The Slingshot Bender vs the World ! REVIEW

Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by T Prior, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I own several Bender guitars, FL jr, Fender PG and the Gibson with the Glaser, they are all Strap pull systems. They are ALL permanent systems. I like them all, but I don't like them all equally.

    I've owned other types, Palm Levers and Hip Levers, sure they function, but they impede my right hand. I cant use them effectively. The Benders worked but now I couldn't' execute my right hand. They are all gone. Yes they were hi quality, that was not the issue.

    So I bought the Slingshot from forum member Telesavant (Paul) I ordered it with both the B and the G pulls even though I am not a G Puller.

    After receiving it, 10 min later I put it on one of my favorite Teles that had no Bender. Tuned it, set the B stop and started playing it. No issues. Zero. I didn't even put a new B string on , I used the same old one !

    I told Paul I would write an honest review. here goes.

    My initial concerns:

    #1- Is it bulky and uncomfortable ? No, it isn't, not to me. Even though many see it and think it is.

    -Is it clunky ? No not at all, in fact it is smooth and positive. I will even say precise.

    -Does it add weight to the guitar ? yes maybe a pound or two It still weighs less than a Fender PG guitar.

    -Is it the best looking system ? No, it is not.

    -Is it adjustable, meaning tension and throw ? YES , very much so

    -Is it factory manufactured ? NO, hand built to order.

    -No - the Tele will now NOT fit in a hard case, soft case should be ok. Personally I have not used a hard case in well over a decade, maybe two.

    -So why get it ? I already have 3 Benders.

    -It is an option to add a cost effective NON permanent STRAP PULL system to another guitar. IF we don't like it, remove and , put it away or sell it ! Perhaps my favorite Tele of all time, my 1989/52RI , sat without a Bender system. Not anymore !

    -How does it function? as well as any Bender I own or have played

    Tension- Keep in mind the tension adjust is NOT for the B to return to pitch, its to prevent the weight of the guitar from inadvertently pulling the B string with the strap while stranding. The Slingshot has adjustable tension to reduce this. PG guitar owners know this cannot be adjusted.

    -B or G Return accuracy' - Spot on and adjustable

    I have a favorite Tele, I wanted to add a Bender system which was NOT a Palm/Hip lever, also didn't want to spend big bucks for a permanent install.

    Comments: : By those who view it

    -Its ugly, looks clunky and cumbersome - Its not clunky and to me not cumbersome at all. Cumbersome implies that's its difficult to execute , its not. Its actually quite easy and smooth.

    -It looks uncomfortable: It does , but after a few minutes it's like its not even there
    Case in point , look at Marty's guitar, the original PW.

    -It won't fit in a hard case - yep, it won't. Soft Case, no big deal and yeah you gotta be careful.

    Final thoughts:

    I am not a salesman for Slingshot, but I should be ! I was in HI TECH sales for 45 years before retirement.

    IF we are seeking a STRAP Pull system to add to a guitar before we splurge big bucks or route our favorite guitar, this is it. DO NOT COMPARE a Strap Pull System to a Palm Lever/Hip lever system, two different worlds. Sure they both do the same thing but how the player executes the pull is not even remotely similar. Many of us go out and grab a B Bender system , play it for a bit then park it or sell it, we try to work it in to what we already do and many times to no avail. Playing a few licks here and there is fun , but playing a Bender full time is a different animal. Its kinda like a Pedal Steel player who has an 8+6 Double neck Steel but they never play any C6th or use more than 2 Pedals and maybe 3 Levers on the E9th. . Thats not a bad thing but they are carrying around an Instrument capable of massive amounts of music but only tapping a small amount.

    I've read where other experienced Bender players refer to the Slingshot as an excellent entry level system that works very well. I would agree. The only thing I would add is that it is capable of WAY beyond entry level playing. In the right hands, nobody would be the wiser as to what Bender system a player has because its about the music. For the money, I think they sell for around $300 for the B system , its almost a no brainer to grab one , stick it on a guitar and see if you can figure it all out. Whats the worst that can happen, you don't like it or you don't figure it out and you sell it. I think one of these on the re-sale market priced appropriately would last less than a day !

    Here's a short video I did , don't complain about the video quality please !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqvJK0Suvwc&feature=youtu.be

    FINAL FINAL thoughts.

    Probably ordering another B Slingshot soon, I still have another Tele that's complaining of no gig time !
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
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  2. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I want to add a comment about the B arm throw. It was set up at max, I set it to a shorter throw but then realized that there was not much room for "personal expression" for the pull or release, so I put it back to max which is the same as my FL jr guitar and a tad shorter than the Fender PG guitar. The important factor is it can be " set" to our own desire.

    Pulling or releasing the G or the B is one thing, but allowing the " inbetween movement" to be a part of the phrase is yet another thing, equally important to the PULLED note or the RELEASED note. Much like a Pedal Steel. Those IN BETWEEN notes , often overlooked.

    A guitar player bends notes with his or her fingers, the movement of the BEND is personal expression, very important.
     
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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What does it look like?
    Could you please post a picture?
     
  4. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well I did post a video showing the entire unit, front and back,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqvJK0Suvwc&feature=youtu.be

    here are a couple of stills

    and the #1 immediate comment is " AHHH....man it looks clumsy and awkward" . It does, but its not. Its very light, maybe a tad over 1 pound and is 3/4 of an inch thick. I don't find it uncomfortable at all. That was also my #1 concern.



    IMG_9535.JPG

    IMG_9533.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
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  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  6. Smokin OP

    Smokin OP Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the review & the video! Looks & sounds great!
     
  7. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just as an update, I did take this guitar out to a gig last week, the only thing I had to do was shorten the strap in comparison to other Benders I have.

    I'm still not pulling the G, that's for another day, but the B puller was consistent to my other guitars.
     
  8. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    First, thanks @T Prior for taking the time to do the review and for the photos. I always appreciate your take on these things.

    Ok, a few questions: you mentioned you are only using the B puller; do you have to choose either one or the other? Or is there some separate way to use both in the same song - not necessarily at the same time, but individually pull?
    And, how much string clearance is there over the back end of the bridge plate? Did you have to raise the saddles any? Might some grinding be required if the strings aren’t making any contact with the saddles?
     
  9. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good questions, easy answers !

    1) The B puller and the G Puller are separate, it's a DUAL Puller system. The B is on the Strap and the G is on a Lanyard. This is typical off ALL dual pull systems. Yes you can pull them both at the same time or individually. The G Lanyard connects to a Belt loop, this is common. You push the guitar forword and the Lanyard pulls the G. I'm not pulling the G at this time. Soon...

    2) String clearance over the back of the bridge, you can feed the string to be pulled either from the TOP of the puller or the Bottom which changes the angle of the string over the saddle. And yes, it is possible , based on the bridge tray that a very slight notch may have to be made behind the saddle on the tray. . Mine didn't need it, there is plenty of clearance.

    Have fun, give Paul a shout, he can answer these questions much better than me !

    tp
     
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