Stupid Question Time - Chet Arm, Is this right?

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
43
Philadelphia, PA
Is this adjusted right?
20220513_150231.jpg

Looking at it from the top, it "looks right" but I get just about zero real usability in this position.
20220513_145835.jpg
...to get anywhere near enough clearance to make the Bigsby useful.

I have to move it down here...
20220513_145829.jpg

Is that the point of this arm?
 

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
43
Philadelphia, PA
Yeah, pretty much. There's about 3/4" between the handle and the pickguard, but with the play in the spring, I'm lucky if I can get any noticeable vibrato at all.

I can swivel it around, but the bend in the arm will bang on the top instead.

Unless I replace the handle (with a standard one) and get a longer / stiffer spring, this thing is purely decorative.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Feb 17, 2010
154
new jersey
Try loosening the two little screws with a small Allen wrench where the wire slips into the bracket and then twist the wire to your desired pos. 0DD492EC-BC21-4C03-89C5-61C94466D66B.jpeg
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,859
Portland, OR
I just put a Chet arm on a Falcon I recently bought and have it positioned a lot higher, the tip of the arm about 1.75" inches off the strings. This is roughly the same height of the standard Bigsby flat arms on my other guitars.

You'll also notice that at this height, the arm can actually swing in over the strings, something a standard Bigsby arm can't do. This makes it possible to play the Bigsby using your wrist! Now, that's something I honestly haven't ever seen Chet do, and I'm sure it'll take some practice to master, but the possibilities there intrigue me! First time I tried it, I was like "oh, this is way cool". LoL!

It's an adjustable arm, "right" is whatever works best for you. Like Baba Joe says, just loosen those two allen screws and set it higher. You could probably get a longer spring to push it up even higher, but I doubt you'll really need that. Somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0 inches seems to work for most people.

It's definitely more than a decoration! Good luck with it!
 

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
43
Philadelphia, PA
Thanks all, had a spare washer so already tried that. And I've tried moving it around to different positions.

Here is what "looks" like normal should be; as you can see, puching it even a little brings the end into contact with the pickguard.
20220513_193514.jpg

Spinning it around raises the tip a bit more, but the curve is now lower and now it hits the pickguard instead.

20220513_193552.jpg

The only thing that gives me a good height without hitting the pickguard is turning it upside down and backwards (which just looks stupid):
20220513_193622.jpg

...so that's why I was asking.

I'll look for a taller spring. And maybe a straight chet arm instead.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,859
Portland, OR
You know, maybe you are gonna need that longer spring. There's a big difference between the angle yours sits at and the angle mine sits at. I'm no expert, don't pretend to be, but I think what you're looking to achieve should be something like this ...

ChetArm.jpg

And yeah, I've got the plastic washer in there too, sitting on top the spring rather than under it. Seems to work OK..

Hope this helps. Again, good luck with it!
 
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MotorCentaur

Synchromatic
May 11, 2016
581
Seattle
There's should be a fairly narrow sweet spot it the rotation where curves of the bar are nearly flat to the body, yet still have clearance.

You can also bend the arm a bit with the help of a vise and small steel pipe. Wrap it a rag around it before hand though. The gold may flake off, but it looks fairly oxidized anyway..
 


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