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Author Topic:  Sierra Steel Guitars
Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 20 May 2017 6:21 am     Reply with quote

We are in a new world of steel guitar design and technology. The undercarriage of those guitars are a beautiful as the cabinet.

I once had a 1960 Sho~Bud Permanent D-8 in my shop that had a lovely cabinet, but the entire undercarriage was painted black and looked like three different blacksmiths made it. It's like comparing the Wright Brothers' Kitty Hawk plane to the space shuttle.
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 7:21 am     The New Sierras Reply with quote

I'm a Sierra fan & have been for a long time. This new Sierra Pedal Steel Guitar is certainly a beauty to look at & in my old age, I could afford it. But I'm not a KEYLESS Tuning fan & I'd like it better with chrome legs. I'll be leaning toward the DFW show, hoping one or two will make the trip.

Has Bobby made any comments about the tone, I wonder if that double bridge has any effect on the guitar's sound..?

Good Luck to Sierra. Will the Sierra Co. start offering the old guitar parts again or will that always be Jim's job?
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Jon Zimmerman


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 5:31 pm     Sierra superlatives Reply with quote

Like to echo what Jim from So. County mentions ..that these works of art are also proof of progress in design, refinement, and even simplification. It looks to me, from that under hood photo that the Blanton-type bell crank has re-appeared on this pull train, making for "timed" pulls on the changer. Am I seeing it correctly? Always admired that type mechanism, though Blantons were as heavy as Fenders metal frames.
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Paul Redmond


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 9:33 pm     Reply with quote

Ross is IMO one of the most genuine of steel players/builders/designers. He is a very positive force out there in the steel guitar wilderness. He is a guy who thinks outside the envelope.
PRR
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Jon Zimmerman


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 May 2017 4:43 am     Sierra innovator Reply with quote

Have to agree with Paul on several key points, but folks have preferences. In Hell, they prefer ice water, but the Igloo chests just melt from the heat. Just saw in the Gone Home sector of the passing of Eddie Fulawka, a master craftsman by any stretch, and what 10 of us could even BEGIN to fill his shoes? Most could barely figure out how to solder a pair of wires correctly! And most all of us who look at the above images can only say OMG! What genius has out done him or her self here? What struggles must have been overcome? This has to be a God among us mere mortals! And the challenges of criticism? Gonna need some thick skin as well as a clear visionary mission.
Godspeed to all who create and build and promote these special machines!
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 21 May 2017 4:54 am     Reply with quote

Well, if they aren't too far out of my price range, I would love to have one. I've owned three Sierras, and other than the copedent change hassle (and the weight (lol) I have always loved them.

Mine have stayed in tune better than anything else I've owned.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 21 May 2017 8:25 am     Re: Sierra superlatives Reply with quote

Jon Zimmerman wrote:
Like to echo what Jim from So. County mentions ..that these works of art are also proof of progress in design, refinement, and even simplification. It looks to me, from that under hood photo that the Blanton-type bell crank has re-appeared on this pull train, making for "timed" pulls on the changer. Am I seeing it correctly? Always admired that type mechanism, though Blantons were as heavy as Fenders metal frames.

Yes, the pulls are perfectly timed with Blanton-like bell cranks. But these are not heavy guitars. Mine is only 27.5 lbs.
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DG Whitley


From:
Gone
Post Posted 21 May 2017 8:55 am     Reply with quote

Not sure what critical remarks are being referred to here, but mine were not. I simply stated that I believed, due to the engineering I saw in the pictures, that the price of this PSG was going to be out of my range for sure. Not a criticism, just the facts. I also sent my best wishes.

People just so sensitive these days, geez.


Last edited by DG Whitley on 22 May 2017 3:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 21 May 2017 6:17 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Ross, You'd be the man for the job. I am sure that these guitars are built to the highest quality. Good luck with the Sierra guitars!
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 21 May 2017 6:37 pm     Reply with quote

Pretty impressive engineering design - I presume the legs are carbon ? ...how about those rods underneath ?? This guitar is light years ahead of the old Sierra clunkers for sure ....very little comparison other than the name I would think.
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 22 May 2017 7:39 am     Reply with quote

David Wright wrote:
Great job Ross, I know my Dad would a prove!!!!..and most of all thank you for keeping Sierra alive.... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Thanks so much David and huge thanks to all for the compliments on the new Sierra design.

I feel privileged to be involved in this project and want to express my sincere gratitude to Ed Littlefield (Sierra's owner) for this opportunity. Ed is really the one who deserves the kudos for keeping Sierra alive. THANKS ED!

I'm working hard on all the website content and eager to get back into the shop. The bulk of your questions will be answered once its up. My Sierra contact info will also be in place for your direct inquires.

Thanks in advance for your patience, and again, thanks for all your kind words and positive comments.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 22 May 2017 7:41 am     Reply with quote

I wouldn't call the old Sierra's "clunkers".
In their day, they were considered the Cadillac's of pedal guitars.
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 22 May 2017 8:52 am     Reply with quote

Ross, re: the scalloped underside of the neck..... is the aim to maximize cabinet resonance by minimizing neck body contact?
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 22 May 2017 9:01 am     Reply with quote

Tony Glassman wrote:
Ross, re: the scalloped underside of the neck..... is the aim to maximize cabinet resonance by minimizing neck body contact?


Yep, Tony, the added benefit is some weight savings as the Honduran Rosewood I use for the necks is dense stuff. Same stuff used for marimba keys.
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DG Whitley


From:
Gone
Post Posted 22 May 2017 9:44 am     Reply with quote

So what am I missing here? I do not see anything for spits on individual strings. Feel free to point out what I am not seeing.
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 22 May 2017 9:49 am     Reply with quote

DG Whitley wrote:
So what am I missing here? I do not see anything for spits on individual strings. Feel free to point out what I am not seeing.


They're there...if you look at the second picture link, you'll see some brass hex tuners at the top of the tuner window above the nylons...that's where they live.
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 22 May 2017 11:19 am     Reply with quote

Ross Shafer wrote:
Tony Glassman wrote:
Ross, re: the scalloped underside of the neck..... is the aim to maximize cabinet resonance by minimizing neck body contact?


Yep, Tony, the added benefit is some weight savings as the Honduran Rosewood I use for the necks is dense stuff. Same stuff used for marimba keys.


Very cool. I do love the sound of a marimba.

You've incorporated a lot of well thought out elements into this guitar. I like the uber-stable leg design, Blanton-like bell cranks and the linear action changer. Y

This whole concept is a radical departure from Chuck Wright's original design, but Mr Wright's ideas were also considered a radical departure from prior guitar design back in the day.

I'm especially interested in this endeavor as I worked for Don Christiansen building Sierras in th late 70's. I'll look forward to playing one off your guitars someday.
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Susan Alcorn


From:
Baltimore, MD, USA
Post Posted 23 May 2017 10:29 am     Reply with quote

Wow, those guitars are beautiful both aesthetically (which is not unimportant) and in the engineering! I would love to hear or play one someday..
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 May 2017 2:18 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Ross,
In working on the Website, can you change the background colour it so hard to read. Just a comment
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David Weisenthal


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 23 May 2017 2:53 pm     Reply with quote

Ross you are a master of industrial design! From any angle it is like a handmade clock.
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steve takacs


From:
beijing, china via pittsburgh
Post Posted 23 May 2017 9:53 pm     Reply with quote

After reading these post several times I've come to these conclusions:

1 Ross has come up with an innovative steel,that is a genuine piece of art. I've seen photos of some of his other steels and they are way different from anything out there now.

2. Agreeing with Erv, Sierras, back in the day and even now, are not clunkers.

3. D G and a few others are within their rights to comment on the probable high price and other aspects of this steel. Heck, has even b0b mentions them as not being inexpensive. Nobody was badmouthing this guitar or its builder from my point of view.

4. I wish this steel were sporting the Schafer name as it it his creation .

5. My intention is to buy one of these in the future if my instrument sales permit

6. Kudos to Ross Schafer for coming up with this gem.

Thanks, Stevet
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Josh Yenne


From:
Sonoma California
Post Posted 23 May 2017 11:34 pm     Reply with quote

Everyone will be blown away by these steels. I have been fortunate to play a couple of these new ones and they are unlike anything I've ever played before! The timing and tuning of them is spectacular. They are very light and very alive guitars
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Tim Marcus


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 24 May 2017 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

but what if I already own 5 pedal steels?

I must sell something and get one from Ross - this is exciting! Very Happy
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 25 May 2017 7:27 am     Reply with quote

Tim Marcus wrote:
but what if I already own 5 pedal steels?

I must sell something and get one from Ross - this is exciting! Very Happy

Sell 3 of them and buy one of these! Mr. Green
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 26 May 2017 6:37 am     Reply with quote

Once again, thanks for all the compliments and inquiries on these new Sierra steels. I'm still working on website stuff, but the new phone number and email addy have been added at: www.sierrasteels.com.

I'm running a one man shop here and wearing all the hats keeps me running. In an effort to offer a reliable time frame for communications, as of Tuesday May 30, my office hours will be noon to 3.

If you'd like to reach me by phone that's the only time I'll be picking up. If you leave a message, I'll get back to you during those office hours if not before. Emails will be answered as quickly as possible.

Happy Memorial Day!
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