Chet Atkins vibrato arm vs. regular bigsby arm

Archtops

Country Gent
Mar 4, 2021
1,337
SoCal
Thanks for this. The Angela Instruments is cheaper. Unfortunate they are sold out. Really appreciate you helping me locate this and for all your advice.
Angela Instruments charges shipping but the reverb listing does not so price is essentially the same. Best of luck!
 

aanstadt

Gretschie
May 13, 2021
119
Atlanta
Your thread inspired me to buy one (in chrome) for my Guild. I got it from Angela which should make you feel powerful. You post a thread, and my Visa balance goes up. :)

Darren Riley is a reputable dealer, and $83 isn’t a bad price.
Darren sent me a link to buy it directly from him. Matched the Angela price. Can’t wait to get it put on. Thanks for all your help.
 

MichaelRopp

Electromatic
Jan 20, 2021
99
Albuquerque
Hey, all. Question for you: is the Chet Atkins Bigsby handle a problem when you put your guitar into a case? Do you have to remove the handle each time, or just loosen it so that it's relatively flat, or something else?
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,854
Tucson
I just keep it in the playing position, but it’s important to note that I hang my guitars and only place them in cases when transporting them.
 

aanstadt

Gretschie
May 13, 2021
119
Atlanta
Angela Instruments would be my first choice.

Mounting is a breeze. If you can change strings, you can mount a new arm. Basically, you’ll need a set of Allen Wrenches, if memory serves, these are metric, but it’s been a while, so my memory of this may be inaccurate. Just relax the tension on your strings and you might be able to make the swap without restringing. I’d have some terrycloth wash clothes handy, to protect the top, and then I’d just go for it.

Basically, it’s just a set screw on the shaft of the Bigsby and you’ll have to put the spring back in place under the new arm. Aside from loosening and tightening the strings (and finding your Allen Wrench set) the whole process takes less time than it did to write this paragraph.
So I finally got Chet arm installed. Question. Do you think it requires a slightly higher spring? I feel as if when I play with the new Chet arm my fingers hit the pickguard because it’s so low and close to the strings ? Would the larger doing add more clearance?
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,854
Tucson
So I finally got Chet arm installed. Question. Do you think it requires a slightly higher spring? I feel as if when I play with the new Chet arm my fingers hit the pickguard because it’s so low and close to the strings ? Would the larger doing add more clearance?
I use a 1” spring with mine. Most Bigsbys come with a 7/8” spring. I would have mentioned it before, but I hadn’t installed a Chet arm in nearly four years and had simply forgotten. Your thread inspired me to put one in my Guild, and I ended up switching to a 1” spring for that. The good news is that you don’t have to remove the strings to change out the spring. Just loosen them, and if you lay the guitar on its back you can carefully lift the Bigsby handle with your right hand and swap springs with your left hand. I always keep a terrycloth hand towel nearby when I work on guitars and especially if a Bigsby is involved. If you have to let go of the handle with no spring in place that towel will serve as an excellent pad under the handle.
 

aanstadt

Gretschie
May 13, 2021
119
Atlanta
I use a 1” spring with mine. Most Bigsbys come with a 7/8” spring. I would have mentioned it before, but I hadn’t installed a Chet arm in nearly four years and had simply forgotten. Your thread inspired me to put one in my Guild, and I ended up switching to a 1” spring for that. The good news is that you don’t have to remove the strings to change out the spring. Just loosen them, and if you lay the guitar on its back you can carefully lift the Bigsby handle with your right hand and swap springs with your left hand. I always keep a terrycloth hand towel nearby when I work on guitars and especially if a Bigsby is involved. If you have to let go of the handle with no spring in place that towel will serve as an excellent pad under the handle.
Thanks man! I’ll have to order the bigger spring.
 


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