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Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bracket

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:59 pm
by Spadaro Paolo
Hello everyone !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to know if any of you has passed from the swivel bracket to the stationary bracket or vice versa (In my case I'm talking about Gretsch 6122-1959, where the various components are included in the guitar case).
I just loosened the strings, flipped my swivel bracket, loosen the hex screw located under and extracted this;
after I entered the stationary bracket and screwed the hex screw (just enough, not too much).

My doubt is this:
I found the PLASTIC WASHER between the spring and the swivel bracket !!!!!!!!!!
But normally this goes between the spring and the bottom of the support base of the spring?
I also noticed that the stationary bracket is a little harder than the swivel, is this normal?

I will test this stationary bracket for some time, however, the first impressions were good.

Thank you, I hope I was clear in explaining my problem.


Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:57 am
by Norm
Put the plastic washer in the cup. If the assembly seems to tilt the handle tip too high, take it out.
I think it was there partially to make sure there was no metal on metal noise as the swivel was moved.

You may want to bend the rod a bit to suit yourself. If you bend at the tip be sure to unscrew the tip first to lessen the possibility of breakage.

It takes a little time to get used to the stationary bracket but once you get it properly placed, if you really like using your Bigsby, you'll never look back.

As for 'proper setting'...I think the ideal is to have the tip just about where your middle finger curls when your right hand is in "Chet position"

Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:37 pm
by Richard Hudson
I made the switch a few months ago also, Paolo. The stationary bracket is a little stiffer, it seems. I am still not completely comfortable with it, but it's getting better. I am a little unclear on the plastic washer. I always figured that was to keep the spring from wearing into the Bigsby itself. Smooth operation, noise free, is the goal.

Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:26 pm
by alexjones
Just wanted to chime in and let you know that I have my plastic washer between the spring and the handle side of the bracket (not the guitar side). Not sure where I heard to do this - but that's how I have mine setup. It makes sense because that is really the moving part which contacts the spring - so you would like to remove as much friction as possible. You should research on Paul Yandell's questions and answer pages about "pinning" the bigsby. May be something to consider if the geometry is correct for your bigsby. I actually pinned mine on my 6122-1959, but because of how things lined up when I screwed the base bracket to the guitar, it actually put the other side of the bigsby in the air! I didn't think that was a good idea, so I removed it. But I definitely do like the idea of having it fixed to the guitar. I had a similar setup with a Gibson CG I had and it worked much better than my Gretsch. Just some thoughts for you to consider. Take care!

Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:28 am
by Norm
Bigsby didn't make a practical swivel handle available until 1955. A lot of guitarists didn't like the original handle as offered. I think Bigsby made the first stationary bracket that accommodated the 1/4" rod was so Travis could make his fancy long handle. Allegedly Merle got the first one and Chet got the second one.

Chet was a hardcore user of mechanical vibrato. He had a Kaufman/Rickenbacker Vib-Rola that didn't swivel because he used it like a vocalist uses the end of held notes. When he got his stationary bracket he tried several different versions of bent rod until he finally settled on what we now refer to as the 'Chet Handle'.

I have seen YouTubes of some very fine players doing remarkable copies of Chet's arrangements yet they ignore the Bigsby or use it very timidly. I never understood this. Particularly when they go the extra expense of the Chet Handle. They play their copy of Chet's arrangements with the handle pointed at the floor.

If you don't understand why Chet wanted that tip so close at all times and if you don't see the reasoning of phrasing your notes like a vocalist or a good sax player by adding a touch of vibrato then there is probably no reason for you to get a stationary bracket.

I've had mine for over fifty years and never regretted it. When I use a swivel Bigsby it feels kinda sloppy.

Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:19 pm
by Spadaro Paolo
Thanks guys, you gave me great suggestions .............

In fact, by trying some days the stationary bracket I have to say that the fact of finding them already ready is really a beautiful thing;

However, the softness of the swivel bracket is too good .............. !!!!

So collecting your tips I've come to consider leaving the swivel bracket on the guitar, a little tightening the screw that allows the rotation so that it becomes a little more steady. Thus leaving everything in the original configuration included plastic washer. (Norm, I do not have the courage to bend the lever so as to eliminate the gap and it is very similar to Chet, I think it's still a fair idea :) :idea: )

Richard also think I understand (maybe) why the stationary bracket is a little harder, because the angle of attack of the lever is on a lower plane than the plane of the swivel bracket.

The great thing is to have the possibility to freely change from one to the other;

There will never cease to thank Paul Yandell and all those who participated in the rebirth of this great guitar indeed a work of art.

Thanks again Norm, Richard and Alex.


Re: Change from a bigbsy swivel bracket to a stationary bra

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:58 pm
by Spadaro Paolo
Norm, I listen Chet has always been (no joke, my mother loves the music of Chet Atkins and listened to his songs when I was in her womb, or so he tells me) ...........
Whenever Chet leaves play a chord (or note) and adds that expression with the bigsby vibrato, close my eyes and open my ears to take in the full wave of pleasure.
I've always wanted to own a guitar with a decent vibrato to emulate Mr. Atkins, but I was never satisfied, until the moment I tried his reply (G6122-1959) with Chet Handle.
You can not believe it but I'm literally attracted more than anything else by the vibrato of Chet and of course I try to imitate him (of course I can imitate Chet remotely, but I am equally happy).
This continuing research and study on the techniques used by Chet justifies my desire to switch from one type to another bigsby.
I very much appreciate your advice on the precise location to be given to the lever bigsby to look like Chet.