Kay vibrato

Discussion in 'The Great Bigsby forum' started by Wayne Gretschzky, Oct 18, 2020 at 7:03 AM.

  1. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    I've had this Thin-Twin guitar for years. The huge baseball bat neck didn't bother me much, but the fretboard was starting to dish and it could really only manage the cowboy chords the past few years. I decided to have the fretboard worked on, and new frets added, and while I was at it, I finally committed to installing a vibrato on it too. The plan was to apply a cool 50s Bigsby B7 I have... but in the end, I thought this might be the only guitar that I would be able to use this Kay-style vibrato on. It took my guitar guy awhile to work through some issues, but it's finally done, and Im really happy with the results!

    IMG_4734.jpg IMG_4737.jpg
     
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I dig the string bar, is that part of a Kay trem system? Also those are the thinnest lipstick pickups!
     
  3. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Those are just the blade of the pickup, its actually pretty big underneath, like a P90.
     
    capnhiho, Tele295 and Ricochet like this.
  4. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    That rules! I will have one again someday.
     
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Man those blades are HUGE! :)
    Seriously that is pretty cool.
     
  6. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Screenshot_2020-10-18-09-41-47-1.png Screenshot_2020-10-18-09-42-11-1.png
     
    j.s.c, nickurso, drmilktruck and 4 others like this.
  7. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I know this is a Gretsch forum and you own some mighty fine Gretschs but every time you show this Kay, i think its my favorite guitar of yours.
     
    Wayne Gretschzky likes this.
  8. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I have one in storage somewhere. This is a cool idea
     
  9. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    wow, I've never seen pups quite like that, very cool
     
  10. flip

    flip Electromatic

    52
    Jun 22, 2020
    Manchester UK
    Interesting thread. I was considering putting a Bigsby and a neck pickup on my first guitar, recently id'd as possibly an early 50's German Isana, just to have a bit of trem fun with my grandson who's learning from me. When I found it might be an Isana and finding myself unexpectedly budget-freed by the sale of some other gear I decided to leave the non-truss rod Isana alone and buy a 5420. Now you've got me thinking again! :)
     
  11. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    The string bar is a Towner device that ingeniously is anchored by the existing bridge posts... so no additional drilling into the top. It took my guy a little effort to finesse everything to be set-up just right, but it was worth the trouble. This guitar sounds pretty decent unplugged, for around the house playing. Having the vibrato allows me to play my most of the tunes I know. I've been playing it all weekend, and have only had to tune it once.
     
  12. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    843
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
    Very cool idea, love that. I recently bought a black reissue of the Kay Thin Twin. Still trying to decide if I like it, it's a very different ride.
     

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  13. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Yes... if the reissue is accurate to the original specs, the fat neck is quite a different feel compared to most other electric guitars Ive played. It feels more like an acoustic guitar. The pickups are a little wimpy, and I am considering replacing the entire harness, but wanted to make sure I was going to play the guitar after the refurb before sinking any more cash into it. It's almost like the strings need to be closer to the pickups, which is an impossible adjustment on this guitar. But for what it is (for me) it's fine... as I'm just banging around the house with it. At least until my world tour kicks off... ;)
     
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  14. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Great looking guitar, Ed! Like the Bigsby-esque vibrato.

    Playing any Jimmy Reed on it?

     
    nickurso and radd like this.
  15. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    843
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
    After reading you post Wayne, I couldn't resist having a tweak. The pickups do raise and lower via those big screws on the pickguard. Maybe it's different or at the limit on your original. The neck on mine is oddly comfortable in spite of the 26 inch scale. Yes, 26 inches! Crazy, I don't usually feel happy with the bigger nnecks but this has its own vibe.
    But yes, the pups are a bit wee ak and somehow lack something. Or to be honest, it's more a matter of getting used to what they do. We have a young player who gets a lot out of his old model.... But he's a young fit fellah with hands like shovels. I'll dig out a link
     
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Excellent - Very Fonky !
    She must have a crazy 60s tone...

    A+!
     
    j.s.c likes this.
  17. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    843
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
    Oh God, I love this! Blues from a different age, when it used to be low down, dirty and dangeous. And played on Kay guitars through small Gibson amps.
     
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  18. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    That's a toe-tapper! Cool to see another Old Kraftsman brand Thin Twin.
     
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