Fitted a Bigsby B3 & Towner bar to my SG Standard

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by SG standard, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Finally got the parts & fitted the B3 with a Towner Hinge Plate Adapter & Down Tension bar. :)

    A very straightforward installation, with the most complicated part being getting familiar with the Bigsby stringing technique whilst trying to remember which buttons to press to wind the strings on the Min-Etune!

    I did have one issue though: I've fitted Schaller Strap Locks, and the aperture in the strap button is a tiny bit smaller than on the original. The extra long screw from Towner did not fit, so I found an alternative I had, which was slightly longer than the original, but shorter than the one from Towner. Later, as the strings were stretching, I heard a few creaks & then spotted the bottom of the hinge was coming away - the screw was being pulled out.

    I went out to get a better replacement screw, but then had a change of heart. It was always my intention to fit the Bigsby, and so I figured I'd do it with the four screws in the plate, even if it meant drilling the guitar. I still used the Towner adapter plate, as it positions the strap button well, and looks as though it was part of the Bigsby design.

    As for the two big questions… tone & tuning: There seems to be a noticeable increase in acoustic volume, but I'm struggling to hear any change in tone that isn't completely drowned out by the fitting of new strings - and I've played nothing but the SG in the last few weeks in an effort to be really familiar with it. (Thus it had quite dead strings!) Anyway, there certainly seems to be no detrimental effect on tone, sounds as good as ever! I did record some samples which I can use to make a comparison, once these strings are also over the hill. As for tuning, it's early days, the strings need to settle, but I'm not concerned so far. Fact is, this SG was always prone to going out of tune, even out-of -the-box. I suspect it might need some work on the nut. So a pro set-up is likely to be in the near future; it didn't seem to be worth doing before fitting the B3. Anyway, so far tuning is holding up better than expected, (with a GrapTech bridge fitted).

    I took a few photos - I really like the first one, as it shows off the SG's bevels really well. Quite hard to do on a white guitar on a white background!

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    At last, I feel I have the guitar I wanted to buy earlier this year. :) :thumb:
     
  2. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Beautifull man beautifull.nice job.i used a B5 but eventually got a towner bar and skipped the B5/roller and it plays so nice now.it cuts the string break angle down.once again that is one fine lookin guitar.a job well done
     
  3. 58pit

    58pit Well-Known Member

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    That is very nice man, WELL done!
     
  4. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    That looks awesome man, congratulations!!
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. How's the intonation? (I couldn't help but notice your bridge saddles are backed up to the limit.)
    ;>)/
     
  6. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it seems odd to me that they're all so far back. The only two at the limit are the low E & G, both of which couldn't be set with the original bridge/strings, without reversing the saddles. That seemed to improve when I fitted the GraphTech bridge. Intonation is fine now, which is just as well with no room to move...
     
  7. El Marin

    El Marin Active Member

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    Welcome to the club!
     
  8. sgmolester14

    sgmolester14 New Member

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    great guitar:) sorry to to hear about the intonation but also happy to see its just spot on. is the neck relief good? might help you free up some of those saddles a tad. Good job
     
  9. Gibsg

    Gibsg Well-Known Member

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    Cool guitar but adjust your intonation my friend ...
     

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  10. R.A.F.

    R.A.F. Active Member

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    Oh, it looks very slick, my friend, very good indeed!
     
  11. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    That is adjusted. :) When I was downsizing the shots to post, I wondered who would be the first to comment on that - it looks odd to me too. (And the prize goes to Biddlin). Incidentally, I revisited the intonation last night, and the 'D' did need to move towards the neck by a fraction, otherwise it was all good.

    Thanks for all the feedback folks, I'm really happy with this mod. :)

    Before fitting, I was curious how this would look on my S-60. Soooo tempting:
     

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