Contemplating a P-W Bender on a GCS Les Paul

244300

Tele-Meister
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I’m really a Les Paul first player as the four knob control set is just perfect for me. So it was a natural to give it a go on the Les Paul.
 

244300

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“Gut shot”
 

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Knobby

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I had a stealthy one put in a '13 Special (you know when they made that run of cheaper, but still USA Specials?). I sent it to a guy in the New England area (who has since passed, I think his son or SIL may still do them). Anyhow, it's good. Doesn't have the longer, weepy throw of a Parsons type... But it is functional, and it's pretty well hidden as seen below:

No photo description available.
 

Silverface

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I recognize there are some limitations to using a Les Paul as it won’t be a long throw. Or it’s not as “good” a match as with a Tele. But I’m feeling tempted nonetheless.
My 2 cents -

A bender on a Les Paul is tremendous, and it doesn't HAVE to be a short throw - there's no mechanical reason, just installers preferences.

And as far as it being a good match it's fine. My main player is a Thinline with Red Rhodes Velvet Hammers, a mid boost and a few other tricks, and I get close to a Les Paul sound with it. if fact, I rarely play with normal "Tele twang" because I only played country when doing studio stuff or for specific gigs.

And on my Gibson (the stupidly named Music City Junior) - an ash Les Paul Special - at times I swap out the '50's P-90's I have in it for a pair of early-60's Mini-buckers Seth Lover designed - same ones as in the '68/69 Les Paul Standards. That gets close to a PAF tone.

I also have benders on a Variax, Roland Synth Strat, Les Paul Junior, a Baritone Tele, resonator Tele, one of the few Washburn acoustic benders, a Glaser on a Strat with a '54-profile Custom Shop neck, Abby pickups and a butcher block body, an Evans one-off on a Fender solid body mandolin reissue, and am installing a Parsons acoustic bender on a '71 D-41 that's had a more or less pre-war conversion (it had some damage, so modifying it during repairs didn't bother me.)

There are no rules - you can install them and make them work well on virtually any guitar (and some other instruments).

The only rule for me is DON'T try to imitate a pedal steel - it sounds lame. if you want that sound play a pedal steel!
 

Silverface

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I didn't like the fact that you had to stand up and 'hump' the big allen key-like lever and you could not use it sitting down.
???

I have a Hipshot on a G&L Custom Shop Will Ray model that I got in a swap with Will - and it's probably my most used "couch bender". All you do is set the "hip bar" up in higher position that's also closer to your body - easier to use ALL the time!

I added a tube of pipe insulation over it (so it was more comfortable) right after I got it; that's something I've done to previous Hipshots I've owned and ones I've set up for others.

And recently I pierced a tennis ball and stuck it on the end of the rod. That makes ia Hipshot more comfortable and easier to use standing or sitting.
 

Silverface

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I sent it to a guy in the New England area (who has since passed, I think his son or SIL may still do them)
Sorry, I missed this.

That's a B&W, and Bill's son has a page on Facebook - he's doing them now. from what I've seen, the general idea is somewhat like a current Glaser.

The Gibson Music City Jr mechanism is made by Glaser but the strap peg and upper lever is more like an Evans or Parsons, it has a center bellcrank under the pickguard, and a stiff wire assembly moves the saddle/finger (which, like my Strat's Glaser, can be converted to a G bender).

Also - what 's "SIL" mean?
 

Knobby

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Sorry, I missed this.

That's a B&W, and Bill's son has a page on Facebook - he's doing them now. from what I've seen, the general idea is somewhat like a current Glaser.

The Gibson Music City Jr mechanism is made by Glaser but the strap peg and upper lever is more like an Evans or Parsons, it has a center bellcrank under the pickguard, and a stiff wire assembly moves the saddle/finger (which, like my Strat's Glaser, can be converted to a G bender).

Also - what 's "SIL" mean?
Thanks! I couldn't remember.

SIL: son-in-law
 

Silverface

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Thanks! I couldn't remember.

SIL: son-in-law
Happy to help! It's a nice mechanism - I've played a few.

But if I was going to get that type of "stealthy" bender I'd go to Joe Glaser. He simplified the installation process, and there's no more 1-year wait - usually just a few days. And most Tele installation run about $650 - about half of his old price! The one he put in my Custom Shop (except the body) Strat works flawlessly, it's easy to adjust the spring tension, and also to flip the B/G saddle assembly over and convert it to a "G"bender if you want to try that (I've had G benders and they're not really necessary for me ). He had to do some custom work to install one in my Strat (because it has has back-loaded electronics and no pickguard; it has to be a fixed bridge as well, so I just bought a new body and used the CS one for another project).

Still, to me the smoothest, most linear-pull benders are Evans' Pull Strings. He's so precise and picky I've never heard of a single complaint, problem, or service need - and some of his installations are FIFTY years old! I've talked to both Al Perkins, who still plys his original butcher block body one, and Albert Lee, who had a UK tech move it to his '53 Tele (before the vintage craze started!!) - but kept the Evans body and had Dave move it BACK and update it a few years ago.

The one I'd like know the whereabouts of is Bernie Leadon's. I don't know if he still has it or if he sold it. But it has to be the most heard B-bender ever made!

PS - I looked up "SIL" using Google and it came up with "Sister in Law"!
 




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