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Post new topic Buying first pedal steel - questions!
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Author Topic:  Buying first pedal steel - questions!
Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 17 Mar 2017 9:56 pm     Reply with quote

Jake Bopp wrote:
It's good to hear there's hope for us bear-pawed fellows. I was legitimately worried that hand fatigue would make this particularly difficult My pointer/thumb muscles are usually pretty hosed at the end of the day, and looking at people play, it seems that pinching motion is most of what holds the bar.

Jake, play the steel and you'll collect various bars. It's like having a drawer full of holsters. Good to experiment.

No need to apply much force. Rather you "capture" the bar. It's a learned skill, takes patience. Have a look at Paul Franklin, great solo,cool bar-slant at 4:09.
https://youtu.be/e7nEkz61n2Y
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 17 Mar 2017 11:40 pm     Reply with quote

Jake, do you think you might want to play rock? If so, get a 12 string. The extra strings will let you play power chords and melodies in the bass register, like Duane Eddy.

If you are only interested in playing country, 10 strings are enough.
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 5:08 am     Reply with quote

Mike Perlowin wrote:
Jake, do you think you might want to play rock? If so, get a 12 string. The extra strings will let you play power chords and melodies in the bass register, like Duane Eddy.

If you are only interested in playing country, 10 strings are enough.


Now, that's a really interesting angle. I suspect I will probably keep it within the confines of country for a while, but do tend to experiment. Is a 12 string just a 10 string with some added register? Sort of like an extended scale guitar?
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 7:11 am     Steel Guitars Reply with quote

I would go for the Blanton or the MSA. I had a Dekley & didn't have it long. It played well, but changing things were a PITA..

Good Luck...
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Last edited by Charley Bond on 18 Mar 2017 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 8:28 am     Reply with quote

Jake Bopp wrote:
Is a 12 string just a 10 string with some added register? Sort of like an extended scale guitar?


It can be. The extended E9 is the regular tuning with some extra bass notes. This is what many 12 string players use.

But there is something called a Universal tuning, which is slightly different. You've seen double neck steels with different tunings on each neck. The universal tuning converts from one tuning to the other with a knee lever. There are a couple if different Universal tunings, the most common being the E9/B6, which converts from a modified E9 to a B6, There are others.

These universal tunings require a 12 string instrument. But, assuming you get a 12 stringer, you don't have to have one on your guitar. It's an option. You can set it up with whatever you like. You can put on an extended E9, or the E9/B6 universal, or one of the less common universal tunings. And you can always change to a different setup.

I have to admit, I'm partial to both 12 string steels, and MSA. I've played MSA 12 stringers since day one. So my recommendation is tainted by my preferences. Given that I highly recommend that beautiful MSA 12 string you looked at earlier.

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=287167&highlight=msa+universal

This is a fabulous guitar that will last you for the rest of your life. MSAs were builtb to last. Check out this thread.
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=312351
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 6:43 pm     Reply with quote

In the next couple days, hopefully, I'm going to go meet Kevin and see what, if anything, I can discern from playing his steel. I think possibly I want to start out on a 10 string, standard as possible setup. Get my feet wet, and then experiment from there. Hopefully I can lay my hands on a steel that won't depreciate, so I can put that money toward whenever, or if I decide I want to get an extended range guitar.

My girlfriend expressed interest in playing, as well. That's TWO fresh steel players. Hopefully all works out! Very Happy

I'm a little confused as to why the pricing is all over the board for some of these. I see a beautiful MSA D12 on the classifieds for 1500$... that seems so low for how it looks. I keep seeing all the MSA love, and am definitely taking note.
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Pat Chong


From:
New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 19 Mar 2017 8:43 am     Reply with quote

Hello Mr Jake,

As far as the Dekley you were looking at, very well may be a good buy, it has inlay in the neck, and is likley a pro model. I am a Dekley fan, and have had one to start on, 3.5 years ago (I, too, am new at it), and may be using it 20 years from now.... Those guitars are well built and are easy to work on.

The only real problem is that they have been out of business since the mid 80's and parts are hard to come by IF you would want to expand. However, some are available from PSGParts.com and if you look and scrounge you can find more.

MSA's are good, too. With parts also available at PSGParts.com. The choice is yours, and I wish you and your girlfriend well in this new endevor.

..................................Pat
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 19 Mar 2017 9:41 am     Reply with quote

I had an MSA Classic Supersustain D-10 almost exactly like the one in the pic. I sold it because it was ridiculously heavy, and I was facing heart surgery & didn't know if I would be able to lift it. Turned out I am stronger now than before, & I made a big mistake, because that MSA was...BAR NONE...the best sounding guitar I ever heard ANYWHERE. Even blew away my 66 bolt on in tone. THAT'S saying something!
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 19 Mar 2017 10:53 am     Reply with quote

Jake, although MSA got started during to 60s, they really became great in the early 70s when Bud Carter joined them. I am under the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that Bud invented the all pull system that is the industry standard today.

From day one, Maurice Anderson strove to build the best possible instruments. While some other builders sought to economize and make their guitars cheaper, Reece sought to make his guitars better.

Between 1970 and '75 (give or take a year) MSAs were made from dieboard with a mica finish. Some time in the middle of the decade, they started making them out of solid maple, with a lacquer finish. They changed the design in some other ways, most noticeably in the area surrounding the pickup.

The necks on the dieboard/mica guitars extend all tbe way to the pickup well. In the maple/lacquer guitars, the pickup is surrounded on all sides by a piece of aluminium. You can see the fifference in the pictures on this thread.
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2611866#2611866

Which is better? That depends on who you ask. I had one of each, for about 25 years. I preferred the maple body, but I used them both, interchangeably. My maple guitar is pictured in my avatar.

These guitars are built like tanks, and their weight reflects that. Today's guitars weigh a lot less. That's something that should be taken into cooperation. If that's not an issue, you should consider one.

MSA not only made the best (IMHO) steel guitars during the 70s, they made the most. There are a gazillion of thee things out there, hence the relatively low price.
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 20 Mar 2017 7:45 pm     Reply with quote

An MSA D-10 Classic just showed up on my local CL for 1600$. I think with a little bit of talkin' around, I might be able to whittle that down. Weird timing for one to be popping up.

I also went and spent a little time with Kevin's Mullen. I couldn't stop smiling the whole time. He showed me some things, and let me noodle around with reckless abandon. Hell of a guy, and despite his modesty, a great player. Very Happy
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 2:52 am     Reply with quote

Is it mica or lacquer?
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 7:11 am     Reply with quote



This is the only picture on the ad. I know some finishes can be deceiving, but it looks like lacquered wood... although, it could definitely be a verneer or something.
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 7:17 am     It s Mica Reply with quote

It's a Mica covered Guitar, but still a great guitar. Look at it this way, most of us are not playing on the same guitar we started on, but some still have the first one they bought. You will not be sad you bought that one. They are wonderful.

Don't pay any attention to the weight watchers, just think about the Piano Players weight problem.
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 7:23 am     Re: It s Mica Reply with quote

Charley Bond wrote:
It's a Mica covered Guitar, but still a great guitar. Look at it this way, most of us are not playing on the same guitar we started on, but some still have the first one they bought. You will not be sad you bought that one. They are wonderful.

Don't pay any attention to the weight watchers, just think about the Piano Players weight problem.


I am still strong, like bull. Laughing

I'm gonna give this guy a call and see if we can come to a deal. I notice he's got another steel butted up to that one... maybe he'd be more inclined to sell that one. Devil
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 9:05 am     Reply with quote

As has been said, this is a mica guitar, made between 1970 and '75.

Check out this thread:
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=312351&highlight=msa

Note that my fellow MSA lover Darvin Willhoite called his white mica guitar "The best playing and sounding Classics I ever had." (Hi Darvin.) Aside from the different color, this is the identical guitar.

Many other 40+ year old steels need to be restored. MSAs generally don't. They were built to last. This is a fine instrument that can last you for the rest if your life. If the weight is not an issue, you will love it.
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 9:40 am     scars on this guitar Reply with quote

on the right side, the polished aluminum band around the body is scarred pretty badly. Can't tell if it will polish out or if it is the residue of masking tape. I would ask for more pictures & close ups too...
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 9:50 am     Food For Thought Reply with quote

https://louisville.craigslist.org/msg/6052493388.html

D10 MSA $1300.00
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Jake Bopp


From:
Tallahassee, FL
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 11:41 am     Reply with quote

I think that MSA D10 that is local to me is too beat up for the money, judging by that one posted above. I'm going to continue looking. I have to keep thanking everyone for your advice, it means a lot and is invaluable to my quest. Thank you!
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