What is the Vibrato arm of the Bigsby made of?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by mellenchamp, May 9, 2021.

  1. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    ok, tnx. learning as I go here. thanks to this site, & Gretsch spec .pdf I've done my own set-up on my 2622T & she sounds great.
     
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  2. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Yep, setting up your git to your ears and feel is what it's all about.

    I don't care what brand or series is, you have to set it up to your likings.
     
  3. Back in Black

    Back in Black Synchromatic

    Age:
    72
    949
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Mell,

    Which arm? the most common flat arm is stainless steel, I have several. The Duane Eddy/Eddie Cochran/Cliff Gallup arms are machined from extruded aluminum.

    The Chet Atkins arm is steel round rod, plated.

    Rather than bending the arm, you may want to try a softer spring.

    Best,

    BIB.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  4. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey

    I knew someone around here would have that info.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ah, yes, that’s what I meant :) Non-magnetic stainless, but who is going to grind their butter knife sitting in the drawer for the cause?
     
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  6. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    Probably easier & less criminal to look it up online... :cool:
     
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  7. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Dan Duffy passed away a few years ago - 2015 iirc. He might be a little slow to reply.

    I don't think the OP's dealing with Atkins arms. He's got an Electromatic (or two?) - modern licensed Bigsby.

    And just saying... every single vibrato on Bigsby's website (both the US and the licensed stuff) is listed as being made from aluminum. Think whatever you want, but fwiw, that's what they say about their own product.

    Carry on ...

    (btw, if you get a chance to read Dan's book - do it! The guy's no William Faulkner, but it's a fun read.)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  8. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I'm guessing in this case that it's NOT very malleable. Yes?
     
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  9. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    Difficult to say without having the piece in my hands
     
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well,

    My factory "standard" Bigsby B3LH, B5LH, B7LH arms are all made from Stainless Steel, not aluminium...

    A+!
     
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  11. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Yeah, the bodies are aluminum, but the standard arm is steel.
    From Bigsby's official parts list:
    "0495-0873 Handle, Flat Assembly, Stainless"

    Anyway, I don't know how hard they are to bend. I can tell you they're very hard to drill (nothing like aluminum). I'll second those that suggest either a shorter factory spring or a Reverend soft spring.
     
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    This thread? Heheh, besides what’s more fun?
     
  13. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Well, son of a gun, fair enough. That makes sense.

    That's what I get for believing what I read on company websites.

    My apologies to the OP. I guess they're gonna need a slightly hotter blow torch?
     
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I've seen Harley clutch levers used instead.
     
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  15. sixtyonetwentyguy

    sixtyonetwentyguy Electromatic

    32
    Jul 3, 2017
    california
    Years ago I tried various springs of different heights and stiffness ...each one made the Bigsby react and feel differently.
     
  16. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey

    Stainless can be like that. A carbide tip bit & some form of oil lubricant is the ideal way to drill it. Slow & steady pressure, try to strongarm it & you'll burn up the bit. For holes larger than 3/16", a 1/8" pilot hole is recommended.
     
  17. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    you can simply move to a heavier gauge set of strings and that bar will come down significantly. 11g are just right for me.

    Bigsby offers 3 spring sizes (not 2)
    The longest is 1 1/8"(28.6mm) ,
    then there is the standard bigsby spring which is (22.2mm)
    and shortest is 11/16"(17.5mm)

    .. there is always the option of
    making your own from the compression springs sold at Home Depot (cut w a dremel cutoff wheel) if you are gonna use that overly flappy spring from reverend
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbil...ted-Compression-Spring-4-Pack-16084/202045472

    Remember, Paul Bigsby was a rugged motorcycle mechanic and the original Bigsby springs were Harley Davidson knucklehead valve springs. Paul made cast parts for Crocker racing bikes.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  18. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I wanted to try inner valve springs from a ‘85(or older) HD Sportster. I like how they have a proper looking wire diameter and colour(black!).
    Nowhere to be found over here. The one set of 4 on ebay was $70 bucks, without shipping/import charges. Oh well, never mind.
     
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  19. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Gretschie

    247
    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    MOTORCYCLES???!!! Did someone say MOTORCYCLES???!!! Boxes of Harley parts are a gold mine for all kinds of things. At one time the ignition points on a Briggs & Stratton motor were interchangeable w/ Harley ones. I raised my Bigs a touch w/ a 1/16" plastic washer I founds in my parts box. Firmer, which is good for me since I have a tendency to gorilla-hand everything.

    hawks nest.jpg
     
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