Bigsby versus Strat tremelo

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StrumitStrumit Frets: 49
What are the thoughts about the differences in using a Bigsby or Strat tremelos please.  I tend to play my "Strat" type tremelo with it held, hooked under my little finger.  That would appear to be more difficult with the placing and size of the Bigsby???  Am I imagining this?  Having never used a Bigsby, it's all speculation in my head at the moment and I'm considering a Gretsch or similar.  Any suggestions or advice appreciated.  Maybe I should bite the bullet and pop to the shop and try one!!! :)
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Comments

  • GoFishGoFish Frets: 1652
    Certainly try one! They stay in place better and use a different sort of feel. More shallow than a strat, with a distinctive wobble. They have more weight to them, though the stiffness can vary between models. Personally, I find that they stay out of the way better too, when not being used. I find it to be a different experience entirely.

    I'm not a big trem user by any means, though. I find the Jazzmaster trem to be the best in that it feels like a hybrid of the strat and  Bigsby, while being its own thing again. 
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 2290
    I've got a callaham block on the strat. The arm stays where it's put like a bigsby. My gretsch is set up for a semi tone drop. Nails the wicked games vibe even though that was done on a strat.

    Both are great but I'd like a jazzmaster one day.
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  • StrumitStrumit Frets: 49
    I replaced the screw in trem on my stratimposter with a Wilkinsons push in trem and that has been much better at staying in place, since I roughened the pushed in section a bit to make it grip better.  How do the Bigsbys compare at staying in tune compared to the Strat type?  My current bridge (again a Wilkinson) does not have lockers but after lubing the string where it passes over the saddles and adding rollers at the tuning end, it does well at staying in tune now.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 28043
    I love a Bigsby - never got the hang of Strat trems. The biggest difference is I always get annoyed how much Strat trees detune the other strings when you bend notes. That doesn't happen to anything like the same degree on a Bigsby. 

    In terms of technique it's worth noting every different guitar will put the Bigsby handle in a slightly different place, compared to a Strat where any difference can only ever come from the shape of the arm, but you get used to it easily.

    I have an ES-330 and ES-355 and I have no problem keeping hold of the arm while playing a lot of stuff. Tuning is really solid on both. A really well cut nut & saddle combined with domed thumbwheels does the trick
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  • digitalkettledigitalkettle Frets: 3394
    GoFish said:
    Certainly try one! They stay in place better and use a different sort of feel. More shallow than a strat, with a distinctive wobble. They have more weight to them, though the stiffness can vary between models. Personally, I find that they stay out of the way better too, when not being used. I find it to be a different experience entirely.

    I'm not a big trem user by any means, though. I find the Jazzmaster trem to be the best in that it feels like a hybrid of the strat and  Bigsby, while being its own thing again. 
    I think of them as less responsive but in a more 'musical' way.

    You can play with it hooked by your little finger but you have to get used to hitting the stop on the arm bracket...pissed me off so much with my first Bigsby that I replaced it with the Callaham 360 upgrade. However, second time around, I just got used to it as one of the quirks.

     @GoFish I agree on the JM-style system...it's an awesome thing ;)
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  • StrumitStrumit Frets: 49
    Once that I sell my Burns, I shall take a trip into Norwich and see what they have to "play" with!  Thanks for the advice folks.
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  • PetepassionPetepassion Frets: 1094
    I have a couple of strats with trems and a 335 with a Bigsby. For my playing style I just love the Bigsby for that shimmer at the end of chords and notes. I don’t know why, but it just feels better to me, but obviously it’s a personal thing. I’ve also heard the old Bigsbys feel/are better, but I’ve no idea how much truth is in that.
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  • guitarjack66guitarjack66 Frets: 2028
    I have a Stratimposter too but have never even used the vibrato arm or whatever it's called. The thought of frequently detuning a very well set up guitar leaves me cold.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 73410
    Strumit said:
    What are the thoughts about the differences in using a Bigsby or Strat tremelos please.  I tend to play my "Strat" type tremelo with it held, hooked under my little finger.  That would appear to be more difficult with the placing and size of the Bigsby???  Am I imagining this?
    Neil Young plays like that all the time.

    There are differences in the way they both change the relative pitch of notes within chords, which gives them distinctly different sounds - the Strat has no string length behind the bridge to take up some of the slack, so the thicker strings detune faster relative to the thin ones. This makes the Strat more 'dive bomb' sounding than the Bigsby - the extreme version of that is a Floyd Rose. A Bigsby keeps the strings slightly more in relative tune, and is also less prone to bent strings pulling the others flat, so if you play a chord and bend one note within it the two types sound different again - the Bigsby is more subtle and shimmery, the Strat is more detuned-sounding.

    All the different types of vibrato are also affected by the length of the strings at the headstock - eg the Floyd (none) to the Strat (thin strings with much more slack than thick ones) and Bigsby (usually on 3-a-side guitars, to the Es detune more than the middle strings) - that's also why a reversed headstock sounds different on a Strat, like Hendrix.

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  • StrumitStrumit Frets: 49
    Thanks to all for your comments.  I have purchase an Ibanez Artcore with the Ibanez (Bigsbylike) and am impressed by the subtlety of it.  More of a shimmer if that makes sense.  Definitely horses for courses.  very impressed with the Archtop too.  More time to tinker now.  Cheers everyone.
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  • StrumitStrumit Frets: 49
    A link to the Ibanez that I now have:-

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  • digitalkettledigitalkettle Frets: 3394
    Strumit said:
    A link to the Ibanez that I now have:-

    Classy!
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