Bigsby or Les Trem?

Mr Twangy

Gretschie
Dec 27, 2020
147
Canada
I'm on the verge of getting a V cut Bigsby B3 and a Towner bar for my Electromatic Jet but I'm hesitating because I've heard it said that a Bigsby can affect the tone of the guitar negatively. Should I just get a Les Trem instead? What do people think?
 

Mr Twangy

Gretschie
Dec 27, 2020
147
Canada
What seems to get thrown around is that a Bigsby kills sustain to some extent. I have no personal experience with it. I'm really jonesin' for the Bigsby though!
 

gretschbigsby

Gretschie
Nov 21, 2009
202
chicago
I really like the Les Trem... I use it instead of a Bigsby w/vibramate whenever I have an archtop with stop tailpiece now. Less expensive and works as well. I know there are those who don't like the way they look-- I do. Some fine German engineering!

Bigsby is still my preference, but the Les Trem and Moseley/Shade vibrato would be the big three.
 

mandobandit

Gretschie
Apr 1, 2019
490
Ohio
I have 3 Bigsby fitted guitars
2 Gretsch and a Nash tele
The Gretsch guitars came factory equipped
The Nash I added yes I believe it has some what less sustain but picked up some jangle.
I also want to have a guitar with a Les Trem maybe a Rivolta or Dusenberg
 

gretschbigsby

Gretschie
Nov 21, 2009
202
chicago
If I remember correctly, the original Les Trem arm came off the bridge nearer to the high e creating more of the Bigsby geometry. The goeldo seems to evoke that.

I think this was it... Reverend used to use them:

Les Trem.jpg

Looks aside, the Les Trem is very smooth and accurate to use.

I almost put this on my offset Tele-- the Moslike Vibrato. Ended up going with a B5.

Moslike.jpg

Bob Shade sells the Shade Mosrite Vibrato on the Hallmark Guitars website. Smooth as butter.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,921
Portland, OR
I think it's safe to say the Les Trem would be an easier install, less invasive, no drilling, etc.

I've got an older one on a Reverend I own and like it a lot. As far as playing it, it responds pretty much like a Bigsby. Very smooth, sounds great.

But on a Gretsch? Bigsby's the sure-fire traditional choice. Whoever said they have a "negative effect" on tone either doesn't like Gretsch to begin with, or only plays Floyd Roses.
 

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jfassett

Synchromatic
Dec 9, 2017
801
Tucson
I like the action of the les trem, very smooth….I will say, if you like your palm around the bridge while playing, the les trem on a jet takes some getting use to.
I know the handle is reversed in this pic, here’s the look on a double jet though.
super easy install
 

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Mr Twangy

Gretschie
Dec 27, 2020
147
Canada
The picture is a little grainy, but those do look nicer. They appear to be "licenced by Dusenberg", and the description mentions Les Trem.

I did a quick search and can't find a source in North America. Let me know if you have a source.
No I've never seen a North American seller.
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,833
Springfield Oregon
I'm on the verge of getting a V cut Bigsby B3 and a Towner bar for my Electromatic Jet but I'm hesitating because I've heard it said that a Bigsby can affect the tone of the guitar negatively. Should I just get a Les Trem instead? What do people think?


Get the LesTrem since your guitar has the Dum @$$ stop tail bridge. Trust me been there done that a couple times! I am a slow learner, LesTrem all the way verses a Bigsby and a Towner Downer. Better yet save some money get rid of your Dum @$$ stop tail bridge guitar and get a model that has the B-3 with the floating or pinned bridge.
 
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Mr Twangy

Gretschie
Dec 27, 2020
147
Canada
Get the LesTrem since your guitar has the Dum @$$ stop tail bridge. Trust me been there done that a couple times! I am a slow learner, LesTrem all the way verses a Bigsby and a Towner Downer. Better yet save some money get rid of your Dum @$$ stop tail bridge guitar and get a model that has the B-3 with the floating or pinned bridge.
Your last suggestion has been up for consideration but I am too bonded with this guitar!
 


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