What type of Bigsby is this

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,145
South Dakota
First of all, it's not a Bigsby at all.
The vibrato tailpiece with the telescoping arm is entirely a Gretsch design. Some folks attribute the idea to Jimmie Webster, but I can't confirm that.

The little bar in the slot leads to the spring, which is mounted internally on this tailpiece. There is no external spring like a Bigsby.
Ah! That is what I was wondering thanks! So it’s not a Bigsby but how well did it work? It is almost as cool as a V cut!
 

ZackyDog

Friend of Fred
Feb 6, 2015
7,491
In the USA
Webster Tremolo

 

Bill_6040

Electromatic
Mar 21, 2021
5
Colorado USA
Webster Tremolo

I own one of these Vikings, ser #71459. I got the dope on this model from Duke Kramer himself, back in the 1980's.

He said it was a first-year Viking, made in 1964. The only Vikings that include the massive cast G tailpiece with the telescoping arm vibrato were made in the first manufacturing run in 1964, although some were sold as 1964 models and some as 65's. For the second manufacturing run and all later production Vikings featured a Bigsby tailpiece -- and the dreaded and fatuous Floating Sound Unit aka Tuning Fork Bridge. It was a dumb idea and (virtually) nobody ever used the accessory, but every Viking made after that first mfg. run '64 was fitted with one. Unfortunately it required a large hole in the top of the guitar right behind the rear pickup, forcing the bridge rearward and introducing scale-length and intonation issues in the bargain.

I've been watching Vikings on eBay for 20+ yrs and I've only seen 4-5 of these 1964's come up for sale in all those years. Tons of 1965's and later Vikings came and went in that period. These '64 models are rare and superior to everything that came afterwards.
 

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ForTheLoveOfIvy

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2022
166
London
I had a ‘67 Falcon with this tailpiece. It was ok…much stiffer than a Bigsby and not as much travel. Strange how you only see these on the earlier Vikings but they used them on Falcons till much later. I’ve seen one on a ‘69.
 


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