G5230t Bigsby fixed!

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Footsore, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    IMG20200722174943.jpg

    I wasn't happy with the Bigsby so thought I'd try a few things. Stringing over the tension bar worked okay but there wasn't much clearance between the bar and the strings so I removed the bar completely. Also put a couple of nylon washers between the body and the rear of the Bigsby to better match the body curve and tightened the mounting screws in a way that the arm moves freely with no friction without strings. If all four are very tight the arm gets very stiff. Two tight and two firm did the trick.
    I've got a roller bridge on the way but really don't need it.
     
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  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Interesting ...I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that before . Most guys go with www.BricksBiggsFix.com tuning stabilizer
     
  3. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    The BiggsFix was my Plan B.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  4. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    Update from a few days later. I can't believe the difference in the tuning stability of this guitar now. It was hopeless before but now the Bigsby is nowhere near as stiff as it was and stays in tune no matter how much I use it. Before I wasn't game to use it and even then it wouldn't stay in tune.
     
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  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, fine @Footsore :cool: : it comes from the facts that :

    1 - the break angle of the strings behind the bridge has notably reduced.

    2 - the friction in the front roller brass sleeves is eliminated (since there's no more front roller ;)).

    From my personal experience and measurements with Bigsby tremolos, usually :

    - the break angle shouldn't exceed 12-13° at maximum.

    Over this value, even with a roller bridge, you front binding problems at the bridge, plus at the front roller if you use a B5 or B7 Bigsby.

    - the break angle should at least be 5-6° at minimum.

    Under this value, you won't have enough pressure on the bridge, giving you a lack of sustain, adverse noises plus strings popping of if hit hardly.

    - on most Gretsch hollowbodies - think G6120, 5420, etc... - using a B6 Bigsby, the break angle is 7-8°.

    It appears to be the break angle ideal value, giving good results no matter the bridge (RBB, Compton, TOM, Roller...) and do not compromise sustain.

    That said, there's certainly exceptions to the rule, I guess... :D

    I managed to do this on my G5220LH-DCM Jet by modifying the Bigsby B3 chassis, because I did not wanted a (easy and efficient) Towner bar - just for the look, OK ? :rolleyes: The break angle I reach is 7-8°. Sustain and tuning stability are flawless. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
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  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Seems to be a fine solution. Well done.
     
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  7. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Synchromatic

    677
    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Sounds like you did well with the changes, good job.
     
    Footsore likes this.
  8. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    uuuuuuum.... hello?

    6046FAAE-C95D-46DB-AEE4-722550E6ECBF.jpeg
     
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    AFAIR, member @englishman did the same trick and even cut the front roller section of the B5... Maybe he will confirm ? o_O

    A+!
     
    Footsore likes this.
  10. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    how did you modify the chassis?
     
  11. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    215
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Footsore,

    A number of us apparently don't like the roller bar on a Bigsby B5,

    If you're going to use the B5 without the roller, in my opinion, it looks much better on the guitar if it is modified as shown.

    Three fastening points. The unit in the photos has been relic'd as well as trimmed.

    Or, select a Bigsby model with a tail and hinged fastening plate, for me leaving the roller rails empty on the B5 is not a good look .

    As far as vacant holes, especially on an opaque finish, it's a quick, inexpensive fix, fill/sand/blow in/polish, holes are gone.

    BIB.

    DSCF1278.JPG DSCF1279.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
    BorderRadio and Footsore like this.
  12. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    Great idea! That looks much better. I'll have a look at attempting it when I change strings next. The B50 has caused a small dent or two in the surface apart from the front mounting holes so removing or disguising them is something I'll have to consider.
    I'm sure of one thing though. I'll never buy another Gretsch with a front roller bar.
     
  13. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    83
    Jul 26, 2020
    Germany
    That looks great!
    I would also like to know what you did to the bigsby
     
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Bending and filing - here are the pics :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    Nice job!
     
    hcsterg likes this.
  16. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Yep, cut off the useless stuff and drilled a hole for a screw under the spring.

    Vette.jpg
     
  17. Marv666

    Marv666 Electromatic

    83
    Jul 26, 2020
    Germany
    How much filing was it and how did you bend it?
     
    Footsore likes this.
  18. THE BALD REVEREND

    THE BALD REVEREND Electromatic

    29
    Jul 14, 2020
    MILAN - ITALY
    Hi , i have a 5230T and after i mounted 0.11 strings it works much better than before . I do not use Bigsby so much but improvement has been really noticeable even after this simple change .
    By the way congrats to all who modified their guitars , although i have some religious respect for the instruments and i'm always very very reluctant to adopt radical changes . ... but the mod proposed by Back to black is stunning and very stylish , imho : minimal but elegant and with very minor impact on guitar personality
    Good Job !
     
    Footsore likes this.
  19. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    I did it on demand, until I obtained the satisfactory break angle, like on the pictures... I think that I posted the informations you are asking for (because another member asked already for them) somewhere on the forum, I do not have it in mind on the spot.

    A+!
     
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  20. Footsore

    Footsore Electromatic

    37
    Nov 29, 2019
    Australia
    I was lucky enough to find a used BiggsFix on Reverb for a good price so I bought it.
    Doesn't work any better or worse but it looks heaps better than no tension bar. IMG20200806162055.jpg IMG20200806162028.jpg
     
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