Forrest Lee or...?

Chucks

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Hello,
I've been searching for a Fender B Bender for a while now but every time one comes up for sale, it's either far too dear or sold already. I would like to say that the 3 pick-up Nashville model doesn't interest me.
I've owned my 78 Strat for 40 years and I have a Natural Burst Gibson SG too but a couple of years ago, I bought a Fender Telecaster Performer with the idea in mind to get a B Bender fitted but not sure where to go with this. I'm in the UK so I got in touch with Charlie Chandler who said he can fit them and has done so but the problem is in getting the actual Parson/Green style units themselves.
I started to read through posts on this forum and there seems to be nothing but praise for Forrest Lee Jnr's work in this department.
Any of you guys (in the UK in particular) actually sent their guitars through to the US to get Forrest to fix a B Bender for them? Costs? Did you send the whole guitar or just the body and what about taxes on getting it back through customs here?
I've always loved the sound of pedal steel and a B Bender in the right hands sounds fantastic and now that I now suffer from terrible nerve pain in my finger tips, bending strings is far too painful to do so this sounds perfect for me!
But, actually getting up and running with a B Bender equipped guitar is proving very hard.
Any advice or help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Charlie
 

Nishplayer

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You won't go wrong with Forrest....I'm in Canada and will gladly pay customs duty to have Forrest build me the double bender he is (B&G)....I bought a Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele with one of Forrest's b benders installed off Reverb from California ($2000CDN to buy and get shipped here....duty was about another $125)....absolutely love it....

Forrest charges $685 USD to do install: http://www.forrestleejr.com/benders/30-fl-callahan-boostcoil-bridge-pickup.html

You ship just body to cut costs....and Forrest is easy to communicate with....
 

T Prior

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see above . why not call FL jr and speak with him directly. My #1 Tele is an 08 American Std with a Fl Jr system. It is PREMIUM. There may be others equal but none better. I say that as I have owned ( and still own) many others including Glasers. ( also premium)
 

Pineears

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Could buy Tele from Sweetwater where you can choose a lite weight one. They’ll ship it to Forrest for free. He installs, then ships to you. Or he installs you take a vacation in Nashville and pick it up.
 

Chucks

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You won't go wrong with Forrest....I'm in Canada and will gladly pay customs duty to have Forrest build me the double bender he is (B&G)....I bought a Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele with one of Forrest's b benders installed off Reverb from California ($2000CDN to buy and get shipped here....duty was about another $125)....absolutely love it....

Forrest charges $685 USD to do install: http://www.forrestleejr.com/benders/30-fl-callahan-boostcoil-bridge-pickup.html

You ship just body to cut costs....and Forrest is easy to communicate with....

Thanks everybody, I got in touch with him (Forrest) ... I'm going to send out the body only of my Telecaster and let him do his thing and that will keep costs down.
Seems like a very nice guy... I'm sure I've made the right choice... his work looks impeccable and his pricing seems fair too which is a bonus.
Cheers
 

Silverface

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Glaser is $650 plus shipping, and there's no large back route. If price is an issue IMO Joe's - which is also convertible to a G bender and tension-adjustable - is a no brainer. He only needs the body for installation and usually takes 3-4 days for installation.

OTOH if you want the best - IMO - Get an Evans Pull String. Tension adjustment, 9 different throw lengths, parts and routing all computer controlled. More expensive and worth every cent - and I own both Evans and Glaser benders.
 

Nishplayer

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Could buy Tele from Sweetwater where you can choose a lite weight one. They’ll ship it to Forrest for free. He installs, then ships to you. Or he installs you take a vacation in Nashville and pick it up.
The Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele is super light and resonant....great base for a Forrest Lee Junior bender.....I know I have one....

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Chucks

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Just a quick update.... after constantly checking the £ against the $ and checking usual sites on I eventually came across a Fender Telecaster B Bender on the usual auction site.... the seller was asking a lot for it but the pictures showed what appeared to be, a pretty darn good, almost immaculate 1997 Fender B Bender!
I contacted the seller and we agreed on a price, a wee bit lower, and... this is the worrying bit - he removed it from EBayy, cos he didn't want to pay the high costs etc. Fair enough I thought, I'll be protected (to a degree) if I pay by my Credit Card, so I did via PayPal.
The guitar arrived yesterday and the first thing is, wow this guitar is heavy... came in a very nice Fender Case too and it really looks as good as the photos that the seller had (plus the additional ones I asked for showing more close-ups).
Plugged it in to my little valve VOX and it all sounds pretty good and it even has the same push-pull tone control as my Performer Tele with the switch in the middle and the push/pull raised it has a really funky sound and with the neck pick-up on and the push/pull down it sounds almost like my neck humbucker on my Performer! By the way the B Bender works great... I am going to have a lot of fun with this!
So what is my worry... it is a Rosewood neck and I for the life of me have not seen one late 90s Fender B Bender anywhere with a Rosewood neck... so what exactly have I bought?

Charlie
 

Silverface

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the seller was asking a lot for it but the pictures showed what appeared to be, a pretty darn good, almost immaculate 1997 Fender B Bender!

it is a Rosewood neck and I for the life of me have not seen one late 90s Fender B Bender anywhere with a Rosewood neck... so what exactly have I bought?

If you saw the pictures and bought it on that basis, it should have been crystal clear it was either a maple or rosewood fretboard Tele. A little internet research should answer your question - and would normally be done before ever buying any guitar.

As far as weight goes, any Tele with a Parsons-Green is going to be heavy unless it's an ultralight Paulownia body.

Now that you have it you can contact Fender with the serial number and find out what it is. But in the late 90's Fender made a lot of "exception to the rule" guitars, so records don't always match up. And Parsons-Green units are fairly simple add-ons for qualified guitar techs. Unfortunately, they are also very limited - one tension setting (without major surgery) and a non-adjustable throw.

So I think folks may be a bit confused by your question.

I've always loved the sound of pedal steel and a B Bender in the right hands sounds fantastic

A b-bender will not give you a pedal steel sound; Bob Warford makes that clear on the original instruction recordings that came with Parsons-White installations. I learned from Clarence White and Bob that it's best to play the b-bender as a different instrument - not like a "normal" guitar and certainly not like a pedal steel - one mechanical bend won't get close to the multiple pulls both up and down (in harmony) of a pedal steel. When I want a steel sound I play one of my steels; when I want a guitar sound I play one of my non-benders.

But when I strap on one of my benders I approach it as a completely different musical instrument. The same song played on guitar and on b-bender will sound totally different, even if the style is the same.

Just some random thoughts from someone who's played benders since the 70's.
 

Chucks

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If you saw the pictures and bought it on that basis, it should have been crystal clear it was either a maple or rosewood fretboard Tele. A little internet research should answer your question - and would normally be done before ever buying any guitar.

As far as weight goes, any Tele with a Parsons-Green is going to be heavy unless it's an ultralight Paulownia body.

Now that you have it you can contact Fender with the serial number and find out what it is. But in the late 90's Fender made a lot of "exception to the rule" guitars, so records don't always match up. And Parsons-Green units are fairly simple add-ons for qualified guitar techs. Unfortunately, they are also very limited - one tension setting (without major surgery) and a non-adjustable throw.

So I think folks may be a bit confused by your question.



A b-bender will not give you a pedal steel sound; Bob Warford makes that clear on the original instruction recordings that came with Parsons-White installations. I learned from Clarence White and Bob that it's best to play the b-bender as a different instrument - not like a "normal" guitar and certainly not like a pedal steel - one mechanical bend won't get close to the multiple pulls both up and down (in harmony) of a pedal steel. When I want a steel sound I play one of my steels; when I want a guitar sound I play one of my non-benders.

But when I strap on one of my benders I approach it as a completely different musical instrument. The same song played on guitar and on b-bender will sound totally different, even if the style is the same.

Just some random thoughts from someone who's played benders since the 70's.

Hello, thanks for that...
sorry for maybe not being very clear - the guitar arrived as described, all very nice, absolutely immaculate!
I'll start at the start and ask a basic question....
Were Fender B Bender guitars offered with a Rosewood neck?
 

Chucks

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If you saw the pictures and bought it on that basis, it should have been crystal clear it was either a maple or rosewood fretboard Tele. A little internet research should answer your question - and would normally be done before ever buying any guitar.

As far as weight goes, any Tele with a Parsons-Green is going to be heavy unless it's an ultralight Paulownia body.

Now that you have it you can contact Fender with the serial number and find out what it is. But in the late 90's Fender made a lot of "exception to the rule" guitars, so records don't always match up. And Parsons-Green units are fairly simple add-ons for qualified guitar techs. Unfortunately, they are also very limited - one tension setting (without major surgery) and a non-adjustable throw.

So I think folks may be a bit confused by your question.



A b-bender will not give you a pedal steel sound; Bob Warford makes that clear on the original instruction recordings that came with Parsons-White installations. I learned from Clarence White and Bob that it's best to play the b-bender as a different instrument - not like a "normal" guitar and certainly not like a pedal steel - one mechanical bend won't get close to the multiple pulls both up and down (in harmony) of a pedal steel. When I want a steel sound I play one of my steels; when I want a guitar sound I play one of my non-benders.

But when I strap on one of my benders I approach it as a completely different musical instrument. The same song played on guitar and on b-bender will sound totally different, even if the style is the same.

Just some random thoughts from someone who's played benders since the 70's.

I appreciate your experience but to each his own - it's the closest thing to a pedal-steel that I can think of without being able to actually play a pedal steel and within 5 mins of playing this guitar its obvious that this is completely a different instrument and that's what is fun about it - new technique needed.
Thanks again
 

T Prior

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- new technique needed.
Yep, correct.

The B Bender creativity and phrasing is derived from multiple redundant chord positions and intervals. Its a fretboard study.

By doing this we place the B string in a different position for intervals , triads and chords, same string but the dynamic sounds are different .

have fun ! and Yep that Fender is heavy but it's a very functional stable system. You may want to apply some NUT SAUCE at the NUT ,on the Saddle and at the top of the string tower. These systems tend to squeak !
 

Chucks

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Excellent, thanks very much for that... will put a wee bit of "lube" over those areas. I love it that this whole system is so "mechanical". So far I'm very impressed and looking forward to putting some B Bender guitar onto my own (mostly instrumental) recorded music.
Cheers
 

244300

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Phoenix — Biltmore
I've not seen a Fender P/G Bender Nashville Telecaster with a rosewood fret board in recent memory. Possibly Fender offered two pickup B Bender Teles with rosewood if it was from '97.

I'm more surprised to hear it has push-pull pots.

I have a 2015 P/G Bender Nashville Tele that weighs 9 lbs even. It's on the heavy end of my Teles. If I recall correctly, the weigh of the mechanism is largely offset by the weight of the wood routed out.
 
Last edited:

Chucks

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I've not seen a Fender P/G Bender Nashville Telecaster with a rosewood fret board in recent memory. Possibly Fender offered two pickup B Bender Teles with rosewood if it was from '97.

I'm more surprised to hear it has push-pull pots.

I have a 2015 P/G Bender Nashville Tele that weighs 9 lbs even. It's on the heavy end of my Teles. If I recall correctly, the weigh of the mechanism is largely offset by the weight of the wood routed out.

Yes, the push-pull pots were a surprise... it gives the guitar a lot of tones that's for sure. The guitar dates to 1997.
It's a beautiful Tele and the Bender works great so I suppose that's all that matters.

Cheers
 

244300

Tele-Meister
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Posts
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Yes, the push-pull pots were a surprise... it gives the guitar a lot of tones that's for sure. The guitar dates to 1997.
It's a beautiful Tele and the Bender works great so I suppose that's all that matters.

Cheers

Hopefully it changes middle position from series to parallel. I think that’s what your description sounds like.
 

Chucks

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Half a dozen real usable sounds... can't argue with that.
I wish I'd got a Telecaster years ago (bought my 78 Strat in 83... still got it)
Cheers
 

Rick Towne

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Mar 16, 2003
Posts
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Location
Woodland Hills, CA
If you saw the pictures and bought it on that basis, it should have been crystal clear it was either a maple or rosewood fretboard Tele. A little internet research should answer your question - and would normally be done before ever buying any guitar.

As far as weight goes, any Tele with a Parsons-Green is going to be heavy unless it's an ultralight Paulownia body.

Now that you have it you can contact Fender with the serial number and find out what it is. But in the late 90's Fender made a lot of "exception to the rule" guitars, so records don't always match up. And Parsons-Green units are fairly simple add-ons for qualified guitar techs. Unfortunately, they are also very limited - one tension setting (without major surgery) and a non-adjustable throw.

So I think folks may be a bit confused by your question.



A b-bender will not give you a pedal steel sound; Bob Warford makes that clear on the original instruction recordings that came with Parsons-White installations. I learned from Clarence White and Bob that it's best to play the b-bender as a different instrument - not like a "normal" guitar and certainly not like a pedal steel - one mechanical bend won't get close to the multiple pulls both up and down (in harmony) of a pedal steel. When I want a steel sound I play one of my steels; when I want a guitar sound I play one of my non-benders.

But when I strap on one of my benders I approach it as a completely different musical instrument. The same song played on guitar and on b-bender will sound totally different, even if the style is the same.

Just some random thoughts from someone who's played benders since the 70's.

Always good advice here, especially if you, like me, do almost all of your playing outside ordinary country/steel contexts. It’s well worth it to develop your own individual bender style and then pickup the faux steel techniques from non-bender players like Amos Garrett, Jeff Ross and Duke Levine. And the. There’s Jerry Dinhie, with a still unmatched style.
 




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