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Old June 14th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to tighten up the bender mechanism?

Does anyone know how to tighten up the b-bender mechanism? It bends too easy!! It is the Nashville hotrod b-bender.. I've got used to it, but when I forget about it, i could bend it out of tune.. Is it possible to fix? - Paul .A

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Old June 14th, 2013, 05:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There is no tension adjustment on the Parsons Greene. But this can be resolved.

I do agree that the tension is way too loose on them, causing accidental bends just from wearing the guitar and minimal movement with a heavy guitar. Ive had two of those Fender B benders years ago.

If you remove the b string, and the outside row of pickguard screws around the back of the chrome plate covering the bender, the entire bender assembly comes out in one unit. There isnt an adjustment, so to add tension you will have to shorten the spring. I cut off three loops of the spring and bent over another loop to hook the spring up again. Three was the magic number for me. A little stiff, but not so stiff that its difficult to use.

I hope this helps.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Chet!! Thank you for reply!! I appreciate!! Did you try one and one loop? Or was your first and final shot three loops? And yes,It is a heavy guitar, so it sounds right with two or three!! Do you still have yours btw? I'll go on with it right away!! Tnx - Paul
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Chet!! Thank you for reply!! I appreciate!! Did you try one and one loop? Or was your first and final shot three loops? And yes,It is a heavy guitar, so it sounds right with two or three!! Do you still have yours btw? I'll go on with it right away!! Tnx - Paul
I had a 1997 , and later picked up a 2002 i think as a backup since i was gigging all the time. The 1997 got the experimenting of a loop, then two, and finally i liked three loops removed. Somewhere around 1998. The second guitar i already knew what to do from the first experiments on thea 1997 guitar.

I sold the 2002 first while i was laid off from work. Then after i started building my own guitars i sold the 1997 about two years ago. I have a mcvay bender in my main guitar, and i am dropping him off a second guitar tomorrow for a bender.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is a common problem with a PG bender. If you use the search function some guys have made tension adjusters like those available on Evans Pull Strings and some other high end benders. Being locked into one tension setting is a real hassle - if it's real tight when standing so you avoid accidental bends it'll be almost impossible to play sitting down. That's where a tension adjuster really helps - a few turns with an allen driver and you can re-set the tension as loose or as tight as you need.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 07:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know what gauge B string you are using, but you can try moving it up one heavier if it doesn't throw your set too much out of balance.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A .011 B string has 9.1 pounds of tension with a 25.5" scale; a .012 tuned to the same pitch only adds 1.9 lb of tension. Note also that the direct nut-to-saddle tension does NOT equal bender pull tension, which is a function of the particular bender's design - various angles/lengths of the parts, friction of moving parts (especially the load bearing parts) and the length of the pull, and is significantly less than that base number.

The other issue specific to this example is the weight of the guitar itself - the heavier the guitar, the less effect string tension will have on "tightness" of the bender - and Nashville Teles (and almost every Tele equipped with a PG bender) are very heavy compared to most other types.

In other words, the gage only makes a difference in fine-tuning a adjustable bend when in the hands of an experienced bender player. most players can't tell the difference between a thousandth of an inch string diameter variance...even two thousandths. Many *think* they can, but doing blind tests reveals that while string tension can make a significant difference in manual bends it's almost imperceptible with a mechanized system.

It takes a change in the mechanics - either a change in spring tension (by changing or shortening/lengthening the spring), a change in the radius of the strap lever bellcrank or hub/tower/saddle rotation. Almost all string attachment points, whether hubs, towers or the saddles themselves move in an arc, not a straight line, and the radius of that arc vs the radius of the strap lever arc have a significant effect on both tension and length of pull.

Which is why on a PG/Fender Nashville bender you are limited to DIY changes in spring type or length to change the tension (you can't change the length of pull) or having someone modify the unit by adding an Evans-style spring adjuster (also a useful addition to PW-type units.)
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Old July 20th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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With all due respect Silverface, I've been playing the same bender for close to 37 yrs. (Gene changed it over to a long throw about 20 yrs. ago) and consider myself an experienced bender player. I'm extremely sensitive to changes in string gauge and the action of my bender. I've jumped back and forth between .011 and .012, and believe me , I know the difference. It also ties in with doing double stop bends (without the bender) on my b and g string and which gauge gives me the most pitch accurate bend with the g string involved. I always enjoy your posts!
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Old July 20th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Could one experiment with shortening the spring using small cable ties to tie coils together? Or would that interfere with function?
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Old July 20th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Could one experiment with shortening the spring using small cable ties to tie coils together? Or would that interfere with function?
I think thatd probably do something in the right direction, but i prefered just cutting the spring and bending over the next desired loop.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 06:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was just thinkin' that the cable ties might be an easy way to figure out how much spring to cut off.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 09:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You can use cable ties to see what tension you really want on the spring before cutting it. I did it when I set up of two of the three P/Gs I own. The ties work well and I had one on a spring for three months before I shortened the spring. The length of pull can be adjusted with the proper clevis, but it is a pain to take the bender apart and replace it. Gene makes a long throw and Brian Friend from this forum created two medium throws for me years ago.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/b-bender-...throw-p-g.html

You can also lighten up the P/G by installing an aluminum back plate from Hipshot. I did it on my Nashvile four years ago and haven't looked back.

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/b-bender-...nder-diet.html

While not the perfect bender platform, the P/G is a servicable bender if you can live with its quirks.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 05:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ray - respectfully, with a long throw the gage affects the tension of the pull even less. Years ago some of us did some tests using lab equipment and found the gage-difference negligible; additionally, the players' "perception" was not something that could be duplicated when blind gage-switching was done. It's really one of those things you think you feel. It does depend somewhat on the mechanism, however as the throw lengthens the ft/lb difference narrows significantly and just isn't significant.
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