The 2005 Flying V went back on the slab, today.
I had gathered up a Bigsby B5 tremelo unit, and all of the pieces I needed to mount it on the guitar. So, I figured that today was as good as any time to install it.
First, the original stop tail piece and Tune-a-matic bridge came off.
In the original bridge's place, I installed a roller bridge from Stewart/McDonald. The rollers help keep the strings in tune, as they are slackened and stretched by the tremelo.
This adapter installs with screws replacing the original tail piece studs. It allows the Bigsby to be mounted to a guitar without drilling any holes. This not only prevents damage to the guitar, but it also ensures that the tremelo is installed in the correct place.
The bigsby mounts to the adapter with 4 screws.
Stringing a Bigsby is kind of challenging. The little barrels on the ends of the strings fit over the pins on the roller. Getting them to hold, as you bend the string around the roller is almost impossible.
Bending the string, at the ferrule, helps hold it in place, as you hook the other end up to the tuner.
All strung up and ready to go. I probably need to throw a little graphite in the nut slots, particularly on the low E string. That string wants to go sharp, if I really work the trem. Other than that, it stays in tune really well (better than I anticipated, to tell the truth).
It's funny, to me, that this guitar has become the workhorse of my collection. I pretty much just bought it because the price was too good to pass up. I wasn't shopping for another V, when I got it, and I was actually a little afraid I might have spent my money unwisely.
And, maybe I did, because it has idled all of my other guitars. With the new pickup I installed in the neck position, in conjunction with the stock humbucker at the bridge, this Flying V pretty much covers all bases for my playing, from country-tinged tones to flat-out gut-wrenching distorted blues.
It's really a lot more versatile than most people, including myself, in the past, give it credit for.