Gibson B-Bender questions

bendercaster

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I have two Gibsons (a gold top Les Paul w/ mini-hum buckers and Les Paul Jr. with an Alnico pole P90) and I'd love have a b-bender installed in one of them. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with that. Both are 9.2 lbs. The Jr. has a wrap around bridge and titanium zero nut. Both sound great, thought the Jr. is probably my best sounding guitar. Here are my concerns with both though:

1) Is 9.2 lbs too heavy to put a strap actuated bender in? The weight doesn't bother me when I play, but I worry about the weight of the guitar causing unintended bends.

2) Will the wrap-around bridge be a problem on the Jr.? I worry about it rocking and causing tuning instability when I use the bender.

3) Is it just a bad idea to put a bender on something with a 3x3 headstock (slant in nut slots causing tuning instability)? The zero nut on the Jr. is probably better set up for this, but again that is the guitar with the wrap-around bridge.

I also have two telecaster's, but I already have Rolling B-benders (palm actuated) on those. I'm a big fan, but I would really like a strap actuated b-bender too. I've thought about having one installed in one of the teles (the heaviest is only 7 lbs), but the Rolling-bender works fine for me. It is a zero maintenance device and both guitars stay perfectly in tune. I also like to bring one of my Gibson's to gigs--I just wish one had a b bender too.

So what does the b-bender brain trust think?
 

Back at it

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My understanding is that most benders, aside from the fender, add no weight

the glaser is not a traditional strap bender so bender experts will be able to be more specific
 

bendercaster

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My understanding is that most benders, aside from the fender, add no weight

the glaser is not a traditional strap bender so bender experts will be able to be more specific
Thanks. Yeah, I'm not too worried about any added weight. I'm more curious about how the weight of the guitar might effect the functionality of the bender mechanism.
 

T Prior

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Glaser systems are strap pull systems and probably add a few ounces A typical Forrest Lee jr system or Gene Parsons system ( routed strap pull systems) remove approx 1 lb of wood and add approx 1 lb of metal. So its a zero sum.

But, if we have a heavy guitar to begin with or a guitar that is not balanced, once the system is installed we can experience unwanted pitch issues with the B or G string due to the guitar hanging off the strap. If the system has tension adjust, it can be compensated for this.

The Glasers , the P White, FL Jr systems etc are all strap pull systems, either the upper body strap location or the neck plate, they are each a Strap PULL system and we have to LEARN to use it without causing any undesired pitch issues. It still hangs from our shoulder by the strap. The functionality of the system is not effected in any way what so ever due to guitar weight, its the USER who has "learn" how to play and not create any undue pitch issues.

Its not a big deal, its just takes some time , or do like me, play sitting down on a stool all the time ! I've stood long enough , its time for a break !
 

Silverface

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have two Gibsons (a gold top Les Paul w/ mini-hum buckers and Les Paul Jr. with an Alnico pole P90) and I'd love have a b-bender installed in one of them. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with that
forget about weight - it's not an issue.

Instead, contact bender installers and find out the cost of of a Les Paul or a Jr installation - if they'll do them at all! In most situations a shoulder strap/bellcrank system like the Parsons or Evans designs need extensive modifications to a Les Paul because the pickup selector is pretty close to the bellcrank hub attachment point.

And both would need bridge changes for just about any type - you could screw a McEwen Slingshot to the back of a Jr, but depending on the neck angle...

Point being - don't ask here. CALL the builders and ask THEM.
 

jvin248

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.

Tension spring adjusters take care of balancing guitar weight. That won't be a problem.

Instead of hacking up one of your Gibsons, modify an Epiphone or Harley Benton SC450 or Junior. Scrub the logos off if you need to. The headstock angles are lower for more tuning stability.

.
 

T Prior

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Tension springs / adjust work to a point, they help but do not 100% solve the standing "pitch" issue. Much of it has to do with how we stand and hold the instrument. We have to LEARN how to play these instruments which have STRAP pulls. If we are going to run across the stage like Angus Young all bets are off !

"Hacking up an instrument" --LOL-- thats funny. !!!

I couldn't wait to have Forrest Lee jr "hack up" my 08 Tele and turn it into a Precision B Bender Telecaster , which is now a totally different Instrument than it was PRE Bender.
 

Silverface

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Tension springs / adjust work to a point, they help but do not 100% solve the standing "pitch" issue.
??

I don't understand this, since I have had precision spring adjusters on -every Evans (and a couple other bender brands), Glaser/Gibsons, Glasers and McEwen Slingshots.

The Slingshot's adjusters are slightly "rougher" - but Pull Strings and Glasers - on a well-built instrument that doesn't want to neck-dive or elevate with standard strap pegs - can be balanced and the spring's (sometimes a replacement, depending on the players' handling of the instrument) tension set to a hair-trigger pull and the ability to pop right back to "in tune."

Before I got my first Pull String I changed springs and moved the attachment point to the body (a trial and error process) until I found an acceptable balance point. But every Pull String I've owned or set up...and decent quality benders modified with the same adjuster (or something with very close tolerance Dave has developed(like the one in my "Clarence Clone") have been able to be set to the same "fine" balance point - and Joe Glaser's get very close.

If there's a return to pitch error it's a problem with the bender design having excessive friction, no - or excessive-lubrication (the latter attracts dirt and dust) or the player is basically in the way of or otherwise restricting the guitar's vertical movement (bouncing around the stage would be a problem).
 

T Prior

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??

I don't understand this,

Not arguing Jim, the systems and adjustments are fine, I believe in many cases its the way players hold their instruments. yesterday they had NO Bender, today they do. It took me some time to overcome the hanging pitch thing. Others never had an issue.

Its the person , not the instrument or system .
 

Silverface

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I believe in many cases its the way players hold their instruments. yesterday they had NO Bender, today they do.

Its the person , not the instrument or system .
Exactly.

I wasn't arguing - I just didn't understand you were referring to "player induced up-tuning"© (hey, I thought of the phrase, so neener neener!😎)



i've had 30 or so in-person B-bender students(and a ton more via email...even letters znd phone calls pre-internet.

Sidebar - I better explain for some of the youngsters - "phone calls" are an unused feature you carry around in your camera/text message gadget - there's usually an icon on the right or second from right you can use ti dial...or click on...the "phone number" in the person's contact info - and when you hear a ringing noise, a click and a confused "hello" or "who the F**K is this??? you can actually TALK to them - press the speaker picture and you don't have to hold it up to your ear!

...err, so anyway, of those >>100 regular or single-lesson students, about 25% started with the wrong strap - a slippery nylon-web POS - and had trouble bending with nothing but string tension!

But once that problem is solved, there are about 1/3 that just can't find a stable "balance point" where low tension can be used - ever. But only about 10% of the rest either have a crappy mechanism or move around like head-bangers, and have to keep them set stiffer.

Most - assuming they have decent gear that's well maintained and not jammed with old oil (please save us po' ol' techs from charging you unnecessary money and ONLY use dry Teflon unless the builder tells you to use a specific oil at one or two points) can get close to the "hair trigger pull/instant popup" with practice - and if not on their own, by asking one of us ancient benderheads to show you how. Only takes a few minutes for the light bulb to click on over your head.
 

244300

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My understanding is that most benders, aside from the fender, add no weight

the glaser is not a traditional strap bender so bender experts will be able to be more specific

Installing a P/W StringBender into my 73 LPC did in fact add some weight. I forget how much but maybe six ounces.

Thanks. Yeah, I'm not too worried about any added weight. I'm more curious about how the weight of the guitar might effect the functionality of the bender mechanism.

I doubt it.

The P/W did cause some wonkiness with my three-way switch which is cocked at an unusual angle.

9136B4C7-508F-4851-964E-3B822A13B6C1.jpeg


49FED919-AFCA-435F-9902-3FFBD5DE526C.jpeg
 

244300

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Thanks for sharing your experience and the pictures.

Thanks! A bender on a LP is far rarer than a bender on a Tele.

As Gene Parsons said, it’s not as natural a fit as with a Tele. Notably on mine the three-way switch is cocked around the dial due to space conflicts. Yet still I like it on a LP and I was willing to give it a shot. If it’s good enough for Jimmy Page then either it’s good enough for me or I want it nonetheless.

I thought Gene did a smooth job on my LPC. He charges a mint but he delivered. I don’t blame him asking a bit and I was happy to have him handle mine. That said, it would be very reasonable to call Forrest Lee to take on a LP. I’m still eyeing sending Forrest a Tele but I have a Masterbuilt order lingering in the queue.
 

244300

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Thats a piece of machinery. Hats off to you for going were few have gone and Gene'a art.

I think the sole hitch is the three way switch needs to be a replaced with something like a shallower “freeway“ switch but it’s hard to find someone that understands them and I’m not a tech. I just want to bend the B string and work the pickup switch.
 

bendercaster

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A Junior wouldn't present the same problems with the switch, but sometimes the wrap around bridge can tilt or rock. Mine is pretty stable, but this gives me high hopes to see that there are folks doing this.
 

JohnnyCrash

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A Junior wouldn't present the same problems with the switch, but sometimes the wrap around bridge can tilt or rock. Mine is pretty stable, but this gives me high hopes to see that there are folks doing this.


I wonder if a locking bridge would eliminate this concern. Who makes those? Tone Pros? Do they make a locking wraparound?
 

Mur

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Had several benders over the years, weight doesn't matter ..you just get a spring that counters the guitar's weight. I'd get a few springs from a hardware store and try each to dial it in. Below is one I had in a Duojet.

 




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