Thoughts on Vibramate, Bigsby B5, and Callaham

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by VetPsychWars, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. No_Class

    No_Class Member

    Aug 26, 2018
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    papagayo likes this.
  2. 4wight

    4wight Member

    May 1, 2018
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    From that angle it doesn't look too bad, though I'd still say a roller bridge is a must (in a rough photoshop comparison, I'd say your break angle is around 17 degrees, and mine is a bit less - around 12 degrees because I removed the front roller on the Bigsby). It helps a bit that your Vibramate is a couple of millimetres higher than mine. I ground off the lugs of the old tailpiece posts so that the Vibramate and Bigsby sit flush with the body - personally I think it looks better and helps with resonance and sustain, as everything is that much more firmly connected to the body of the guitar. But obviously the lower the Bigsby the greater the break angle - that's why I removed the front roller to relieve the angle and pressure on the strings over the bridge. But these things are a case of trial and error, and finding what works for your set up - obviously one person's set up, action or string gauge etc will be different from another's.
    No_Class likes this.
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2017
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    Of interest, Paul Bigsby intended the bridge to rock even sold "rocker bridges".

    That the bridge moves doesn't concern me much but if ever there is an issue I may well change my mind.

    No_Class likes this.
  4. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2013
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    “Rocker bridges” were a response to a problem with tuning stability on guitars with steeper neck/body angle.

    Initially bigsby supplied a compensated aluminum bridge. The rocker bridge didn’t come until later, as an attempt to resolve some tuning stability issues on some guitars.

    They sound like nothing else. In a goood way!!!

    But that system can be extremely tweaky. Especially on certain guitars. Neck angle and bridge height Are crucial.

    Guitar physics really come into play with this trem system. Anything that changes the length of the string can have a profound affect on how a guitar plays.

    Like.....The longer the string after the bridge break the more you will need to bend a string to have a pitch change. But you will get more stability with intonation.

    Longer string after bridge break also gives you a slinkier feel. Like 10’s will feel more like 9’s.

    All sorts of stuff starts to come into play.
    No_Class likes this.

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