Tele + trem = ?
March 29, 2010 5:25 PM   Subscribe

I have a nice Telecaster. Trouble is, I like making surf sounds. Would I ruin it by fitting a Bigsby or some other tremolo?
posted by scruss to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
I don't see how that would "ruin" your guitar, especially if it was an appropriate old-style Bigsby and properly installed. With their single coils Telecasters make great surf-rock guitars.
posted by dacoit at 5:30 PM on March 29, 2010

One day, I will get my husband his own account here, to answer guitar questions. In the meantime:
these trems are nice because they are totally reversible, and you don't have to drill any holes that would ruin your finish if you decide to go trem-less in the future.
posted by kellyblah at 5:46 PM on March 29, 2010

I found this ad in an old guitar magazine
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 5:47 PM on March 29, 2010

A tele with a bigsby is a beautiful thing, and not at all strange.

However - and this is a huge HOWEVER - whether you should modify the guitar depends in huge part on just how "nice" a Telecaster it is. If, by "nice," you mean it's a Pre-CBS Telecaster, then you should not, under any circumstances, modify it in any way. Likewise, there are certain other, lesser, values of "nice" that would preclude modification. If it was built in the last 20 years and it's not a custom shop instrument or something else really special, then yes, put the Bigsby on. They make special Bigsbys just for Telecasters, and that's what you want.

What year is the Tele?
posted by The World Famous at 5:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sadly, the mr kellyblah, it's not a vintage-style Tele. It's a 2005 American Standard. So I may have to go with the B16.

This is a nice, if unremarkable, guitar but I really like its tone. The pickups (probably stock, bought it used but pristine) sound really sweet.
posted by scruss at 6:32 PM on March 29, 2010

Many Teles have Bigsbys on them, hardly a ruiner.

Since it isn't exactly a cheap guitar, obviously have somebody that knows what they're doing install the Bigsby. Just be prepared to have it go out of tune constantly.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:52 PM on March 29, 2010


get a floyd rose and pointy headstock and be done with it.
posted by the cuban at 4:40 AM on March 30, 2010

get a floyd rose and pointy headstock and be done with it.

You say that like there actually wasn't a factory option for that.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:34 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh my. :(
posted by the cuban at 1:03 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've played one of those HMT Teles. Didn't seem like a Tele at all, and a Floyd Rose seems far more bother than it would be worth.
posted by scruss at 8:08 AM on April 3, 2010

In addition to the Stetsbar (for all Tele bridges) and the Vibramate (currently Vintage/Classic only, but a Standard kit is in the works), there are the ZZGuitarworks kits which are available in no-drill options for both types of Tele bridge. I ordered one of the latter.
posted by scruss at 6:48 AM on April 17, 2010

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