Installing Bigsby B3 on G5435 Electromatic with stop bar.

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by guitarzan50, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. guitarzan50

    guitarzan50 Electromatic

    Feb 21, 2017
    Thinking of installing a Bigsby B3 on my G5435 Electromatic with a stop bar tailpiece. Will there be enough string break angle or will I have to use a Towner bar.
    townerusa likes this.
  2. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I think there is no way you can use a B3 on a 5435 with out a Towner bar. The standard Biggs is a tension bar model on 5435’s


    B3 with Towner bar would be my choice. You can dial in as much or as little break as you like

    townerusa and guitarzan50 like this.
  3. TubeLife

    TubeLife Gretschie

    Jan 23, 2020
    Very satisfied Towner user here. Different guitars but same concept and it’s all good.

    section2 and guitarzan50 like this.
  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I had 5129 that originally had a B7 but was replaced with a beautiful American B6 by the previous owner. I had a serious problem with the strings jumping the saddles when i played hard, so I ordered a Tru-Arc cut with deeper string grooves. Problem solved.

    However, this is an expensive option.
    A towner bar would probably be your best bet.
    section2 likes this.
  5. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Yea. Do the Towner. You could get away without one but you’ll have two unsightly holes.
    townerusa likes this.
  6. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    The best thing to do is try it and see if you can manage. Not all necks are set exactly at the same angle, even with the best QC, as wood moves even after milling/routing. What didn’t work for one guy’s guitar might work for yours. I’ve moved from tension bar Bigsbys to non-tension bar models on Gretsch and Guilds before, it can work sometimes.

    I would use the towner myself, because your guitar will either not have any break angle, or it will be <1 degrees of break. The latter is doable, but not optimal. Said string popping is curable with deeper grooves, but it won’t make up for the lack of downward tension on the bridge. It is a different sound and response, but again, try it to see if you like it. From my experience, I won’t do 1 degree. A Bigsby is best at 3 to 9 degrees of break angle.

    If it does work out for you, you can put the stop tail bolts back in, or use a ‘custom’ plate to obscure the bolt holes.
  7. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Well, it's nonetheless doable, @radd, but you need to modify your B3 profile and thickness :confused: to gain the fatidical mms height in order to achieve a 7° break angle for avoiding the use of the Towner bar.

    And yes, it's not an easy job : you're right - it's much easier and hassle-less to use a Towner bar instead ! :cool:

    That said, I did it with success on my G5220LH - just because I did not wanted a Towner bar on it... ;)




    But it's me, OK ? :D

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    new6659, BorderRadio and guitarzan50 like this.
  8. guitarzan50

    guitarzan50 Electromatic

    Feb 21, 2017
    That Custom Jet plate looks fantastic. Where did you get that?
    hcsterg likes this.
  9. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    B3 and Towner is def the way to go. Guitarist in my last band had exactly that and he was very satisfied with it.
    townerusa and section2 like this.
  10. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Another satisfied Towner user here. I had a B3 and a Towner bar when I had a 2655, and it was a fantastic setup.
    townerusa likes this.
  11. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    I designed with a vector drawing software and had it custom made locally from an engraving workshop who owns machines which can read vector files... :D


    BorderRadio likes this.
  12. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I put a B6 with a Towner on my old man’s 2622 with a stop tail.
    Works well.
    townerusa and BorderRadio like this.
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