Bigsby B7CP questions...

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Carl Bigsby, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    I really want at 335 sized Gretsch, so I have sold my beloved G6118T and ordered a G6620T which has a Bigsby B7CP. I actually bought a Korean G5622T which I planned to upgrade, but I changed plans and went for the G6620T instead and will sell the G5622T as soon as I receive the G6620T.

    I have never had a B7 before and I understand that its steeper sting angle can cause tuning problems when using the Bigsby. Tone is of course priority, but for me using the Bigsby is a key part of my Gretsch playing and I need to have a working Bigsby. No divebombing here just the usual Bigsby thing...

    I have considered ordering a ABM Roller Bridge for it for smother string trade over the bridge and perhaps a BiggsFix to change the set string angle and lower the pressure on the bridge. Callaham's front roller is another alternative, which doesn't affect the angle, but perhaps it's a good alternative in combination with the ABM Roller Bridge?

    What are your experiences with the B7. What do you do to make it stay in tune when using the Bigsby, except for the obvious things like making sure that the nut if properly cut and that it's stringed properly.

    Any experiences with ABM Roller Bridge, BiggsFix or Callaham's Front Roller? Any disadvantages with them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  2. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Hi @Carl Bigsby,

    Like you, I play all the time with my Bigsby and not necessarily the gentle way... :)

    So yes, let's suppose that everything is correct at the headstock side : nut, strings anchoring... :cool:

    Now the Bigsby B7 side :

    - the front roller : it is mounted with some sintered or solid brass metal. This is not as good as a front roller with bearings (as offered by BricksBigggzFixx, okay : BBF). Now all my B5 and B7 have a BBF bearing front roller, the simple one, not the surelevated one.

    - the break angle behind the bridge : you must have at least 5-6° otherwise you may experience buzz and even string possing on hard hitting. The usual G6xxx holoowbody Gretsch angle with B6 is 8°. For a B5 or B7, I noticed by my experience that an angle at 12-13° maximum was correct if you use a roller bridge. More, and you'll experience offtet tuning when using you trem, even gently.

    Here's for example what I did on my Gretsch G5622TLH :

    [​IMG]

    In the upper picture, tuning stability was poor, in the second one it is flawless.

    Another example is the installation of the B5 I made on my Epi LPS II. Here again the B5 operates flawlessly :

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
    section2 and Carl Bigsby like this.
  3. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I don't have any tuning issues with my 5622. While some may not like the feel, it should tune fine. Imo the tension bar is a tuning issue when it is very close to the bridge requiring a steep angle. A B7 on a 16" body should have plenty of space for less steep angle.
     
    tolm, section2 and Carl Bigsby like this.
  4. CicadaNation

    CicadaNation Electromatic

    16
    Apr 25, 2021
    Northern Virginia
    I put the elevated BricksBiggsFix on my jet. No tuning problems anymore. You can’t tell anything isn’t stock if you’re a few feet away.
     
    section2, Carl Bigsby and capnhiho like this.
  5. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    hcsterg: Thank you very much for you in-depth response. I have couple of questions for you:

    1. I have completely missed that BBF make front rollers without the "Tuning Stabilizer". Any ideas on the performance difference between BBF and Callaham?
    2. It looks like you always use a roller bridge, so I assume that you like them? (I am considering the ABM Roller Bridge.)
    3. My new G6620T and my existing G5622T both have big bodies, so assume that the washer trick in the second pictures isn't going to work with my guitars which have a less steep string angle.

    I will measure the angle on my existing G5622T to see how it compares to your numbers.
     
  6. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    Henry: OK, I see. I just saw a lot of tension bar bashing here in another thread where the G6620T was discussed and that the tension bar was a serious deal breaker for several posters, hence my questions. Perhaps it's not an issue with big body guitars the 6620?
     
    Henry likes this.
  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I think it can vary. I have a 5620 (with the same body size as the 6620), and I found that the tension roller on my Bigsby led to tuning problems and caused the Bigsby action to feel quite stiff. Mine was a B70 (the licenced version of the B7), so perhaps the B7 works better, but I wasn't a fan.

    I replaced my B70 with a B6C. While the string break angle is a little shallower than ideal now, I prefer it to the tension-roller. If you want an ideal break angle, your best bet is to replace the front roller with a BiggsFix.

    As for roller bridges, I've never found them to be necessary. You can achieve excellent tuning stability without one, as long as your tension-roller is taken care of and your nut is properly dressed.

    My advice would be to deal with the nut and the tension-roller before shelling out for a new bridge. You can always add a roller bridge later if you find that you need it, but there's a good chance that you'll be fine without it. Good luck!
     
    Carl Bigsby likes this.
  8. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    You welcome, @Carl Bigsby :)

    I never used Callaham products because they are too costy for what they are.
    Their idea of string-slotted front roller is not a good design to me : potential source of binding.

    No issue with the BBF non-rised bearing front roller : all - repeat all - my Bigsby B5 and B7 have :
    - BBF Super Squishy Spring.
    - BBF non-rised bearing front roller.
    And I'll do the same with my next projects to come.

    Yes. With a few exceptions on only B3 or B6 fitted guitars, all my instruments have a roller bridge. In following order, below: TonePros TP6R, ABM2400C LH-ized, Vanson guitars UK, ABM2400C again, Göldo HW05C, custom Tru-Arc lo-profile LH rocking bar bridge, Gretsch Rocking Bar Bridge re-radiused.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With roller bridges, you can have mixed results depending on the backlash they present :

    - Vanson and Tonepros were unequal : some were perfect, some needed slot screw shimming.

    - ABM2400C are well-machined, but their tiny rollers tend to mark the strings harder, limiting the rolling effect.

    - the best I have found is the Göldo HW05C : no backlash, consistent quality, big rollers turning easily, cheap price - only one drawback : the roller are made from brass, so they look "Gold" and not "Silver"...

    https://www.thomann.de/fr/goeldo_turnomatic_roller_bridge.htm

    Only a measurement and a test on the particular instruement will tell you, but I did the same on my beloved 1980 Gibson ES335-TD LH (sorry, no pics on hand) which top has the same profile as my G5622TLH.

    Well, we assumed that @Carl Bigsby had already cured any issue here, but yes of course : the nut is of a premium importance and must be ascertained to be binding-free.

    A+!
     
    Carl Bigsby and section2 like this.
  9. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    hcsterg: Just curious... Why did you chose the "BBF non-rised bearing front rollers" instead of the raised one? Did the strings' pressure on the bridge become to low?
     
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Firstly : aesthetic reasons ! :D

    Secondly : operating reasons. o_O

    I retieved a picture about my G5622TLH showing the issues that I had with the BBF Tuning Stabilizer. Just look : it answers exactly to your question... ;)

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
  11. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    hcsterg: Thanks. Well, I can understand that you didn't keep the raised one on your 5622T. Since the 6620T is basically the Japanese version of the same thing, I suppose that the raised one won't suit mine.

    What is actually the difference between the following three front rollers?

    Original Bigsby (i.e. the ones on G6XXX)
    Licented Bigsby (i.e. the ones on G5XXX)
    BBF non-rised bearing front roller
     
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Oh I think that you will have better explanation by looking to the BricksBiggsFix website : https://bricksbiggsfix.com/ which is by the way operated by our G-T member @Setzerhotrod .

    A+!
     
  13. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    There seem to be 2 issues with tension bar bigsbies.

    One is tuning and is affected by the setup of the guitar and the bigsby and some would say the quality of the Bigsby (the US ones on prolines considered superior to the licensed ones on the lower tier Gretsches). The setup affects the break angle so I expect more tuning issues with say a B5 on a jet than a B7 ok a 5622, because the B5 is so close the bridge on a jet.

    The other issue is feel (assuming that the bigsby has no tuning issues) simply because of the physics of the tension bar which is like a pulley. That is just a preference.
     
    section2 and Carl Bigsby like this.
  14. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    I read most of that page but I can't find anything about non-raised version which seems to be the one which will suit my G6620T the best. I have e-mailed them and asked, but I haven't received any response yet, which is why I am posting the question here.
     
  15. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Here they are :

    upload_2021-9-16_20-55-30.png

    They are located on that page : https://bricksbiggsfix.com/collections/all-products

    I think that the main difference is axle diameter and maybe lenght of the roller, between US and licensed versions.

    A+!
     
  16. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    Thank you, but I perfectly understand the difference between the various versions of BBF non-rised bearing front roller.

    What I am trying to work out is the difference between:

    The original Bigsby's front roller. (i.e. the ones on G6XXX)
    The licensed Bigsby's front roller (i.e. the ones on G5XXX)
    The BBF non-rised bearing front roller

    Does anyone here know?
     
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Ah, OK, I see - my bad... :oops:

    The original Bigsby's front roller. (i.e. the ones on G6XXX) :
    ---> it is fitted with brass sintered or machined sleeves.

    The licensed Bigsby's front roller (i.e. the ones on G5XXX) :
    ---> it is fitted with Nylon or Delrin plastic sleeves.

    The BBF non-rised bearing front roller :
    ---> it is fitted with 2 ball bearings rollers.

    A+!
     
    section2 and Carl Bigsby like this.
  18. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    Great, thanks. I just placed an order for BBF Front Rollers and SSS for both my G5622T and for the G6620T I have on order. Shipping and customs declarations is expensive so I might as well order for both at te same time. Hopefully, they are great.

    Another thing, you preferred the Göldo HW05C. I noticed that it has a 14" radius and my neck is 12". the question is should go for the Göldo or for something with a matching radius like an ABM or a TonePros?
     
  19. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well, I measured the radius of the HW05C on my G5622TLH with calibrated radius gauges and found a radius of 12" understrings - Now yes : I recall that the spec of Thomann was erroneous on the radius...

    A+!
     
    Carl Bigsby likes this.
  20. Carl Bigsby

    Carl Bigsby Gretschie

    OK. Thanks. Strange that they are listing the wrong radius though. But Göldo themselves are also saying that the radius is 14": https://www.goeldo.de/en/guitar-par...7/goeldo-turnomatic-g-type-roller-bridge?c=79

    But the most important is that it fits your guitar and that your bridge measures 12" and not 14". Perhaps they have changed the specs after you bought yours for some reason?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.