I think I'm going to do it...

twangjeff

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Posts
1,393
Location
Camas, WA
For about the past 10 years, I have been considering getting a bender guitar. I go through this whole circle of:

1.) Looking at benders online.
2.) Convincing myself I need one.
3.) Listening to a lot of Diamond Rio.
4.) Learning the bender licks without a bender. and,
5.) Chickening out a the last minute and not going through with it.

This time, it feels different. My birthday is coming up in about a month, and I am about 99% certain that my birthday gift is going to be getting a Glaser bender installed on my G&L ASAT Bluesboy. At the same time, I'll put a Fralin in the bridge. This would give me the ultimate in versatility. I'd have the Seth Lover in the neck, a Fralin in the bridge and a B Bender.

It makes sense... there's no reason not to... I think I can, I think I can...
 

Silverface

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
10,048
Age
70
Location
Lawndale CA
Has anyone started using carbon fiber, aluminum, or titanium, or found other ways to minimize the weight? That would be my main concern for gigs.
There is absolutely no weight issue. None. Unless YOU don't ask a couple of logical questions before buying a guitar or having one installed in a guitar of known weight.

The ONLY way to end up with a heavier guitar is if you don't weigh your guitar and/or ask questions. I find weight complaints baffling. What follows is an overview of typical types of installations and weight - ALL information you should never be surprised by when you receive a guitar with a bender - because every player I know asks pertinent questions when buying ANY guitar and/or major modification (like these) to the thing:

Dave Evans has been installing Stainless Steel , fully adjustable (spring tension and throw length - 5/8"- 1 1/4") benders with a linear pull and usually a negligible weight gain or even loss for about 010 years!(most lever-type benders with different geometry...especially some cheaper ones like the PG... don't maintain even tension through the pull and release, which makes "musical" slow pulls really tough).

He also made 4 titanium ones that reduced the guitar weight. the LAST one (unless he decides to some more titanium parts - an expensive process due to the time involved and need to change/discard so many cutting heads in the mills - titanium just destroys them, and good ones are not cheap.). I'll be selling the last one for him very soon (I'm changing pickups and the wiring scheme to be very similar to Clarence White's "boost coil" bridge pickup & Strat neck pickup made by Red Rhodes, and installing a 4-way (for the pickups in series) and a phase switch, which doesn't have the typical extreme volume loss due to the "boost coil"

Just as an example, this one - T03, has an ash body with small chambers in the lower bout; a neck made and finish applied by John Carruthers; no screws - all 18-8 stainless bolts & inserts for the back cover & other hardware; Glendale intonated brass saddles; chrome Dunlop Strap locks; and titanium bender parts (except attachment hardware), control plate, 3 knobs, neck plate & back plates & ferrules Titanium Special T03 - weighs 7# 3.8 oz.:

full front copy photoshop.jpg


full back.jpg


My stainless Evans Pull String Thinline Tele (with two Keith "D" tuners, tension adjustment unit and an ebony fretboard) weighs 6# 14oz.:

Pull String Stainless prototype 1 - full back.JPG


Finally, my prototype Evans, made when he re-started making them around 2003 (he agreed to stop when Gene wanted to go into production - with a design similar to the Evans - in the mid/late70's) has a solid ash and walnut butcher block body, maple/rosewood Mitey Mite Baritone neck and chromed steel Pull String bender with tension adjuster. These were the heaviest ones Evans ever made - and with chambered or thinline bodies he often has to ADD wood for the mechanism - and they're still light- Ash/Walnut Baritone Chromed Steel Evans Prototype 002 weighs 8# 7oz. :

baritone version - full back.JPG

(Note: Dave made the first 100 commercially available back in the 70's - Albert Lee, Al Perkins and Bernie Leadon - who used his on the Eagles' hits - all have them.)

Some chrome shoulder-strap mechanisms with a design roughly similar to the Parsons-White definitely add weight - I bought one Parsons-White in an Alder body that that I knew had added about 9 oz, and played it before buying. Gene's had no adjustability built-in except the tuning stop (I think he has added a single pull-length DIY change to some units, but that wouldn't affect weight by more than an ounce or so.). And a Bores unit installed in another guitar added about 7 ounces.

Glaser's and similar units add no weight - but there's no throw adjustment except in units made for experienced guitar, bender and pedal steel techs (it's a very tricky operation that can damage the unit if if the player tech has extensive experience working with/on finely-tuned mechanics and small parts under tension).

OTOH, I inspected/played a couple Parsons-Green/Fender (now made by Hipshot) a few years ago and the "rout the body, drop in the bender and bolt it and the cover down" added a bit over 2lbs to each guitars' weight!

So weight is only an issue 1) if you buy a heavy Tele with a PG preinstalled (and you'd know it up front!), 2) had a PG installed in a guitar that was heavy to begin with, 3) had a chromed steel PW (or similar) installed in a fairly heavy guitar.

There's virtually no way to end up with a heavy b-bender installation or complete guitar with bender unless you don't ask about it up front - or the seller (or installer) lies to you! And in that last case, if you don't buy from a reputable seller and/or through a reputable site the only one to blame is yourself.

So you control the situation - or have recourse. If you end up with a heavy monster - respectfully - it would be your own fault.
baritone version - full back.JPG
Pull String Stainless prototype 1 - full back.JPG
full front copy photoshop.jpg
full back.jpg
 
Last edited:

T Prior

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
7,504
Location
Charlotte NC
#1, get a Bender installed now, don't wait another 10 years ! Imagine how far along you would be if you added it 10 years ago

1A- we can pretend to play Bender phrases without a Bender, but we can't raise a note in the middle of a TRIAD , OR- Release a note in the middle of a TRIAD without a Bender system.

#2- The weight. As Silverface correctly states above, there IS NO WEIGHT issue with a quality installed system. The weight discussion is derived from the Fender FACTORY Parsons Green guitars. Thats where it ends. The weight of the factory installed PG system is what folks are talking about , not a professionally installed system . There is NO weight issue.

A system like Evans, Forrest Lee jr or Darren Matney etc... they remove approx 1 LB of wood and add approx 1lb of parts. In the photo is the pull system with tension spring for the latest Glaser system, does it look like it adds weight ? Uhh..no

A quality, professionally installed system, the guitar weighs the same before and after.

There is one question that perspective BENDER players might wanna research. Is it better to pull from the upper body strap location or the neck plate. And the answer is 50/50 , its personal taste. I have both, it takes a few minutes to navigate the guitar balance switching between the two, but I never bring them both to a show at the same time. So its irrelevant.

IMG_0801.JPG
 
Last edited:

johnnylaw

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
2,123
Age
64
Location
New England
If you like the effect, and play any sort if music where it might integrate, you should do it.
I couldn’t give up my Tele long enough to have a nice installation performed, and at the cost of the guitar itself.
I got a new Hipshot unit from Fleabay to use instead about ten years back. It’s not as smooth or precise as the strap actuated models I tried. It does suit my needs though. Clarence White ir Kenny Vaughan I ain’t!
Happy birthday!
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,219
Location
Santa Barbara, California
There are some Masters of the Telecaster who are pretty good at bending the notes of a triad in the cowboy chord positions and harmonic chords by bending the string behind the nut. But obviously that's not the same as being able to do it anywhere on the neck.

 

Nishplayer

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Posts
321
Age
67
Location
Toronto, ON.
Time to take that trip around the bend....you will never regret it....I haven't....
 

Attachments

  • 50690226_10157548232386002_704761252320116736_n - Copy (4).jpg
    50690226_10157548232386002_704761252320116736_n - Copy (4).jpg
    74.5 KB · Views: 11
  • hbb4fybpyjvavlld7liw - Copy.jpg
    hbb4fybpyjvavlld7liw - Copy.jpg
    211.4 KB · Views: 11
  • 260321174_5236810869669275_6791122251397305968_n.jpg
    260321174_5236810869669275_6791122251397305968_n.jpg
    88.9 KB · Views: 11

jim232777

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Posts
89
Location
Charlotte, NC USA
I don't even have one yet, and I say do it. I have a guitar for sale that will finance my bender. Just have to decide which kind/style I want. (I'm feeling a thread to ask questions coming on...)
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Posts
115,446
Age
64
Location
Austin, Tx
Very few Tele players have B benders, and even fewer know how to use one.
It takes a little time to get proficient.
You’d be joining an elite club!
 

57joonya

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Posts
1,065
Age
47
Location
New Jersey
There are some Masters of the Telecaster who are pretty good at bending the notes of a triad in the cowboy chord positions and harmonic chords by bending the string behind the nut. But obviously that's not the same as being able to do it anywhere on the neck.


I’ve been working on these same ideas the last few weeks . This is cool ,he’s got a few new ideas for me
 




Top