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I dislike Bigsby's.

Discussion in 'The Great Bigsby forum' started by Roy Clark, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Electromatic

    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    Hello I see you all love Bisgby. Why? I own one and a gold plated clone of a Bigsby. They used to come on the Sears Harmony Semi hollow made in Chicago. I Always wanted one and now I own one of the Bigsby's. And a clone. But I do not like them. It makes my guitar's go out of tune. I use them for looks on the guitars. Why such love for the old Bigsby's?
    T simmons and benjwri like this.
  2. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Gotta know how to make them work. You gotta have your nut properly treated. Saddles properly treated. Everything lubed up correctly. When you get all the pieces of the puzzle in place, a Bigsby can stay in tune great. It just takes work sometimes. I've had Gretsches to where they don't get out of tune no matter what.
    T simmons, Ebidis, j.s.c and 2 others like this.
  3. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    I dislike Bigsby's.
    TW4990 and T simmons like this.
  4. Mag3

    Mag3 Synchromatic

    Nov 22, 2016

    Some cool things you can do with a Bigsby.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  5. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Country Gent

    Jul 5, 2014
    SE QLD
    As stated above they need to be set up in conjunction with the rest of the machine. The bigsby will amplify any set-up imperfections. It's not the fault of the bigsby - it's just showing you what was already wrong.
  6. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Bigsby's keep near perfect return to pitch, if not perfect. BUT.. unless you have a properly cut/dress nut and bridge saddles.. it will never stay in tune. Nor will it stay in tune very well w strings that are not at least 10G. Preferable is 11g minimum on a 24.6" scale guitar. I'd put a bigsby on my car if I could. :)
  7. slimwilson

    slimwilson Synchromatic

    Dec 22, 2015
    Mobile, Al
    I'm not the heaviest Bigsby user, but I feel weirder than a cowboy at Tiffany's without one. I use 11s, and I don't have to tune up a whole lot. I'll just echo with a "what these guys said".
    (song semi-related)
  8. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Granted, a Bibgsby make the guitar harder to string (although newer versions are trying to correct that). My 5420, though, stays in tune about as well as most tremolo systems. The thing is, as has been said already, there are other things that may need to be addressed, and the reputation of the tremolos is suffering as a result of other deficiencies. They really aren't big deficiencies, though, just a tweak here and a tweak there.
    Charles Conner likes this.
  9. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Misunderstood, the great Bigsby. Stringing one is a breeze with the right techniques, keeping them in tune is a combination of a little knowledge and maintenance. Nothing sounds as good.
  10. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I do agree that with a little knowledge, the Bigsby isn't too tough to string.
    Tony65x55 likes this.
  11. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Love em! I like to waggle.
    CHelgason01, hcsterg and thunder58 like this.
  12. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    How can one dislike Bigsbys? A guitar without a Bigs is incomplete. I'm not able to play a bigsless guitar and I've got no tuning issues with Bigsbys.
    CHelgason01 and thunder58 like this.
  13. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Nov 16, 2013
    You nailed it, Tony.
  14. Aardvarks-R-Us

    Aardvarks-R-Us Electromatic

    Apr 6, 2017
    I could never use a guitar without a tremolo, I need them too much for the music I play. I tend to prefer strat tremolos, but imo bigsby's are the next best thing, and a bit easier to set up than a floating strat tremolo.
  15. TrampledUnderFoot

    TrampledUnderFoot Electromatic

    Apr 20, 2017
    As everyone said, it's a matter of setup. I seem to have been lucky, in that every guitar I've simply bolted them on to (2 Kauer Daylighters and an SG) have worked pretty much flawlessly without having to take them to a pro for a setup. Make sure to lube the nut and you should be good to go.

    IME, they do need to "settle in" once you put them on initially. That may only be applicable if the guitar didn't start out with a Bigsby. But, I've definitely noticed it and it's not just a new strings being put on thing.

    Also, you mention a Bigsby clone, and that could be the source of the problem. They aren't all made equally.
  16. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Oct 5, 2009
  17. mschafft

    mschafft Gretschie

    Jan 19, 2017
    The Bigsby stays in tune just fine on my G2024. I wasn't so lucky with a G5420 (previous version) or the clone on my Ibanez AF75TDG (hardtailed since). The pinned bridge and narrower headstock make things is easier on current Grestches.
  18. Gretschman2

    Gretschman2 Country Gent

    Apr 8, 2013
    Enetai, WA
    I have no problems with mine, but I'm no dive bomber either. I use mine with a gentle touch. Insofar a looks go, to me a Gretsch without a Bigsby is like an M&M without an M on it.
    CHelgason01 likes this.
  19. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA

    1. Looks cool
    2. Helps sustain
    3. Some songs use it
    4. It would look naked without it and ...

    CHelgason01 and Trash Kidd like this.