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  #1  
Old 12-13-2003, 08:38 AM
FNG FNG is offline
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Default Bigsby setup

Anyone have any experience, or references, on how to set up a Bigsby equipped guitar? Just got a Guild Starfire III with a Bigsby along with the floating bridge, and looked pretty hard on the 'net, but didn't find much.

When I got the guitar on shipment, with the strings loose, the floating bridge shifted, and I got it restrung okay, but not sure how to adjust the compensated saddle, and where it exactly should be placed.

Thanks
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04 Larrive J-09 Maple
04 Larrivee JV-05-12
04 Larrivee D-50
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2003, 09:05 AM
Ninjato Ninjato is offline
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My Gretsch has a Bigsby but the saddle is a in the body tune-o-matic (is that what you call it?)

I would guess that you just have to check intonation and move the bridge/saddle (people seem to use this term interchangeably) accordingly.

To check intonation:

1 pluck the open low E string and tune to pitch
2 fret at the 12 fret and pluck again
3 if it is # then you need to bring the saddle farther away from the neck, vice versa if it is b then move it closer to the neck...note: move very slightly like 1 mm at a time. It does't take much movement to change the intonation.
4 reapeat this process for the high E string

Since it is a true floating saddle/bridge there is not much you will be able to do for the strings in the middle. It's really an issue of compromise. Get it right for the LOW E and HIGH E and you'll see a resulting slight angle as the bridge rests on the body.

This is purely conjecture on my part and I am extrapolating from what I do to get intonation right on my Les Paul and Gretsch w/ a tune-o-matic bridge. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 12-13-2003, 10:56 AM
rhudson rhudson is offline
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A lot of the Gretsches have the "floating bridge." Some guys get the intonation set right and then put a couple of small brass screws in to secure it in place.

I have a 6119 Gretsch that has the floating bridge, but it doesn't bother me that much. I know about where it needs to be, and I just double check the intonation every time I string it.

The bigsby is a real neat little tool. If you are new with it, I would suggest hanging out with the Chet guys at the fretboard forum at www.misterguitar.com. There is a lot of bigsby knowledge there.
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Old 12-13-2003, 01:53 PM
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DickensDad DickensDad is offline
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Just agreeing with these other guys -- I've got the floater/Bigsby on my 6120, and the intonation is what drives the placement. My bridge usually ends up being slightly slanted.
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:28 PM
FNG FNG is offline
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Great stuff, thanks...that looks pretty easy. What about the adjustable saddle? Is that primarily for adjusting action?
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My Guitars:
http://community.webshots.com/user/fng45

04 Larrive J-09 Maple
04 Larrivee JV-05-12
04 Larrivee D-50
06 Guild D-50 Bluegrass Special
97 Guild DV-72
97 Guild DV-73
97 Guild Deco Custom Shop
91 Guild Nightbird CU
94 Guild GV-52
06 National Vintage Steel Tricone
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2003, 02:22 AM
Ninjato Ninjato is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by FNG
Great stuff, thanks...that looks pretty easy. What about the adjustable saddle? Is that primarily for adjusting action?
YES
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Old 12-14-2003, 02:27 AM
Ninjato Ninjato is offline
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One other thing. Intonation WILL change if you change string gauges or even brands of strings. Always check after re-stringing.
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Old 12-14-2003, 06:07 AM
FNG FNG is offline
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Okay, another guestion? The saddle on this Bigsby is compensated. Shouldn't that take care of the intonation on the middle 4 strings?

Thanks for the help...

Pat
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FNG

My Guitars:
http://community.webshots.com/user/fng45

04 Larrive J-09 Maple
04 Larrivee JV-05-12
04 Larrivee D-50
06 Guild D-50 Bluegrass Special
97 Guild DV-72
97 Guild DV-73
97 Guild Deco Custom Shop
91 Guild Nightbird CU
94 Guild GV-52
06 National Vintage Steel Tricone
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2003, 09:49 AM
Ninjato Ninjato is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by FNG
Okay, another guestion? The saddle on this Bigsby is compensated. Shouldn't that take care of the intonation on the middle 4 strings?

Thanks for the help...

Pat
YES and NO.

For the most part YES. To get it exactly, NO. It is an approximation. The ear can't tell really for the most part. Since the loe E is the first string you hit on a large chord, and the high E the last string you hit, that will give the chord it's "boundaries". The human ear will catch it and "fit" the rest of the strings in. Just look at a cheap guitar. For the most part it sounds OK. I managed fine on a Washburn D10 for years but would always wonder when a friend who can really play would constantly tweak the tuners as he is playing. It use to annoy the hell out of me after I electronically tuned up my guitar.

That said...The more you play, the more sensitive your ear will be to pitches (if you work at it and pay attention). Over time, your ear will say "hmmm, that G string didn't sound quite right up there on the 8th fret" and things like that.
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2003, 04:31 PM
FNG FNG is offline
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http://www.lmmusic.com/280273.html

Okay. Got a nice electric guitar setup book. The guy recommended changing the standard aluminum compensated saddle with a ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic with rosewood base, as depicted in the link above. Initial setup doesn't look all that hard, an interesting project. Anyone every done anything similar?
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Moe! Larry! Cheese!

FNG

My Guitars:
http://community.webshots.com/user/fng45

04 Larrive J-09 Maple
04 Larrivee JV-05-12
04 Larrivee D-50
06 Guild D-50 Bluegrass Special
97 Guild DV-72
97 Guild DV-73
97 Guild Deco Custom Shop
91 Guild Nightbird CU
94 Guild GV-52
06 National Vintage Steel Tricone
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