, then I have no clue how to do it. Ahhh, I think I see the insert quotes thing now.

    Anyway, tremolos are definitely a labor of love, Once you get them dialed in, it's a beautiful thing!
     
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I’m going with nut. Yes, graphite is great, but not a solution for string bind.
    If the strings moved freely through the nut before, it’s not a guarantee they do now.
     
  17. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    A wound G will help, in my opinion, but you you will not have a real solution of the problem... A guitar must stay in tune after Bigsby use.
     
  18. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    59
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    I am curious if anyone here has had any experience with the “String Butler” for dealing with the headstock end of things? Keeps the strings nice and straight as they pass through the grooves of the nut:

    2541E637-49DA-41D8-B6DE-89CE1818A17B.jpeg
     
    GlenP and BorderRadio like this.
  19. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Never seen that

    Interesting concept, but it does create another friction point for the strings.
     
    Ricochet and hcsterg like this.
  20. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    59
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    They are supposed to be "rollers", but less friction at nut + extra friction at new device = net gain or loss?? I don't know......
     
    hcsterg and radd like this.
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