$150.00. Some swear by Nyloc nuts, but as always, opinions differ. Bigsby original factory-fitted? © 2020 Strings Direct. After much persuasion, TV Jones talked Gretsch into changing the capacitor values to 0.012uF and 0.0039uF, which has finally turned the tone switch into the usable feature it should have been all along. If your Gretsch sounds dark and you want more clarity and twang, try changing the volume pot to a 1M audio taper. Having a Bigsby installed on your guitar can alter it’s playability quite considerably so a good setup for this style of vibrato is key to preventing the guitar from suffering from such headaches. Guitars equipped with tremolo systems can offer so many creative and tonal opportunities, however, they can often suffer from issues such as tuning instability and string breakage. Get some double-sided sticky tape. It’s unlikely to be on the used market anytime soon. Nothing is firmly fixed and soundwaves can certainly get everything moving all too easily. There’s 1-3 stoptail examples that exist from 1959-1961 but these are exceedingly rare. Ending Saturday at 6:31PM PST 5d 1h ***REDUCED***Bigsby-Style Vibrato/Tremolo Assembly. Bigsby vibrato tailpieces have been available on Gretsch guitars since the '50s. There’s a video on the Bigsby website all about ‘specialty’ handles and how to fit them. Learned a few things here guys, many thanks for the great article. The original Filter’Tron pickups were designed to be screwed onto the guitar. After mid-1960, upmarket Gretsches had Filter’Tron and Super’Tron humbuckers, while lower-priced models got HiLo single coils. The Ernie Ball strings measure 100cm in length and many of the other bigger named brands including D’Addario, Elixir and Rotosound all have a similar total string length. Gretsch’s attempt at tone control in the late-50s and 60s was the ‘mud switch’ – so called because both settings rolled off so much treble, the sound turned to mud. You can always unsubscribe (so you won't receive any more e-mails) by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each e-mail. Now you have a few options. Phil, Lots of great and real helpful information, however the most important thing about choosing strings for a Bigsby, is that the ball end of the guitar is the ring type i.e. Whether it’s a perfectly accurate repro pickguard for a vintage restoration, or a steer’s head, skull, viking longboat, or portrait of your pet dog, he can do it in any shape or colour you want. Padding, packing and protection – how to ensure your prized guitars stay safe in a big move. Consequently, your strings need to be long enough to ensure that they not only reach the machineheads, but there’s enough string leftover to get a few wraps around the tuner’s post. Step 1: Making sure that the nut on your guitar doesn’t have any burrs. One of the most popular Gretsch modifications is the customised pickguard. So what sort of things will you need to consider? DeArmond Dynasonics are often described as being like ‘big-sounding Tele pickups’ and just like Telecaster pickups, they have a tendency to squeal. Roll out the red carpet for the G240T Streamliner Hollow Body with Bigsby® in a magnificent Candy Apple Red, Golddust or Riviera Blue. This week's playlist features guest appearances from legends, festive anthems and plenty more besides, The Janelle Monáe, Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire collaborator owes his guitar love to a monochromatic Space Ace…. All Rights Reserved. What’s less obvious is the way you can select different values to tweak your tone. Thanks One thing maybe worth mentioning: does higher string tension pull the arm up or down? A couple of minutes with a hacksaw and a file removed the obstruction. In reply to your question on how tension affects the arm, Higher Tension strings will lower the arm and Lower tension strings heightens the arm. 8 bids. Telecaster players are well catered for when it comes to mechanical string-bending devices that can create pedal-steel effects, but until recently, Gretsch players were restricted to, at best, bending strings behind the bridge using their fingers. Also some tips on how to string a Bigsby may have been helpful, as it’s really fiddly trying to keep the string on the the tailpiece when winding on machine heads. Yes we have the four gauges of La Bella in stock at the moment but looking to bring in the whole line of gauges very soon. In an effort to combat this and increase sustain, Gretsch experimented with sound posts and trestle bracing. The gaps should be gone and you will probably hear an improvement in acoustic tone. They can also be removed at any time, so it’s worth checking out Doug’s Plugs and Victor Baker Guitars. Hi,an excellent blog.May even try the L Bella.John, Hi John, thanks for the comment. So, whereas a standard 11-49 set may feel quite comfortable when strung up on a standard tailpiece, once they’re used with a Bigsby, the added length increases the overall tension in the string meaning they can feel very tense. I wonder why Gretsch guitars don't arrive installed with Gretsch stings? Thanks again. In part two of our look at the chord shapes and sequences which define Paul Simon’s sound, we focus on his early years as a solo artist. It is worth bearing in mind that round core strings have a warmer tone so by using these you don’t get the bright snappiness of a hex core string. It features a car driving down a highway to, er, Hell. Revitalizing the best elements from the past, the G2622T Streamliner™ Center Block Double-Cut with Bigsby® bursts into the modern music era with powerful sound and style. It attaches to Bigsby-equipped guitars and enables mechanical B-string bending by pulling the replacement Bigsby arm towards the string – the Bigsby itself continues to operate normally. Phil loves all things vintage and has long been a Bigsby enthusiast. If you’ve had a Bigsby recently fitted, you may have found that what previously worked on the guitar, won’t necessarily be suitable once a Bigsby is installed. Vintage capacitor values were 0.1uF and 0.047uF, which produced two degrees of roll-off – dull and duller. • String Spacing 34.5mm at nut, 51.5mm at bridge • Weight 3.33Kg/7.34lbs • Left-Handers No • Finishes Flagstaff Sunset, Gold Dust and Aged Brooklyn Burst (without Bigsby) Contact : Gretsch www.gretschguitars.com Two tone capacitors were connected to a three-way switch that was ‘off’ in the middle setting. Brian Setzer is well known for his love of vintage Gretsch guitars, but as a professional performer, he has long taken a pragmatic approach to making his vintage instruments stageworthy. Lovely old 355, great patina. The alternative is something you may ask your luthier to do for you because it involves drilling through the bridge into the top of the guitar. Unfortunately, this blows half the article out of the water. If you’re suffering, the elastic-band trick is cheap and most certainly worth trying. If you want to mount a more traditional-style Filter’Tron in this way, all is not lost. Polished stainless steel shaft that is counterbored for the string ball ends. The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! If you’re in a tight spot, you can simply tape over the f-holes, but this is not an ideal solution because you may end up damaging the guitar’s finish. If you string the guitar up properly, stretch the strings in and don't use too light a gauge you shouldn't have any problems. VAT no. Gretsch has long been the pinnacle of style, and that reputation extends to the fantastic new finishes. The product of a research and development process in which 4,000 people participated in blind listening tests, could this stylish and affordable mic restore our faith in democracy? Hope this helps In contrast, 50s Gretsches with Dynasonics had 1M pots, and by ’59, the company was matching Filter’Trons with 500ks. Underneath the bobbin, you’ll find a complicated arrangement of screws, springs and retainers. These Gretsch strings were factory supplied with 6120 guitars for years, offering the Grestch sound right out of the box. For Bigsby's I've found that a capo will help. The GHS Thin Core Boomers are available in all the popular gauges including 09-42 and 10-46. The earliest Bigsbys had fixed arms, so they couldn’t be swivelled out of the way. For a darker, smoother tone, try 500k or 250k. Fender used 250k pots to de-emphasise the resonance peak, as its pickups and amps were naturally bright. Guitar.com is the world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar. Filter’Tron router templates are available from TV Jones for $10, or you could rout the cavities free-hand, as Gretsch did. Swapping out the die casts for a set of open gears requires conversion bushings. G6120TFM-BSNV Brian Setzer Signature Nashville® Hollow Body with Bigsby® and Flame Maple. Rod, What flat wound strings would you recommend for an archtop with a Bigsby, I’d recommend something along the lines of the Pyramid Gold Flatwound Sets. Paul Pigat tipped us off about the B-Blender. Get the best deals on Bigsby when you shop the largest online selection at eBay.com. Most Gretsch players simply ignore the mud switch, or at least try to avoid it, and Brian Setzer sometimes removes his entirely. 689983537. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Since Filter’Trons and HiLo’Trons are screwed directly onto the body, you have to put springy foam spacers under the pickups to push upwards. Gretsch pickup guru TV Jones has been banging on about this for years and there’s a page on his website dedicated to pickup adjustments. Gretsches with tone (mud) switches, disengage the tone circuit in the middle position so they sound brighter. In addition, these sets are also wound over a round core which enhances their flexible properties even more. The Bigsby on the Gretsch pictured here had a moulding that prevented the arm from coming past the high E, so I couldn’t operate the Bigsby while I was picking the strings. Although many Gretsch players like the HiLo sound, given the choice, most would probably prefer to have Filter’Trons. Hey Rod, thanks for your kind words about the guitar. I have a Gretsch 5120 that i swapped the original plastic or whatever material nut came on the guitar, for a graphite nut. Two accommodate the fixing screws that go through the pickup cover, and the others are used for the surround screws. The outer wrap wire grips more tightly on to a hex core wire meaning these strings inherently tend to have a “stiffer” feel. All … They come with PAF-style ears and surround rings that match M69 rings for Gibson-style guitars. The problem seems to be that moving the arm gradually loosens the retaining nut holding the arm onto the Bigsby assembly. Higher-value volume potentiometers accentuate the resonance peak at the cut-off frequency, which makes a guitar sound brighter. Continue a few strokes at a time, checking constantly, until all the wood shows evidence of contact with the abrasive. When used with a Bigsby vibrato, the bridge slightly "rocks" with the movement of the strings- reducing friction and adding tuning stability. Huge improvement in staying in tune with Bigsby use. Cheers, Then there’s the ‘Chet’ wire handle, with a bend that detours around the bridge. Unfortunately, fitting die-cast tuners such as Sperzels and Grovers does require the widening of post holes. The Bigsby on the Gretsch pictured here had a moulding that prevented the arm from coming past the high E, so I couldn’t operate the Bigsby while I was picking the strings. Many Gretsch electric guitars use “floating” bridges paired with Bigsby® vibrato tailpieces. This info is a great help. You can see the whole range here… https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/search/lb-hrs Believe the hype and get your wallet out. The abrasive paper should be in the exact position of the bridge. There’s rarely any good reason to change the former, because if you’re encountering tuning instability, the tuners are probably not the issue. Introducing the D’Addario Auto Lock Guitar Strap, how many windings you need around your tunings, Pyramid’s Pure Nickel Maximum Performance, https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/search/lb-hrs. If you like to play loud, it’s unlikely you’ll ever persuade a hollow Gretsch to become entirely feedback-free, but you may be able to control the feedback to some extent by using f-hole plugs. To help give us some further insight into these vibrato systems, we’ve enlisted the help of Phil, one of the guys here at Strings Direct. The Pyramid strings are again available in all the popular gauges but unlike the GHS Boomers these are wound over a hex core. I’m trying to figure it out from the pics, but it’s doing me head in. Setzer’s preference is for Sperzel tuners, and many Gretsch fans have realised they like the look and feel, too. Like all big hollow-bodied guitars, Gretsches are prone to feedback. Bend the ball end of the string. Some guitar owners find it tough to string Bigsbys, because it’s hard to get the ball end of the strings to stay hooked onto the pins. Buyers are urged to be on the lookout for any particularly rare EVH or Sammy Hagar gear popping up. Gretsch pickups are pretty sensitive, and it’s worth experimenting with different types of strings to discover what works for you. A couple of minutes with a hacksaw and a file removed the obstruction. They needed very little stretching in when they were first put on and the tuning has been very stable since day one. If you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share on this topic (or anything else for that matter), feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below, send us an e-mail or drop us a message on any of our social media pages. There are no locking tuners or USA 'String Thru' Bigsby vibratos; instead, we have standard open-backed tuners and licensed Bigsbys with the standard-pin string anchors. This arrangement has made it hard to fit traditional Filter’Trons in Gretsches from the lower end of the product line, and guitars that were designed for Gibson-style humbuckers. Currently we stock the La Bella Hard Rockin’ Steel sets in 09-42, 09-46, 10-46 and 11-50 with a larger range of gauges coming soon. Pure-nickel strings, such as Ernie Ball Rock ’N’ Rolls are worth trying for long-lasting brightness if you are able to get hold of them. You can simulate the effect using a no-load tone potentiometer. As a rule of thumb, heavier gauge strings will have more tension than a thinner gauge string. Gareth, that’s very kind of you to say. Incredibly affordable, yet laden with professional features, the G5422TDCG Electromatic Double-cutaway hollowbody boasts vintage-voiced It's a great time to upgrade your home music studio gear with the largest selection at eBay.com. The Bigsby seems to kill some of the sustain. Not all potentiometers are created equal, which is pretty obvious really. It’s also a cheap  way of making an entry-level Gretsch look more upmarket. Adjusto-Matic™ Bridge. Yes, the Bigsby is the original. Its body is built with a five ply maple while its body's finish is gloss polyurethane. If it’s done right, you get three usable sounds from the same pickup at the flick of a switch – not unlike a Fender Esquire. Thanks also for the suggestion regarding stringing up a Bigsby, we’ll certainly follow that up with a separate blog and a video too To string a flat-top acoustic, remove the bridge pin and the old string. Once you’ve slackened off the strings, reattached the arm and strung back up a few times, you’ll probably be ready for a more permanent solution. Cut out a rectangle of 320-grit abrasive paper that’s about 5cm wide and about 3cm longer than the bridge base, then fix it to the top using masking tape. The combination of the admittedly rather creaky Bigsby and the sizeable metal bar bridge certainly offends our acoustic purist sensibilities, but we can't fault the mainstream neck shape, tidy vintage-style frets and very electric Gretsch-like playability. “Regular Slinkys always felt far too ‘loose’ when I used them on a guitar with a standard tailpiece. Played clean at low-to-medium volume levels, Dynasonics can be very well behaved, but high volume and high gain can push them into microphonic feedback. Some people use mouse-mat material. While you’re at it, you may be able to upgrade the quality of your control pots, especially if your reissue Gretsch is fitted with the 16mm type that was used in the 1990s. My $10.00USD a set Gretsch Electromatic guitar strings arrived yesterday. If you want to benefit from this improved service, please opt-in. Various companies make them, and no specialist knowledge or tooling is required to fit them. 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