Asking all the owners of SGs fitted with Bigsbys

spikypaddy

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So I've ordered a Bigsby B5 and Vibramate for my SG Classic. Just two quick questions, though, for you guys who already have SGs fitted with Bigsbys:

1) Are the Reverend Bigsby springs a good upgrade and are they genuinely helpful for tuning stability?

2) Will the guitar still fit in its hard case with the Bigsby?
 

AngelDeVille

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So I've ordered a Bigsby B5 and Vibramate for my SG Classic. Just two quick questions, though, for you guys who already have SGs fitted with Bigsbys:

1) Are the Reverend Bigsby springs a good upgrade and are they genuinely helpful for tuning stability?

2) Will the guitar still fit in its hard case with the Bigsby?

1) it’s a softer spring, but has nothing to do with tuning stability. Not sure of its purpose as you can remove a washer. The bigsby will come with a white washer for spacing. If you need another spacer for the bottom, a replacement washer costs $2. I use a penny and it costs a penny.

2) fold the arm back and it fits every case I have come across.

 
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I had a new nut and B5 installed on my 2015 SG but don't know about the springs. The big gold case , when closed, depresses to arm slightly so I never store the guitar in the case. And yes the tuning stability is not great. I have to retune even when the bigsby is used lightly. Supergbaxe though.
 

fuzbuzz78

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A spring is not going to significantly help tuning stability. Having a proper cut nut will, in addition to a proper setup. This is where things get tricky because I have taken guitars to somewhat respected shops in NYC, LA, and a few cities in between and have seen some piss poor nut jobs! My takeaway is that the art of properly cutting a nut seems to be slipping away from the trade. You need to find a luthier and not some fix it all back of the shop guitar hack! I’m not saying all are terrible, just most! Regardless, tuning stability or instability all has to do with your nut. I have a bigsby on an SG Classic, A Lyre Maestro on an SG Original, and a Jazzmaster. All keep tune very well! As a matter of fact I can get through an entire 45 minute set at times and not have to tune.

In addition to the nut and the setup, there is also the finesse of the player. Tremolos, and bigsby’s are meant to be finessed. They aren’t like Floyd rose systems where you can go all crazy dive bombing. Sure you could, but you will need to re-tune more frequently because you are taking the design beyond its limits.

As far as storing in a case is concerned. You simply rotate the bigsby arm so it faces the tail of the guitar and it allows clearance for the case to close with little or no pressure on the arm of the bigsby. For my Jazzmaster, I do leave my trem arm in place and it does get depressed when the case is closed, but if I store the guitar tuned, it come out of the case in tune! Why? Because I took my guitar to a luthier to get the nut cut, not a guitar shop!
 
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Go Nigel Go

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Totally agree with the above. I would also add that in my opinion the Jazzmaster set up is one of the highest evolved pieces of hardware from a player's standpoint. It is super smooth, super precise, and is easily adjusted from the front without any disassembly whatsoever. You can't dive bomb it like a Floyd Rose, and is slightly less radical even than the stock Strat system, but it is without peer so long as it has enough range for your desired application. I have all my "trems" set up to fully float so I can bend two frets up, and the rest of the travel bends down. Getting my Strat to return to zero properly took me about half a day. The Jazzmaster setup took about a half an hour. Once set up, both are good to go so long as I don't change string type, but if I were to consider changing string gauge, I would be far more likely to start with the Jazzmaster.
 

SG standard

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I have several Reverends with Bigsby vibratos, their tuning stability is extremely good, and better than my SG, plus I liked the feel of the softer spring too, so I fitted one to the SG. Did it improve tuning? Possibly. A bit. Definitely feels better to me. But the reason the Reverends have such great tuning stability is probably down to the 6-in-line headstock design over the 3-a-side Gibson design, more than the softer spring.

Having said that, the Bigsby on the SG is (and was) more stable than the Maestro I have. As always YMMV.
 

El Marin

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I don't like soft springs. I like the opposite, the stiffer the best.

To get tuning stability, align the strings properly, raise one number the string gauge (you will feel yhe guitar softer with the old gauge and the Bigsby), put some pencil dust (graphite) on the bridge saddles and nut, the less turns at the tuners the best or locking tuners are even better beter

Yes, it fits the case, just fold the arm

BUT I like more B3 than B5
 

Clarence001

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I have a Bigsby (no Vibramate) on my SGjr and love it. Like the others have mentioned, staying in tune has a great deal to do with the nut. Supposedly it is due to the string's exit from the nut to the tuner (but obviously can be other things). I was having trouble with my G string staying in tune, so I got a file and opened the back of the slot a little. so far I no longer have tuning issues. Because files can be costly, If you have issues with more than one string or in general prefer leaving it to the pros might be more cost effective. Have fun.
 

Lynurd Fireburd

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1) it’s a softer spring, but has nothing to do with tuning stability. Not sure of its purpose as you can remove a washer. The bigsby will come with a white washer for spacing. If you need another spacer for the bottom, a replacement washer costs $2. I use a penny and it costs a penny.

2) fold the arm back and it fits every case I have come across.

Love the Lonnie Mack V.
 

Southpa

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Put a roller bridge on the guitar, tuning issues will evaporate. And the trem arm IS slightly depressed when closing the case but it is harmless. Lots of people slacken the strings anyway for shipping or long term storage. That's where the roller bridge keeps the guitar in tune.
 
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Wild Bill212

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IDK if you need the Vibramate, bro. or the B5 Horseshoe. I put a B3 Bigsby on an 2016 SG Standard w/Towner tension bar and it worked out quite nicely. No drilling/Routing, no extra parts (Vibramate). Only problem I had was the Golden Eagle Roller-Bridge, that had to go, and back went the original TOM Bridge......but other than that, the B3 works correctly and stays in tune reasonably well and the way the it connects to the Guitar has it so that only one piece of the tremolo touches the body of the guitar and that has a felt pad underneath it so no marks are made by it. The Back Strap Peg had to be changed but that screw came with the Bigsby.

I initially considered the B5, but after learning the Vibramate had to be put underneath it, I decided to look at something else.....the B3 was the 1st alternative......and its still on the Guitar doing what it is designed to do. BUT, I have found a better alternative for a Tremolo, besides a Bigsby, and that is the Duesenberg Les Trem II. It is simply the best Tremolo I have found that doesn't require any modifications and goes on/comes off the Guitar in seconds. It is a true German-made, Sturdy as it gets, work of engineering art.
 


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