best bigsby for 335?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MKR, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,
    looking for some advise here. Recently picked up a brand new epi dot (had one that i sold before and you never really realize how much you like something until it's gone).

    I feel like i have to put on a bigsby on it. It's begging for one.

    My old dot had a b7 and it was OK if not a little dissapointing in its performance.

    i am inclined to getting a b3 along with a towner bar this time around.

    Do you guys reckon either version of the bigsby is better suited for a 335?

    I think visually i prefer the b3 and towner bar. Also i am a little confused as to how a b3 stays on the guitar... is it only attached at the strap button? How does it stay on properly?
     
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  2. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Well were in the same boat.i got a older Korean dot that ill never part with.yest they just beg for a Bigsby.B3 with Towner bar would be the ideal set up. B7 looks better but dont need the Towner bar other than to plug the tailpiece holes and give you your tailpiece ground back.i did a B5 on a SG and used a towner bar for the reasons above.but it works just fine with out it.OK ill run another idea by ya.how about puttin a Epi Casino or like wise Gibby Trapese style tailpiece on.cool factor without the Bigsby hassels.youd still have the tailpiece holes.most logical Bigsby setup.B3 with Towner bar.the B3 just hinges and works like a trapeese tailpiece.
     
  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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  4. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    Ya OK B3 and towner it shall be.

    and biddlin, that photo you posted is helpful, but it still looks weird. With other bigbsy's which screw into the front of the body at least you can feel like it's on there securely.

    I don't get that impression with the b3 at all.
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you, I'd never use one of those things.
    [​IMG]
    Nah, just teasin'. It is as secure as any trapeze tp.
    Caveats:Restringing is a pita, don't let anybody give you the old "It gets easier as you go." crap. By the time it gets easier, you're arthritic anyways. There are a couple of things I advise. Put a thick cloth pad between the Bigsby and guitar any time you slack the strings. these guys have more ways to dent your finish than you want to think about. Get a roller bridge, if you don't already have one. Careful wrapping and stretching of strings and smooth nut are the solution to tuning issues. Heavier strings do not stabilze the tuning. Your technique will determine what gauge of strings you need, but most times, after a week or two, everybody's good with their usual. Finger bends will likely not be as effective, because of a slightly longer string length between bridge and towner bar., than bridge to, fatter, stopbar. You will not be able to dive bomb with this set up. You will get a nice smooth vibrato.
    Pics, when you do it!
    ;>)/
    [​IMG]
    BTW, that is much too severe a break angle on this set up.
     
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  6. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    OK so i popped down to a guitar store and i bought a towner bar as well as a b30. Done.

    HOWEVER! the towner bar "C" shaped things are too narrow for my tailpiece posts. Just a hair too narrow. WTF!

    Still i set up the bigsby and can use it without the towner bad just fine.
     
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  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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  8. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Lets see that Dot MKR
     
  9. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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  10. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    even though i have the bigsby up and running, i'll take some glamour shots after i get those replacement studs so i can use the towner bar.

    For what it's worth i love the response of the b30 (b3). Definitely recommend this for dots and 335s. It's a sinch to install as well.
     
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  11. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Did you put the screws in the end or just use one of those mounting washers from a Towner kit there MKR ??
     
  12. townerusa

    townerusa New Member

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    Just a note guys, always contact me from my website so I can help guide you if you need any assistance.

    Secondly, I dont agree with "roller" bridges at all... In my experience they loose tone/sustain. I always stick with the ABR-1.
     
  13. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    currently i just put my old studs back. I'd rather have them in than empty holes/anchors.

    and i just bought the towner bar without any extras ($35 vs. $99). It's funny the one store that sells towner bars in Canada (as per the towner bar website) happens to be a 5 minute drive from my house. i thought i was going to have to go the ebay route, but didn't end up having to.
     
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  14. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    i didn't really think i needed assistance. I mean i can pretty easily decipher how to install your product from a photo and i know what it's supposed to do.

    I had no idea that a part on an epiphone that 'looks' identical to that on the gibson has an ever so slightly different size.

    by the way, i definitely plan on getting the replacement studs that biddlin mentioned earlier so that i can use the towner bar. Can you confirm that these will work with my existing epiphone anchors?

    Replacement METRIC Chrome Tailpiece Mounting Studs(no anchors) - Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies, LLC

    Thanks and looking forward to having the towner bar up and running.
     
  15. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    I meant the end piece on Bigsby about screwin it down or just using strap button to hold it in.ya Epi stuff metric.no matter what you think even all the Gibby tailpieces theres a varience to the size.right now i got one REAL Gibson tailpiece on my Epi Dot. Other ones wouldnt fit but one did. Go figure.cant wait to see ur Dot.
     
  16. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    oh i drilled it into the body. I mean it's only 2 little holes beside the strap button. I could probably take off the bigsby, fill the holes and put red nail polish over and people no one would ever know i had a bigsby on it (i even put a bit of extra felt on the underside so it wouldn't contact the body surface).

    but it's awesome to have the bigsby. Personally i think a 335 is incomplete without one.
     
  17. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Semi Hollows just look right with all that hardware hangin off them.if i put one on im just gonna drill the end piece.what the hell its not like a 68 Gibby 335 im workin on.but i do love my Dot dearly. Its a older Korean one with Gibson trus rod cover.
     
  18. Mike Kay

    Mike Kay New Member

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    Here's my 1980 GTX 335 clone project. I added pafs, gutted and replaced the electronics, reshaped the headstock and added one of those laminate headstock covers that guy in the UK makes. I shot the top of the reshaped headstock with a Stew mac rattle can cherry stain. Later, I added the Grovers too.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I also added the Bigsby B3 and the Towner Bar. I also used the Towner rear strap button mount and I ordered the inexpensive metric tailpiece screws that fit the Towner bar perfectly.

    Here's the advantages of the Towner Bar for me:

    1. No screws anywhere in the guitar. I used some soft velcro under the Bigsby in a few small spots to protect the finish.

    2. Quick install under 30 minutes.

    3. I can move this Bigsby setup to any of my stop tailpiece guitars easily.

    4. It's reliable tuning wise. There is also an advantage in that the downward force of my right hand doesn't force the tuning sharp during the gig. Without the Towner there is a long run of unsupported string length between bridge and Bigsby.

    5. It looks cool and fills the 2 tailpiece studs. I don't much like the pearl coverup buttons, etc..

    6. It adds downforce and stability. It keeps the strings from popping out of Tune-o-matic saddles and allows me to tweak sustain and string tension a bit too.

    Years back I had a sweet 1968 Gibson 335 with a B3. I sold it to make rent in the 1980's sadly. So after years of guilt, I kinda recreated it down to the serial number sticker inside the F hole. The Gibson was Walnut and alas, we can't return to the past. But this made be feel better about it!
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. MKR

    MKR Well-Known Member

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    really nice 335 you got there Mike. I have been playing my dot a ton since setting up the b3 and i am REALLY enjoying it. The B3 feels so good and smooth and this is with just the stock TOM bridge and i haven't even been able to use the towner bar yet. Even so it plays awesome. So much better than my old dot with the B7.

    I did end up buying those conversion studs off that website so i should be able to put the towner on once they arrive, but even so i don't think it will really improve the vibrato that much. At least it will complete 'the look' i was going for.

    Man i am loving my dot so much right now. It's really making me rethink selling some of my other guitars.
     
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  20. Mike Kay

    Mike Kay New Member

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    [/QUOTE]Man i am loving my dot so much right now. It's really making me rethink selling some of my other guitars.[/QUOTE]

    Love to buy 'em, hate to sell 'em!

    Enjoy your dot man!
     

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