Parsons Green Benders

Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by flatpicker1966, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. flatpicker1966

    flatpicker1966 Tele-Meister

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    Just out of curiosity,what are some opinions about the p-g bender.I have one,and I like mine.Just wanted to hear some of your thoughts.It seems there are quite a few p g owners,here.Thanx.
     
  2. Chet Johnson

    Chet Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had two of them, a 1996 and a 2001. The bender spring is far too loose for my tastes and the design doesnt have an adjustment. Through Experimentation I found that cutting four loops from the spring gave a tension that was easy to actuate, but stiff enough to eliminate unwanted accidental bends.

    The saddle squeaks when the bender is used. I tried white lithium grease, worked well for a while. but needed redone occasionally. The permanent fix was graph tech saddles. No more squeak, I gigged the 1996 as my main guitar with those changes to the bender for 13 years before I started building my own guitars, and began using McVay benders.

    Opinion? The parsons Greene is a good entry for those who want to try a bender without routing another guitar. Are there better benders out there? definitely. Are there worse ones? Definitely.
     
  3. flatpicker1966

    flatpicker1966 Tele-Meister

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    The p-g bender is the only one I have.I guess I'm used to it,haven't done anything to it yet.Before I bought mine,I tried a double bender,the b bender only,it seemed to have the same tension,just a longer pull.It was a custom shop Tele,so I was told,and it was the Parsons White bender.It was good too.
     
  4. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have two telecasters, one of which came stock with a Parsons Green bender. I wanted a bender guitar. It's the only bender I have ever played. Mostly it's an 'ignorance is bliss' deal for me... benders are just one more rabbit hole that I don't need to go down any further than I already have. I do dig it though.

    I know that other models of benders are supposed to have throws that are considered more desirable by many players, but the travel of the P/G suits me fine. I eliminated the squeak and breaking of B strings at the saddle pretty early on. Once I get the pitch wheel set correctly, it remains accurate and consistent until I move it.

    I overuse the stock 'sus2 --> resolve to major 3rd' triad and double stop moves for certain, but why not, I love it. For sessions, I often set the pitch wheel to strike a happy medium between tuning for the open B string and the bent major third resolutions, since no intonation tweaks make the third completely unwonky within chord voicings anyway, and because that move really only works when the third is perfect (as perceived by the ear).
     
  5. flatpicker1966

    flatpicker1966 Tele-Meister

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    Cool.Thank you for your reply.I like mine,too.It's a Nashville B Bender,and I've not done anything to it.I have had to adjust the wheel a little.A little 3&1 oil every now and again,and it does pretty good.I would like for it to be a long pull,but I've learned how to time it to about the same effect as a long pull.I wouldn't trade it for nothing.
     
  6. eugenedunn

    eugenedunn Friend of Leo's

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    I like the Parsons Green bender on my 2001 American Nashville Tele.....The throw is just fine. No squeaks, or excessively broken B strings.....just a smidge of Tri-Flo teflon lubricant periodically, on the string pivot and saddle, is all it needs.

    I liked it so much, I asked Gene Parsons to put an acoustic bender in my 1985 Yairi acoustic..... I have played around with other benders like the McVay, and haven't seen the need to switch.... it works fine for me, as I said earlier. (^_^)
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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I too have owned two PG bender Teles.
    I had no issues with either.
    Good tools!
     
  8. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

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    Won't be long before someone comes along and puts forward the opinion that the PG is a marginally workable bender. I think it's a pretty clever layout that does exactly what the designers wanted it to do. Mine works fine. I never need to touch the tuning wheel unless I accidentally touch the tuning wheel. It will squeak but that's just the nature of the beast when you are dragging a string across a stationary saddle...all benders that pull from behind the saddle can/will do this. There are many fixes for this also.

    I do find the criticism of the PG a little curios because much of it comes from Clarence fans. It's curious because mechanically (from an engineering perspective), the PG is closer to the original Clarence prototype now owned by Marty than the later design (PW). If you think about it, the PG tower where the string is actually being pulled is very similar to the steel guitar changer repurposed on Clarence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  9. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    Yo KR... I agree with you about the PG bender. I had one installed on one of my Teles a few years ago by Brian Friend and it worked every bit as good as my PW bender does. It's true about the pulling motion comparison with Clarence's original Tele....JH in Va...
     
  10. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    bought mine in 96' and have changed the pups but other than the weight issue, I've never had a bit of problem with it
     
  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I've played dozens of benders from production units to one-off benders and honestly the PG is one of my least-favorite shoulder-step benders.

    The lack of tension or throw adjustability is a real minus in my book. And every one I have played has been ungodly heavy and had a slight "hitch", or change in the tension in the middle of the pull and release. This makes slow, drifting bands really tough compared to most other units.

    IMO serious bender users stick with Pull String, Stringbender, Bores, Glaser, Slingshot and a few others I can't recall right now for shoulder strap types - Hipshots, Palmpedals , Timara units and some other units that work in different ways for the "non-strap" crowd. But I've been offered PG's for ridiculously great prices or in trade deals - and I simply don't like them, even for free.
     
  12. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    Jim, tell us how you really feel..........:):):).......JH in Va.
     
  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Aw, I'd rather be my usual subtle self.

    :mad:
     
  14. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

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    Had a P/G Nashville Tele years ago and thought the bender mechanism was good.
     
  15. ltdave32

    ltdave32 Tele-Meister

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    I have built somewhere near 25 teles which I installed perhaps half of them with Parsons-Green benders. Three of them were for musicians who gig weekly with them, over the weekends. One of them uses one exclusively; no other guitar, and this guy uses the bender mechanism on every song in every set. It has replaced his previous method of bending the b-string completely. That's a lot of use on the mechanism. So far, the unit has held up well and performed flawlessly over the full year they've been used. Only one modification was needed due to the bender unit; the saddle. On the guitars of the two most-active users I've built for, the typical bronze saddle suffered a "v" notch cut into it where the B string lies. A simple change-out to a stainless-steel, compensated saddle (callaham.com, $50 for a set of stainless-steel, compensated saddles) fixed the problem entirely, and added the enhanced intonation of the compensated saddles to boot. After six months of gigs every weekend, there's been no signs of wear whatsoever. A must-have for any PG bender guitar, IMO.

    Tip: soften up the ridge on the stainless "B" saddle with a fine file. Take some of the peak out, and sand and polish smooth. Only takes a second or two. The string will glide right over it.


    I've never encountered any "catching" or other hold-up or hinderance with the PG bender's I've installed, nor on my own. Nor have I had any "weakening" issues so far. Maybe some of that is due to the fact that I make light guitars; I hand-select the body blanks and go for the lighter ones..

    I will be the first to admit that the original, true Parsons bender as sold now by Gene Parsons has a lot going for it (can be installed in practically any guitar), and is quite robust. But it is also a bit cost-prohibitive for many of us. The Parsons-Green as offered by Hipshot may be restricted to telecaster-style bodies, but It does do the job, is relatively light in weight, and is not so costly that most of us can afford to install one. I think it's a marvelous addition, and one that can be applied to an off-brand, otherwise uninspiring guitar and repurpose it into something special. The perfect modification for that cheap tele one might have laying around. Why the hell not? Why not take an under $300 tele and turn it into a marvelous addition to one's guitar collection?


    Many folks are fearful of doing this job themselves. If they have some woodworking experience, some tools they either own or have access to through a generous, helpful neighbor or relative, this job can be done before lunch. All one needs is a router, a bearing bit, a 3/4 forstner bit (for hogging out excess wood), a 15/16 wood bit for the hole through the top, and a phillips screwdriver. It's not that hard. The instructions, if followed by the letter, guide you perfectly to a good job of it.


    I would advise those with some skills to make an MDF template out of the paper pattern supplied. Routing goes much cleaner that way.

    When installing on an already-finished guitar, score the outline of the rout with a razor knife first, on the finish. This reduces any chipping of the finish when routing.

    Also, if one prefers a polished tower ring (that acts as a "bezel" on top of the body around the tower access hole) A dremel with a scotchbrite wheel works great to remove the black anodizing. Simply polish with 400 paper and some metal polish from the auto-parts store.
     
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    All I can add is I have owned 4 PG Fender guitars. 3 x 1996 guitars and a very recent 2013 Nashville model. . Yep, they are each heavy and with some nuances, none of which can't be overcome. The 2013 is in my opinion the best of all of them that I have owned. Can't tell yu why though. It does what it is supposed to, pulls the B up to what the pitch wheel is set to. Then releases it back.

    Which is better ? While of course we can argue about the build , the throw, the pull, the squeaks etc...but it all comes back to our own personal style and ability to execute. I have never had an issue with quality /mechanics with any of them. The post directly above has a few recommendations which may help in some situations.

    I can't do the hip shot thing, I tried. The shoulder pull is for me and getting used to the weight is like going back to a Les Paul . That ain't gonna happen. It's been hanging on the wall for years now.

    Regarding which is better and why, all one has to do is get into a conversation with us Pedal Steel players, we will argue the merits of all the brands , Emmons, Sho Buds, Zum, Franklins, MSA's, Carters, Mullens, Rains , Sierra, GFI, MCI...etc.. and on and on. They all do the same thing but we all argue that one does it better. Sometimes we argue MUCH better. The thing about it is, we PLAY WHATS IN FRONT OF US, no different than the PG. IF you can't play Steel Guitar Rag on a 40 year old Sho Bud then you can't play it on a new Zum either. The pedal feel, action and knee lever feel and action is part of the big picture. No different than a long throw / short throw bender. Or which brand.

    The Bender system is part of the execution , we work with and around the nuances. They all pull the B up, or release it down. Learn how to use them and how they they function. PG, PW, McVay , Mantey, McEwen...etc. OR NOT and then sell it !

    Don't ask why I have owned now 4. I bought a brand new one in 96 for $799, sold it, (???) then a few years later bought another, then sold it, then yet another which like a goof sold 6 months ago and regretted. Bought the 2013 recently, it's staying. Don't ask, I have no answers which will make any sense. It wasn't that I needed money either.

    By the way , Emmons Steels are the best , just ask me...:cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I should have stated above that while the PG system is ok, a small turnbuckle added to adjust the tension of the spring would be beneficial. Not hard to do. Obviously a PW type of system, (body installed), would make life easier for this approach. It can still be done. To me the biggest issue with the PG is that we have to remove the B string to make any mechanical adjustments or modifications.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  18. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Like my PG. But I am looking at an upgrade soon.
     
  19. ForrestLeeJr

    ForrestLeeJr Tele-Meister

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    Use graphite. Never use oil on the saddles, it will saw them in half.
     
  20. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    Glad to see the old crew is still in here....
     
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