Yet another Bigsby tuning issue

Discussion in 'The Great Bigsby forum' started by Nigehay, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    I have a G6120 BS SSL and the Bigsby works perfectly on that, had it for years and gigged it relentlessly, perfect. I just bought a standby guitar because it was an interesting model, it's an Epiphone Riviera Deluxe Jarmo Kaukonen signature model with a B70G fitted. Even very gentle use of the B70 it puts it out of tune. It's the wound strings that are affected the most, they always return to too sharp.

    The strings are new but fitted by an expert in the shop with very windings around the string posts. I suspect a few things but would appreciate advice from you guys. It could be the nut, we'd all suspect the nut pinching right? But it's a 2004 guitar, surely the owner didn't put up with that for 14 years? It could be the tension bar needs a lube. It could be bearings/bushes at the bass side of the tension bar, that might explain why it's affecting the wound strings the most. Anyone heard of this happening before? The only other thing I can think of is the tune-o-matic bridge. There will be more friction on the bass side. I'll lube that too.

    Have I missed anything and has anyone had the same symptoms? If so please let me know. No pun intended but it's driving me NUTS! Thanks.
     
  2. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Could be too much break angle at the bridge, try bypassing the tension bar and see if it stops. A cheap upgrade lots here like is a Reverend soft spring, i don't have one but i have solved issues on guitars with better springs before.
     
  3. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Oh yeah, we gonna need pictures.
     
  4. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Sounds like a Tension bar issue. I personally wouldn‘t buy tension bar-bigsby- equipped guitars anymore.
     
    RomanS likes this.
  5. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    65
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I’d still check the nut.
     
  6. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Age:
    54
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Everyone seems to really like the soft spring, I did dig the squisy feel but, the Reverend spring seemed to have caused issues on my 5120 Bigsby... Never had tuning issues before I put it on,,, the issues disappeared when I put the stiffer stock spring back in. So if there are issues now, I'm not sure softer spring is the answer..
     
    Nigehay likes this.
  7. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    It's been quite a while since I've been on here. I recall photos had to be limited to a certain size back then. I'll see if it's changed now.... image.jpeg
     
    JC higgy and wildeman like this.
  8. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    The Spring certainly feels harder than the Gretsch Spring. But I would have thought that would be more likely to reduce tension whereas a higher pitch on the bass side would indicate increased tension. Wouldn't it?
     
  9. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    If it's the tension bar, and I suspect that you're right, is it likely to be the bushes or bearings rather than the action of the strings moving around the bar?
     
  10. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    Thanks for your suggestions. Would bypassing the tension bar still allow the Bigsby to work? I've not bypassed one before. I think your point about the break angle is right, and that's the same issue Les Pauls have too even without Bigsbys.
     
  11. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Wound strings are more likely to bind.
     
  12. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    It will work, you may have issues with the strings jumping out of the saddles but at least you can see if the detuning stops. It may be fine. A Biggsfix or roller bridge may be needed.
     
  13. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    i have that same Bigsby on my 5125.
     
  14. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    I
    I have a Compton bridge on my G6120
     
  15. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Hi Nigehay,

    Wildeman suggestion is good, but IMHO, the break angle should be correct looking at the pic featuring the config of the Bigsby and the bridge. Nonetheless, check it : you shouldn't have more than 12-13°.

    What I would suspect about your tuning problem - coming from my personal experience :

    0 - the mounting of the strings : from 2 to 6 turns around the post depending on string size, with the 3 plains "clamped" in their post hole.
    1 - the nut slots and the fall groove to the tuners : no binding, polished slots and rounded, smooth fall, following the path of the string.
    2 - the bridge slots : no binding, polished slots and rounded smooth fall going to the Bigsby. Maybe a good roller bridge would be necessary.
    3 - the front roller of the Bigsby : must turn freely, sleeves are not always premium, roller bearing are better.
    4 - the sitting of the Bigsby spring in the cups : must be stable, well-seated on the bottom of each cup.

    It's what I have done on ALL my Bigsby trem guitars to make them perfectly stay in tune.

    Additionally, I use TUSQ-XL no friction nut, roller bridge or rocking bar bridge or Tru-Arc, replacement front roller with bearings, super-squishy/soft spring, 10-52 standard string sets, and NO lube at all.

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
    Nigehay likes this.
  16. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Age:
    84
    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    1:try a roller bridge instead of the tom
    2:toss the bigs!
     
    russmack likes this.
  17. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    You want a bar bridge on your bigs equipped guitar. A roller bridge only adds another friction issue to your system.
     
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  18. Nigehay

    Nigehay Gretschie

    320
    Aug 21, 2009
    Poole, England
    HCSerg, that's an incredible full and helpful response. I've looked at the bridge tonight and that's made a big difference. But it's still not right. I'll go through all of your list systematically and check everything. Once it's sorted I'll go back to just playing it! Thanks again
     
  19. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    61
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    DA887899-0AD5-4472-BB91-E28E7E66B2EC.jpeg
    The break angle on that guitar looks pretty good. I you are sure the problem is coming from the Bigsby end of the guitar, you may consider a sealed bearing roller. I have these in gold too.
     
  20. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes Nigehay,

    Suspecting every point of possible friction is the rule... Trouble shooting is not always easy, though ! But an improvement is always doable. On your Epiphone, there should be no issue - I have an ES335-TD to attest it : she has no tuning issue at all, and I am abusing of the B7 tremolo all the time. The recipe :

    - TUSQ XL nut well slotted with correct string falls.
    - GROVER standard size sealed tuners - non locking.
    - roller bridge from TonePros (but if you can afford an ABM 2400, it's premium)
    - front roller on the Bigsby B7 = exactly the one as displayed above by member Setzerhotrod (ask him for a B70G version though).
    - soft spring (Setzerhotrod sells them also - even in gold now).

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
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