News & Events

2015 Event Schedule!

Things are heating up for 2015! Check out the event schedule below to find out where we’ll be in 2015! Don’t forget to check back for special offerings and news from each event. Looking forward to seeing YOU in 2015!

January 22-25
Winter NAMM
Anaheim, CA
Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue  Anaheim, CA 92802

March 7
Tempe Guitar Show
Tempe, AZ
Antique Electronic Supply
6221 South Maple Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85283

April 15-18
Musik Messe
Frankfurt Germany
Messe Frankfurt
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1  60327 Frankfurt

May 17
Tacoma Guitar Festival
Tacoma, WA
2727 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421

June 27-28
Great American Guitar Show-Summer
Oaks, PA
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456

July 9-11
Summer NAMM
Nashville, TN
Nashville Music City Center
201 5th Avenue South Nashville, TN 37203

August 22-23
Bay Area World Guitar Show
San Rafael, CA
Marin Civic Center
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903

October 17-18
Arlington, TX
Arlington Convention Center
1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX




News & Events

Fall Philly Wrap-Up!

The last event of the year was certainly stunning!  That is how to put a capstone on a year! If you were lucky enough to visit the show, you know what we’re talking about.  Throngs (and we do mean a TON) of visitors were capivated by incredible gear. We generally expect to see a few mindbogglingly cool pieces of vintage gear (and this show had it), but there was also an amazing amount of esoteric stuff from the 1950s-1970s. And just for the cool factor, and although they don’t feature a vibrato, we have a soft spot for ukuleles.  Check out the amazing mint Martin 5k in the gallery.  For more photos from around the show, check out the additional gallery HERE.

For our part, we showcased our full line of products and offered complementary installation services and Pit-Stop check-ups.  Many thanks to those who took us up on our offer! We always love when folks visit the booth and check out the vibratos. As they aren’t on an instrument at that point, people can’t really inspect and get acquainted and we love seeing the reaction.  The aluminum castings are lightweight which tends to surprise visitors the most and gives us a smile.  As this was our last event for 2014, we are looking forward to 2015 and can’t wait to visit with you at an upcoming event–stay with us for a complete list. Kind thanks for your support in 2014; see you further on up the road!


News & Events

El Twanguero’s Major Rag!

Modern guitar Master Diego ‘El Twanguero’ Garcia demonstrates his skilled craft in this new video. His thumb and fingerpicking talent are second to none and his tasty use of the Bigsby on his vintage Gretsch DuoJet make us proud to call him a friend! Be sure to check out our Artist page on him HERE and visit his website HERE.  Without further ado, please enjoy MAJOR RAG!

EL TWANGUERO-MAJOR RAG from Diego Garcia on Vimeo.

News & Events

Fall Philly 2014!

Our FINAL show of 2014!  As the leaves change color and fall to ground, preparations are in full swing for the Great American Guitar Show! To be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA the weekend of November 8-9. This show will be your last chance in 2014 to take advantage of our FREE Installation or Pit-Stop. Check out the flyer HERE for details and to reserve your spot.  If you’re unfamiliar with our Pit-Stop offering, it is an 8-point ‘check up’ to make sure your Bigsby equipped guitar is operating in tip-top fashion.  A free service, but we do suggest that the strings on the instrument be relatively new (or bring a set & we’ll put them on) to get the most out of the Pit-Stop.  We look forward to seeing you soon at the Fall Philly Guitar Show!

Check out more details on the show from Bee3Vintage HERE.

Philly 2

News & Events

GuitArlington 2014 Wrap Up

We won’t argue that the average weekend isn’t a glorious event, when it is stacked to the rafters with guitars it is downright fabulous.  It doesn’t get any better than the GuitArlington show held on the weekend of October 18-19.  With thousands, if not tens of thousands, guitars filling the halls of the Arlington, Texas Convention Center, nothing could keep fans away! By now you all know that this is the event that dealers and collectors look forward to as it is where the best of best is.  2014 was no exception.  From the depths of a private collection, Jack Parsons Bigsby guitar stunned attendees. As you can see from the photos below, it is an incredible build as well as a piece of history.

While it certainly was the star of the show, it wasn’t the only amazing piece.  From vintage ‘burst Les Pauls, Blackguards, and almost too clean original ’54 Strats, there was no shortage of eye candy.  Perhaps the best opportunity most of us will get to experience these ‘holy grail’ specimens.  For our part and display, we teamed up with legendary pickup guru and luthier Tom ‘TV’ Jones. Visitors to our booth got up close and personal checking out all the Bigsby vibratos, guitars, books, parts, and Tom’s famous demo guitar.  Check out the photos to see this masterpiece of pickup testing and other shots from around the show HERE.  Generous thanks to those who took us up on our offer for free Pit-Stops and Installations–it made it another GREAT trip to Texas! Now its on to the last stop of 2014; the Great American Guitar Show in Philly Nov. 8-9!


News & Events

Celebrating 2014 Bigsby Birthdays

December 12th 2014 marks what would be the 115th birthday of Paul Adelbert Bigsby. When it comes to guitar history, names like Leo Fender, Adolph Rickenbacker, and Les Paul may be more widely known, but their work would not have been possible without the man who designed and built the first solidbody electric guitar.

Paul Bigsby

Paul Bigsby

A skilled motorcycle machinist—and also a music fan—Paul Bigsby got into the world of guitars in the mid-1940s when he designed a replacement vibrato mechanism for C&W artist Merle Travis’s Gibson L-10. Paul’s device set a new standard, and it rapidly became the vibrato of choice for most guitar manufacturers the world over—a reputation it still enjoys today.

In late 1946, Travis approached Bigsby with a concept for a new guitar. Travis’s rough sketch depicted a solidbody electric with all six tuning pegs on one side of the headstock. Bigsby, whose personal philosophy was “I can build anything,” immediately went to work to make the concept a reality. When the guitar was completed, Merle Travis played it on recordings, on radio, and on public performances. The revolutionary design caught the eyes and ears of guitar players and builders alike—and it changed the sound and look of guitars forever.

Paul Bigsby continued to hand-craft custom guitars and vibrato units for the next twenty years. But by 1965 health issues prompted him to sell the Bigsby name and inventory to his friend Ted McCarty. That sale that was effective on January 1, 1966. Paul Bigsby died on June 7, 1968, leaving a legacy of innovation and craftsmanship for which every guitarist today should be grateful.

Speaking of Ted McCarty, his is the other Bigsby birthday to be celebrated (what would be his 105th, as of October 10th of this year). Ted was no stranger to the guitar business when he purchased the Bigsby Company. As many know, he’d been president of Gibson Guitars since 1948, having led that company through its one of its most successful periods, often referred as the ‘Golden Era’.

Ted McCarty

Ted McCarty

When Ted McCarty took over Bigsby, he retired from Gibson. He focused on filling the demand for Bigsby’s True Vibrato, which was being ordered by virtually all major US guitar manufacturers. Of all Bigsby customers, Gretsch Guitars was the single largest, establishing a strong relationship between the two companies. That relationship led to Bigsby’s purchase by Gretsch in 1999 when Ted McCarty retired after sixty successful years in the music business. Ted died in April of 2001.

Fred Gretsch describes the care that has been taken to preserve the Bigsby heritage, saying, “Gretsch guitars have featured Bigsby vibrato tailpieces for sixty years. Gretsch and Bigsby are often thought of together, and now we’re one company. We’re continuing to manufacture vintage-style Bigsby vibratos and bridges using the same hand-made methods prescribed by Paul Bigsby more than half a century ago.”

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