Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

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Matt_A
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Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Matt_A » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:40 pm

Newbie here, so glad to have found this board.

I'm getting ready to build a custom, maybe the best term for it is a Jazzmonster, and I've been considering using a Bigsby instead of the factory trem system. I've played both kinds and I like the solidity of the Bigsby. I'd be interested in hearing pros and cons from others with experience, and I'm looking for suggestions for the best bridge to use. I have my eye on the Schaller STS but I'm worried about the string height. I know there are factory Jazzmasters with Bigsbys but I don't know where to find out what bridge they used.

Matt

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Danley » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:16 pm

The American Special Jazzmaster has a Bigsby & Adjust-O-Matic:

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Telecasters back in the day used a Jazzmaster bridge (my preference if you have a vibrato: )

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Matt_A » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:26 pm

Very cool, thank you. What is the advantage of the Jazzmaster bridge? Seems like it would be a real challenge to intonate with the adjustment screws facing to the rear?

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Danley » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:41 pm

They also face the rear on the Adjust-O-Matic; and you can flip the Jazzmaster bridge (or Adjust-O-Matic) if it really bugs you.

The Jazzmaster bridge rocks back and forth to keep your strings from binding on the saddles (which the Adjust-O-Matic is sort of susceptible to - even when Gibson made original Bigsby-equipped models, they also had a rocking Tune-O-Matic design.) That said - some people set up the T/AOM bridge and make it work fine with a vibrato tailpiece, and some people find the rocking design more difficult to set up; we could learn from the proponents of each bridge, but ultimately? Personal preference.

Roller bridges are fine too if you get a good one.
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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by 601210 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:24 am

Pretty much anything that goes on two posts should be fine -- I've even seen some of those one-piece compton bridges on a Jazzmaster.

If you find the height of the bridge is a bit too much and it can't be lowered, you can shim the neck to compensate for it. A lot of people shim the neck for one reason or another, anyways.

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Musjagjazz » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:56 am

If you can't find a aJazzmaster with a Bigsby already installed, there is the Vibramate system which is non-invasive, uses the same screw holes from the vibrato to attach the guitar - no extra screw holes are needed.

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http://www.vibramate.com/vibramate-v5-jam-install.php

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Debaser » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:28 am

I’m a Bigsby nut. I’ve owned/used just about all the current variations, even the import and MIA Guildsby

B5s are ok, they can be made to work if you keep the string break angle low, and maybe use a MIA version to avoid the nylon bushings used in the import versions.

If I were doing a Bigsby on a JM, I’d use a ‘chopped’ B5. You cut away the roller bar assembly and you’ll have to marry to the idea of a big 3 degree neck pocket shim. I like to use a Tru-Arc Sepertune bar bridge for such a thing. TOMs can work, but I always default to the ABM2400 roller bridge which isn’t easy to come by anymore. I chopped a B16 for my Tele-Sparkle Jet project I’m stuck on. Doing away with the tension bar and getting a soft spring really is like nothing else out there. The two bound Teles I built/assembled showed me how close the B5 can get to being a sensitive, tuning-stable vibrato, but the B16 always wins.

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Matt_A » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:41 am

Debaser wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:28 am
I’m a Bigsby nut. I’ve owned/used just about all the current variations, even the import and MIA Guildsby
Have you ever tried a left-handed Bigsby? So you can get the bar out of the way or tuck it up under your elbow?

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Debaser » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:53 am

Matt_A wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:41 am
Debaser wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:28 am
I’m a Bigsby nut. I’ve owned/used just about all the current variations, even the import and MIA Guildsby
Have you ever tried a left-handed Bigsby? So you can get the bar out of the way or tuck it up under your elbow?
I’m not left handed so thankfully no. But the black B5 Tele above has a “Chet” arm bracket on it with the regular ‘butter knife’ on it instead of the wire handle. This allows you to rotate the arm 360 degrees. I can tuck it under my forearm while playing, way back behind the bridge, for subtle warble while playing. I plan on doing the same for the burst B16 Tele, but I’ll simply grind off the top notch instead of buying the bracket.

You know the Bigsby B16 feel and sensitivity is very close to a stock Jazzmaster/Jag Vibrato. I will say the non-tension bar Bigsby is more sensitive and can do deeper dives than a JM trem, so there is a slight benefit if you’re into that. I learned with the B5 Bigsby/Mastery M4.1 Tele that a Bigsby can dive bomb and come back in tune if you want to get crazy.
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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by lhwarp » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:52 pm

I plan to install a Bigsby B5LH and a roller bridge on my cheap 2nd hand Harley-Benton Jazz-like JA60LH-OW 8) :

Image

Image

But OK, it's not a true Jazzmaster... :mellow:

-lhwarp

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by toma19 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:24 am

Hi!
it's a bit off-topic, but how does the Harley Benton sound with its JM pickups? is the bridge PU high output or vintage? (does it deserve a special topic?)

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by mgeek » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:41 pm

Bigsbys are cool. If this is a total scratch build project, and it were mine, I'd look at the longer style versions, like you get on semi acoustics, purely for aesthetic reasons...they look so damn cool on solid guitars! Check out the Maton Wedgtail (not the eastwood version)

Bridge wise, the aluminium compensated sorkins are great with bigsbys, and as long as you get the right type for your choice of g string.

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Matt_A » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:52 pm

lhwarp wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:52 pm
I plan to install a Bigsby B5LH and a roller bridge on my cheap 2nd hand Harley-Benton Jazz-like JA60LH-OW 8) :
But OK, it's not a true Jazzmaster... :mellow:

-lhwarp
Where'd you find that Bigsby anyway? I'm looking for one, that model. The ones with the longer tails don't seem to go well with the Jazzmaster body, which isn't symmetrical about the centerline on the bottom.

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:47 pm

lhwarp wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:52 pm
I plan to install a Bigsby B5LH and a roller bridge on my cheap 2nd hand Harley-Benton Jazz-like JA60LH-OW 8) :

Image

Image

But OK, it's not a true Jazzmaster... :mellow:

-lhwarp
The other thing you could do which is fairly inexpensive for your Harley-Benton is a Duesenberg Les Trem II (they make lefty models :w00t: :w00t:). They attach right to your stop tailpiece studs, and look pretty decent too.
Image
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http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

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Re: Bigsby on a Jazzmaster & bridge?

Post by Danley » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:22 pm

Have only heard good things about Les Trems; slightly less ugly than a Bigsby ;)
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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