Non-Defacing, Affordable String Benders For Electric and Acoustic Guitars

Instructions for mounting to the Stop Bar Tailpiece model:


Fig. 1





1. Remove and discard the B String or other string choice from your guitar and remove Handle Assembly (See Fig. 1) from Mounting Adapter by gently twisting and pulling back on the Handle Assembly, taking it all the way off the Pivot Pin. Loosen the Top Screw a few turns and adjust the front Lower Allen Screw with the enclosed ball end hex key (Allen wrench) so that it protrudes just enough  (approx. 1/8") to catch good in the front hole of the tailpiece (it usually comes with this screw basically in place at the right depth).

2. Hold the adapter in place with one hand with the screw in the front hole of the tailpiece and tighten the Rear Lower Allen Screw until it protrudes into the rear hole so that the Adapter is loosely attached to the tailpiece. Take note of any slack between the top of the tailpiece and the bender adapter and place the appropriate rubber pad between them by backing the rear Allen screw out and lifting up on the back of the adapter NOTE: Rubber pad may be trimmed or added to as necessary, depending on the gap between the Mounting Adapter and the tailpiece.

3. Making sure that both Lower Allen Screws are aligned in the front and back holes of the tailpiece, tighten the Top Screw with the supplied wrench until it is completely snug, being careful not to over tighten and strip the threads. With the front Allen screw in the front hole and the rear screw lined up, tighten the rear Lower Allen Screw until it is completely snug and the Adapter does not move on the tailpiece. NOTE: Putting down-pressure on the back of the Adapter to slightly compress the rubber pad may be necessary to align the rear Lower Allen Screw.

4. Once the Mounting Adapter fits tightly to the Stop Bar, with a twisting motion, press the Handle Assembly back on to the Pivot Pin until it seats firmly into the Chevron Joint  or "V" joint. Your Bender is now installed!

5. Insert a new string through the rear Lower Allen Screw, continuing under the Bender Roller and over the bridge saddle to the tuning key of the guitar. Before tightening the string, place the string ball end over the Top Pin at the rear of the Bender and into the Rear Groove, making sure that the string stays in the Rear Groove and in the Roller groove as you tighten the string to pitch. The Bender Handle will lift up to its resting position and you can let go of the Rear Groove to check that the string stayed in place before tightening it all the way. Stretch the string several times until it stays in tune after a stretch.

6. VERY IMPORTANT:  Depending on your individual guitar, the string may rub on the back of the bridge between the saddle and the bender roller. Any friction or binding here may cause the string to not return to pitch. Here's how to remedy that problem. With the string tightened in place, raise or lower the Stop Bar Tailpiece so that the string does not touch or rub on the back of the bridge behind the bridge saddle. To determine the proper height of the tailpiece, use a small piece of paper to slide between the string and the body of the bridge behind the saddle. If the paper slides easily under the string, the tailpiece is at the perfect height. (See Fig. 2)

Fig. 2



7. ADDITIONALLY IMPORTANT: Occasionally, step #6 will cause the tailpiece to look too high, but this will not cause a problem unless it creates slack in the tailpiece assembly itself. To check for slack, grab the rear of the Handle Assembly (not the Bender Handle) and try to move it up and down. If there is slack in the mounting bolt studs or the tailpiece where the Stop Bar slides onto the studs, steps should be taken to remove this slack to prevent any pitch problems. Here's how to correct that. One solution is to remove the mounting studs from the guitar and wrap the threads with thin plastic wrap or Teflon pipe tape until they screw back into the guitar without slack or any movement. If there is slack where the Stop Bar itself slides onto the tailpiece mounting studs you can, using thin plastic (such as a guitar string package or other suitable thickness of material), cut some thin U-shaped shims to slip around the studs between the underside of the Stop Bar and the flanges on the studs (See Fig. 3). 

Fig. 3                                                                                

                                                                               Thin U-shaped shim


Once the shim is in place, excess can be trimmed with a single edge razor blade. Another solution here is, once you’ve determined the correct height of the Stop Bar Tailpiece, alternately adjust the big E string end of the tailpiece down one full turn and the little E string end up the same, putting the Stop Bar in a “bind” between the two mounting studs until no slack is present. This could take some trial and error in order to keep the tailpiece height at the proper level as described in step #6.

8. An electronic tuner is helpful in this next step. Now, tighten string to pitch.and make sure it stays in tune after a stretch. Flip the Adjustment Screw Lock out in a clockwise direction (looking down on it from the rear) until you can turn the adjustment screw with your thumb and finger. To adjust the pitch “travel” of the Bender Handle, turn the Adjustment Screw until the handle, when depressed all the way down, raises the string to the desired pitch, usually one whole tone. Alternately release the Bender Handle, adjust the Screw, and depress the Handle to check pitch until you have reached the desired pitch. NOTE: Holding the Bender Handle down while adjusting the screw will not always get you to the desired pitch and may damage the rubber landing pad. Once you have attained the desired pitch, hold the Adjustment Screw in place and tuck the Adjustment Screw Lock back under the Bender Handle, locking it in place. 

9. Once all slack is removed from the tailpiece and the bender travel is set, you should have trouble free string bending indefinitely. Over 40 years of use by the inventor has proven that the Bowden B Bender does not break strings. If you have a problem with string breakage, look for a burr on the bridge saddle or a bind in the guitar nut or elsewhere and take the proper action to remove it with sandpaper or a small file. ALSO NOTE: When changing strings, if you use a different gauge than the previous string, you will have to readjust the Adjustment Screw, as different gauges require different travel of the Bender Handle. A new string of the same gauge usually will need no readjustment.

10. ADDITIONAL TIPS: An occasional drop of lubricant on the roller, the nut, the bridge saddle and the pin at the rear of the Bender Handle should be all the maintenance required to keep the Bender working perfectly. Several thicknesses of rubber pads are included for varying tailpiece dimensions. You will notice a piece of fuzzy material at the rear of the Bender Handle where it comes to rest against its metal pin. This serves to dampen any clicking sound when releasing the Bender. If this material should deteriorate or come off, it is simply the “loop side” of self-adhesive Velcro and can be replaced by cutting a small piece to re-fit it, available at most hardware or fabric stores. A small pad of the same material can also be used to replace the little round “landing pad” where the Adjustment Screw touches down, should it need replacing.

NOTE: There should be a little sideways movement of the Bender Handle in the body of the Handle Assembly to assure that the Handle is not too tight. Without a string in place, the Bender Handle should easily flop down into its “depressed” position. If the Bender Handle is too tight, simply take a small screw driver, ice pick or other suitable device to spread the rear of the Handle Assembly slightly apart to allow the Bender Handle to move up and down freely with no binding.
NOTE: The “ball tipped” Allen wrench included is for “adjusting” the Front Lower Allen Screw (behind the Roller) and IS NOT FOR FINAL TIGHTENING. The FINAL TIGHTENING is to be done with the standard Allen wrench (also included) by TIGHTENING THE REAR Lower Allen Screw, once the Front Lower Allen Screw has been “adjusted” to the proper position in the front hole of the Stop Bar Tailpiece.


 THANK YOU FOR PURCHASING THE BOWDEN B BENDER -- It should provide you with years of trouble-free use. As always, if you encounter a problem of any nature, immediately  contact us using the information that came on your bender box. We guarantee that there is a solution to any and every problem you might encounter or you may return the unit for a full refund, paying only for shipping and handling. Thanks again!

                                                                                                                              Richard Bowden