G5422TG Bigsby misalignment?

lazerdriver

Electromatic
Sep 28, 2022
4
Minnesota
I have a G5422TG and I am wondering about the alignment of the Bigsby. Notice how all the bass strings angle to the right from the bridge to the point the strings attach on the Bigsby. And treble strings, especiall high E and B are almost straight from the bridge to Bigsby. I tried pushing the entire Bigsby over to the left to straighten out the alignment, but it does not stay there.

Do they install it like this on purpose due to the angle of the bridge, or was the Bigsby not aligned correctly when it was built? If it is incorrect, how much does this impact things like intonation and tuning stability. I bought it new about 2 years ago. I noticed this then, but didn't think much about its impact at the time.

I have not have it professionally setup, and the tuning stability isn't bad (in fact it is great, except for the D string, after I replaced the stock tuners with some locking ones and replaced original bridge with a roller). Just wondering if I should try to get the Bigsby aligned better, or if it is even possible to do that.

20220928_115840.jpg
 

lazerdriver

Electromatic
Sep 28, 2022
4
Minnesota
I took my original pic and marked it up with some straight lines. The bridge and pickup look pretty well aligned. I would say the Bigsby is shifted right by about 1/4 inch. Also include a pic from 1st fret to bottom of body.

Capture.JPG

20220928_143330.jpg
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,741
Ontario Canada
I have a G5422TG and I am wondering about the alignment of the Bigsby. Notice how all the bass strings angle to the right from the bridge to the point the strings attach on the Bigsby. And treble strings, especiall high E and B are almost straight from the bridge to Bigsby. I tried pushing the entire Bigsby over to the left to straighten out the alignment, but it does not stay there.

Do they install it like this on purpose due to the angle of the bridge, or was the Bigsby not aligned correctly when it was built? If it is incorrect, how much does this impact things like intonation and tuning stability. I bought it new about 2 years ago. I noticed this then, but didn't think much about its impact at the time.

I have not have it professionally setup, and the tuning stability isn't bad (in fact it is great, except for the D string, after I replaced the stock tuners with some locking ones and replaced original bridge with a roller). Just wondering if I should try to get the Bigsby aligned better, or if it is even possible to do that.

View attachment 190873
ID,

Looking at the green lines, I can't see the tail-piece being that far off center.

I'd remove the strings/bridge/tailpiece and establish a centerline, from the center of the top of the neck, right down to the bottom edge where the strap button is attached.

You will need a small level, and a small carpenters framing square. Keep your centerline string off the body, and use the square to drop the line down to the bottom edge of the guitar.

Make sure you level your guitar, use some small wedges/coins. Also make sure the vertical side of your framing square is plumb. This will insure your centered string line remains correct, when you are transferring it to the square, so you can mark the bottom edge of the body in the correct location.

Mask the top and bottom of the neck, and the bottom edge of the body. Use an Extra Fine Sharpie to mark all you centerline positions.

Once your centerline has been established, you can re-install the parts/strings accordingly.

If the hinged tail on the Bigsby does need to be re-positioned slightly, hopefully the old screw holes will still remain covered by the hinged tail.

PM me if you need clarification.

Best,

BIB
 

G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
4,227
usa
This is how I set up my -58 RI Gent to check Bigsby alignment.

The Bigsby bar is a Callaham string through, and the string through holes are spaced a little wider apart than the factory pin bar.

This gives a straighter/wider string spacing, but won't change how to measure.

With high and low E's on, check how the strings are centered on the neck, over pup poles to the bridge.

I'll measure from the string bar to the back of the bridge pup on both E's. Also measure bar to fretboard.

If there's more than 1/16" difference, I'll make adjustments to the Bigsby/hinge to get the same measurements. I also screw the Bigsby to the body. I know, it's anal, but time we'll spent.

"Once and done" eliminates any future issues.

20191022_115104.jpg
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,885
Springfield Oregon
I have a G5422TG and I am wondering about the alignment of the Bigsby. Notice how all the bass strings angle to the right from the bridge to the point the strings attach on the Bigsby. And treble strings, especiall high E and B are almost straight from the bridge to Bigsby. I tried pushing the entire Bigsby over to the left to straighten out the alignment, but it does not stay there.

Do they install it like this on purpose due to the angle of the bridge, or was the Bigsby not aligned correctly when it was built? If it is incorrect, how much does this impact things like intonation and tuning stability. I bought it new about 2 years ago. I noticed this then, but didn't think much about its impact at the time.

I have not have it professionally setup, and the tuning stability isn't bad (in fact it is great, except for the D string, after I replaced the stock tuners with some locking ones and replaced original bridge with a roller). Just wondering if I should try to get the Bigsby aligned better, or if it is even possible to do that.

View attachment 190873
No it isn't right. Is there enough slop when you push/swing it over? Do the strings line up the way they should? If so, you can remove your bigsby drill a hole in the center of the base that the spring fits on. Reinstall the bigsby push/swing it over, drill a pilot hole for a flat head wood screw and screw it into the body that will keep the bigsby in place. Only do this if there is enough swiing/slop that your strings line up. If not you will need to do correct install of the bigsby. B3 and B5 bigsby have a lot of slop.
 

Wood Hollow

Gretschie
Apr 20, 2022
113
Indiana
ID,

Looking at the green lines, I can't see the tail-piece being that far off center.

I'd remove the strings/bridge/tailpiece and establish a centerline, from the center of the top of the neck, right down to the bottom edge where the strap button is attached.

You will need a small level, and a small carpenters framing square. Keep your centerline string off the body, and use the square to drop the line down to the bottom edge of the guitar.

Make sure you level your guitar, use some small wedges/coins. Also make sure the vertical side of your framing square is plumb. This will insure your centered string line remains correct, when you are transferring it to the square, so you can mark the bottom edge of the body in the correct location.

Mask the top and bottom of the neck, and the bottom edge of the body. Use an Extra Fine Sharpie to mark all you centerline positions.

Once your centerline has been established, you can re-install the parts/strings accordingly.

If the hinged tail on the Bigsby does need to be re-positioned slightly, hopefully the old screw holes will still remain covered by the hinged tail.

PM me if you need clarification.

Best,

BIB
Should be able to do that with a laser.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,741
Ontario Canada
They’re cheap;~$3 now! I don’t like all that metal stuff around my finish.

WH,

You're right!

At 73, and a certified Master Carpenter, I still tend to do things ''old school''.

And...you can't blame the tools, but the ''tool'' who uses the tools, for scratching the work.

I'd be really surprised, if there are lasers in Gretsch's Custom Shop. More likely lots of old ''marking jigs'' that have been around forever.

Best,

BIB.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
313
Pennsylvania, USA
If it makes you feel any better, here’s a crooked Bigsby on a vintage 1960 6120. So they’ve been making them that way for over 60 years. Some call it a “Monday Guitar.” The guy in the factory was still hungover from the weekend when he attached the Bigsby.

But, yeah, I’d say yours looks crooked.

4065313F-5F60-4223-9B99-E4001989B64A.jpeg
 
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GlenP

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2019
2,566
WA
When you buy a Bigsby, they usually come with a red string in the kit to help line it up with the neck and the bridge without any significant tension, so you can place the bigsby where it needs to be, mark the holes, then drill and mount it. For example: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/installing-bigsby/
IMG_2509.jpg


You might be able to remove the strings and the bolts that hold the strap button and hinge plate and try lining up the Bigsby with string tied in place of the low E and high E strings. The string tension should not cause the Bigsby to move around. Then see if you need to fill the old holes and drill some new ones on the hinge plate and strap button.

As long as you are staying in tune and the string does not hop out of the bridge saddle, then it shouldn't be much of a problem. The problem with the one D string might be due to the nut slot.
 
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Teledriver

Country Gent
Feb 12, 2011
1,050
Iowa City, IA
It could be something as simple as a slight hump where the Bigsby hinge screws into the butt-end of the guitar, a 'Monday guitar' that wasn't sanded smoother or something. Maybe take a look at the tail of the body and see if things look wonky? Perhaps a washer on the bass side would straighten things a bit?

(Looking at my 5120, I actually notice a gap on the bass side!! This means to me at least, there is a slight hump near the center where that hinged part meets the body- it'll never be flush on mine. I ain't worried a bit, for what it's worth. As long as it isn't loose or rattles and is intonated, I'm fine with it.)
5120hump.jpg
Maybe back off the screw on the bass side a bit???
 
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G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
4,227
usa
There's a ground wire under the hinge.

Don't want it loose, but possibly too much wire with insulation could be keeping the hinge away from the body on that side.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
313
Pennsylvania, USA
It could be something as simple as a slight hump where the Bigsby hinge screws into the butt-end of the guitar, a 'Monday guitar' that wasn't sanded smoother or something. Maybe take a look at the tail of the body and see if things look wonky? Perhaps a washer on the bass side would straighten things a bit?
The photo of the wonky Bigsby on the vintage 6120 was of a guitar that was listed for sale recently. But it was the first thing that I noticed.

The Bigsby on my Gretsch is, thankfully, nice and straight.
 


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