Help with bigsby for a 5230lh

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Rockabillyriot_13, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Rockabillyriot_13

    Rockabillyriot_13 Electromatic

    This is my first post here. I have a left handed 5230 being delivered Tuesday and I want to add a bigsby to it. Will a b7 work? I will not be installing it myself I will have a luthier do it. All advice is welcome.
    Thank you
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    That the jet with the V tailpiece? If so then I'd do a B3 and a Towner bar or else you will have the stud holes to deal with.
    hcsterg, Henry and section2 like this.
  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Hi @Rockabillyriot_13 and welcome to the forum . We like pics around here , so show off that guitar before and after
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Rockabillyriot_13 !
    Welcome mat surfboards.jpg
  5. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Seconded. A B3 and a Towner Down Tension Bar are the way to go here.
    hcsterg likes this.
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Oh, and welcome to the forum!
  7. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Welcome @Rockabillyriot_13 Lefty Mate ! ;)

    I'll plentifully second @wildeman and @section2 in their suggestion : B3LH + Towner bar this is the easiest way to go on a G5220LH or G5230LH for adding a Bigsby (even if I personally do not like too much this option o_O, but it's me, OK ? :D)

    There are several reasons for this :

    1 - If you change your mind one day, you can return the guitar in its original non-Bigsby condition without damage.

    2 - As is, a B7LH will place its front roller too close to the bridge, and even if you use a roller bridge, the break angle of the srings at the back will be too step and you will have tuning stability problems.

    3 - A B5 LH will show the same issue, and moreover, it is designed for flat top guitars (Tele, LPJ...) and won't fit correctly on the arched top of a G5220LH/5230LH.

    Of course, you can work these trems to be placed and operate correctly on such a guitar, but it will be a hassle for you and your luthier...

    That said, if you really do not want a Towner bar for aesthetical reasons - like me - you can adapt a B3LH on your G5230LH like I did on my G5220LH, and it operates flawlessly :


    Before / After :

    But this is not an instant swap, OK ? :confused: So to have an idea of the job to do, you can have a look to my thread on the subject :

    And determine if it is worth / suitable / doable for you ! ;)

    section2 and DennisC like this.
  8. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    May 11, 2017
    I double what @hcsterg wrote - with the exception that I don't have a solidbody Gretsch and therefore never put a Bigsby on one. And, by the way - nicely done!

    I'd try without the Towner bar (or any bar at all) before, as these can - not must - make two issues out of one, bridge and nut. Although easy to determine, in case tuning is affected by bigsbying, where the strings get stuck, it requires better cut slots in the bridge, makes this whole issue more sensitive to possible minor flaws. In other words: if you haven't yet, learning to cut slots in the nut is enough to do, any bridge issues added to that is just nothing anyone needs.

    If you find out you'd need a bar, however, you can still add a towner bar, but if there's enough break angle, you don't gain anything from even more.
    hcsterg likes this.
  9. Rockabillyriot_13

    Rockabillyriot_13 Electromatic

    Thank you for the welcomes guys. And thanks for the advice you guys are awesome. I will be going with the b3 with towner based on the advice given and as soon as I get the guitar in my grips I will show her off.
    section2 and thunder58 like this.
  10. Rockabillyriot_13

    Rockabillyriot_13 Electromatic

  11. Rockabillyriot_13

    Rockabillyriot_13 Electromatic

    Killer guitar and nicely done. She's a beauty
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Imagine your G5220/5230LH with just one technical difference : instead of my Custom Jet stopbar plate, you would have installed a Towner Bar. Doing so, you would use a B3LH without mods nor hassle.

    Of course, you can start without the Towner Bar, as suggested by @DennisC , and add it afterwards if needed, but I'm pretty sure that you will need it, otherwise your strings may tend to pop too easily from the bridge, and you also may front some lack of sustain, adverse buzzing noises...

    I said : you may, OK ? :D So, it's a matter of test !

    Good luck !
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