TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

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TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby PhilHunt » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:00 pm

I found this guy TK Smith online and really like what he's doing. He has remade the Bigsby pickup and also has a neat Chet style Bigsby arm. He also does custom pickguards. I'm considering getting a Bigsby pickup from him. I'm planning to get one of the new D'Angelico Excel and fixing it up like Chet's. The only hiccup I'm going to run into is the Kauffman Vibrola. TK said he could fabricate one if he had an original. I saw one on ebay about 2 years ago that I bid on and lost at the last minute, and it sold for $125 which I thought was a great price. Does anyone have one they would sell or does anyone know of a place where you can get one?
By the way I told TK he should really set up a table at CAAS...he would do really well.


http://shop.tksmith.net/
PhilHunt
 
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Re: TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby Norm » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: the Kaufman

They were made by Rickenbacker and a year or so ago I saw that Rickenbacker was installing them on their guitars again so it would be worth your time to pressure them about it.

Everyone has their own idea about the custom handles on the Bigsby. Paul once reccomended getting some 1/4" welding rod and bending your own to suit yourself. You could either have that plated or get some cold rolled and do the same thing.

For years I had a homemade handle that fit the bigsby bracket. I didn't have the fat tip on it but I did have the tip rounded off. Had it plated. Looked good, worked well. I finally got a "real" Chet handle and lucked out since I didn't have to make any adjustments to handle or hand use. The trick with making your own is to bend it enough so you can damp the strings at the bridge and have the tip where you think it oughta be.

If you buy one of these pickups from this guy keep in mind the Bigsby pickup didn't have a lot of output. Even less than a gretsch.

Good luck with your project. Just keep in mind that John's guitars were solid wood. The modern D'Angelicos are laminated. The only thing they really have in common with the old ones is the headstock
...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: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Re: TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby PhilHunt » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:23 am

Norm,
Wasn't Chet's sealed top 6120 a solid top and aren't the new CGP 6120's laminated tops?
PhilHunt
 
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Re: TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby Norm » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:40 am

Yes.

I just never got comfortable with the idea of someone applying the name D'Angelico to an offshore manufactured product. I'll admit it's just a personal quirk but most of John's guitars were hand carved instruments made in a small New York shop.

Terada makes the new ones and Terada is a respected name but I still shudder at the thought that D'Angelico is now a "made in lots of ____ at a time" instrument. Veneered ones at that.
...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: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
Posts: 1320
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: redwood city ca

Re: TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby Eddie Estes » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:45 am

If Terada makes them they are good.
A guitar with a carved top and back is beyond the monetary reach of most people anymore.

I would love to have a copy of Maybelle Carters L-5. I wish Gibson would make that.
Of course you then have the price which will be ridiculous and possibly deal with Gibson's
customer service which is pretty bad!
Eddie Estes
 
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Re: TK Smith Bigsby style Pickups and other neat stuff

Postby Norm » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:27 am

I just checked the Rickenbacker site and see they no longer offer the Kaufman.

It still would be worth contacting them to see if they have any unsold models in stock. Can't hurt.
...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: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
Posts: 1320
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: redwood city ca


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