String-through Bigsby

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String-through Bigsby

Postby craigdobbins » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:57 pm

Hello again after a long absence. Thought this might be of interest.

Just noticed that another one of Paul Yandell's ideas has been adopted by Bigsby/Gretsch- the string-through Bigsby. (Although the link doesn't mention Paul by name.) I know several of you have customized your Bigsby in this way because of Paul's suggestion. Hopefully they'll credit him in future copy.

"In a uniquely Gretsch touch, the Bigsby tailpiece is now string-through, making it quicker (and easier) to change strings as well as providing increased vibration transfer for enhanced sustain." ... 101872.htm


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Re: String-through Bigsby

Postby Norm » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:12 am

Paul and I talked about this quite a bit and it is covered in my book about Paul. He pitched the idea to Fred and the Gretsch people and they even made him a couple of samples but they never followed through. He even sent me one of his string bars he had drilled out a little and I have it on my gentleman.

I campaigned for the idea for years after Paul died and was amazed at how stubbornly people held to the old way of fooling around with bending string ends, using capos or propping blocking material under the pins to hold the strings on the pins while they restrung their guitars. People treated me like a blasphemer even though running the strings straight through didn't change the Bigsby action nor did it break strings.

There is absolutely NO advantage to using a pinned string bar now that you can buy strings at any gauge size. In the early days guitarists who wanted a lighter first and second had to buy loop end banjo strings which worked well with the pins but are now archaic. I think Bigsby made the pins removable (as they originally were) so guitarists could do whatever suited them.

Some people started selling drilled and chamfered after-market string bars which may be why gretsch finally gave it a serious look.
Obviously saves them money building the things and trust me, it is a real treat to just run the strings straight through and not have to deal with those d__ned pins!

...a no brainer
Too bad Paul didn't get to see it.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples:
That should do it.
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Re: String-through Bigsby

Postby albertgen » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:06 pm

Pretty good idea I think, I also like the idea that Gretsch is starting to use lacquer on the Gretsch 1959 Country Gentleman! Al
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