One More Time........Adding a Bigsby to a 350V63???

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herb

One More Time........Adding a Bigsby to a 350V63???

Post by herb »

First of all, I'm new to the RIC Forum and I really do appreciate being given the opportunity to participate. I have already extracted a wealth of great information from reading the past postings, it is a great site! I know my subject is not a new one, and I hope bringing it up once again does not annoy anybody. Perhaps like many people who have asked this question before, I love the 325V59 look, but the 3/4 scale neck is just too small for my full-scale hands. So, I'd like to "redress" a Jetglo 350V63 with a Bigsby and gold parts to have both the Hamburg look and a comfortable full scale neck. I'm confused whether this can be done(?), because Mark's posting on 04/23/01 says a Bigsby can fit on a 350 but John Hall's input on 09/12/01 says it will not mount well due to the difference in slope. Finally, there is currently a "Hamburged" 350V63 pictured at the Guitar Resurrection website(www.guitarresurrection.com/usedhtml/usdrik350v63.html), and Jim at GR told me the added Bigsby on this 350 seems to function as it should. I wish that RIC would offer the full scale Liverpool model with all 3 tailpiece options (trapeze, accent vibrato or Bigsby) plus the choice of white or gold pickgaurds & nameplates. This would fill the void that exists for RIC lovers who like the classic look of the 325V59, but want the improved playability of a full scale neck. With the 325V59 now discontinued, adding these 350V63 options seem to make even more sense today! So, at the risk of beating a dead horse to death, I would truly welcome any final(?) advice on this subject. I will close by saying my desire to put a Bigsby on a 350V63 is mainly to get the classic "Lennon Look", not to use it as a vibrato. I'm not a "Ventures" style guitar player, so as long as the Bigsby will fit and serve as a suitable tailpiece I would be quite happy! Sorry for the LONG opening post, I promise to be a lot more concise from now on!
miked

Post by miked »

Greetings Herb, and welcome. I'm sorry that I don't have any answers for you but I wanted to say 'hey'. Do you already have a 350V63?
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webhead
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Post by webhead »

I thought the wood is cut differently on the bottom near the tremolo on the 350v63 than the 325v59.
"Take the RIC... Leave the cannoli."
herb

Post by herb »

Michael/Gerald, thanks for the replies. I believe you are correct about the "slope" on the 325v63 & 350v63 being different than the 325v59 - as John Hall had indicated last September. I was just wondering if anyone had successfully installed a Bigsby on a 350v63 despite the difference? Some of the past comments led me to believe it can be done, although it is not something I will do if the fit is really bad or the vibrato arm will protrude at a wierd angle? I've read John Hall's remarks that Rickenbacker really does not want to get into a situation where there are too many options. This is understandable, but I'd still like to see a 350 offered that could be fitted with any type of tail piece and with either gold or white pick gaurds & truss rod cover/nameplate. If all this required was a change in slope, it seems it would be worth considering given the variety of tailpiece and color options it would permit on the 350 full neck adaption of the 325. No, I did not purchase a 350V63 yet but I am going to within the next few weeks. I have had a 360-12v64 since 1993 and love that!!
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webhead
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Post by webhead »

Maybe RIC has the option of adding a Bigsby @ the factory? I just ordered a 360 with toasters. I just recently called RIC for a gold guard for a 360. Looks like the sun isn't shining for me!
"Take the RIC... Leave the cannoli."
herb

Post by herb »

Good question about adding a Bigsby as a Factory option. I guess the 350v63 is not designed for it, but will customers be able to order a new 325c58 with a Bigsby instead of a Kaufmann vibrola? I realize a Kaufmann was installed on the original models but, setting authenticity aside, is a Kaufmann vibrola the best thing from a playability standpoint? I'm not a Luthier or a Techie, but it looks like a poorly designed and problematic arrangement to me. I sympathize with you on the gold gaurds - seems like RIC has decided to treat them like "GOLD", I can't get one either.

p.s. - my new 350v63 is arriving next week!
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jwilli
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Post by jwilli »

I don't believe that you'll be able to order a Bigsby instead of a Kauffman. You can always install a Bigsby yourself ala Lennon.
herb

Post by herb »

Thanks John. You have probably already seen it, but I have since read Nick D's 5/7/01 comments under the "Raised Pickgaurd on Lennon's 325?" discussion. It says, up until a few weeks before the January 2001 NAMM show, there were going to be two versions of the 325C58 available with one to "Sullivan Show" specs including Bigsby, etc. But RIC upper management decided to issue one version of the guitar as it was originally made. I guess that definitively rules out the Bigsby as a 325C58 factory option. Although it seems like a viable thing to offer, as many customers will no doubt continue to want a 325 that replicates the John Lennon "Sullivan Show" version and has a more stable(?) vibrato tailpiece.
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Andy Stout
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Re: One More Time........Adding a Bigsby to a 350V63???

Post by Andy Stout »

I added a Bigsby vibrato to my "Lennon" Ric with the full-size neck. This is technically impossible...but I am a genius, of course! Ha.
Here's how I did it: (PS: I am not a "handyman"! So ANYONE can do this.

First, let's identify the problem:
The full size neck of this model of Ric means that the bridge has to be positioned further back on the guitar's body.
That means the Bigsby doesn't lay FLAT (evenly) on the surface of this guitar. as it does on John's model.
On this model of Ric, the Bigsby has about a 1/4 inch gap under the front of it. Ugh!

So, it needs something to fill in this gap. Right?
Well, here is what I did and it worked perfectly and it is virtually "invisible".

There is a cool product that is like putty that you can fashion into any shape.
Then you bake it in your oven and it turns rock solid—it can be drilled and painted.
It's available at Amazon—just search for "oven bake modeling clay" and buy any one of the products.
(I used the black clay for my black Ric).

HOW TO DO IT:
1) All you need to do is experiment with how much of this clay is needed to fill in the gap at the front of the Bigsby.
So roll a bit in your hands and put it under the Bigsby to find out. Then fashion its side edges so that they conform
to the the Bigsby—just to look good. The two supports you are creating will be about the size of a jellybean—except
it will have a flat top and bottom and the sides should be vertical, just to look good.
You'll understand what I mean when you do it.

2) Bake the two supports in the oven. The instruction will be included with the product's package.

3) take them out of the oven. cool them under the tap and see how they fit. The tension of the strings
will keep these two supports in place. Remember, trial and error is guaranteed to give you a perfect fit.
It's easy to make new ones if you need to.

4) Here's the SCARY PART—> Drilling the holes into your guitar. I had a carpenter friend do it. You can get
a pro to do this is you're to afraid (like I was). Your local guitar shop will have someone who can install vibratos.
I can't remember if the holes in the plastic supports were pre-drilled or if they were drilled while in place.
supporting the Bigsby (which seems to be the logical way to do it).

Trust me...this all sounds way more frightening than it is. Firstly: What can go wrong? Every step is safe.
Creating the supports is just a matter of time. It may take a few attempts baking some of them before you
get the right fit—but I had no problem. Because when you first put the unbaked clay under the Bigsby and
gently squish the Bigsby flush with the body of the guitar. you have the perfect fit!
So drilling the holes may be scary, but nothing can really go wrong.

All I know is this—> I LOVE my full-length "Lennon" guitar with the Lennon Bigsby!!!! Nobody has this, so it immediately raises the value of your Ric ASTRONOMICALLY. Plus the Bigsby is amazing and looks amazing.

-Andy Stout, Canada
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iiipopes
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Re: One More Time........Adding a Bigsby to a 350V63???

Post by iiipopes »

If done correctly, as set forth above, it might not hurt, and it might even help the neck dive I encounter when I play a 350 in either the early or current variants.
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