Ughhh...Is a Bigsby B7 a dealbreaker for anybody else?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Londonbus, Dec 21, 2021.

  1. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Agree on B7 and yes it's a deal breaker for me but......... I don't see an issue.
    Just get a used Gretsch without one - they're much cheaper anyway.

    I'm not a fan of many of the new pups Gretsch are using now either but again - no issue - buy older used models :D
     
    section2 likes this.
  2. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Yep, B7s are not for me. I had a B70 (the imported B7) on my 5620, and I didn't get along with it. I swapped it out for a B6C, which looked and felt better, but it left the break angle just a bit too shallow. My wife got me a Towner bar for Christmas—problem solved.

    20211225_192207.jpg

    The B6C covers the hole left by the B70. (Almost. You can see a tiny bit of the hole peeking out from under the spring cup, but only from one angle, and only if you're looking for it.) This wouldn't work on a smaller guitar like a Jet or a 5655, where a B6C wouldn't fit. If I had one of those guitars, I'd get a BiggsFix.
     
  3. aloner

    aloner Electromatic

    12
    Aug 24, 2021
    Australia
    great on a gibson 335, not a fan on Gretsch guitars
     
  4. dmfp123

    dmfp123 Electromatic

    51
    Nov 17, 2020
    kansas
  5. townerusa

    townerusa Electromatic

    8
    Mar 31, 2017
    San Diego California
    Sirloin steak, lobster tail and collard greens! :D


     
    sgarnett and section2 like this.
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Oh, hey, Christian! :D I've been meaning to write and tell you that I found your string tension bar under the Christmas tree, and I couldn't be happier. (See the pic above.) Great product.
     
    sgarnett likes this.
  7. Philtertronic

    Philtertronic Gretschie

    307
    Feb 26, 2014
    scotland
    Ummm.... I'm looking at my next Gretsch, the G5622T. It has the B70. How does that model differ from the B6 in my G6122, aside from it being drilled into the top? Is the issue with the tension bar?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  8. knavel

    knavel Country Gent

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Tension bars in my playing are like condoms in other areas of performance. It's not a deal breaker though; more a "seal the dealbreaker" since the guitars B7s turn up on are Gretsches I wouldn't want in the first place.
     
  9. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    I also think that a lot of Gretsch fans are sticklers for vintage looks and period correctness and when they see a B7, they immediately want to set fire to it. I really don't care for the looks and I don't like stringing them but I don't find that they function worse than the B6, that's just me though. I realize if I want a new centerblock players series, I have no choice. I know that tension bars can work great as every Duesenberg trem I have owned has been absolutely perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  10. bigears

    bigears Electromatic

    4
    Jan 4, 2022
    Toyland
    I have a new (2021) G5622T with a B70. The string angle is not so sharp as the tensioner is about 8cm away from the bridge. However I am going to install an ABM 2400 roller bridge just to ease the strings over. I am not a heavy tremolo user but sometimes my young son will dive bomb on the tremolo arm as I am playing. He thinks it is hilarious. Though generally I am not getting tuning issues from normal use after 2 hours solid playing.

    I always check tuning before using it, as we all should with every guitar!
    Just a matter of habit for portable string instrument musicians.

    IMHO on a center block guitar an extra screw in the body isn't killing anything. BTW there is nothing stopping you from not using the tremolo tensioner at all and put the strings over the top on your G5622T. I tried this just to see. Though this will give you a very shallow string angle and without a roller bridge your strings may jump out of their bridge saddles if you play hard. It happened to me once. But it's doable, just have to adjust playing technique.

    FWIW if a guitar is designed with a certain piece of hardware you accept it as the intention of the designer. If you don't like what the design has to offer, mod it the way you want if you can, or buy something else, or design/build your own guitar as you would like it. I like the new Chinese made Electromatic Gretsch's. They are just a bargain for what you get.

    Modding guitars is fun, many great players have modded "off the shelf" cheap student guitars and created unique sounds followed by millions.
    Don't blame the tool, polishing turds is an art form.

    Time, money, importance may vary per owner.
    Add salt to onions opinions.

    First Post.
     
    MrWookiee, mapotofu, new6659 and 4 others like this.
  11. Philtertronic

    Philtertronic Gretschie

    307
    Feb 26, 2014
    scotland
    I hear you on the roller Bridge. And the rest of your post.
    Thx
     
  12. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    808
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    @bigears ”Polishing turds is an art form.” :D

    An artist friend incorporates found trash in much of her work (except for her murals).

    Welcome!
     
  13. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    The tension bar can cause tuning problems on some guitars. It can also make the Bigsby action feel stiffer. They seem to work fine on some guitars, but I've never liked them.

    When they do cause problems, there are a few solutions:

    1) String the guitar overtop of the tension roller. This might work, or it might leave you with a break angle that's too shallow.

    2) Replace the tension roller with a BiggsFix. The BiggsFix rolls more smoothly and allows the strings to ride a little higher.

    3) Replace the B7/B70 with a B3 (for Jets and Juniors) or a B6 (for bigger guitars), and add a Towner String Tension Bar. That's what I did on my 5620. The B6 just about covers the hole left by the B70, and the Towner bar works very well.
     
  14. bigears

    bigears Electromatic

    4
    Jan 4, 2022
    Toyland
    Looking more closely at the tensioner in the B70, the roller tube has a little play on its axle. ≈0.25mm ±. Just a quick measure with the calipers suggests that adding 10x6mm (MR106) bearings in the roller tube would correct that pretty easily. I would have to pull it apart to double check that size. I have ordered my ABM roller bridge yesterday while it was on my mind, so while I have the guitar de-stringed I will see if that is the case and if possible throw in a couple of bearings. Probably less than $5 bucks to rectify.

    Of course the break angle is not an issue on the G5622T.

    I will send pics when I am done.
     
    MrWookiee and section2 like this.
  15. rossington

    rossington Newbie

    2
    Jan 3, 2022
    Austria
    Hi guys, sorry to intrude. I am new to Gretsch...but in the verge...and new to the forum ;)

    Just for context: I play since 25 years. Had about 20 guitars in almost all price ranges. Now down to a Strat, a LP and a beloved Tele. Want a Gretsch.

    I made my research and went through a couple of Gretsches (5222, 5422, 5622, 6118, 6120, 6128, 6228, 6609, 6659) - some of them you might not even call 'Gretsch' due to some blasphemy :D - but I have now my opinions about certain things.
    At the moment I have the 5422 and the 6609 here - btw I think a final decision has to be made.
    If we are just talking Bigsby ( I really do not want to open Pandora's box) I might have some objectivity to offer - no offense :)

    The B60 of the 5422 has the better feel at the Bigsby regarding response of the bar, spring, tension and whatsoever (I am not a man of flowery words). I think I can remember that the B6 of the 6118 and 6120 felt similar. What I did not recognize BEFORE I had the 2 systems available side by side is the string tension on the fretboard. I MUCH prefer the tension with the B7. Much. The playability is superior (I do not think due to Korea vs Japan).
    I just feel at home on the 6609. It is incredible. I know this model is not loved nor liked around here. Maybe this is because I am used to stop tails? Don't know don't care.
    However, both guitars stay in tune rather good. I do not use the Bigsby extensively though. But even if I do on purpose for test reasons I am really happy with both.
    And...you want more objectivity? I don't give a...thing about the looks of the B7. Bigsbys? Things of beauty!!!

    Just 2 cents from a Gretsch noob.
     
    MrWookiee, mapotofu and section2 like this.
  16. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Uh ... how is the string tension different related to the kind of Bigsby?

    Depends on scale, gauge and rather minorily on the brand. It's perfectly possible that a guitar with a B6 and a pretty similar guitar with a B7 do have different tension, but ... no because of the Bigsby - the scale, stiffness and mass (or weight per length) determine tension. Things happening to the strings outside of the part between bridge and nut don't affect this directly, the tension in identical strings at identical tuning and identical scale are, guessable I guess - identical.

    The answering deviation of strings due to pushing or pulling the handle may be slightly different due to geometry, but as the effective diameter of the wrapping shaft is the same, the default expectation is nothing.

    So I don't really get this ... which further differences divide the guitars in the investigation?

    Anything else being of different values that I have forgotten?

    Don't mean to be offensive or so, just don't see how this would happen or be explainable, as a given string at a given length and frequency - equally long scale in both, equal tuning in both - has a given tension, and the guitar around said string affects this, but only in a different way when being different in a relevant property.

    So, a different bridge might change the reaction by rocking back and forth at a different radius, and therefore, further changes may be to happen along the way ... a differently cut nut ... different neck tension ... may all cause a difference in how the guitar feels when bigsby'ing, and ... stuff ...

    Anyway, in case I'm wrong here, I'd love to read where and why and how this does work...
     
  17. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    If you run into this dilemma in the future and are curious if other people’s opinions of something you like should supersede your own, please feel feel to use my “Should I Like This Guitar?” decision tree…


    “Should I like this guitar?”———
    “Do I like this guitar?”——-
    If yes, then like the guitar”

    Boom, done. Also, congrats :)
     
    MrWookiee and DennisC like this.
  18. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    684
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    You must be? We like ours.
     
  19. rossington

    rossington Newbie

    2
    Jan 3, 2022
    Austria
    No offense taken.
    Well, from a scientific perspective one could argue with mathematics/physics and say there is one more bend involved, different angles, hence different vector sums, different tension and so forth.
    Isn't there a whole (voodoo?) discussion about the impact of the height of stop tails? Same story.

    Long story short...Let's call it different feel ;)
     
    MrWookiee, section2 and DennisC like this.
  20. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Yeah, that for sure ... but ... in my experience, it is more a different response vs time, or time being felt or so ...

    I actually got to know Bigsbys in person from a B70 and ... it is quite cool, but the B60 - same level of quality, fit, finish et. al. - is somewhat more to my liking, it just is as if I feel the further chain of events that has additionally put into it that the tension roller is to be passed.

    Anyway, I don't regret buying the guitar wirh it (2622), as it was the entry drug into Gretsch for me, and, although not that typical of a Gretsch ... anyway, a nice guitar sure is, and a Bigsby I don't use often is more Bigsby than none ... would I've known before, I'd have bought one without and installed a B6(0).

    Different feel ....... sure that!
     
    MrWookiee likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.