Bigsby: Do i really need a roller bridge?

limeoasis

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone, my bigsby b7 and vibramate v7 are going to come in next week and im very excited to install it on my les paul. But i am in a dilemma. Do i absolutely need a roller bridge of some sort to increase tuning stability, or the difference is not drastic compared to a tune o matic, which is on my lp now. Im not a heavy handed bigsby user, very subtle pitch change (1-2 semitone). Any advice is appreciated!
 

LOSTVENTURE

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
875
Reaction score
478
If you find yourself having any new tuning issues then you might consider a roller or at least a rocking type bridge. The only bigsbies that I have are on Gretsches and a Hallmark (Mosrite clone), and they all have roller bridges.
 

geezberry

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
4,215
Reaction score
2,828
After going through the whole bigsby thing i can say that a roller bridge without a doubt kills sustain and overall tone. You will notice it instantly.

Especially stay away from one that looks like this.

a207929131342d4a2e9ea_m.JPG
 

rideski

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
2,110
Reaction score
335
Locking tuners will help with the tuning stability while keeping the sustain from the regular bridge.
 

opalburn

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
801
Reaction score
160
you do not need a roller bridge.. but just make sure that your bridge doesn't wiggle too much. I had that problem with mine when i first put the bigsby on, but after i got all that sorted out, i haven't had any issues at all..
 

River

Senior Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
57,237
Reaction score
91,396
In a word, no.

I've three, two with stock Gibson bridges ('04 ABR-1 and '92 Nashville), one with a Graphtech TOM. I don't buy that a roller bridge will kill anything, much less sustain nor your mother, but I find them unnecessary.
 

icantbuyafender

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
4,063
Reaction score
1,925
In a word, no.

I've three, two with stock Gibson bridges ('04 ABR-1 and '92 Nashville), one with a Graphtech TOM. I don't buy that a roller bridge will kill anything, much less sustain nor your mother, but I find them unnecessary.


I'd stick with the bigsby rocker bridge.

Compensated for intonation, and fits on the TOM posts.
 

lineboss58

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
485
Reaction score
59
I have a 93 LP classic that had a bigsby fitted when i bought it, pitch stability was a big problem and i figured thats why the owner sold it. As the classic has an ABR-1 bridge i watched it move like a tree in a storm when the bigsby was used, with time this will cause the bridge stud holes to enlarge. The tuneomatic was never built for this kind of punishment, i fitted a roller bridge it does not solve the entire problem but it does help.:fingersx:
 

loneguitar

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
132
I only have a rocking bar bridge on my Gretsch, and there is no loss of sustain what so ever, but with an LP I would tend to agree with the other poster stating the fact that the ABR-1 and Nashville bridges would sway and over time enlarge the stud holes.
 

in2madness

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
1,092
Reaction score
979
People love to hate the Nashville bridge but one of its strengths is er....its strength. Its much les prone to wobble than an ABR-1. I have been anti Bigsby for a long time following bad experiences in the past. But gradually with the help of this forum and proper councelling I gave the Bigsby another go. It works a treat provided that you (a) fit your strings correctly (b) make sure your strings are stretched in (c) lubricate the nut and saddles. Lots of methods of doing this I use good old vasaline just the smallest amount and wipe away any excess.

Locking tuners are def not required and a bit misunderstood. They lock the string to the shaft and make string changing quick and fuss free but they don't provide any extra tuning stability over a properly fitted string. Any problems you do get will be at the nut or the bridge.
 

spacecowboy

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
13
Reaction score
9
With a new bigsby and vibramate I installed a roller bridge on my les paul
but after a while I removed the roller bridge .
Recording to my feeling, rollerBridge loose little sound nuances .
So I would answer that a roller bridge can be usefull if you have too many breaking chords problems
and if you do not you should keep your old stopbar .
 

AngryHatter

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
17,182
Reaction score
13,131
When I changed the bridge on the Gretsch it was for the larger foot, not the roller.
The increased contact area made it sound nicer to my ears.
 

ctkarslake

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
2,237
Reaction score
382
I've got two factory Bigsby'd Historics with ABRs, no problems as of yet and one's 14 yrs old. Vintage LPs never came with roller bridges when a Bigsby was installed. Some earlier examples had "dogbone" bridges but I have no experience with them or roller versions, no need to.
 

Gibsonist

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
312
Reaction score
91
I have a roller bridge on my Midtown Standard w/ Bigsby. Just like everyone else says, it's not necessary.

Personally, I'm a big fan of it and I think it's a nice thing to have, but in my opinion, I think it would be best to purchase the Bigsby (and Vibramate, if you choose to go that route) and see how stable your tuning remains. You can always add a roller bridge later on!

There are also other bridge options, like graphite saddles and the such. I don't know very much about them, though.

As posted by some of the other members, keeping everything lubricated is very important.

You may even want to consider additional hardware like locking tuners and a roller nut. They're a bit more expensive and not entirely necessary, but a nice luxury to have if you don't mind spending the extra cash. Again, I would go with the Bigsby first and then see if you feel that you really need them later on.
 

dbwalker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
507
Reaction score
245
I was fine with the tom bridges but I tend to be heavy handed & would brake strings right at the saddle so I switched out to the shaller roller bridges & haven't broken a string since, I didn't notice any difference in the sustain or tone, I think it's a preference thing, what ever works best for ya
 

tolm

Bigsby Junkie
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
4,098
Reaction score
3,121
I think it depends on how good your standard bridge is. I've fitted Bigsby's to a few guitars in my time:

- Parts built Tele - 3-saddle bridge (ZZGuitarWorks) worked fine
- Fender '72 Deluxe Tele - As above
- Gibson LP Studio Faded - Standard Nashville tune-o-matic was fine so long as well lubricated (pencil-lead graphite)
- Gibson Custom '58 Reissue - Standard ABR-1 is rock solid, even when I forget the pencil
- Epi Korina SG - Standard Nashville bridge was burred and shot to hell. Roller bridge much improved things, no noticable loss in sustain
- Gibson SG Special - Standard ABR-1 was okay but I put on a roller ABR-1 fit bridge to be on the safe side. There are some hammer-on/pull-off trills I play whilst slow-diving the Bigsby that I probably would get away with on the R8 but I would feel less confident on ... still sustains like a trooper and all the SG snarl remains.

*EDIT* I'd like to try those ULF ResoMax bridges to see how they stack up.
 

Latest Threads



Top