B-Bender offsets idea

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B-Bender offsets idea

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:19 am

I saw a post by Larry talking about Hipshots and palm Benders in a thread. I remember Rumors of Surf had a Hipshot or some kind of Bender on one of his guitars. I think it was an offset, but it’s usually something you see on Telecasters, as Clarence White famously routed out the back of his Telecaster to get pedal steel tones on electric guitar.

Does everyone remember Buzzstops? Mostly universally hated on OSG if I remember correctly, but bare with me.

A simple, reversible mod: Add a Buzzstop type bar that bolts to the front of the vibrato plate on a Jaguar or Jazzmaster. The bar would function like a Gibson wrap around tailpiece. Run all the strings except the B, and maybe the G, to this stop tailpiece. The B and G thread through the vibrato tailpiece as usual.

Now you can do isolated B and/or G pedal steel bends that return to pitch (one of Larry’s complaints) and the bender arm doesn’t get in the way of palm mutes (his other complaint).

I do B and G bends by bending those strings behind the bridge. I don’t do it often and it’s a bit hit and miss. I have several offsets though, and if I did pedal steel bends more often, I would try this mod. Heck, I might do it anyway!

I don’t remember ever seeing anyone that did this? Did I actually come up with a new idea, or has some obscure alt-country guitarist rigged his JM for this already?

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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by johnnysomersett » Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:00 am

I was pondering this exact same thing the other day wondering if I could rig something coming out of the back of a Mustang vibrato. Right down to the stop bar idea too!

Weird
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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:05 am

johnnysomersett wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:00 am
I was pondering this exact same thing the other day wondering if I could rig something coming out of the back of a Mustang vibrato. Right down to the stop bar idea too!

Weird
Sometimes you just tune into ideas floating around the universe I guess! Songs come to me that way, and I have heard other people describing that concept.

I think a Jazzmaster would be an easier mod than a Mustang. An offset tremolo is an occasional mod on a Telecaster. You could do it with a top loader bridge.

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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:14 pm

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:19 am


Now you can do isolated B and/or G pedal steel bends that return to pitch (one of Larry’s complaints) and the bender arm doesn’t get in the way of palm mutes (his other complaint).


I should mention that my complaint about palm muting was specifically with the obsolete and hard to find Bigsby Palm Pedal, more modern designs make it so you can sweep the levers out of the way.

And I don't know if this will help or even be interesting, but there is a new bender on the market:

https://www.string-butler.com/easy-b-bender/

Specific to use with Gibson type stopbars, but maybe it could serve in some other fashion.

Also: you would think, for all I talk about B benders, that I would be good at them.

But I'm not.
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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by i love sharin foo » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:35 pm

This doesn't contribute anything, but I have been THIS close to converting my Telecaster to an old Parsons and White B Bender many times. I'd love to have one. I don't think I'd have much utility to really use it well though. Nor the ability. I love hearing somebody like Clarence White really put it to use though.
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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by mbene085 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:41 pm

That sounds like an interesting concept, but aren't B-benders set up to allow semitone bends quickly and accurately?

With just a freehand vibrato bar, you'd have a very different vibe because bends would be slower and less accurate. I have no idea whether that would sound better, worse, or just different. It definitely wouldn't be conducive to the classic B-bender pedal steel style solo licks.

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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by fuzzjunkie » Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:00 am

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:41 pm
That sounds like an interesting concept, but aren't B-benders set up to allow semitone bends quickly and accurately?

With just a freehand vibrato bar, you'd have a very different vibe because bends would be slower and less accurate. I have no idea whether that would sound better, worse, or just different. It definitely wouldn't be conducive to the classic B-bender pedal steel style solo licks.
I think it would just come down to learning a technique.

I have noticed that the device that Larry posted has some sort of tuning mechanism that allows for accurate bends, but I thought the original in-body mechanics did not?

I mean, wasn’t that one of the reasons that Clarence White was one of the few to master it? I heard it was really difficult to use. I tried one once for a few minutes 20 years ago and remember it being not “very quick and accurate.”

Now my current method of bending the B string with my middle finger behind the bridge certainly isn’t that quick or accurate. If I did it more often I could improve my results, but a bar in hand would certainly do a better job, and can raise or lower the note.

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Re: B-Bender offsets idea

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:34 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:00 am
mbene085 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:41 pm
That sounds like an interesting concept, but aren't B-benders set up to allow semitone bends quickly and accurately?

With just a freehand vibrato bar, you'd have a very different vibe because bends would be slower and less accurate. I have no idea whether that would sound better, worse, or just different. It definitely wouldn't be conducive to the classic B-bender pedal steel style solo licks.
I think it would just come down to learning a technique.

I have noticed that the device that Larry posted has some sort of tuning mechanism that allows for accurate bends, but I thought the original in-body mechanics did not?

I mean, wasn’t that one of the reasons that Clarence White was one of the few to master it? I heard it was really difficult to use. I tried one once for a few minutes 20 years ago and remember it being not “very quick and accurate.”

No, the original B benders that were routed into the body has a hard stop there, you can see them talk about the concept in this video a bit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k4337pXrtQ

Anyway, you can set how much the lever will pull physically, which of course changes how much the string is pitched upward.

All other benders that I know follow the same concept. That's the whole point, you can pull one string sharp a semi tone or a tone while the other strings remain at the same pitch. It's a great sound that inexplicably I'm not very good at despite my owning various benders of various kinds (including a Parsons/White) for well over ten years.
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