New Gretsch Pickups and a G5427?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Andrew Griffin, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Welcome!

    The 5427 is fully hollow, so I doubt the top would be strong enough to support a stoptail. You could easily replace the Bigsby with a trapeze, though.

    This Bigsby is mounted only at the heel of the guitar, so it wouldn't leave any holes in the top. The trapeze tailpiece will probably have a different mounting hole pattern, so odds are you'd need to fill the original holes with toothpicks and wood glue, and drill new pilot holes for the trapeze. Ideally you'd look for a trapeze that covers the original holes left by the Bigsby.

    Gretsch makes a very affordable chrome tailpiece, but gold Gretsch tailpieces can be hard to come by. You can always go with a non-Gretsch trapeze, though.

    One last point: if you don't mind the Bigsby's looks, and you only want to disable it to improve the feel of the guitar, you can just replace the spring with a wooden dowel. That'll disable the Bigsby without requiring any surgery.
     
  2. Bender Of Strings

    Bender Of Strings Electromatic

    12
    Dec 3, 2021
    USA
    Hmm, that is an interesting suggestion. I'm trying to picture in my mind what that would look like. Would this remove the tremolo bar altogether, essentially turning the rest of the hardware into a hardtail? But you'd still be left with something that's a pain in the butt to re-string, right?

    Also are you absolutely sure about the Bigsby not leaving holes atop the body of the guitar? I always thought that's where the term "snakebite" came from, from the holes the Bigsby left behind.
     
  3. Gasee

    Gasee Gretschie

    221
    Jun 4, 2009
    North Wales
    No Holes - Section2 is correct!
     
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  4. Bender Of Strings

    Bender Of Strings Electromatic

    12
    Dec 3, 2021
    USA
    Awesome! I'm not overly concerned with tiny holes on the bottom from the Bigsby. I have a local guy who's great with filler, lacquer drop, polish, etc. Plus the tailpiece that I add might cover it up anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  5. Bender Of Strings

    Bender Of Strings Electromatic

    12
    Dec 3, 2021
    USA
    Just for fun, I did a little photoshop work to see what this guitar would look like with a trapeze tailpiece. I think it looks pretty cool.
     

    Attached Files:

    TSims1 likes this.
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    The dowel trick would leave everything as-is; you'd just put a little dowel where the Bigsby spring currently sits. That would disable the Bigsby.

    Can I ask why you'd want to get rid of the Bigsby? If you're concerned about string changes being cumbersome, there are good workarounds like the Butchie Bar:

    https://www.thebutchiebar.com/

    There are Bigsby models that will leave holes in the top, but this one won't. It's attached only at the heel.
     
  7. Bender Of Strings

    Bender Of Strings Electromatic

    12
    Dec 3, 2021
    USA
    A few reasons. First and foremost, I'm just not a fan of tremolo systems in general. I don't like using them, have no interest in using them. I would much prefer to continue developing my vibrato rather than rely on a Bigsby or whammy bar. Second, Bigsby guitars are very temperamental when it comes to staying in tune. I don't want that headache. Third, yes I'm well aware of the butchie bar but the bigsby system is already chunky enough. I dont want to ADD hardware to the guitar. I want to strip more of it away to give it a cleaner look like the photoshop example I posted. And fourth, I firmly believe that you lose a bit of "snap" and "bite" in the tone of a guitar with a Bigsby vs a stoptail.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
    section2 likes this.
  8. Bender Of Strings

    Bender Of Strings Electromatic

    12
    Dec 3, 2021
    USA
    Thanks. Besides you, I've heard of zero feedback on the pups in this guitar, nor are there any YouTube videos out there demonstrating them. Are they similar to the Blacktop filtertrons on the G5420? Also what about the dimensions on this model? Is the body depth the full 2.75" like the G5420 or is it more like the thinner RatRod model at 2.25"?
     
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