Installed a Bigsby! Pic and video inside - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 505
Reviews: 69
Installed a Bigsby! Pic and video inside

Hew guys, so I decided to take the plunge and install a Bigsby B5 on my Edwards Viper. I use this guitar as my backup live, so it was the perfect guitar for the job. I used the Vibramate plate so I wouldn't have to drill any holes, and let me tell you, installation was a sinch!

Now, the verdict is still out about keeping the thing in tune. I have heard bad things about roller bridges, so I don't know if I'm going to take that step. At the moment the guitar does well as far as staying in to with very subtle bar work. Anything extreme, and it's a no go. I've lubed the nut; maybe locking bridge studs would help? Any advice would be great.

Well, here's the vid!

And the pic:

And yes, I know the hardware is mismatched, but I don't care. I like it! Plus, I couldn't find a black Bigsby .
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 2,510
Re: Installed a Bigsby! Pic and video inside

I'm not a fan of Bigsby's but it looks like you did a great job on the install man

What bad things have you heard about roller bridges? I've never had issues with the one I have...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: SF Bay, CA
Posts: 61
Re: Installed a Bigsby! Pic and video inside

I had a cheaper roller bridge that every time you did any kind of string bends with it the string would pop off of the rollers.

@ OP, I have a standard MIM strat with the standard 6 point trem. no MODS there. I put in a set of the Fender/Schaller locking tuners in and it did wonders for that issue. Now I can do dive bombs on my strat and it keeps in tune just dandy. I would invest in a good set of locking tuners, or install a locking nut, for any kind of extreme trem action. Very nice looking guitar though!

***UPDATE*** I just watched your vid, and noted that, well, you kind of have locking tuners on your guitar already! Feel free to disregard what I said!

Last edited by guitar guy; 01-28-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: Installed a Bigsby! Pic and video inside


Viper, check.

Bigsby check!

I couldn't find black Bigsby 5/50/500 either so I went out and got chrome locking Grovers, and chrome vintage wire ABR reissue and I was golden. Obviously I painted it but also put in push-pull potentiometer for both humbuckers to get some Gretsch-like sounds.

I researched and spent enough but it was all fun and here are my theories and/or findings:

1) For tuning I found that you don't have to get a roller bridge (though it helps) but locking tuners is more key. Sperzel, like ESP/LTD likes to use is better than Grover locking tuners but both help.

2) To stop binding up of strings, lube the saddles and nut and you should be OK for moderate wang bar stuff but this thing will never get off doing Floyd and Kahler stuff lest you get a locking Bigsby nut and fine tuners (which is an expensive yet perfect aftermarket solution for those who are used to Floyds).

3) If you are ambitious, also solder ball ends to keep string intact on extreme pull ups, and at the same time, sand off rough solder and lube the cams.

4) And if you are hardcore, you can get roller cam for the Bigsby.

With some or all of these mods, you can start to approach the stability of a perfectly set up strat trem with roller nut and locking tuners, but still never get the true stability of any double locking tremolo where strings terminate at bridge somewhere, like on Kahler or Floyd, and terminate before the tuners at headstock, like Floyd locking nut or any Kahler old school locking nut just behind a regular nut. The Floyd nut is more stable than Kahler nut but both are more stable than the string terminating at the traditional tuner, whether it's locking or nut. The absolute key is to shorten string length on all places where it's not played like on Floyd, and lock it down without having string pass over nut or bridge like Gibson ABR type as on your guitar and mine.

If you have a guitar without above mods and go Floyd-ish like any high energy live situation can bring on, even if just for a few seconds, you will easily pull guitar out of tune (check out 4:57 of example of overheated Bigsby work in below video). At this point, you grab another guitar for next song. Also, I love the sound of your band and your ESP with Bigsby should be a great addition.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 05-24-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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bigsby , edwards , tremolo , vibramate , viper

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