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DerMax

Fitting a simil-Bigsby on a semi-acoustic

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Hi All,

my name is Max, I'm from Italy and live in Germany and I have some experience in guitar and drumshells (!!!) building.

I came across a copy of a Bigsby B7 that looks decent but at a closer look, that is when trying to fit it on a semiacoustic like a 335, the problems start. Now, this is my first experience with this type of vibrato, so I'm not sure where the problem is. I'll try to be as clear as possible: If I check the bottom surface of the unit, the side below the spring is perfectly flat, while the other side is slightly bent downwards, therefore it doesn't sit properly on the guitar top. My guess would be that it's supposed to be flat, is it correct? Do you think it would be safe to try and bend it to a more correct shape?

 

Thanks in advance,

Max.

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As the instruction leaflet says,

Quote
  • Align the hinged part of the vibrato with the original strap button hole
  • Check that the hinged part rests flat against the guitar end and that the top of the vibrato is level on the guitar surface

That sounds like the bottom should be flat. You can try to bend it, or if it doesn't want to bend, file it flat. I suppose...

Edited by Bizman62
Added hyperlink to instructions

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Hi Bizman, thanks for the reply. Little off-topic, I think we met already on the forum at Crimson Guitars, didn't we? do you know what happened over there? I tried to send them an email but to no avail. Anyway, happy to find you here!

As for the installation instructions: yes, I've seen them too, but to me that means that the two parts where the screws go should lie on the same plane, not necessarily that the entire part should be flat. In the end it's going to be screwed on an arched top.

When I have time I'll see if they still have the Epi 335 Bonamassa at Musicstore and try to figure it out. Unfortunately the only blueprints I've found of the B7 are from the top and not from the side.

 

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Hi Max, just noticed the "Der" in your nick! Yes, we've met and shared knowledge and opinions at the Crimson forum.

For what I've heard they closed the forum for good and getting it back up is unlikely (read: not enough income for the effort)

Hope you find a similar model to yours to see how it's installed. It seems that it should lie flat on the surface, or you could use a Vibramate

Any protruding corner against the guitar body sounds like an issue.

 

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experience w drum shells??  I should hope to see some gretsch style sparkle jet build photos soon hopefully?  (hehe)

I have a bigsby on my epi 2195... like this one es295

was going to say I could check it when I get home but on mine there are two screws that clearly need to be fastened to the body... so on that model it is def flat - I don't know if your model is different... sorry, not much help.

 

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Yep, that's the Bigsby model I have (well, a cheap copy, actually).

As for the drum shells, I built my kit long time ago, I also put a kind of how-to guide on line, but it was only in Italian and Spanish and probably the site is down now. Now I have some more (and better) wood at hand and as soon as I have some time to rebuild the tools I'll give it another go and build some more shells to replace my old ones. But I'm afraid it's not going to be Gretsch style sparkle jet!!!

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1 hour ago, DerMax said:

Yep, that's the Bigsby model I have (well, a cheap copy, actually).

As for the drum shells, I built my kit long time ago, I also put a kind of how-to guide on line, but it was only in Italian and Spanish and probably the site is down now. Now I have some more (and better) wood at hand and as soon as I have some time to rebuild the tools I'll give it another go and build some more shells to replace my old ones. But I'm afraid it's not going to be Gretsch style sparkle jet!!!

hehe, well anything sparkle will do then!  cheers

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I took the russian approach: it bent? Put it straight!

I used a piece of wood as support and carefully but firmly bent it with my hands (but first I removed all the moving parts). It's relatively soft, it may very well be Aluminum. First I straighten it out, but after checking on the guitar I saw that it fits better with a slight bend downwards, so I went back and bent it symmetrically. Now it sits very nicely on the curve of the top.

But now I have to find new elastic pins to replace the old ones that I damaged while removing them...

  • Like 1

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Thanks, but the pins are just normal spring-steel elastic pins 1.5x12mm. Conrad.de has them but I need 6 and they sell a box with 200. I mean, it's about 6EUR, but still, if I could find only 6 I'd prefer, what do I do with 194 elastic pins???

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19 hours ago, DerMax said:

what do I do with 194 elastic pins?

Sell them on Ebay in bunches of 6, for 6€ a lot plus shipping?

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On 5/15/2019 at 1:33 AM, DerMax said:

I took the russian approach: it bent? Put it straight!

I used a piece of wood as support and carefully but firmly bent it with my hands (but first I removed all the moving parts). It's relatively soft, it may very well be Aluminum. First I straighten it out, but after checking on the guitar I saw that it fits better with a slight bend downwards, so I went back and bent it symmetrically. Now it sits very nicely on the curve of the top.

But now I have to find new elastic pins to replace the old ones that I damaged while removing them...

in mother russia... bigsby bend you.

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Russian, American, all the same, all made in Taiwan [keeps bashing the computer with a hammer]

 

6 for 6€ plus shipping? Mmh, not bad I may think about it :D

  • Like 1

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33 minutes ago, DerMax said:

6 for 6€ plus shipping?

That's what the Chinese do... Any amount costs the same. Or rather, it's the work of counting and packaging that costs, not the actual items. Notice the difficulty there: You just can't use one hand for packing and the other for counting, there's too few fingers in one hand for that!

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Just for the records, today I had a bit more time to inspect some Epiphones and in all of them the bridge (that was a B700 instead of the more expensive B7) was never perfectly straight on neither sides and sat differently on the top of each guitar. Not even the felts under it where always in the same place, so, having put mine in a shape that fits more or less the guitar I think I can be satisfied with the result.

PS: the Chinese can count to ten with one hand!

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8 hours ago, DerMax said:

PS: the Chinese can count to ten with one hand! 

Are you sure you aren't confusing the Chinese to the Russians from Pripyat?

BTW good job with the bending if you made it fit better than the factory! Hand job FTW!

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Looks like a variation of the sign languages for hearing impaired. 1 to 5 seems to be similar in most languages, from there on they start to vary a lot.

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56 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

he said hand job lol.

You English speaking people seem to twist the true meaning of most any words or expressions. Handarbeit, hantverk, käsityö... they all translate to hand work. Aren't work and job synonyms any longer? 🤬

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10 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

You English speaking people seem to twist the true meaning of most any words or expressions. Handarbeit, hantverk, käsityö... they all translate to hand work. Aren't work and job synonyms any longer? 🤬

I'm told... at my work... there is a table where a lot of hand work is done... can't even walk past w/o giggles.

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Next you're going to tell me that "blow job" is not about filling balloons?

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1 hour ago, DerMax said:

fret job

You live quite near the Netherlands... "Fret job" might not be guitar related there.

Edited by Bizman62

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