Trials of a Bigsby Pedal Restoration

This blog isn’t about me, but this post sort of is since it deals with restoring a Bigsby volume/tone pedal.

Within hours someone responded to my Craigslist ad for a wanted Bigsby volume/tone pedal. We agreed on an “as-is” condition price and I bought it. So, now I have it.

My goal is to achieve the same boo-wah sound the original lap-steel players did with an original and authentic Bigsby pedal. I do have a Fender reissue volume/wah but it’s a little too stiff and I have to keep adding oil or loosening the pivot nut to make it more usable. Bigsby pedals were never reissued (although their steel guitars are apparently) so finding one may require a search.

Currently I’m having a heck of a time finding the 100k audio taper with 1-inch shaft potentiometer needed for the tone control. Here’s the one I bought from Mouser Electronics and it’s too small for the pot shaft coupling on the current pot (that needs replacing.) And I haven’t yet found anything at Antique Electronic Supply.

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2 thoughts on “Trials of a Bigsby Pedal Restoration

  1. Hey Nate
    Does the New Fender sound a lot different than a bigsby? I’ve been looking for one but the Fender is cheaper and available. If you never found a canidate try your local antique radio/HAM club guys. They usually have a good bead on older parts. Something NOS might work fine with a little cleanup. Or get someone to machine you a collar.

    Good Luck

    • Honestly, I’m still working on finding the time to work on the Bigsby pedal. (And I have to learn to solder!) But hopefully that will happen soon over the holidays. I can say I was happy with the sound of the new Fender pedal though. Good thought on finding the older parts.

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