Will Ray Hipshot

Discussion in 'B-Bender Forum' started by Andy Summers, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Are these any good? Looks awkward to use. How is it to restring?

    Do they stay in tune and intonate ok? I’ve read different things.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  2. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    331
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Up The Junction, England
    They do the job. Intonate? - That's what your bridge saddles are for. Easy enough to restring and I've no issues with tuning. You quickly get used to activating it.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    66,916
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    That’s what’s on my avatar guitar.
    It’s cheap (in a good way), non-invasive, and works beautifully.
    It’s easy to install, and the thumb screw tuner is easy to use.
    The bender bar is removeable when not in use.
    What’s not to like?
     
    getbent, unbridled and Andy Summers like this.
  4. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Thank you, guys :) Good info!!
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  5. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I agree with the above comments. It’s where I started. I watched Will Ray use one at the Palomino for a while and then went right to Dave Borisoff at the old facility in Van Nuys for a lefty on a G&L ASAT. I still have that original.
     
    Andy Summers and brookdalebill like this.
  6. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Nice. A used G&L ASAT Custom is on my list of possibilities and it has one of these. That why I asked. I’m not even a country guy, but I’m thinking you could be pretty creative with it outside of country too.
     
  7. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

    Posts:
    1,051
    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    SW Minnesota
    Tons of uses for a bender outside of country music. A few examples.... opening riff to “Mississippi Queen”, I use it 5 times in Don Felder’s first solo at the end of “Hotel California”, I also use a bender quite a bit in the solos from “Stairway to Heaven” and “hit me with your best shot”.
    I do it because I can hit those whole note B bends dead accurate with a bender but not always so much with my fingers.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,431
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    IMO it's a good starting point, or a good bender for someone who is only going to use it periodically. I have one on my G&L Will Ray Signature Model and it works perfectly.

    What I don't care for compared to shoulder-strap type benders is the "push forward" activation. I've played Hipshots for decades and I find the motion unnatural and a movement that interferes with left hand movement.

    A should strap bender is activated by (if it's set up right) pulling down lightly on the neck; the part of the thumb joint/palm that is used to pull down leaves the hand free for normal playing. Pushing forward, though, changes left hand movement and finger pressure. They wok ok for quick "on off" type bends but less so for bends that involve moving hand positions at the same time.

    So using one, IMO, really depends on your intent. If you jut want to play some incidental bends, try to copy some pedal steel licks (which many of us avoid as much as possible) or use a bender periodically they are a useful tool.

    But if you are serious about B-bender as an "instrument" as used by Clarence White, Bob Warford, Frank Reckard, Al Perkins, and others who play a bender guitar as a completely different type of instrument I suggest possibly using one for a bit as a "test bed" - but then moving up to an Evans Pull String, Parsons White, or if you don't want to modify your guitar on of Paul McEwen's "Slingshot" units that bolts to the Tele neck plate.
     
  9. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Nice!! Great tips, RollingBender!! Makes sense! Thank you!
     
  10. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Cool. Thanks Silverface. It does seem like an awkward motion to me, but still intrigued. I actually owned the. Fender American Nashville with the B Bender for a very short spell 12 or so years ago. It was simple to operate that one...wasn’t liking the sound of the overall guitar so I returned it. This was before I got into the idea that you could actually modify the electronics and change that sound...haha
     
  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    66,916
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I’ve used Hipshots since they were brand new.
    My poor avatar critter is on it’s fourth Hipshot.
    I broke two, and replaced my last one with the simpler Will Ray.
    I didn’t need the E lower or G raise.
    They are intuitive to use, IMO.
    I countersunk mine into the top of my guitar.
    I’m committed, or should be.
    The countersinking, and .11 sets work beautifully.
    I use my bender a lot on country gigs, especially if I am the only soloist.
    Anyways, I remain an ardent, proselytizing fan of David Borisoff’s great invention!
     
    8trackmind and Andy Summers like this.
  12. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Re musical styles, I've used my Glasers in standard country band contexts, TDPRI and CWF jams (of course), and, most often in non-country contemporary gospel/P&W since the early '90's, in venues from piano trios in small rooms to full bands at large conferences and the L.A. Coliseum.

    I find it very useful to do bends in the context of double or triple stop phrasing/chording, and sometimes there's nothing like a distinctive single string bend lick to wake up the players used to the usual boring effects-laden parts found in most contemporary P&W.

    Silverface is quite right that the best way to approach the issue to make it the bender a fully integrated part of your style and then listen to and watch everything you can on you tube.

    Here's Frank Reckard with a few good closeups showing the bender use during his solo.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  13. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
  14. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,050
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I have two Hipshot benders and have had them for about a year. There is no effect on "normal" playing. If you don't use the bar you won't notice the mechanism there, except that it changes the balance point of a instrument. On my PRS, tuning stability is awesome. On my tele I'm still working out the kinks, though it is not too bad. What you want to minimize is the number of points where the string contacts metal, and to have each of these points be a modest break angle and a smooth surface.

    I may one day "graduate" to a real bender, but I kind of like the weird steampunky look of these, they are cheap, and can be removed without harm to the guitar.

    I still very much on the fence about the G palm bender, though - on the one hand you can get some cool sounds out of it, on the other hand activating the lever is less natural and more intrusive than the hip lever. Mainly though I just don't have a lot of licks for it and my mental capacity to use it on the fly is pretty weak at this point.

    If ever played in Drop D I would love the E lever, it works just great.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  15. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,502
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    this is a kinda tuff one to answer, but I side with Silverface on this. Years back I bought one of the 1st issue Fender PG Guitars, I never spent any time with it so it sat around. So I sold it. Then a few years later I added a Hipshot B,G and drop D to a low priced Tele. I spent a good deal of time with it but could never get used to the Leg bar , Hip bar , or whatever it is properly termed. The system functions just fine, no issues, I found it to be a high quality unit. It would be a great introduction to a whole new world. Heck it may also be a system you will play forever.

    Someone above states that it doesn't change your "style", well, yes it does. ALL Bending systems change our style of execution and playing. Anything that is hanging over the saddles changes the way we rest our right hand . Pulling a strap, as lightly as it may be, is also an execution we add to our style. The trick is to use as little energy as possible. As we are moving thru phrases which by themselves may be awkward we don't need to be adding a new "physical" impediment.

    Just last week there was a thread here where someone commented on the accidental bends of a strap pull guitar. This is very common for all of us when we start out. Yes we may be able to stiffen the pull but if we stiffen it too much we loose the ability to control a slow deliberate bend with musical tension. So pick your poison. Its a learning process.

    Try learning Pedal Steel ! It's just 10 strings with a bunch of pedals and levers....

    As Silverface states above, If playing a Bender guitar is in the cards for the future it is very worthwhile checking out other systems as well. Its not about Country Music or songs. its about the Instrument. Playing a Bender is NOT the same as playing a NON Bender, the approach to chord shapes is totally different. We just don't yank the strap of push the hip lever, there is pre-advanced thought to this, chord forms and shapes. Subliminal.

    I am a Steel player for multiple decades so I don't have an issue with Steel sounding kinda licks but at the same time the phrasing and chord shapes by the well known masters is where the Bending lives. Clarence White, Bob Warford, Frank Reckard, Al Perkins, Marty etc...Those guys didn't yank the strap by chance on a whim. It wasn't so much about the style of music as it was about phrasing that matched the songs, being Country Music or whatever, it was about the Instrument and how we approached the music. They didn't say oh good here is a B Bender song . Its an Instrument. "Lets see , is this a Jazz song or a Pop song " ? Same instrument, different approach.

    Many players love the Hipshot , others find it awkward, I'm in that camp. It didn't fit my general style of physically holding and playing. It was outside the box for me. Too much physical movement to execute. Same goes for the palm levers. It altered my right hand positioning.

    I say add the Hipshot if you haven't already, see if you like what it offers. But I can say this, if you are learning songs rather than technique it really won't matter if it's a Hipshot, Evans, Glaser , PW etc... once you get past the actual bending system, the rest is the same. We either study the varied chord shapes and positions or we don't. No different than a non bender guitar, we study the fret board.

    I'm no pro, I'm a player marching in step along the path of improving. But I will say that now, any guitar I bring to a gig is a strap pull Bender. It's no longer a novelty it's now the real world. It's not about the songs, the genre etc, it's about the Instrument. My primary guitar now is a late model USA Tele with a Forrest Lee jr system, which is a strap pull PW. Like a few here, I own a few different Bender guitars and have settled on the FL jr system but it is installed in a Tele that is special to me, its the right guitar FIRST. I am now also considering taking my #1 favorite guitar, my 1989 /52RI and sending it to FL jr, otherwise I may never play it again !


    Start with the Hipshot , u gotta start somewhere ! You won't regret it, it's a fine system. Have fun !
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    hotraman likes this.
  16. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Very well written T Prior! You had my interest all the way through. You have a talent for sure.

    Thank you for all that!!! I think I’ve decided against the hipshot for now..it just doesn’t look like “me”...of that makes sense. When I had the Fender US B-bender Guitar about 12 years ago, I had fun with it and it was simple to use...but as stated above, I just didn’t care for the overall sound of that particular guitar, so back it went. Maybe I’ll try one of those again in the near future!! I believe that that the more tools we have at our disposal, the more creative we can be..to a reasonable point anyway.

    Thanks again for the write up. That was a fun read!

    @tfarny @Rick Towne @brookdalebill Thank you for your contributions as well!!
     
    brookdalebill and T Prior like this.
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,502
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    You are very welcome, my writing, well, thx for that, not sure if it's a blessing or a curse ! I've been a tech writer for years so the curse is I am always checking to see if I make any sense !

    I've owned 4 Fender PG guitars over the years, sold 3 but kept 1, which I bought last year, a Nashville. It plays well but I have been chasing tone as you mentioned. I have posted several music tracks on this page using this guitar. Its a good player. I do believing selecting the guitar first is the right thing to do, then add the pull system. Otherwise we do have to settle.

    Regardless, The Fender PG is not a bad guitar and they are easy to MOVE when you feel it's time as long as you didn't drop a ton of cash into it. The pull system is not considered to be one of the top systems but it is consistent, stays in tune, goes up in pitch and returns. I've had not had one issue with any of mine including the one I still have. I've been playing gigs with this guitar since Oct. It works ! But I have changed out the pups a few times seeking satisfaction. The closest I came was with the Seymour Duncan Jerry Donahue pup in the bridge.

    The most recent bender is a 2008 USA , great player and tones, love it to death. I added the Forrest Lee jr PW system. No looking back, very pleased.

    good luck !

    t
     
  18. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Yeah I think the one I had was a US “Nashville B Bender”?? Can’t recall what it was actually called. It just sounded “dead” to me...no character. I don’t know if that’s because of the extensive routing for the bender?? Probably not, but Ive got nothing else...haha. And this was before I got into nodding electronics...or I should say, having someone else mod the electronics..LOL. No soldering skills here. Though I did build an AM radio once :)



    When I’m ready I’ll look up the Foreset Lee Jr one for sure!! Thanks for the info!! And I’ll have to look up your tunes.
     
  19. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,050
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    One thing I will say as well - nobody seems to use these on guitars other than teles, for obvious reasons. But I find that if I'm after a good fat, rich pedal steel sound, the Duncan antiquity P90 in my little PRS with the bender gets me closer than my tele.
     
    Mincer and Andy Summers like this.
  20. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Funny...I was just wondering why you don’t see them on more non Tele guitars.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.