The dilemma: I had finally saved enough money to buy the guitar of my dreams, a Gibson Les Paul AAA Premium. Although I was in love with the guitar, the Bigsby on Neil Young’s “Old Black” had been haunting me in my sleep, convincing me that my new Les Paul was just begging for a Bigsby B3.
I’ve heard all kinds of issues regarding installing an after-market Bigsby. Intonation troubles, strings slipping off the bridge (due to lack of down tension between the bridge & the vibrato tailpiece) and drilling holes are the three that immediately come to mind. The last thing I wanted to do was drill 4 holes into my new baby, plus it already played so well that I was hesitant to mess with a guitar that played like a dream.
I had pretty much given up on turning my Les Paul into a “twang-master” until this solution presented itself…
The Towner USA Down Tension Bar adds to the intonation of any guitar’s after-market Bigsby® tailpiece installation, giving control over the break angle of the strings between the bridge and Bigsby® tailpiece. Towner’s new V.BLOCK allows for the Bigsby B3 tailpiece to be installed on Les Paul guitar bodies, providing the necessary distance of the spring cup on the Bigsby B3 or B11 vibrato tailpiece and stud. The new piece also provides relief from drilling four holes in the tail of the guitar.
The Towner Down Tension Bar (DTB) is a SCREW-LESS system that mounts in place of the stop tailpiece on the existing studs. Towner DTB provides V.S.T. [Variable String Tension] providing the ability to control the break angle between the bridge and vibrato tailpiece with the adjustment of each stud to the desired height. Towner DTB eliminates drilling holes in the body of the guitar when installing a Bigsby® B3, B6, B11, B30 or B60 vibrato tailpiece.
The Towner down tension bar will fit on ANY guitar with a stop tailpiece setup mounting directly to the existing studs. SG guitars, hollow body guitars and of course, Les Paul guitars.
The V.BLOCK is a complete SCREW-LESS system that includes the DTB and HPA. It uses a 1/2″ thick block mounted to the hinge-plate of the Bigsby® B3 tailpiece creating distance between the spring cup of the Bigsby® B3 tailpiece and the stud on Les Paul guitar bodies ONLY. The Towner Hinge-Plate Adapter (HPA) is designed to go on the outside of the Bigsby® B3 hinge-plate to raise the strap button out of the slot for easier access.
WHAT WE LIKE:
When it comes to DIY projects, I’m pretty darn average with following directions and not screwing things up, so when I finished my install in 20 minutes (with only the aid of a Phillips screwdriver) I was ecstatic! EASY BREEZY!!
Within 5 minutes of adjusting the Down Tension Bar, my intonation was perfect. In tune and ready to rock!
My beautiful Les Paul now has that Neil Young vibe that I was after and she is left completely preserved, in her original state, and unscathed.
No String Slippage:
No issues, even with the stock Gibson Les Paul Bridge. Roller Bridge is an option but not needed
No Worries. Everything is solid as a rock.
To add a Bigsby B3 to my Les Paul without having intonation issues or having to drill… PRICELESS
Actually cost of parts… extremely affordable.