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Author Topic:  Marlen Pull Release
G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 11 Aug 2017 1:40 pm     Reply with quote

Just purchased a Marlen S 10 (1976)Pull release type changer.
Gotta tell ya' this thing is a mess. It was poorly packed and got beat around pretty hard. So hard in fact that the hard case broke on both ends... and the guitar was not secured inside the case so I am sure it flopped around like a fish on the bank, especially after the case gave way. Sadly the DPO did not insure it. In any event it will tune up for the most part. Pedals all function but the LKL and LKR are having very little effect..... and there is a popping noise on the LKL when you release it.
Does anyone know about these? Or of a book or a web site that explains these changers in detail? I have searched with little results. To top it all off I am not the sharpest knife in drawer when it comes to this stuff Oh Well
Any help would be much appreciated.
Gary
Added some pics





Last edited by G Strout on 13 Aug 2017 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ned McIntosh


From:
New South Wales, Australia
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 3:48 am     Reply with quote

We'd need to know what LKL and LKR actually do to help you on this one. On my E9th, LKL raises the Es to F (strings 4 & 8 ) and LKR lowers the Es to E flat (strings 4 & 8 again). These are half-tone lowers and raises, easily achievable with the pull-release mechanism.

Setting up strings to both raise and lower on a pull-release is tricky, but there is a logic to it. Sounds like the setup on those two knee-levers has gone out of adjustment.

Photos of the mechanisms (bellcranks, rods and collars) for those levers would help a lot in diagnosing possible problems.

The way my Marlen is set up, there is a tension-rod with a spring attached at one end (secured to the cabinet) and a collar locked on that rod which is pushed by a bellcrank activated by the knee-lever. This achieves the lower by overcoming the spring-tension that tunes the open-note - the changer-finger moves backwards until it contacts the stop-screw in the end-plate (which tunes the lowered note). If that collar has gone out of adjustment, or the knee-lever doesn't have enough travel, those lowers won't work properly.

My open-notes on 4 and 8 are tuned with threaded nylon nuts on the ends of the rods where they come out of the hole in the changer-finger. Yours look like they are also tuned by nylon tuning-nuts. For those nuts to advance or retreat along the thread and tune the open-note, the rod MUST NOT rotate when the tuning-nut is adjusted...that's very important! There is a little tab on the locking-collar that fits between the two sides of the lowering-bellcrank to stop the tension-rod from rotating. If that tab has disengaged from the bellcrank, the open-note tuning will not work - and chances are the lower won't work either.

With a Marlen pull-release, once set up they are very stable and hold tuning very well - as long as you don't change the string-gauge!

Some detailed photos in that area would be very helpful.
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The steel guitar is a hard mistress. She will obsess you, bemuse and bewitch you. She will dash your hopes on what seems to be whim, only to tease you into renewing the relationship once more so she can do it to you all over again...and yet, if you somehow manage to touch her in that certain magic way, she will yield up a sound which has so much soul, raw emotion and heartfelt depth to it that she will pierce you to the very core of your being.
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 10:05 am     Reply with quote

Ned,
Thank you for your reply. I think I got it (almost). I will work on it some more today. Jerry Roller (forum member)was nice enough to send me some PM's yesterday explaining in detail about the setup of a raise and lower on a single string. (E to F and E to D#)It is quite a balancing act it seems.
The tone on this guitar is amazing!
Gary
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 10:14 am     Messed up PSG Reply with quote

I might be missing something here, but I think I would modify that guitar.

I would drill out the bell cranks & install barrels that are cross tapped for the pull rods & then put Sierra type pull rods with stationary hex rod on the ends. All tuning would at the changer with a hex nut wrench... or something more simpler than this mod...
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 2:43 pm     Reply with quote

G Strout wrote:
The tone on this guitar is amazing!

That's the thing! My Marlen is a complete wreck underneath... But, the sound of it is so satisfying. I'm afraid I'll mess up the mojo by rebuilding it.

Good luck with yours. Looks like you have the tools for the job.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 3:19 pm     Reply with quote

Marlens are simply NOT easy to work on.. I have one, and did a major reconfiguration on it several years ago.. Pulled my hair out with that thing, for a solid week, but since, it is the BEST playing steel guitar I have ever owned, and i have owned dozens.. It doesn't ever go out of tune, never needs any adjustments, and the strings are 4 years old, and have never broke one, not even the 3rd string G#, and it gets a LOT of play.. Might be worth sending it out to a good steel mechanic, getting it set up exactly as you want it if you aren't good at working on pedal steel guitars.. chances are it will stay that way forever. bob
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 4:31 pm     Reply with quote

It's definitely a keeper. Has amazing tone and plays easy. I got the "pop" out of the LKR that would come when I lowered the E. Had to replace the collar as it was just a little too large and would hit the next finger. Luckily I had some with a smaller O.D. that were left over from rebuilding an old Leesona coil winder. Once I can get it up and running so to speak , I would like to add a knee lever.There's plenty of room and it has the extra cross shaft already. As to sending out to a good mechanic I may do that but right now I am getting "guitar poor" around here. Oh Well Going to have sell a few of these older USA made Guilds before I pop for a rebuild.
Gary
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 4:32 pm     Re: Messed up PSG Reply with quote

Charley Bond wrote:
I might be missing something here, but I think I would modify that guitar.

I would drill out the bell cranks & install barrels that are cross tapped for the pull rods & then put Sierra type pull rods with stationary hex rod on the ends. All tuning would at the changer with a hex nut wrench... or something more simpler than this mod...


Naah. If you're going to do a spinning rod, a fixed collar for the ultimate raise (say, for the C pedal), and then a Sho-Bud barrel for the F lever. Part of the tone, and a BIG part of the stability, of the pull-release comes from the ultimate raises pulling the finger to the edge of the hole. What you're suggesting pulls the finger off the hole.
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