Guitars

Towner Down Tension Bar

  • By Tom Keithly @tonereport
  • February 11, 2014
  • 3 Comments

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:

 

Install:

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!!

 

Intonation:

Within 5 minutes of adjusting the Down Tension Bar, my intonation was perfect. In tune and ready to rock!

 

No Drilling:

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

 

 

CONCERNS:


 

None!

BUILD QUALITY:

No Worries. Everything is solid as a rock.

VALUE:

To add a Bigsby B3 to my Les Paul without having intonation issues or having to drill… PRICELESS

Actually cost of parts… extremely affordable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 Comments

  1. Ramblerman

    I have the hardest time believing that everyone is just as happy as can be with using a Bigsby on any old axe that has your basic Gibson tune-o-matic style bridge. I say Bull with a capital S. Nobody ever seems to address that it’s quite a feat to keep a Bigsby rig in tune. I have roller bridges on both of my Bigsby equipped guitars and even they go out of tune. I’m talking about staying in tune period. I’m a well experienced, semi-pro, engineering minded player; I put effort into setting intonation correctly and having well-maintained nuts, etc. Maybe I’m totally missing something. I put a Bigsby on my Les Paul also with a Vibramate rig and had to take it off unless I was willing to get a roller bridge to have any hope of keeping it in tune. Didn’t want to go that far with my LP. These reviews really bug me. Yeah the Towner Down Tension Bar is just wonderful, but to me it’s worthless if you can’t keep the stupid guitar in tune while using the damned Bigsby! Whoopdefreakindoo! Every picture I see with the DTB has a tune-o-matic and everybody says wow I’m so stoked! Are they even playing the Bigsby with any authority?! Or are they just proud to see it on there? Cmon, get real, are you really able to stay in tune and actually use the Bigsby, I mean really use it?

  2. IvanKdj

    http://recoverperu.org

  3. AlysonGcy

    Oh God. I don’t know what to do as I have tons of work to do next week summer. Plus the university exams are close, it will be a torture. I am already freaking out maybe I should <a >read more</a> to calm down a little bit. Hopefully it will all go well. Wish me luck.