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Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:30 pm
by thenorm
Nice to see that Larry and Lorrie Collins are still working and apparently getting along. So many sibling acts tend to break up from personal stress.

There's a lesson there. If you have youngun's getting into music ,do NOT include the word "kids" in the stage name. It hardly fits once they're out of their teens.

Lotsa pretty guitars there....

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:13 pm
by kentwkistler
Mostly a reply to Norm and Vidar: Sorry, Norm, but the pic submitted by Vidar is quite different from the first Bigsby made for Travis. And for Vidar, I found the "description" of the guitar quite amazing.

WOW............. YOU DON'T SEE MANY OF THESE !!!!!!. . . KWK comment: I sure hope not!!!!!


THIS IS A PROTOTYPE BIGSBY GUITAR . . . KWK comment: Dictionary definition of prototype is "an ORIGINAL model on which all subsequent forms are to be made."

SERIAL # 022 SW3

ALL ORIGINAL, PERFECT NECK, PERFECT ELECTRONICS, KILLER FINISH !!!! . . . KWK comment: "all original" has already been established under prototype.

LOOKS UNPLAYED !!!! . . . KWK comment: maybe it is not playable!!!!!


SWEET GUITAR . . . KWK comment: as opposed possibly to "sour guitar"?

I promise not to comment on this any more. K E N T

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:36 pm
by thenorm
I saw that Vidar's pix was quite different.

I saw the picuture of the guitar in question on Thom's Facebook page and also looked up the guy who made it. Both of those photos were kinda small but the guitar looked a lot like Merle's original. Good of you to post the stats, Kent because that's the kind of thing people always wonder about.

PA must have been quite a character.

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:10 pm
by George Beasley
Were Bigsby guitars any good, or are they just rare?

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:21 pm
by Gary Smith
George, maybe the answer is a bit complicated as to "were they any good" or not.

When the first one was made, late 1940's, there wasn't much else in the way of solid body electrics. In my opinion, it was the forerunner of the Fender Telecaster which somewhat resembles the early Bigsbys.

The story goes that Leo Fender borrowed Merles Bigsby and copied a lot of the features, not exactly the same, but similar, the 6 on a side tuners, etc, even some of the shape of the head stock.

Merle's Bigsby had a sustain that no other guitar of that time had, it was similar to a Steel Guitar, the sustain, that is.

As to whether it was any good, it seems to be "good Enough" for Leo Fender to simulate with the early Telecasters.

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:38 pm
by thenorm
At the time many of the top session men had them too which means something... Hank Garland, Grady Martin, studio players. I gather Bigsby pickups were a factor Back in The Day also since Chet used one on his D'angelico. Hank and Grady were session players so they used diffferent guitars for different applications but PA's guitars were expensive for the day and limited access since he could only make one or two a month

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:50 pm
by Mike Nye
I played a soild-body Bigsby that belonged to a local C&W player about 35-years ago. From what I remember, the pick-ups were kinda weak and it felt heavy and awkward compared to a Strat or Tele. I was leveling & dressing frets on a rare 2-pick-up 49 Broad/Telecaster at the same time, so I played them back to back. The Tele fit like a glove, and played like a dream compared to the Bigsby, that for some reason just didn't seem to live up to all the hoopla that went along with it.

NOT a BAD guitar. Just NOT worth what they're getting for them vintage or retro. Probably a much better conversation piece than a world class guitar . . .

Re: For you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:04 am
by Vidar Lund
Kent, thank you for your comment. Your opinion is always appreciated. I agree that the description of that Bigsby guitar is somewhat "inventive". That´s one of my reasons to post. It´s said to be a prototype. I understand that to mean one instrument, and that one has been up for sale for months now so I guess nobody wants it. Maybe there are more than one prototype of that particular model?
Here are the present day´s Bigsby guitars as presented on their website.
Only the four first ones have the Bigsby pickups.

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:22 am
by Jussi Huhtakangas
I've played a couple ( I'm the one behind the Mack Thomas steel in the All Bigsby Band photo ) and I own the last instrument PA built, a triple neck pedal steel. The ones that I've had in my hands and played indeed were a world class guitars and I know that most everyone of them were ( PA did some experimental guitars too, steels mostly ). Some and especially steels, were modified, some even not well cared for during their "lifetime". Set up is what makes all the difference in the world. I've played a dozen D'Angelicos that I know were incredible guitars, but the shop that had them ( I'll let you figure out the name of the shop yourselves :roll: ) had not set them up properly so they didn't seem to be exceptional when I played them. The PU's on Bigsbys are more hifi than, say Fenders. More full range and not as screamy trebly. That may seem them sound weaker when ABing ( treble cuts through more easily than mellower tone ) but the output is pretty much the same than any regular guitar PU, assuming the magnets have not gone weak. PA's workmanship was also outstanding, I guarantee you would gasp if you saw a mint condition or a brand new Bigsby, I sure did :)

Re: for you Bigsby Guitar lovers

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:02 pm
by Vidar Lund
Jussi, you´re the man to the left playing the pedal steel on the picture of the All-Bigsby Band on page 180 in "The Story of Paul Bigsby - Father of the modern electric solidbody Guitar" by Andy Babiuk. It´s an honour to have you and your expertise onboard. The instruments on that picture represent a good percentage of all Paul Bigsby´s instruments. After all he didn´t produce a lot, doing everything himself.