#1
Guitar is a '72 Reissue Tele. Bridge on it is a "6-Saddle Vintage-Style Strat Strings-Through-Body Hardtail".

I'm just curious if installing some sort of light tremolo system like a Bigsby would be difficult or expensive. I probably wouldn't do it myself, though. I know the tremolo units are kind of pricy on top of labor. I don't want to sacrifice anything like intonation or tone of course.
#3
My general impression is that you probably wouldn't have much fun with the bridge, given that the usual Tele bridge for Bigsby setups is like this:
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at May 6, 2016,
#4
kahler , stetsbar , floyd rose FRX and a bunch of others exist for telecasters as well, shop around and see.

guitar fetish isn't the best place for me to send a link but it's a what if to try and see if you'll use it as I'm not a fan of aluminum parts. I just think of guys with bad backs who still play les pauls 30+ years later wanting them. But for a tele they have options.
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Xtrem-Vintage-Vibrato-System_c_373.html
#5
Quote by Will Lane
Guitar is a '72 Reissue Tele. Bridge on it is a "6-Saddle Vintage-Style Strat Strings-Through-Body Hardtail".

I'm just curious if installing some sort of light tremolo system like a Bigsby would be difficult or expensive. I probably wouldn't do it myself, though. I know the tremolo units are kind of pricy on top of labor. I don't want to sacrifice anything like intonation or tone of course.


Generally speaking, it's better/smarter/more convenient to buy a guitar with a good trem already installed than it is to go through the process of routing and purchase to get a trem on an existing guitar. A Bigsty and a Vibramate will work pretty well (but are pretty limited compared to, say, a Floyd Rose) and can be taken off at some point in the future. A Kaher or a Floyd or a Wilkinson will require routing and are non-reversible. The Floyd FRX is reversible tack-on that really isn't up to doing what a real Floyd will do. The Stetsbar, same thing.
#6
Bumping this because I have a few more questions. The chap is not going to charge me labor so all I have to worry about is the pieces.

Just to be clear, here is the guitar we are working with.

And here is what I think I want.
Its a standard f logo b-5 bigsby kit fir a tele that uses a mustang or Jaguar style bridge. The bridge plate has been chopped. The kit runs $150-$180 depending on where you find it. I see them on ebay. The plate will cover the old bridge screw and string through holes you will have to either have someone professionally install it unless you feel comfortable doing it yourself. Two holes will have to be drilled for the bridge posts. I know I've found a pdf on installation instructions, but like I said the plate will have to be chopped.
So I am seeing that the bridge would need to be swapped out. I would prefer the Jazzmaster-Style bridge over the LP-style so that I can adjust the action per string.

So what I think I need is this. Is there any difference between that one and this one beside the logo?

How much clearance am I going to be able to get over the lip of the bridge? I hit the strings hard, I don't want them to be buzzing on the edge of the bridge.

Is it going to tear up the intonation and action of my guitar (beyond being able to fix)?

Is the body solid in the center of the guitar? As in, will the bridge be drilling into air or wood?
Last edited by Will Lane at May 6, 2016,
#7
The bridge will most likely be drilling into air. Those '72 Thinlines are routed heavily, so the only solid wood is directly under the existing bridge, and just enough solid wood around the pickups, strap buttons and sides to support the top. The area behind the bridge is entirely hollow.
However, I say "most likely", because there have been a few years where that type of Thinline actually did have a solid portion behind the bridge, specifically for mounting a Bigsby. It's not been made like that in a long time, but the point is that if you are very lucky, you may find that the one guitar you have just happens to be one with a solid block toward the back. There's no way of telling without inspecting the guitar itself; the tech or luthier you are taking the guitar to for installation should be able to tell you which kind of routing you have. Just bear in mind that, again, the most likely answer is that the rear of your guitar is hollow.

Bigsby tailpieces made for hollow Gibson & Epiphone instruments are mounted via the strapbutton, and may fit your guitar. Again, your tech/luthier will be able to check this out for you; they'll be able to measure everything much more accurately than you can, or anybody posting on the internet!

As far as the LP/Mustang/Jazzmaster bridge goes, that's a slightly more straight-forward switch. The area the bridge rests on is solid, so redrilling for any of those bridges is easy. Given how unstable Bigsbys are, make sure to go with some form of roller bridge; you don't want to bother with a Bigsby and fixed saddles. The only thing to be aware of as far as action and set up go for a tune-o-matic/mustang/etc bridge is that you'll need to have the neck pocket shimmed. Those sorts of bridges sit higher than the flatmount bridge your guitar correctly has, so the neck will need to be taken off and a small layer of wood or plastic will need to be inserted to raise and angle the neck properly. If your '72 Thiline happens to be one with the 3-bolt neck join and micro-tilt system, you might be able to use just the micro-tilt to get the right neck pocket angle; sometimes the micro-tilt isn't quite enough, sometimes it is.


Really, if you like the '72 feel and tone but want to experiment with a vibrato, Fender do make a '72 Deluxe with a 6-screw Stratocaster vibrato as a standard model, and some '72 Thinlines with a Bigsby properly installed with a more solid rear portion to support it. I'd consider looking to pick one of those up second hand; by the time you've paid for a proper Bigsby unit and for a tech's time to fit it to such a tricky instrument as the '72 Thinline, you won't be far off the cost of a second hand Deluxe/Thinline with a Strat/Bigsby bridge. Or I'd at least pick up the Squier Deluxe/Thinline and do the modification to that, so you're not risking a more valuable guitar. Of course, there are also a lot of regular Teles with Bigsby tailpieces. You may be surprised at how favourably the price of a second hand guitar compares to the cost of having a Bigsby fitted to a Thinline.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.