Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guitars

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Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guitars

Postby Larry Lenhart » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:23 pm

There is a Bigsby Electric guitar on ebay that is quite tempting. I was wondering if anyone on the forum owns one or has played one. Being a huge Merle Travis fan, the vibe of that guitar is really cool to me. I dont remember ever seeing one at CAAS over the years since 1993 when I first started going. I found the web page where these guitars are described but cant find any information about them price wise to know if this guitar is priced in the ball park. Thanks for any input.
Here is the bigsby electric guitar link

http://www.bigsbyguitars.com/vibe/

here is the ebay link

http://cgi.ebay.com/Bigsby-Prototype-El ... 1207099963
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby kentwkistler » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:36 pm

Larry, the answer to your inquiry depends upon what you are actually looking for: this so-called "Bigsby" guitar, or a guitar actually hand-made by Paul Bigsby. BIG difference. The guitar in this e-mail is really a Gretsch product, since Gretsch purchased the Bigsby company and the rights to use the name in any manner they want. Thus, a new "prototype" Bigsby guitar, complete with Bigsby logo on the headstock, hopes to capitalize on the name.

It is probably worth the $2900 asking price, and you surely will never find an original instrument for sale at a price you could pay. I have one of the early guitars Mr. Bigsby made to my specifications in 1950. A few years ago at the opening of a music museum in Carlsbad, CA (attended among others by guitar historians and experts George Fullerton and R C Allen) my guitar was appraised conservatively at $40,000.

So, the instrument advertised in the e-mail is probably as close to a Bigsby as you will ever get, unless you happen to own an oil well somewhere. I'm sure you will be pleased with whatever decision you make. K E N T
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby thenorm » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:58 pm

Kent!
Good to see you post, man! I was starting to worry where you'd gone to.

Everything you said is true and goes double for the new "D'Angelico" guitars being made now. The new Bigsbys and new D'Angelicos may well be fine instruments but the original Bigsby/D'Angelico guitars were, as Kent states, made to order for the purchaser.
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby Larry Lenhart » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:03 am

Thanks guys for the input about the Bigsby guitars...I was fully aware that these are not the original 50s guitars but rather re-issues made to look like the old Bigsbys. I still think they are cool looking guitars, and rather hard to find. I have only seen one on ebay lately, but I am still not sure what year Gretsch did these guitars. I think I missed the chance to bid on the one that just went off ebay, but I am sure another will surface at some point. Thanks again for a great forum.
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby Vidar Lund » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:26 pm

Larry, this prototype "Bigsby guitar" has nothing to do with the ones handmade by Paul Bigsby himself as stated above. I think this is the one sold by Street Sounds of Brooklyn, N.Y., last year. It was posted under Gretsch guitars. The price was about half of those US$ 2900, so if it´s the same instrument the seller has made a lot of money. I looked at it myself, but I´m more than happy with my Nashville Classic that I bought from Street Sounds at a good price.
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby Peter Clifton » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:09 am

You could try emailing the Bigsby website. I did this a while back and they got back saying they had two guitars avaiable at that time. They may know who might have one (retail stores,) if they have none left.
If you fancy having a replica built, replica pickups are available here http://virtualvintageguitars.com/guitar ... ickups.htm

Good Luck
Peter Clifton
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby Jussi Huhtakangas » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:40 am

Peter Clifton wrote:You could try emailing the Bigsby website. I did this a while back and they got back saying they had two guitars avaiable at that time. They may know who might have one (retail stores,) if they have none left.
If you fancy having a replica built, replica pickups are available here http://virtualvintageguitars.com/guitar ... ickups.htm

Good Luck
Peter Clifton


I have a pair of those PU's on a custom built hollowbody and they're great!
And what's more, they have started building guitars too, I guess on a limited custom made basis. I've seen photos of a replica Grady Martin double neck they made and it's like the real thing.
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby kentwkistler » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:59 pm

I guess I'm paranoid about this subject and probably should just shut up, but it bothers me (and quite a few other people, too). A lot of folks complain about "fake" guitars (Gibson, Fender, etal) being produced by the Chinese and others. But these same people seem to think it is all right for "fake" Bigsby instruments to be profanely offered to the gullible musician who wants a guitar "like Merle had."

Look at the wording in some of the ads: a "prototype" Bigsby guitar. Do you know what prototype means? Perhaps you should consult a dictionary. Pickups wound to "basic" Bigsby specifications. Come on now, "basic" bread could be made from any type of flour, or even from floor sweepings! And a guitar that "looks just like" Grady Martin's two-neck Bigsby (a monstrosity in anyone's estimation) that Grady had solely for show and the oohs and ahhs he got when he walked in with the device.

The whole thing is a lot of BS. Some of these guitars are adequate and a musician could get a lot of use from them. But, again, they are NOT what you might expect. Price is certainly an indication. I'm finished with this subject and will not approach it again, except if ????? K E N T
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Re: Anyone own or have experience with Bigsby Electric Guita

Postby George Beasley » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:48 pm

Here is a photo I snapped at the 2009 CAAS convention, of what I will assume is a replica and not an original. It looks distinctive, which I suppose is the point. I heard someone play it, and it sounded pretty good, but I have no idea what a real Bigsby guitar is supposed to sound like.


Image
DSCF0317.JPG by Georgebb, on Flickr
Thanks,
George
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