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Wanted Bigsby B3 Nickel

Discussion in 'Buy, Sell or Trade Negotiations' started by section2, Jan 4, 2017.

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  1. section2

    section2 Electromatic

    24
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I'm looking for a nickel Bigsby B3 for my new G2655. Anyone have one on hand that they're looking to sell?

    (I've got a B3, but it turns out that it's aluminum, not nickel, and it doesn't match the rest of the hardware.)

    Thanks!
     
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Synchromatic

    938
    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Call me crazy, but aren't all B3s aluminium?
     
  3. audept

    audept Gretschified

    Age:
    69
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
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  5. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Isn't the B3C chrome?
     
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet Friend of Fred

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Yup, B3C is chrome. They must be the same guys who maintain the Gretsch site.:rolleyes:
     
  7. section2

    section2 Electromatic

    24
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
  8. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I would suggest calling to confirm that, I don't think I've ever seen one.
     
  9. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Is chrome the finish and still aluminum beneath?
     
  10. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I vaguely recall being confused when shopping for the Chet arm. Also suggest researching by part number. I saw different sellers call the same part different things.
     
  11. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Yeah, they are all cast aluminium no matter what.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Synchromatic

    938
    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah all USA Bigsby's are aluminium inside, but I guess I thought (besides the gold which I ignore) all USA Bigsbys were just highly polished. People have warned me that some are chrome plated, and I have a couple of B6Cs, and none appear to be plated with anything to me. Vendor's descriptions vary--I never trust them when they descibe a Bigsby.
     
  13. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    The Bigsby website is particularly vague about such things.
     
  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Synchromatic

    938
    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Not an official authority, but Vibramate has this to say about it:

    Should I get a Chrome or Nickel Bigsby?
    There is plenty of confusion in the marketplace but the fact is that Bigsby vibratos are not Chrome or Nickel. They are actually just polished aluminum. The original manufacturing design from Paul Bigsby is sand-cast aluminum making plating unnessesary and impracticle. The Gold plating process requires additional steps to achieve a quality finish on the aluminum vibratos adding substantially to the manufacturing cost.


    This backs up all my short Bigsby experience. I've familiar with B5s, the Fender logo B5, B6C (V-cut), B11, and B16s, and all of the have the dull sand-cast rough finish on the bottom, and sometimes roughly transition to the polished surface. I can mod them and get the same shine with sanding and buffing.

    If there truly is a plated USA version out there, it would be shiny on the bottom, and probably sanded to get the rough surface flat. I'm no metallurgist though, just making observations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    audept likes this.
  15. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Bigsby base units are polished aluminum... but since 1958 the handles have been made of stamped steel (then chromed?), as the cast aluminum handles found on the pre-'58 units were prone to break.
     
  16. section2

    section2 Electromatic

    24
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Thanks for the replies, all! I gave my old B3 a once-over with some Cameo aluminum polish and installed it on the Gretsch. It polished up nicely, and while the color doesn't quite match the nickel, I love the look.

    Here she is with the Bigsby installed. Just waiting for the new posts to install my Towner bar, along with a few other finishing touches (new custom pickguard, nickel switch tip, new pickup rings), and she'll be all done. In the meantime, she sounds beautiful and plays wonderfully.

     
  17. cjtowner

    cjtowner Electromatic

    27
    Jan 4, 2011
    San Diego
    Post some pics when she's setup!!!


     

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