Stringing a Bigsby: The Nightmare Returns

David MacNeill

Electromatic
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
34
Boise ID
I forgot how freakishly frustrating it is to restring a Bigsby B60. Bending string ends around my finger, using pliers, ball-end slipping off ten times before I can attach the other end to the tuner — yikes.

My last Bigsby-equipped guitar was a PRS Starla, for which I bought a Vibramate. I hesitate to buy another one as I worry about tone-suck. Thoughts? Is there a foolproof way to string a B60 that I’m not aware of?
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,722
Ontario Canada
I forgot how freakishly frustrating it is to restring a Bigsby B60. Bending string ends around my finger, using pliers, ball-end slipping off ten times before I can attach the other end to the tuner — yikes.

My last Bigsby-equipped guitar was a PRS Starla, for which I bought a Vibramate. I hesitate to buy another one as I worry about tone-suck. Thoughts? Is there a foolproof way to string a B60 that I’m not aware of?

David,

Not that difficult at all...try this...

First of all. your finger is too big.

Tightly wrap the ball end around a pencil, making sure the ball eye is positioned correctly, before you start your bend.

If your bend is correct, the string end will stay in position on the roll pin.

Your goal is to match the string/ball eye loop diameter to the diameter of the tension bar.

If your string loop/ball eye looks like the diagram, you will have trouble.

Best,

BIB.

DSCF1330.JPG
 

Hammerhands

Country Gent
Aug 26, 2011
2,512
Winnipeg
Bend the string, there's a video somewhere...

Bigsby sells a sponge but you can use a big eraser. Remember those chocolate bar sized erasers?

I do one string at a time so the bridge or saddles don't move.

This guy puts the right bend on it.


I want to try this method of putting on a string, I still haven't had the oportunity, I think it would work well with a Bigsby.
At 3:00 minutes of this video:
 
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GlenP

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2019
2,556
WA
Alternative to the string spoiler: ButchieBar

 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
714
New York
I wonder if this isn’t seeing a problem where none exists. I’ll admit to surprise the first time I changed strings on my Anniversary. But the first time a string didn’t stick on a pin I grabbed a needle nose and bent the string end at the ball. A capo helps but I’ve changed strings so many times that the capo just slows me down now. What I’ve found helps the most is just changing strings on my bench. Your lap isn’t a suitable place to change strings on a Bigsby.
 

BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Silver Member
Sep 1, 2020
841
Mississippi
First off: get locking tuners. It makes restringing a Bigsby a lot easier. Bend the ball end of the strings and attach to post. Insert an eraser under the roller to hold the strings on the pins. Proceed to tune the guitar.
 

juks

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2020
3,251
Fremont, California
Not so long ago I did my first bigsby string changes while installing bigby fix at the same time. Luckily I had read about the capo trick here. It was pretty easy with that.
 
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Hammerhands

Country Gent
Aug 26, 2011
2,512
Winnipeg

Jalexander

Electromatic
May 3, 2022
42
Canada
Not so long ago I did my first bigby string changes while installing bigby fix at the same time. Luckily I had read about the capo trick here. It was pretty easy with that.
Me too. First Bigsby change this past spring. Took a minute or two more than usual. Bend the ball end with pliers. Pull it to about tension and out a capo on to hold the tension. Then string as usual. Remove the capo to tune. Repeat with the next string, etc. No frustration.
 

juks

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2020
3,251
Fremont, California
Me too. First Bigsby change this past spring. Took a minute or two more than usual. Bend the ball end with pliers. Pull it to about tension and out a capo on to hold the tension. Then string as usual. Remove the capo to tune. Repeat with the next string, etc. No frustration.

I didn't even do the plier trick. I just put the sting under the tailpiece to the wrong direction and wrapped it around the tailpiece. That was enough the make the curve to the string. Then a capo.
 


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