Is it blasphemy to affix a new bigsby to a 40-year-old ES-335?

bum

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The B3 has been great for me, no reaching that I noticed :)

This is the guitar, I guess it's personal preference really

bigs2.jpg
 

kakerlak

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I'd definitely go B6 and a Towner or B7 with a Vibramate. I think you'll find a standard screw-down B-7 makes for a fairly severe break angle and that the extra height will make for smoother vibrato action.

As for value -- I expect those will go steadily up in value, but I kind of doubt they'll ever skyrocket the way '50s-60s stuff did. Drilling for a Bigsby will negatively impact its value, but not wildly so, as it just means a few small size screw holes, perhaps a little finish dent from wherever the tailpiece contacts the rim/top and, if it stays on a long time, some amount of a tan line from finish yellowing more outside it, though that might not happen much if the guitar is already significantly yellowed. If it's something you plan to keep/use for a long time, if not forever, and the direct-mounted Bigsby gives you significantly more joy in ownership, go for it. Another way to put it is, if you pay market value for it now, I suspect it will inflate to cover the hit it takes from the mod in 5-10 years time, if not sooner.

Right now, I'd expect it to take about a $150-200 hit in value, if you do this, unless the guitar is absolutely minty clean. If it's in such sparkly new condition right now that it commands a premium over nearly all others on the market, then you'd be killing that aspect of it with this or any other mod that's not fully reversible.
 

stilwel

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I'm 100% for putting BIgsbys on everything.

The B3/B6 with Towner bar solution is a great option if you don't want to screw it in permanently.

Here's a thread about this exact topic for 335's.
 

Christosterone

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no screws into the body with the towner system. On a 335 or larger body, I'd really recommend a B6 unless you like to reach for the arm

use a vibramate,,,no screws
id go b5
every one of my Gibson’s has a bigsby....most have 2...lol
im kinda obsesssd

vibramate changed everything
the b7 bracket looks goofy imho so I’d go with the B5 system
No screws needed

B2D76188-B2C7-4AD1-B46E-5B17DB786496.jpeg

-chris
 

Lester

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If you can do it with no a "no screws" version and make sure to top stays pristine, sure. Why not. If it will damage the guitar in any way, hell no, that's an expensive guitar.

I'm in the "If you're keeping it, do what you like" club... but on a vintage guitar, what I like is keeping it vintage. That's why my LP still has the original, less than ideal, Kluson tuners.
 

MSB

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use a vibramate,,,no screws
id go b5
every one of my Gibson’s has a bigsby....most have 2...lol
im kinda obsesssd

vibramate changed everything
the b7 bracket looks goofy imho so I’d go with the B5 system
No screws needed

View attachment 511817
-chris
That’s not the B6 I recommended. Any non down tension bar bigs is a lot smoother than one with, IMO
 

Christosterone

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That’s not the B6 I recommended. Any non down tension bar bigs is a lot smoother than one with, IMO

I’ve got 4 b5 models...
the vibramate allows lifts bigsby bracket enough to negate The break angle “issue”

it’s one of the genius aspects of the vibramate imho

66FBF1D5-0CDE-4BE1-99BC-D2EE75574894.jpeg
756FEA16-AC42-42AC-9352-F048EC53685B.jpeg
DD5C8623-9A46-446E-B9BC-96D3DA52BF63.jpeg

-chris
 

Scream And Fly

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It’s blasphemy to install a Bigsby on any guitar. Probably the worst tremolo bridge ever made and it’s offensively ugly. I always find it funny that most of the videos I see about guitars with that bridge rarely show the bridge in actual use, aside from mild demonstrations of how it’s used. I think most people install it because they think it looks cool.
 

CB91710

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It’s blasphemy to install a Bigsby on any guitar. Probably the worst tremolo bridge ever made and it’s offensively ugly. I always find it funny that most of the videos I see about guitars with that bridge rarely show the bridge in actual use, aside from mild demonstrations of how it’s used. I think most people install it because they think it looks cool.
It works OK for a shallow "Rockabilly" vibe... not really any more extreme than you could do by hand, but it sounds different with all strings in unison.

Like the original Fender units, these things were not designed for Eddie Van Halen.
 

Scream And Fly

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I completely agree and understand that those bridges are obviously not designed for, or used in the more extreme ways a Floyd Rose bridge would permit without drastic tuning consequences. Even so, to me, the Bigsby seems to be more about aesthetics these days more than functionality. Without a roller bridge, it’s a terrible setup no matter how gently it’s used. I would imagine a roller bridge would add a great deal of tuning stability to a Bigsby setup.
 

Freddy G

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I completely agree and understand that those bridges are obviously not designed for, or used in the more extreme ways a Floyd Rose bridge would permit without drastic tuning consequences. Even so, to me, the Bigsby seems to be more about aesthetics these days more than functionality. Without a roller bridge, it’s a terrible setup no matter how gently it’s used. I would imagine a roller bridge would add a great deal of tuning stability to a Bigsby setup.

I'm in your camp. I think they are horrible......and ugly as sin. Even with a roller bridge and everything working as perfectly as possible ....a Gibson headstock design with it's serious 11-17 degree angle and the strings splaying out from the nut will guarantee to bind and knock it out of tune. I don't even like stock 6 screw Fender trems for the very reason that the tuning is unstable as soon as you touch it. Yeah....I know how to set them up the best they can be...but to me, if it goes out even 1 cent....nope, no good.
 

Pancake81

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I have to say no... not on resale or anything like that, just out of preserving history. Original condition numbers go every day because of alteration like this.

Want a 335 with a bigsby? Buy one. Or buy a newer Gibson, epiphone, Sheraton and have some fun. But I would leave the historic pieces alone.

just my .02 cents. I am not offended by others actions. That’s just my take on the question
 

moreles

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Yes, it's blasphemy, but you are free to blaspheme. If you need a Bigsby, musically (heaven knows why), then you should add one and use a Vibramate so you aren't unnecessarily hacking your guitar. If you are adding a Bigsby for hobbyist/cosmetic reasons, as most Bigsby owners do, don't. Just don't. Slapping a poorly designed and limited, usually malfunctioning appliance on a guitar top is a bad, detrimental move, IMO. As for resale, if that's even a concern (as it is for most of us), adding a Bigsby is a bad decision. As to new or old, well, a new one just makes it even worse, doesn't it? This is all opinion, but I'm quite sure that most 335 players do not want, need, or use Bigsbys, that the guitar is not really designed for one nor is it a particularly good choice for mounting one, anmd that the appearance, particularly on that guitar with its beautiful contours, is a negative for the majority of viewers. Do what you want, of course; if you ever sell the guitar, the buyer may well appreciate the significant price cut necessitated by having had a Bigsby added.
 

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