5120 Bigsby happiness

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
Hi folks, just picked up my 5120 from a local luthier, installed some HS Filtertrons I had in another guitar and cut me a new bone nut. I'd already put a brass Compton on there. He did some really tidy work, the guitar plays very nicely (and sounds great!). What I can't get over is the difference with the Bigsby. Was just playing the guitar for a few hours, quite forcefully wangin' away at times too, and it just wouldn't go out of tune. Amazing, it's so good, feels like a different guitar! The combination of the new bone nut, the brass Compton and the pickup swap is just fantastic, I'm a very happy camper right now! 😀
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
Congrats on the improvement. On my 5120 I changed out the nut for a bone nut and zero fret as well as a roller bridge and made a huge difference.
Rock on!
Haha yeah a huge difference indeed! I have another Gretsch with a Bigsby, a late 90's 3141 with a b6c and a bone nut and a Compton, still seems to have a few tuning issues, though not too bad I suppose. Think I'm a gonna take her to see the doctor too, I never knew a Bigsby could be so smooth and stable. Another first world problem taken care of! 🤪
 

Cryin_Caleb_Aaron

Friend of Fred
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 15, 2018
8,021
Auburn, Maine
That’s great!
There’s nothing more aggravating than a guitar with a Bigsby you can’t use, but then there’s nothing more joyous than a Gretsch with a Bigsby that works the way it should!!
HS Filtertrons are awesome too.

How about a picture or two or your guitar?
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
That’s great!
There’s nothing more aggravating than a guitar with a Bigsby you can’t use, but then there’s nothing more joyous than a Gretsch with a Bigsby that works the way it should!!
HS Filtertrons are awesome too.

How about a picture or two or your guitar?
Haha yeah what the heck was I thinking?! You'll have to excuse the lousy pic, just got some stuff out of storage and am in the middle of a late Spring clean. (One day left of Spring here 😲). Still can't get over that Bigsby! 💃

IMG_20221129_104334.jpg
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
A quick note for anyone in Australia, just spotted a black 5120 that has come up for sale on Gumtree this morning at a good price. Don't often see the black ones. I have nothing to do with the sale or the seller, just thought I'd mention it in case anyone's in the market. I'd buy it myself but I already have an orange one, and two weeks ago I bought a black 5122! Pretty average photos of the 5120 and a bit dusty but I reckon it looks unplayed. The seller is out the back of Newcastle if anyone's interested.
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
Haha I don't know what a Chilli Bo is, so I guess not! 😄

I'd never heard of them but there was a company in Adelaide, Australia called Mantra guitars a few years ago (well one guy as far as I can gather). He/they were having bodies and necks made in China and then would add electronics and hardware out here. I think they had a les paul type, an explorer, maybe even a strat, can't quite recall. And this Bo. The guy I bought it off said he bought it new from Mantra, but the pickups were average generic humbuckers with el cheapo wiring and hardware. He replaced everything with Gretsch parts, new wiring, Schaller tuners. So there's the g arrow knobs, HS Filtertrons, g tailpiece. It's just the neck and body from the original guitar. The body is solid mahogany, no chambering and the neck is quite chunky so it's reasonably heavy. Surprisingly comfortable though. And with the Filtertrons it sounds great. Picked it up on the cheap considering the good parts and glad I did! Unfortunately he had it wired like a Gibson, two volume, two tone, not the Gretsch master volume setup, and I do miss that I must say. Will have to get around to changing it one day. A slightly closer look...

IMG_20221129_163727.jpg
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
Out of interest I just checked the Mantra website, says they've moved to Brisbane. There's a few guitars and amps pictured on the site, all out of stock. Website seems half finished.
 


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