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Question on building a Gretsch style guitar - Bigsby and neck joins

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  • Question on building a Gretsch style guitar - Bigsby and neck joins

    I've had no luck with my attempts to buy a Duo Jet, so I thought I'd build one...why not I've done a few LPs so this should be fine.

    I have some lovely Spanish cedar boards that will do a nice one piece chambered body, I'll put a walnut top on and a Honduran mahogany neck, ebony board and thumbnail inlays.

    I managed to find a set of the Seymour Duncan Dynasonic types at a very very good price, and I'll use a Schaller roller bridge as this will be a DJ interpretation.

    The two things I'm unsure of is:

    1 Bigsby - The B7 has the follower bar that increases the angle of the break over the bridge, where the B3 allows a stratigh flow over the bridge.

    Does anybody know what the theoretical differences there should be between these two type?

    2 Gretsch neck joints have the feature where the end of the neck is raised off the body....what is the reason behind this design. Is it to accomodate the high bridges with the rosewood feet, and if so, if I go down the Schaller route I can use a LP style tenon joint straight into the neck pup cavity
    Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

  • #2
    Wish I could help, but beyond my ken...try http://gretschpages.com/
    I make hand painted vintage style fuzzes: http://www.lowbroweffects.com

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    • #3
      Wish I could help, but beyond my ken...try http://gretschpages.com/


      OK, posted there now too, I had posted on Gretsch talk, but don't think th etech knowledge is too high there, it's mainly the neck thing that intrigues me, why that stand off feature?
      Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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      • #4
        OK, posted there now too, I had posted on Gretsch talk, but don't think th etech knowledge is too high there, it's mainly the neck thing that intrigues me, why that stand off feature?


        Just a guess, but I think it's a vestige from their hollow bodies, which proceeded the Duo Jet. You have to raise the neck to gain clearance from the pickups they used at the time...Dynasonics. Plus, it gives the Duo Jet much the same feel as a 6120 or whatever. My Astro Jet has the same feature...it's kinda nice, IMHO.

        Or...maybe it's just the way they did things....
        I make hand painted vintage style fuzzes: http://www.lowbroweffects.com

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        • #5
          Just a guess, but I think it's a vestige from their hollow bodies, which proceeded the Duo Jet. You have to raise the neck to gain clearance from the pickups they used at the time...Dynasonics. Plus, it gives the Duo Jet much the same feel as a 6120 or whatever. My Astro Jet has the same feature...it's kinda nice, IMHO.

          Or...maybe it's just the way they did things....


          When I bough the Powerjet it ws the first thing I noticed and thought it was a great feature, I'd like to include it and yes, it was most likely to get the neck to clear the high surface mount pickups.

          I just have to figure out how to execute it
          Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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          • #6
            If you do some searching over there (google advance search works well), there are threads which document various neck re-sets. Studying those photos would be illuminating, I'm sure.
            I make hand painted vintage style fuzzes: http://www.lowbroweffects.com

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            • #7
              If you do some searching over there (google advance search works well), there are threads which document various neck re-sets. Studying those photos would be illuminating, I'm sure.


              Bloody hell, dovetail joints

              No wonder the don't sustain too much

              Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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              • #8
                Tenon here
                Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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                • #9
                  Thanks for those hints Low, I'll just use the tenon, as Dan Duffy seems to think they are the best Gretschs

                  I'm pretty excited by this build, especially using the Cedar and walnut
                  Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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                  • #10
                    It's just a standard fingerboard extension. You could still do a mortise and tenon instead of the dovetail, with the fingerboard extension done either as added-on blocks or simply machined out of the tenon end of the neck.

                    Or, you could go the simpler way by making the tenon the full width of the fingerboard, similar to a bolt on neck. The tenon would then, in effect, be the fingerboard extension as well.
                    SPAM: Buy my eBook, "Beginning Electric Guitar Design". $4.99 and available at:
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                    • #11
                      It's just a standard fingerboard extension.
                      .


                      I think the pic above shows it's not a fingerboard extension the way we think of them on a Caster neck.
                      Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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                      • #12
                        About the B3 vs B7 design. the tension bar is there in order to put some extra break angle over the bridge.

                        I myself (having tried both the "normal" B7 and the same Bigsby on the same guitar with the tension bar removed) much prefer the B3 way, it increases tuning stability, makes the instrument more resonant, and the vibrato action is much smoother.

                        The guitar sustains just as nicely as before.
                        There is no substitute for Loudness

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                        • #13
                          About the B3 vs B7 design. the tension bar is there in order to put some extra break angle over the bridge.

                          I myself (having tried both the "normal" B7 and the same Bigsby on the same guitar with the tension bar removed) much prefer the B3 way, it increases tuning stability, makes the instrument more resonant, and the vibrato action is much smoother.

                          The guitar sustains just as nicely as before.


                          Yep. The ones with a tension bar just aren't nearly as cool. They just don't wiggle as nicely, or as well as the non-roller types.

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                          • #14
                            I think the pic above shows it's not a fingerboard extension the way we think of them on a Caster neck.


                            I was thinking more along the lines of a standard archtop neck:

                            SPAM: Buy my eBook, "Beginning Electric Guitar Design". $4.99 and available at:
                            Lulu Edition
                            Kindle Edition
                            iTunes iBookstore
                            Nook Edition

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                            • #15


                              I have some lovely Spanish cedar boards that will do a nice one piece chambered body,


                              "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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