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Best Bigsby Guitar

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  • Best Bigsby Guitar

    So the other day I traded my old Mexi Tele to a guy for a really nice Gretsch Electromatic Pro Jet w/ Bigsby. I actually got to bust it out last night at my band practice (away from my church) and I realized how much I loved having the Bigsby on my guitar. I've had guitars with trems on them but I have never really enjoyed them. This on the other hand is pleasurable to use and adds a great dimension to the music that I was playing. I have been considering getting into a new, really high end guitar for the past little while and I think I've decided that whatever I get it needs to have a Bigsby on it. Here's my dilemma. I am primarily a PRS player and absolutely love them but at the same time I really really dig on this Gretsch I just got. So I'm trying to decide whether I should just go with a nicer, higher quality pro jet or should I go for a Starla from PRS or is there something else out there that I don't know about that would be just as cool? Let me know what you all think.

  • #2
    I recently went with a couple other guitar player friends to a boutique guitar shop in Atlanta. My friend wanted to play a Duesenberg guitar that happened to have a Bigsby tremolo on it and it was a really nice guitar to play. We all played it and came away very impressed with both guitar and tremolo. They run in the $3000 range. Way too rich for me, but then again I'm primarily an acoustic player.

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    • #3
      It really depends on your use and what type of music you play. I too have a Gretsch (G5420T) and I love the Bigsby, but the Bigsby works well with the sound of a Gretsch, not so well with other guitars. I have a strat but I don't even have the tremelo handle hooked up on it.

      Personally I don't know you would gain all that much upgrading to a higher quality pro jet that you couldn't do on your electrojet with just a few upgrades like TV Jones pickups and locking tuners, and maybe even a compton bridge. My personal approach is to let the style of music dictate which guitar I use. The right tool for the right job so to speak. Here's what I have and how I use them.

      Gretsch - jazz, rockabilly, clean blues, nashville fingerstyle (Chet Atkins), older style country picking, 60's and 70's clean ballad or pop.

      Les Paul - Heavy rock, Metal, arena rock style ballads, hard blues, muscle shoals style country rock.

      Stratocaster - Modern rock, blues of any style, funk, R & B, modern country, 50's rock and roll.

      PRS guitars tend to sit in the same sonic area as a Les Paul. So again, it all depends on the style of music you tend to play most often. Any of the guitars with the right configuration of hardware, amps, and pedals can suffice for most styles of music. But you can't get a PRS to sound like a Gretsch or a Strat no matter what you do. They all fit into their own unique categories.
      Last edited by DunedinDragon; 03-12-2015, 07:24 AM.
      The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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      • #4
        A good friend of mine picked up a PRS that plays like butter- but he found out the sound wasn't his style. He's more of a Telecaster guy. So he has a Squier Vintage Modified telecaster that's his go-to guitar.

        Sometimes we have to be open to other things. I have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom- tuxedo model, black with gold hardware and pearloid inlays, just a real sharp looking guitar. I even like how it plays. But in the church environment I'm in, it's a little too down -n- dirty. It gets lost in the mix. Our team is real mid-range heavy (to the point of muddy) so hte LP gets lost in the mix, especially clean. My go-to is a Mexi strat I just picked up (have been using a Squier special edition) and it plays great and cuts through the mix very well. It's a lot more versatile than the Les Paul

        Point being, I really wanted to be a Les Paul guy. But after playing a strat for awhile, it has more of the tone and playability characteristics that work well for me. So keep an open mind.

        The other thing to keep in mind is that as you go up in value, quality gets better (supposed, to anyways) and the same brand can have a lot of variation. The high end pro-jet may be a great guitar but might sound markedly different than the one you have now. So if you can, try to test a couple models out before committing.
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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        • #5
          I absolutely agree with you all on the different styles different guitars kind of thing. That's why I was asking about a bigsby loaded guitar. I've had probably close to 20 guitars from LP's to SG's, Strats, Tele's, 335's, Super Strats, PRS single cuts and custom 24's, you name it and I've probably had it. I know that I like the PRS feel and sound within the Starla and I like the upgrade of a higher end pro jet, I was just wondering what all of you all's opinion was between the two or if there was something that sounded similar that I was unaware of that I should look at (aka something with a bigsby, filtertron type pickups, chambered or semi hollow body).

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          • #6
            Best Bigsby

            [QUOTE=lesismore1990;51374]I absolutely agree with you all on the different styles different guitars kind of thing. That's why I was asking about a bigsby loaded guitar. I've had probably close to 20 guitars from LP's to SG's, Strats, Tele's, 335's, Super Strats, PRS single cuts and custom 24's, you name it and I've probably had it. I know that I like the PRS feel and sound within the Starla and I like the upgrade of a higher end pro jet, I was just wondering what all of you all's opinion was between the two or if there was something that sounded similar that I was unaware of that I should look at (aka something with a bigsby, filtertron type pickups, chambered or semi hollow body).[/QU
            Last edited by hardwoodsman; 03-13-2015, 10:20 AM. Reason: No one responed to my question.

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            • #7
              Duesenberg__2196_1.jpg
              This is the Deusenberg Starplayer TV Goldtop. Very nice playing guitar.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lesismore1990 View Post
                I absolutely agree with you all on the different styles different guitars kind of thing. That's why I was asking about a bigsby loaded guitar. I've had probably close to 20 guitars from LP's to SG's, Strats, Tele's, 335's, Super Strats, PRS single cuts and custom 24's, you name it and I've probably had it. I know that I like the PRS feel and sound within the Starla and I like the upgrade of a higher end pro jet, I was just wondering what all of you all's opinion was between the two or if there was something that sounded similar that I was unaware of that I should look at (aka something with a bigsby, filtertron type pickups, chambered or semi hollow body).
                I haven't played a Starla so I can't say how it rates in comparison to the Gretsch. I do know a good deal of the Gretsch sound is related to their pickup design and their particular method of mounting it and body design. I've either owned of tried a number of guitars, but so far I haven't found any that have that unique Gretsch sound.

                The "Gretsch Sound" comes from a combination of pickup design and body resonance. As I'm sure you know, the baldwin era blacktop pickups you have on your current Gretsch is pretty much a filtertron but with a plastic covering over the screw poles. I think it's good, but it doesn't have the fullness of a true modern filtertron, but even the filtertron pales in comparison to the TV Jones Classic filtertron in terms of fullness and string articulation. The body on your guitar is also chambered which adds a lot of natural resonance to the sound that comes through the pickups. From what I can tell the Starla is pretty much a solid body with custom wound humbuckers, so I'd be very surprised if it has the same resonant fullness you're getting on your Pro Jet.

                As far as the Bigsby is concerned, the one on your electromatic is the older (read cheaper design) in comparison to the newer B50 designs like the ones on the proline and on the PRS starla. I can't really say I can tell much difference, but then I don't use mine for divebombing which I understand the newer design can do pretty well without going out of tune. For my uses I'm fine with the older design. Your use may be different than mine though.

                Some might argue you could get something of a "best of both worlds" guitar by putting filtertrons on the Starla, but I think without the natural resonance of a chamber it still wouldn't be quite the same.

                I think ultimately you'll have to decide which fits you best in terms of feel and sound, and what you'll be using it for. In the way I select guitars I would see the PRS and the Gretsch as two different guitars for two different uses.
                The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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