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Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by tlandonevans, Mar 28, 2016.
Go for it. Then you can blame me if it don't work out.
I have to say, thank you for all your input. When I posted this, I highly doubted that anyone was going to convince me to not buy it. Now I'm really on the fence.
It's not the financial things y'all bring up. I have to say, I really disagree with y'all who say not to do the payments. Yeah, maybe it's wrong for some situations, but I have multiple sources of income, and $50 a month is no issue for me. Plus, I'll be graduating A&M in a few months, so that's a big expense gone, and I'll be taking on a great paying full time job. As a financial advisor no less, haha!
What's really causing me to stop and think about it is my skill level. I think Allen082 is on track with the Marty video, I need to get a lot more comfortable just playing before I throw another variable into the mix.
I'm considering getting one of those add on devices (hipshot, etc) to put on my Baja (which I really like). BUT, I have never owned a brand new guitar, and never anything close to this cool. I feel like this would be a really cool thing to have in my living room to motivate myself to keep working to be able to justify playing it live.
I'm going to have to do some more thinking. In the meantime, does anyone know of an add on device performs the G-Bender rather than the B? I saw one that did both, but you had to use like a whammy bar for the G. I would rather have the hip lever perform the G action. Thanks so much guys, this is exactly what I was hoping for!
I wouldn't buy it for half that price... benders are a small niche' market and it would be slow to resell at a loss.
The financing deal is spooky... most zero financing offers have a clause that if you are late with ONE payment the agreement switches to a high interest finance on a guitar you would be lucky to sell at 2/3 of the purchase price.
Buy you a Squier Classic Vibe and I've got a Hipshot B-G-Drop D I'll sell you for $75. You'll be good to go and won't have the debt hanging over your head.
Rolling Bender makes a bender that just replaces a saddle, so you can get one for the g or b saddle, though you use the heel of your hand to activate it rather than your hip. Check out Paul Mcewen too. He makes a strap actuated bender that bolts on to the back of the guitar at the neck plate.
With the hipshot, you can put the bender on any string you want.
Wes was the anti-gear head. He once said that he didn't play anything special because he wanted to be able to simply borrow a guitar if he ever dropped his box.
I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I agree that it would definitely be a cool piece of gear to have on display. I'm only speaking from experience as someone who gets an idea that it would be so awesome to play/sound like whoever, and then I'm online looking for a Marshall halfstack or whatever the newest pedal craze is.
Good luck with your quest! I think the add-on option of a hipshot or something similar is a great route to go!
I don't have a great track record for discouraging GAS, but I'm going to make an exception this time because it just seems such a bad idea under the circumstances. Reasons to forget about it:
You've never played one of these guitars. And it may look cool, but the couple of guys here with experience of it have said it's a dog.
Buying on 3 years' credit is a terrible idea. Your NGD honeymoon will be ancient history by the time you finish paying the bill. And if your financial situation was as rosy as you seem to think, you wouldn't need the tick.
B-benders are specialized instruments for people who already have a high level of skill - to the point where they feel they're reaching the limits of what they can achieve with plain old 6-string. By your own account, you aren't at that stage.
If you buy it as a cool thing to have sitting in your room for motivation, it might not be long before you end up throwing a blanket over it to stop it looking accusingly at you.
Honestly, just don't do it!
I bought one. Got a really good deal on it at gc. I kept it for a year, then traded it away. Man, that thing was a heavey beast! I could never find a ballance between having the weight pull it slightly out of tune (when standing with a strap), and not being too difficult to activate the bender. Some guys can just rip with those things, but for me, the hipshot works better. If I were to go that route again, I'd probably find a tele I really liked, and send it to one of those guys in Nashville that install them. I'm not convinced the p&g bender fender uses is the best solution.
I still have a hipshot on my highway one. If it were me, I'd get one of those, watch some Will Ray b bender lick videos on utube, and see how well I took to it before dumping a ton of $ into it.
Hope that helps
I will pretty much guarantee you that I suck at guitar worse than you do and I love the line "my skills are not commensurate with my effort." I'm an old guy and play most days, but never very well. My brother, who got all the talent in my family, got a B-Bender eons ago not long after Gene Parsons started installing them in Telecasters and I always thought they were cool and loved Clarence White's guitar playing, so when I semi retired I decided to get one (and ended up with two.) The first one I bought directly from Gene Parsons (Stringbender.com) was one he had installed in a newer Telecaster. Not long after that, I bought a '98 American Standard Telecaster from a guy on Craigslist (and lived to tell about it) with a rosewood fingerboard. I sent it to Mr Parsons and he installed a B Bender in it.
Both of them play very well, not that I can play them very well, and the workmanship is beyond compare and they have a clear Plexiglas or Lexan part covering the mechanism so you can see it. I know that he charges a little more than lots of other B Benders out there, but for my money, it's worth the extra money. I have never had any problems with anything from a hardware standpoint. Plus he is a very nice guy and easy to communicate with.
In my opinion, which is worth what you are paying for it, get one of the Tele's from your Craigslist connections, save $50 a month for the 20 or 25 weeks it takes and have Gene Parsons work his magic on it. I play sitting down and my biggest challenge was finding a strap that hauled the mail. I ended up with straps made by Levy from Sam Ash, I think.
Mine are both long throw, but one of them is set up for medium throw. I have the clevis to make it a long throw if I choose to. I think I like the long throw better. Also, it's my understanding that the ones from Fender are somewhat assembly line items and encapsulated.
Well, writing this has convinced me that I need to ease on out of work a little early and go play one of them. After one or two beers, well, maybe three, I can almost fool myself into thinking I kind of sound like Clarence White and Roy Nichols combined. I hope this has been of some help. And like Gene Parsons told me when I told him I didn't deserve to have a nice guitar because I was so terrible: "What's important is to have fun playing." And he's right.
DON'T DO IT! If you buy that B bender, that one seemingly insignificant act will set off a chain of events (the "Butterfly Effect") that will lead to the election of Donald Trump and world annihilation.
HIGHLY DISCOURAGEMENT BELOW!!!
So, From experience, I'd say PASS!
I've owned that exact guitar. I had realized that I loved Tele's and this purchase, new, was going to be my "quality guitar" purchase. I was playing a lot of Lonestar Strat (HSS) with a Texas Special single coil pickup / middle position. I wanted a Tele, but wanted to keep the middle texas special. I also wanted an Amer. version of the Nashville (3 p/u) tele. Other than Custom Shop, the B-Bender seemed the only option. It looked more and more appealing and the B-bender looked like a huge plus, lots of fun and something I could start incorporating into playing.
I owned / played it for about a year. First, I have to say, if you're fairly new to playing, the B-bender is only going to get in the way if not sit dormant most of the time. Yes, even when not playing with the bender if you move around or put the slightest weight on the neck, it bends the B. It becomes a nuisance... I promise!
Aside from the "not an ideal guitar to learn on", a bigger factor I found is that it just doesn't compare to a standard tele. I wanted a well made great tele PLUS more features. Well, I found it fell short of even being a tele. Granted, it's well made and was free of quirks but don't take that as a saving grace. It sounded more shrill and honky and thin than your average tele. It never just felt right either, weight or something about it. Most importantly, I stress this, it didn't sound as good as any Tele I've ever played.It left me wanting more. I was over the B bending real quick like so that offered nothing.
I also really didn't like the huge metal cover on the back. If you don't wear shirts (that's another story, hehe), it's like a slab of ice on your tummy.
I sold it, for a loss... the first guitar I ever sold for a loss at that. I think about it every now and then and can confidently say it's the only guitar, let alone piece of gear I've ever sold that I look back at and say, well, glad I moved on from that. I get very attached to gear and the B-bender never garnered any sentimental value - and I was expecting it to be a favorite.
Soon after, I bought a second hand MIM Nashville Power Tele w/ Fishman bridge pick-up (acoustic characteristics)... Like 400 bucks. I immediately loved that clunker better. Felt better, played better and sounded good. My friend pull a set of pickups from his Custom Shop Tele and installed them, while I replace the mex. middle pickup with a Texas Special. The tone and character blow the Amer. B-Bender away - and for like 1/3 of the cost. I wouldn't trade that one today for a new B-bender - seriously.
I had the B-Bender Bug too, but regretted it and got over it quicker than any instrument I've had to date. It's an alright instrument, but for that dough, you can definitely do better.
Buy it used, or not at all.
I bought mine fairly cheap, and sold it for about the same.. May have made a little profit...can't remember.
Too damn heavy, and my OCD could not allow me to look at the backside of it... So....damn...ugly.
Glad I bought it though, It brought me into the world of benders... I just found much better options later.
Too heavy. Dont do it. I collect benders. And have or have had, just about every variation.
Gene's original, Evans, Bill Bores all good for a correct feel. I've played several others. And repaired butcher up bender jobs others had done ( not naming anybody) for some of my fellow Nashville cats , and I've sold a couple of my favorite guitars, because I let somebody else do a bender in, because it was ruined! I couldn't even retrofit that one with my own bender. It was just sad.
Do your research. Find a good 7.5lb Tele and add a bender. Just be aware of the weight. Opinions are all over the place on here... lots of fruends of bender players and builders, All Im saying is It's gotta be light, and not mess with your right hand technich. If you have to reach for it, and lose the ability to hybrid pick, you also lose the ability to do what they do best, Inner chording bends. Transitional bends from positions. Real steel licks.
But if it weighs as much as a 70s les paul... run away... also if it takes 6 months ask why??? I don't understand that. I also think everybody should get it installed in a week or two.
Even if I'm going on tour, I still work till 3am to get guitars ready before I gotta leave. 6 months waiting period is crazy.
I wouldn't bother at your stage of learning, if your only doing pentatonics at the moment focus on the stuff that comes after, arpeggios, learning more licks and bends, learn how to not "suck" at guitar. I think if you get this instrument your just giving yourself another obstacle to work around, if you're not really really good at lead then you'll probably struggle incorporating a b-bender into your playing. Also I'm assuming you've never used a b bender before now so buying before trying is a very bad idea and you should avoid wanting something because it looks different and unusual (oooh shiny ). I thought I wanted an es-335 because people give them a lot of hype around here and they sound nice when I've heard other people play them. When I tried an Epi dot, it was horrendous for me, everything was too big but thin at the same time (awkward to hold), I didn't like the tune-o-matic on the large body (I have no issue with acoustics) and the knobs felt weirdly positioned, I didn't buy that guitar and I don't want an es-335 any more either.
If you can't pay cash for the guitar, you can't afford it.
Practice, practice, practice, while you save, save, save.
I have no experience with benders other than knowing that they are a niche/specialty item that would be difficult to resell. Expecially if the quality is substandard compared to the price.
Financing a good guitar is a really bad idea. Financing a guitar that may not be so good is a spectacularly bad idea.
I agree, Forrest. Bill Bores did my first set of B/G benders and I stupidly let that guitar go a couple of years ago. I wish I'd kept it now......
If I just had to try out a bender, this is the path I'd go:
Only $200, and reversible if I decide I don't actually like it. And you're not out a ton of money on a niche guitar if you don't click with it.
Even if I had a ton of money, I'd stay as far away from that thing as possible and wouldn't touch it with a fifty-foot pole.
The original designs by Gene, Glaser, McVay, Bores, and others are a lot better and, as far as looks? Well, that's a no-brainer as well. That thing is FUGLY!!! I like the P/W & Glaser & McVay designs because you can't visibly see any of the mechanism unless you turn the guitar around and show it to people (with the Parsons/Green bender being an exception with the solid back plate). Personally, I liked my P/W Bores-installed bender and I hope to have another one soon (along with that AllParts Paisley Telecaster I've been wantin' so bad lately).