Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I'm Big on Bigsby

Last weekend, I finally got all of the parts I needed to convert my Les Paul Special (Cooper) to P-94 pickups, and add a Bigsby B5 vibrato. As I did on my Flying V, I used the Vibramate adapter, so that I didn't have to drill any holes in the guitar. The Vibramate has the added advantage of giving you perfect alignment of the vibrato.

 The P-94 is a P-90 style pickup which fits the routing for the humbucking pickups which came stock, in this guitar. Gordie Johnson, one of my favorite guitar players, uses them, and that prompted me to install one on my 2005 Flying V. I liked it so much, I decided to install them on Cooper. I found this pair, used, on eBay, at about half of the list price, so I snapped them up.

The Bigsby (and the Vibramate adapter) bolted right on, with no problem. I was a bit afraid that I might have to reposition the Cooper nameplate, but everything fit together perfectly.

This weekend, I decided to pull out the 1960s-vintage Japanese hollowbody that I used when we first formed Skull Full Of Blues, and build a rockabilly-style guitar. I had scored a 1960s Bigsby B6 for cheap, and I had a set of aftermarket P-90 pickups. So, I went to work on it and ended up with this:

It was a bit of a challenge to get the Bigsby set up, since it doesn't have the tension bar that the B5 has. This means that the strings break over the bridge at a really shallow angle. I had to file the string slots a bit deeper, in order to retain the string position under hard strumming. It plays nice, and sounds amazing, now. I'll definitely be gigging with this one, again.

Now, I now have three Bigsby-equipped guitars in my quiver. Triple whammy!



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