Bridge post slants back towards Bigsby

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Penguin Picker, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    I noticed today the bass side bridge post had developed a slant. It's only a few degrees but I'm assuming it'll worsen. You can make out the treble side and the post is perfectly straight and the thumbwheel perfectly perpendicular to the post.

    This is my first rocking bar bridge so I don't have any experience here. I slacked the strings, slide the bridge and base out and removed the bridge. I'd hoped the thumbwheel was put on angled but the post has a definite lean backwards of about 5 degrees.

    Can the post be removed and reseated or will I need a new bridge base?

    20210408_171123.jpg
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  2. 65club

    65club Electromatic

    59
    Jul 31, 2017
    USA
    Old LP trick was to get a second set of wheels and put them flush against the wood of the bridge to provide more support for the posts. May not help in your case - if its loose it'd need to be fixed, but if its tight and just starting to slant it could help. Yes the posts are removable if it comes to that.
     
    Ricochet, hcsterg and thunder58 like this.
  3. El Marin

    El Marin Gretschie

    I do it in my LP and SG too, all Bigsby loaded

    I am planning on doing it too in my 6120

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Jeff67 likes this.
  4. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Synchromatic

    Age:
    41
    663
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    maybe the posts need be screwed into the base more? should be able to.
     
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    That’s the problem with the Rocking bar bridge. It rocks back and forth with Bigsby use, and will fulcrum on either side of the thumb wheel, stressing it enough either the thread or post will give way eventually.
     
  6. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    I'm thinking I may need a new bridge base and posts. I unscrewed the post last night to reseat it and it only goes in on a slant. Got it down as tight as I could but the result is that now it slants towards the other post (towards the treble side) instead of the Bigsby.

    I barely use the Bigsby. In fact I only use it on one of my songs and I have a light touch, just a little shimmer.

    I have to admit, I'm a little bummed about this. The guitar has been almost perfect but now, about a month shy of the one year anniversary, it's causing me no end of headaches.

    Action, intonation and relief are spot on, factory spec, frets are good, no wear. Even added relief and raised the action a bit trying to eliminate the rattle I mentioned in another thread.

    I've actually changed strings three times in less than a week thinking maybe I got a bad batch, maybe I wasn't paying attention and didn't lock properly (I use the method Gretsch recommends).

    Into the shop it will go. At this point I think it best handled by an objective tech instead a frustrated owner taking it personally. :)

    I may try the trick you guys use with an extra pair of thumbwheels for additional support. I'm surprised very light Bigsby use after a year cause that much wear on the thread and/or post.
     
  7. 65club

    65club Electromatic

    59
    Jul 31, 2017
    USA
    Call Fender to see if it’s covered under warranty before you bring it in. Just because if it is something they’d cover they’ll want you to bring it to an authorized tech to verify it wasn’t dropped or hit.
     
  8. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    I'm pretty particular, comes from paying my dues as a CS manager in retail. I only let authorised techs work on my gear during the initial warranty period. And fortunately this guitar is under the original 1 yr warranty for another month.

    After a warranty period expires then I go hunting for the best available local tech/luthier because, let's be honest, the average authorized dealer/service center is often a chain store and their techs usually aren't on par with a skilled independent in my experience.
     
    MotorCentaur and 65club like this.
  9. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    If I understand you correctly the post is now back in, tighter perhaps and leaning a different way, so it sounds like a bent post rather than a loosening connection into the base. So it OUGHT to be as simple as a replacement post, no? I’m a pretty big Bigsby user but have never had this issue and you are a light whammy player so I reckon this was just a flawed, weak bit of metal in the post.
     
  10. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    It's possible. It's what my wife and I both thought. We checked it against a straight edge metal ruler (my D'Addario string action guage) and it seems straight but when screwed all the way in has about a 2 degree lean and then with the tension of being tuned to pitch the list is then closer to 5 degrees.

    It's possible that both the post and hole are a titch off but I swear it wasn't like that initially.

    Ah well, I'm inclined to remain philosophical and accept that all parts wear with time and require routine maintenance or replacement. :)
     
  11. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada

    PP,

    You may want to try turning the base around.

    For replacement, contact ''Angela'', they have base units in stock.

    Let us know how you make out.

    BIB.

    ebony bridge base 1.jpg
     
    Robbie likes this.
  12. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The bridge base is shaped to follow the curvature of the top, you can’t turn it around and expect to get lucky.
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  13. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    R,

    The base is sloped top to bottom, not side edge to side edge, and both sides are sloped the same.

    I have several, the top to bottom slope is the same on both sides, as both sides of the body contour under the bridge, should be the same, if not there is a deformation issue with the body.

    Both ''rest spots'' on the under-side of the base, are sloped approx. 3/32'' to 0, measured off a level surface.

    If a side to side switch will not work...because of the slanted post,

    Then it's off to Angela!

    Best,

    BIB.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
    Ricochet likes this.
  14. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Unfortunately from my own experience the slopes are seldom perfectly symmetrical. And I’m not talking microns. but YMMV and all that.
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  15. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    If you were to flip the thumbwheel over, would it sit level?

    Is it causing a problem or is just the aesthetics?
     
  16. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    It's not the thumbwheel, there's a lean on the post and/or hole. Only natural that it wears with time, I just didn't expect it to develop a lean in less than a year since I barely use the Bigsby.

    I don't have enough experience with this bridge design to know the long-term effects. Dammit, Jim! I'm a player, not a luthier. I only know ultimately it's not good if it worsens. I'll probably order a backup just to have handy. And I like the idea @65club and El Marin suggested up thread.
     
  17. 65club

    65club Electromatic

    59
    Jul 31, 2017
    USA
    Yeah I’m fairly certain the extra wheel idea was meant to prevent the problem not solve it.
     
  18. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    965
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    Had the same issue.. no fix other than buying a new base
     
  19. Penguin Picker

    Penguin Picker Gretschie

    149
    Apr 2, 2021
    Canada
    Well, asked my dealer to order me another bridge base with the posts and thumbwheels.

    No doubt it's covered under warranty but... I'd take it to my store. They'd ship it to another store where the FMIC certified tech works, who would then look at it and ship it back to the store I deal with...

    I'd rather just buy a new one and that way I'll also have the second pair of thumbwheels for the additional support.
     
    Gregor likes this.
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