Which bigsby for this gibson?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by freddyfingers, Feb 17, 2020.

    Hi all. Going through all the usual gas suffering, and trying to direct my focus else where. All this talk of falcons driving me nuts. So i thought i would maker some changes to things i already have.

    So, I got theirs es295. Its a reissue from 2015 based on a 1955. Historically correct. Hand down its a cool guitar. I am not getting along completely with the bail tail piece. Period correct. I have it strung with 10’s, even though they come from the factory with 12’s. The one i have was a special run for Chicago music exchange. A number 1 prototype. They set it up with the 10s. I got the bail as low as it will go. Even had to remove a washer on the bass side to get the action to where i want it. It plays well, but I’m picky and like it real low. Apparently when i play it, the tail piece moves a little. I notice that the strings aren’t perfect over the pole pieces. Also like this, the acoustic volume is very low. Not that a body made like this will ever ring. When i move the tail piece back over the pickup poles, the acoustic volume goes up slightly. But i have to retune. Pain in the butt. Could this be due to lighter string gauge? Perhaps. But i don’t want 12’s. I thought about replacing the tailpiece with a standard gibson one, and adding a wood bass and Compton bridge. Assuming i can remove the bail, and not drill new holes. Maybe this would solve the movement issue.

    Then it dawned on me, i could pout a bigsby on it, with a new bridge. I am not sure which side bigsby i would need. I also dont know how ugly the end of the guitar would be if i ever put the bail back on to sell, with extra holes.

    So, if i went that route, what bigsby, probably silver, and what’s a decent doff the shelf bridge ? I have a guy that can do the work should i go that route. Or, unless there is a simple bail solution, another bridge and tail pice.
     

    Attached Files:

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  1. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I was just at my luthier's shop today and admiring a 50's ES 225...single dog eared P90...that he is repairing. First in a fire, then water damage from a flood...He had the neck off and was showing me the body..as he shook the body, leaves and dirt came out..LOL.
    Anyhow...the owner requested that he does not put back on the original (tail/bridge all in one) trapeze like the one on yours. He wanted it modded with an ABR bridge and trapeze. Even my luthier said....the all in ones were tricky to intonate....
    It is a shame because they look so darn cool!

    PS...Have I told you how much I LOVE YOUR GUITAR!!!!!!?
     
  2. They do look cool. I think they work with heavier strings. Which isn’t for me. How much for a guitar body that has leaves falling out?
     
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  3. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I asked him if the owner would sell...no chance:(
    I guess that is a fantasy... that I have to "leave" alone:p:p
     
  4. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    First, that 295 is a beauty. Stunning color (a once had a 135, the poor man’s 295 with the same color and it looked gorgeous live...).
    Second, I do love that long 1952 Gibson tailpiece. In fact, I just bought one to install on my Loar (a cheap 125 thin line). It had a B7 on it but I decided to go the classic/bluesy/jazzy looks, and that’s exactly the mojo your 295 already has with that tailpiece. I wouldn’t change it.
    Third, about Bigsby I guess that the common sense would indicate a B6, so there’s no need to drill holes. Mostly depends on how high you need the action to be though... I play with a very high action as I use bottleneck all the time so I never had bridge angle problems, but if you like low to very low action maybe the bridge base it could be something to work at.
    My 2 cents. And congrats for that Gibby, she’s a real keeper.
     
  5. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    Age:
    37
    746
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    How high above the body are the srtings at the bridge?
     
    freddyfingers likes this.
  6. Not very. Couldn’t get a quarter in there. Or do you mean how high from body top to i the actual bridge? I need to get a photo. My bigger concern is the thing sliding a bit. And if i put heavier strings on and deal with that, the bridge on that tail piece is as low as it goes, and the heavier strings would pull the neck up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020

  7. I have two of those loars currently up for sale here locally. I put a Compton on one and sanded down the bridge to give me low action. The other I slightly worked. My goal was George thorogood stuff, one in open D and one in open G. Then the gibson came along, and that stopped The gas for a while.
     

    Attached Files:

    Ricochet likes this.
  8. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    Age:
    37
    746
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    I mean the distance from actual body to string, at the bridge, in a playable (your prefered is prefered here) set up. Because this might dictate the use of a B3 or B6, which I'd hope to be possible, or the necessity of a bar holding the strings down - which I'm not a fan of. And these (5, 7 and the 10-fold of these) Bigsbys would require being screwed to the top, so ... seem much avoidworthy to me.

    ... but, all in all, I think these one-piece design, along with a one-piece bridge, is pretty attractive. In case I ever buy a hollowbody without a Bigsby - which is very likely - I might ... have to talk to either Dave or Tim about a similarly suspended Truarc or dBridge (might make the suspension myself, but would need holes in the bridge for it to go into ... anyway, by now it's a thought without any further).

    A B3 or B6 would be perfect, but ... maybe there are vibrato tailpieces of spring-steel-sheet (Federstahlblech, in case my translation is fogged up) that can handle lower bridges. I'd look into that, but don't have a ton of knowledge about what is available or was in the past, where it may be worth looking for parts. Or any Bisgbyish vibrato units that handle low strings, by having a lower axis, smaller diameter, ... Or ... you could use a B6/60, flatten it, close the holes for the bearings and redrill smaller/lower ones, just to keep it reasonabler regarding cost and the like. A totally new construction ... wouldn't find enought customers I guess. Whoever has a B6-fittable guitar won't find many better options...

    I'd have a deep look into the spring-sheet devices, as this principle, if needed, could even offer a plastic deformation to the basic part without any damage, but just as an adjustment.
     
    freddyfingers likes this.
  9. GlenP

    GlenP Synchromatic

    647
    Jul 23, 2019
    WA
    Very nice! Too bad the price is not historically correct, back then the model number was the actual price!
     
  10. Thats for certain. Because it has the black covers and pickgaurd, its hard to get a comparable price. The only other i see for sale is on reverb, in Spain, new for 5800 or so. I think the other gold versions, or red with gold covers and pickgaurd sell close to that new. I got it second hand in mint shape for considerably less than that, but still not cheap. Yet i am bothered by it. Go figure. My gretsch hot rod came set up , new, and i have never had to work on it whatsoever. Other than new strings and a Compton, it plays the same as always. Go figure.
     
  11. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    If you're worried about holes , have you thought about a Vibramate Sysyem ?
    Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 4.05.29 PM.png
     
    freddyfingers likes this.
  12. TubeLife

    TubeLife Gretschie

    Age:
    43
    247
    Jan 23, 2020
    Chicagoland
    I believe the Vibramate needs the stud inserts for a tail piece to work. I just put on a Towner Bigsby system and even that needs the studs to mount to as well.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Being ‘55 otentic... I’m assuming it has a shallow neck angle, so a traditional shaped Bridge/wooden bridge base is likely not gonna fit.

    You could sand a bridge base down to within an inch of its life and have a low profile bar bridge made. Tru-arc makes a “low rider” bridge. Wayne made one for my Pro Jet(and cut 5 mm off).

    If it were me I’d find a way to shave one or two millimeters of the bottom of the bridge bar. Or cut some string notches in it. Screw otenticity...There is a reason they abandoned that idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  14. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    Age:
    37
    746
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Yes, it does need something at least. The strings pull the Bigsby (in case it's a B7 like above) up from the body, on the body's edge it's got a hinge that's freely movable. Without any screws further into the body this can't work. The place where the stopbar's studs might have been is covered here, but ... it has to be screwed down somewhere.
     
  15. rob batz

    rob batz Synchromatic

    914
    Apr 17, 2014
    Bristol ct.
    I’d do a b6 with a bigsby compensated floating bridge
     
    larryb likes this.
  16. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    If you do the conversion to todays dollars, the prices are remarkably similar.
     
  17. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I would try a B6 and a Bigsby aluminum bridge/base, if not then a B3.
    I had a '55 ES 225 with that thing on it and didn't like it much either, i didn't keep the guitar though (stupid......doh). I'm okay though, i have a fine ES 135 now, it will be getting a B7 soon.
     
  18. afire

    afire Country Gent

    [​IMG]
    Somehow Scotty Moore's was set up with a trapeze and Melita bridge, which makes me think that somehow a B6 and standard floating bridge or aluminum Bigby bridge (which has a lower profile than a Melita) might be possible.
     
    j.s.c and freddyfingers like this.
  19. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I like this idea
     
    rob batz likes this.
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