Will Ray Hipshot

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

  1. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Probably mostly because they have a Country Music affiliation. Country licks blah blah blah...

    Another reason , for routed systems you can't route a contoured body so a system like a Glaser would be required. Not Cheap. To have a system installed is not an inexpensive proposition. Fender put those PG systems in USA Tele's in 97 for $799. I bought one ! There are other guitars that have pull systems installed, like this one . But it can get cost prohibitive. This is a Gibson Music City jr, made for 2 years around 2012 or so. It has a Glaser strap pull system, minimal routing under the pick-guard. The guitar sold new for around $1300. 500 or so made . Today they are hard to find even at $1300 ! Very different from a Tele, a very flat 12 " radius with P90's. It doesn't sting you with the high end like a Tele does. Nice player though, lots of punch. even the 12" radius gets comfortable after a short period.

    IMG_9170.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  2. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    Whoa!!! Never saw a Gibson like that!! Cool!
     
  3. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah it is cool. I never really figured out what the grand scheme was for this guitar was. I didn't buy one when they were offered as new, thought about it but never pulled the trigger,. Probably the $1300 price tag compared to a Fender PG guitar used for about a grand. Then when I wanted one, they were not available and there were none around. So back to the Fender I went. You can now find them around on the used market now and then . Remember , even though the neck has a slim front to back profile it is a 12" radius, typical for many Gibsons. Its very close to a Les Paul jr , weight is ok and sounds good. The pull system is from Glaser ( strap) and it has the tension adjust as well. Obviously Gibson was chasing the Fender PG guitar. I suspect, unlike the Fender with the drop in PG system already assembled and mounted on a plate, this Gibson became a manufacturing oddity, each guitar had to have the pull system hand installed and setup which is labor intensive. Today, in manufacturing, thats a recipe for doom !

    There are some net articles with regard to this guitar and the name , which is pretty silly.
    It was also considered to be called The Glaser Gibson . They should have just called it the Glaser Les Paul jr but it seems there was copyright's involved, which means royalties.

    I found this one on REVERB, first I made an offer then decided to just buy it at the selling price. Seeing there was only one for sale , it didn't seem like a good idea to gamble for a little lower price while someone else just bought it ! I had been looking for one fore a few months. The guitar is immaculate, I doubt it has ever seen more than a few hours of playing time. No regrets.

    The only thing I have done to this guitar was dress the fret board , it comes unfinished. Those that have them complain that the fret board gets real dirty after playing. I put 3 coats of satin poly on it , sanding with 600 and 1000 grit in between coats. Its just enough finish to make the difference.

    My only other complaint is that compared to the Telecaster , the knobs are in the wrong place !
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  4. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    Nice!!! I just looked them up. There are two on eBay, both right around 2 grand. Located in Japan, of course. I find so many cool guitars in Japan. I kind of want one though...haha.
     
  5. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah I saw those for 2 grand, wow. Also the guitar is capable of being set up for either the B or the G bender by moving the saddle, not both , one or the other. A very neat option. I think reasonably, these guitars are in the $1300 to $1500 range.

    Another thing worthy of mentioning, the fret heights on these guitars, common for Gibsons is around .050 or .055 , Fender frets are typically .040 +/-. So when you fret too hard it's possible to cause your own pitch issues ! A good guitar tech can take that .055 thou down to .040 or with simple dressing and a hundred dollar bill !
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  6. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    I have 2 options ...taking a tele with the in built b bender tele or the outboard Hipshot tele. The Hipshot gets the nod most o the time , low cost and very easy to get up n bending w the Hipshot.
     
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  7. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've got one that I love but rarely use and there are no mod's to the guitar to install (well you might have to mod your bridge plate but you can easily replace it if you wanted to remove it later).

    PM me if you are interested in mine as I've been thinking about passing it along to someone that might use it more.... I feel a great deal coming....:D
     
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  8. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

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    I have regretted not getting another Glaser b in the hardtail G&L Legacy I had 20 years ago. I don’t think you could put a Parsons in a strat style body, but others here would know better.
     
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  9. Rick Towne

    Rick Towne Tele-Afflicted

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    They should have called it the Gibson Frank Reckard model.
     
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  10. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the offer my friend! I PM’d you back :) Gonna pass for now. But thank you again!
     
  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    IMO... it's the simplest of all benders and although it may appear to be the most intrusive, it is actually quite the opposite.

    Any bender will be awkward until you get the feel of them and adjust your playing to accommodate.

    Or for somebody like Will Ray... who is one of a small handful of players that has taking bending to the highest of levels in their playing ;). IMO, Will Ray legitimized the lowly "hipshot b-bender" by proving it was much more than an entry level device.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  12. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    FR used a “Sully Steel” bender on his doublecut LP Jr.
    Great player!
     
  13. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    reading back it's worth mentioning that each of the B Bender systems pulls the B to a C#. we can all argue and debate over which one is easier, better, which one is entry level or which one is the cats meow professional. And yes, some are better than others. But here's what it comes back to, always. Can we play it ? Can we adjust our body and physical movements to access the bender system while playing ? Thats got nothing to do with a novice system vs pro system , it's on us as players.

    The physical motions are what needs to be overcome , not which system is on our guitars. If we can play and execute with the Hipshot, its the same music. If we can't well then it's not the same but not because of the system but rather how WE can execute, if at all.

    Strap vs the neck plate same thing . We may very well be able to execute on a strap pull but NOT on a neck plate pull. To say we only have a so and so system , it's entry level, and we can only do so much because of the style of puller on our guitar , but thats not legitimate. The style of puller we have and how we play is directly related to " is this the right puller system for me " ? It may very well be a puller system that we can't adjust to physically. Yet another style of puller may be perfect.

    Much like a Pedal Steel, folks ask me all the time, how do you do it ? Pedals, knee levers, right hand with picks , left hand holding a bar , both knees, both feet, eyes, all at once and magically some music comes out. The answer is it's the player , can we adjust and execute while literally only paying attention to the music. If a Steel guitar is awkward for the player, then the music suffers. Some Steels have great smooth action , some don't some players prefer action that requires a tad of effort. We are not equal.

    Same deal with a Bender, its the comfort zone that we are in, can we change multiple fret board positions and chord shapes at the same time as pulling the B string ? IF we are playing with a puller system that we find awkward, doesn't matter which one, the music won't happen. We will be concentrating on the puller rather than the music.

    Will Ray is a genius, an awesome player , he is dialed in on the Hipshot . So are the other players we all talk about with strap or neck plate systems. But can they change guitars and puller systems on the fly ? They are great players on their particular systems . Can they swap systems and execute the same ? I dunno, we have to ask them

    I can't I can tell you that. I'm a strap puller player. I imagine I can adjust to a neck plate pulling system but I can't play the same on a HipShot, the leg thing is not for me. This doesn't mean they aren't good systems, they are, I've owned them and tried them, for me personally I had to work too hard to execute.

    Others feel the same way with the strap pull systems.

    It's not a question of novice system vs others, it's really about us as players, we are all different. We re all physically different. Don't hand me your Hipshot guitar or neck plate guitar and ask me to sit in, I'll decline !
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  14. DaveG

    DaveG Tele-Meister

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    re: non-Tele bender guitars
    I have a Les Paul copy with an Epiphone EZ Bender on it. It is very easy to use, and stays in tune well. Also pretty easy to get used to - it's palm type unit. Of course there's a learning curve, but as others have so eloquently stated, it's really a musical learning curve, not a "bender curve." I use it for other things besides country.
    I think EZ Bender is long out of production, yes? - did someone else pick them up? I don't recall what I paid for it back in the day, but it wasn't much. And, there's no guitar modification: it just clamps onto the LP tailpiece.
     
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  15. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I play a bit of everything and a B-bender is usable in every style of music. I have benders on a Roland synth Strat, Tele with a full-size resonator, a Line 6 Variax, Les Paul Jr, and I've had them on Les Pauls, 335's Dreadnaught acoustics...oh, and a custom Dave Evans 2nd string bender on a Fender solid-body mandolin. Paul McEwen made most of the electric non-tele units.

    I have one Hipshot, which works OK. As far as installation goes, you may need to notch the back of the bridge and/or shim the neck to increase down-pressure at the saddle. Otherwise you can get some buzz/rattle and/or loss of sustain. On some guitars a hole in the back of the bridgeplate works better, with the string running through a piece of Teflon wire insulation to lower friction and prevent breakage.

    Also - depending on the guitar - it can be a good idea to to insert screws in the two holes outboard from the strap peg for added stability. I would not use them on a vintage or expensive piece, though.

    Once you get used to the Hipshot and the concept of bender operation/use I suggest trying one or more shoulder strap units. You may find that they are smoother and easier to operate. I prefer the Evans, McEwen and Parsons-White shoulder-strap units over the Hipshot by a wide margin.
     
  16. unbridled

    unbridled Tele-Holic

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    How different is the motion of the Hipshot than the motion to pull the G on double benders? I've never played a lanyard style pull, but I do have the Hipshot. I've found that the position of the bar makes a huge difference. (I might even get some bar stock and bend it like I want it.)
     
  17. bladeboy

    bladeboy TDPRI Member

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    Hope you guys dont mind me jumping in, just wondering if any of you guys with Will Ray benders have had any trouble with the break angle over the saddle, I changed mine today to my Levinson Blade THS which has through body string mounting .The height at which the string passes over the saddle is such that its not pulling the string into the saddle, I did a little mod to drop the height a bit but just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and what you did to overcome it ,cheers
     
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I have put Hipshots on Les Paul Specials, DeArmond SGs, Strats, and Epi Sheratons.
    They worked fine.
    Installing them in a stable manner is the trick.
    I personally use extra screws to secure the base.
    The supplied extra long wood screw is a “must use”.
    Full disclosure, yes I play country, a lot.
    The simple Will Ray model is my go-to B bender.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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