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Author Topic:  Steel Gear Costs
Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 8:47 am     Reply with quote

I have dumped a whole room full of amps including a vintage Deluxe Reverb, Vibro-Champ, Nashville 400, Fender Steel King and Princeton Reverb amp for just two amps, a Telonics TCA-500C and a Walker Stereo Steel. The Walker has the edge for tone due to it's true stereo setup. The Telonics has the edge for features, weight and versatility as I can get a really fantastic sound out of it for tele, steel and fiddle.

All of my vintage amps sounded better as they aged. While it's true that the electronics degrade a bit, the many years of speaker break-in to the point of having flabby surrounds seems to make the tone more mellow than most new amps.
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Dustin Rigsby


From:
Parts Unknown, Ohio
Post Posted 20 May 2017 10:31 am     Reply with quote

Greg Cutshaw wrote:
I have dumped a whole room full of amps including a vintage Deluxe Reverb, Vibro-Champ, Nashville 400, Fender Steel King and Princeton Reverb amp for just two amps, a Telonics TCA-500C and a Walker Stereo Steel. The Walker has the edge for tone due to it's true stereo setup. The Telonics has the edge for features, weight and versatility as I can get a really fantastic sound out of it for tele, steel and fiddle.

All of my vintage amps sounded better as they aged. While it's true that the electronics degrade a bit, the many years of speaker break-in to the point of having flabby surrounds seems to make the tone more mellow than most new amps.


So maybe we need to learn how to "relic" a speaker to make it sound old and mellow ?
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post Posted 20 May 2017 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

My 1981 Boogie MKIIB with a 15 EV, is all the steel amp a man could ever want...
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 1:32 pm     Reply with quote

Dustin Rigsby wrote:
So maybe we need to learn how to "relic" a speaker to make it sound old and mellow ?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm8yDik5T0E
I am not recommending this, nor have I tried it. Just found it on the tube and decided to share, because it is an interesting idea and I did not know this particular wheel had already been invented.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 20 May 2017 1:54 pm     Reply with quote

Different people have different priorities.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 20 May 2017 2:00 pm     Reply with quote

Since this is really about the price of amps, I've moved it to the Electronics section. (We don't have a section for bass boats.)
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Steven Pearce


From:
Port Orchard Washington, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 5:43 pm     Reply with quote

I'm thinkin this:
I've had nights that I hated my sound, only
to have someone tell me I "sounded great"
My advice: WHATEVER gear you're using
make sure it's tight, so when you hit the stage
the steel, cables, effects, amps or whatever
won't get in the way of your performance.
#2.. DONT PLAY YOURSELF CHEAP!
Equip yourself with the setup so your sound
will be able to compliment your shows.
If it takes a $2000 amp, save your dough.
If not find out what WILL work. Then go for it.
If you don't need the boo tiki stuff, don't sweat it.
Me, I play hard and fresh strings that are the right gauge
make me sound better, so I play better...and I'm worth it.
Thanks,
Steve

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George Redmon


Post Posted 20 May 2017 6:21 pm     Reply with quote

$60 to $70,000 Bass boats? Sheeesh i still use my trusty innertube and cane pole??
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 21 May 2017 12:16 am     Thanks for the Compliment. Reply with quote

Tony O., I'm to old for a world tour, but I do have enough room for a D-10 Emmons, PAC-a-Seat, and one amp under the queen size bed with access from outside. My wife and I took the RV on a 300mi. round trip to play a cowboy church in Woodward Ok. on Easter Sun. I'll probably do several pickin' dates in this RV especially on the overnight gigs.
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Steven Pearce


From:
Port Orchard Washington, USA
Post Posted 21 May 2017 3:03 pm     Reply with quote

Thats a beauty, and a great trip as well as a great destination. You have a blessed life.
Steve Pearce
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 22 May 2017 8:27 am     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
Since this is really about the price of amps, I've moved it to the Electronics section. (We don't have a section for bass boats.)


The only boats I've had were tenors
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2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 22 May 2017 9:26 am     Reply with quote

Lane Gray wrote:
b0b wrote:
Since this is really about the price of amps, I've moved it to the Electronics section. (We don't have a section for bass boats.)


The only boats I've had were tenors


Laughing
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Ron Hogan


From:
Nashville, TN, usa
Post Posted 24 May 2017 11:02 am     Reply with quote

Speaking of amps, most know that I've done a lot of experimenting and research on the BOSS Katana. In fact, tomorrow I'll do a how to video at Steel Guitar Nashville as they started carrying that line.

Here is a lot of the info, mostly from the forum on that amp if you want to research. I did find that instead of switching it to CLEAN, use ACOUSTIC. It matches steel better.

It's a great amp for the price and weight. You get a lot out of it, but need to experiment to get what you want.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1428971003840412&id=125065240897668

http://picosong.com/iVNQ/
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=316051
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=309914
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=314107
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 25 May 2017 8:16 am     Reply with quote

Ron Hogan wrote:
Speaking of amps, most know that I've done a lot of experimenting and research on the BOSS Katana. In fact, tomorrow I'll do a how to video at Steel Guitar Nashville as they started carrying that line.

Here is a lot of the info, mostly from the forum on that amp if you want to research. I did find that instead of switching it to CLEAN, use ACOUSTIC.

Reviews have been hot and cold for guitar on the Katana, so this is good news for steelers on a budget. Maybe the folks at Roland/Boss accidentally stumbled onto something with their attempt to COSModify acoustic guitars. I have gotten some decent tone for my Stage One out of my Roland AC60.
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Karl Paulsen


From:
Chicago
Post Posted 25 May 2017 1:03 pm     Reply with quote

I've given this alot of thought over the years, thogh mostly as compares to bass gear as I played bass for over 25 years before taking up PSG.

As a bass player who tends to favor a more vintage sound and doesn't need the super hi-fi tones that many slappers, tappers and soloists do, I can get all my amplification needs covered for well under $1000 bucks. After trying a variety of rigs, some years ago I settled on an all Tube VB2 and 4x10 Avatar cab which gave me great tone and enough volume for any gig. That was still around $1k though at full retail would have been closer to $1.5k.

When it came time for steel -though a used Peavey would probably have sufficed- my brother gifted me with a Miliman Half-and-Half. For some reason $1700 seemed like alot of money for an amp. Maybe because the space it takes up is so much less than a bass rig?

However, when I really thought about it, the Milkman is pretty close to the same price as my bass rig, is just as loud and instead of being a factory-line item made for thousands of players, it's a handmade amp, for a niche market, and of a boutique quality from which there is little that I could imagine "upgrading" to.

Looking at it that way, it kind of seems like the Milkman was the bargain eh?
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Tommy Shown


From:
Denham Springs, La.
Post Posted 27 May 2017 9:08 pm     Reply with quote

After many years of playing through a Walker Stereo Steel, I went back to a Peavey Nashville 400 with a tone mod in it. I love it.
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Eric Philippsen


From:
Central Indiana, USA
Post Posted 28 May 2017 4:40 am     Reply with quote

My 2 cents.....

Amps. Ouch. Being an old 6-string and steel player, vintage dealer, and repairman I really think I've owned or played through everything. Looking around my shop here I see maybe 20 amps and, jeez, there must be another 10-15 in storage. Crazy. Yesterday I got an old Ward's Airline up and running, played through it, and it sounded great.

Which just reinforced what I've come to know. There are a lot of great sounding amps out there and there is no "best" except what personally sounds best to your ears alone. A Fender 4-10 Bassman? Nashville 400? Marshall 50-watt thru a 4-12? Deluxe? Quilter? A little 1-12 Airline from the 60's? They all sound good. Debates about which amp sounds better is like debating whether Jeff Beck is better than Joe Pass or better than Chet Atkins.

For a while now, a Sarno for steel and a Dr Z for 6-string work sound "best" for me and my playing ability, such as it is.
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Steven Paris


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 6 Jun 2017 12:21 am     Reply with quote

Whilst browsing around some old Forum posts, I saw that one fella said he paid $629 for a new Peavey Nashville 400 in 1999. That's the equivalent of $937 today. I don't think that $937 today will buy you a new amp equivalent to an NV400. A PV Session 115 or a Quilter Steelaire run about $1400; a new Milkman or Telonics are over $2,000.
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Tim Marcus


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 6 Jun 2017 11:20 am     Reply with quote

I can give a very simple explanation as to why Milkman amplifiers are expensive:

They are hand made in the USA, using mostly US sourced components:

US made speakers, transformers, wire, capacitors, cabinets, etc...

Most steel guitars themselves are made the same way in the US, and that likely contributes to their high cost.

If you want to support US manufacturing, unfortunately it comes at a price. If you don't mind your instruments and amps being imported from overseas, go ahead and get something less expensive.

Another point I can make is about reliability and product life. Your $3000 amp is going to last longer on this earth than you are, versus a $300 knick knack taken off a shelf that can not be repaired that you will need to replace every few years, and send to a landfill once it breaks.

Its an investment Very Happy
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 6 Jun 2017 12:47 pm     Reply with quote

$3k for an amp is an investment if you are gigging on the higher end of things. For me, that much for any piece of gear is a luxury.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 6 Jun 2017 8:00 pm     Reply with quote

Fred Treece wrote:
$3k for an amp is an investment if you are gigging on the higher end of things. For me, that much for any piece of gear is a luxury.


Fortunately, there are 40 year old Peaveys for a tenth of that, or an old Fender Twin for less than a third.
But I'm very glad to have my Milkman (but my Session 400 is not for sale)
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2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 7 Jun 2017 5:59 am     Reply with quote

Lane, I'm not saying I wouldn't spend that much on an amp I really wanted, but it would take some expert negotiation with Headquarters, and she would not buy into the word "investment". At all Confused

I do already have the SF Twin and the Boogie Mk IIc+, so my investment was made long ago and it did pay off for when I was doing gigs that were a little on the higher end. Still would love to try a Milkman for steel.
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