Looking for adding a Bigsby to a Jet advice

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by radd, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I’m pretty sure the only modification I’m going to make to my incoming Jet is a Bigsby.

    There are two primary approaches, the Vibramate or the Towner Bar systems. Both require no drilling and are completely reversible.

    vibramate, uses a tension bar Bigsby.

    F8F26CE7-D74D-44E4-87A0-C01EB2C212B2.jpeg 3783A218-AA11-4E25-8B0A-4326D67E9AF5.jpeg

    The Towner system has a tension bar that is adjustable in height in order to set the desired break angle.


    Anyone have experience with the Towner? I’m leaning that way for two reasons, function with the adjustable tension bar and aesthetics. A V cut B3 install would be beautiful.
    townerusa, GOOBALL JEFF and Merc like this.
  2. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    Jan 25, 2016
    There’s another thread on this very subject at the moment!!

    B3 with Towner gets my vote every time. Much smoother than a B5/B7 and looks closer to an original Gretsch fitted one.

    You can also get an adaptor from Towner to fit the Bigsby B3 just using the end pin screw so literally no holes.

    Also - I learned from the other thread - you’ll need some metric studs from Towner as the bar won’t fit the standard Gretsch ones.
    townerusa, T Bone, TSims1 and 4 others like this.
  3. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    Yep, what tolm said. Towner, metric studs, B3, and hinge plate adaptor. And a soft spring.
  4. CaliforniaSlim

    CaliforniaSlim Gretschie

    Jul 21, 2016
    Yup- I just posted a pic of my jet w/ towner and B-3 in that thread.
  5. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    lol... we think alike. I just PM’d @jarrodtaylor about his 6228 that he did it to before your post.

    The Towner looks better IMO. I plan to get the Vibramate hinge adapter so there’s no new holes and 100% reversible. I’m leaning to using a B11 to show a little more of my flamed top.
    townerusa and GOOBALL JEFF like this.
  6. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    Apparently I was not paying attention. My bad.

    love your Jet

    DennisC, townerusa, emitex and 3 others like this.

    GOOBALL JEFF Gretschie

    Oct 1, 2019
    I was going to go for the vibramate but i have since been convinced about the b3 towner, it seems the general consensus around here, on a gretsch forum so they must be right! plus it just looks good.
  8. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    B3 + Towner should also weigh less, as well as look much better IMO. As I gain weight, it becomes more important for my guitars to lose weight.
    townerusa, emitex, radd and 1 other person like this.
  9. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I have no experience with vibramate, but I put a B6 and Towner on my old man’s 2622. The install was easy, and I think it looks really good.
    townerusa, larryb, Merc and 7 others like this.
  10. Gregor

    Gregor Gretschie

    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Indeed it does.
    townerusa, larryb and Merc like this.
  11. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Here's how I did it.
  12. townerusa

    townerusa Electromatic

    Mar 31, 2017
    San Diego California
    THIS THREAD IS HOT!! Thank you for your patronage!
    CaliforniaSlim, tolm, T Bone and 2 others like this.
  13. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Sorry, no Towner bar on mine (G5220LH Jet)... :oops:;)


    That said, my Bigsby B3LH chassis is modded for avoiding the use of a Towner Bar. Hence I can achieve a correct 7-8° break angle behind the roller bridge. ;)

    Without chassis mod, you wouldn't have enough break angle - only 4-5° - and then the TB would be the device to save the situation.

    new6659 likes this.
  15. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    Jan 25, 2016
    The other key thing, though, is that the Towner bar maintains the ground connection between strings and tailpiece studs ...

    Not a Gretsch but hopefully you’ll forgive me ... my ES-335 retrofitted with dogear P90s, Bigsby B6 and Towner bar:


    I also had an SG Special with a B3 / Towner combo as well but I’ve upgraded that to a ‘61 Standard with Maestro now. Preferred the action of the Bigsby, to be honest, but the ‘61 a better guitar overall.
    new6659, Merc and CaliforniaSlim like this.
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