Minarik Diablo – Bigsby Installation

As if the Diablo wasn’t crazy enough, I decided it had to have a Bigsby. I didn’t want to drill into the top to fit it, so I decided to use a Vibramate mount. As usual, eBay came up with the goods at a bargain price. The chap was actually selling two sets. For some reason I didn’t buy both. I wish I had.


Here it is with the strings off. The bridge and tailpiece are high-quality Tonepros items. I’ve packed those up safely in case I ever decide to change it back to stock.


The gold-plated aluminium mounting plate just screws straight into the holes for the stop bar.


Then the Bigsby screws onto the mounting plate with four little screws. There are two different lengths of screw. If you fit the long one in the hole for the short one it goes all the way through and marks the top of the guitar. Ask me how I know this…

And that’s it. Putting the new strings on took longer than fitting the Bigsby.

I also fitted a roller bridge to improve the tuning stability. I’ve got several guitars with Bigsbys, and they don’t go out of tune if you set them up properly. Some people have trouble stringing them up, but if you bend the string into a hook at the ball end, it’s easy. Locking tuners help, too.

I normally fit the wire ‘Chet’ handle to my Bigsbys as I find the flat handle gets in the way of my flapping right hand. However, a gold Chet handle is over £80 so I think I’ll learn to live with this for now.