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Post new topic The Beauty of Blanton or Blanton Owners Stand & Deliver!
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Author Topic:  The Beauty of Blanton or Blanton Owners Stand & Deliver!
Geoff Cline


From:
Somewhere on the road...
Post Posted 27 Nov 2009 9:36 am     Reply with quote

Following Bent's recent suggestion, I took some photos of my circa '68 Blanton D-10. In my view, Jerry Blanton is a PSG wizard whose ideas, designs, pickups and machining/build are as good as any ever. This guitar has Jerry's pickups (encased in dark green translucent plastic), cigarette holder and a Blanton volume pedal (gear operated) that's still going after 40+ years. As you probably know, all fine tuning of pedals and levers is done from underneath the guitar, using set screws that are spring loaded and turned by hand (no wrenches needed). It works really well AND once in tune it STAYS in tune.












The guitar sounds incredible (splitter switches on the pickups) with great sustain and tone. I have to get down to San Antonio and have Mr. Blanton work on the C6 neck (add some cranks and change the copedant to something usable). Can't wait for that.

OK Blanton players/owners, let's see 'em!
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Lee Jeffriess


From:
Martinez California
Post Posted 27 Nov 2009 1:43 pm     Reply with quote

Cool Horn, Geoff.
I would like to see other early Blanton's, is this the model that Jimmy Day played?.
Lee
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 27 Nov 2009 1:51 pm     Reply with quote

That is a beauty--love the key heads.
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Ward Orsinger


From:
Runge Texas
Post Posted 27 Nov 2009 10:43 pm     Blanton Custom Reply with quote

This Is all Blanton---even solid maple front apron, what a tone--yes, he is a genius and friend! Ward
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 28 Nov 2009 8:57 am     Reply with quote

A big bump for Blantons and their owners - bring'em on!

Detailed, CLEAR pics requested!
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Papa Joe Pollick


From:
Pontiac, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2009 11:28 am     Reply with quote

My sweet soundin' Blanton that is in need of new bell cranks..
Got in touch with Jerry today and learned that he didn't have any bell cranks for me but he gave me a lead to maybe get some. Also a very nice chat with some history of my guitar.He remembered building it.
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Geoff Cline


From:
Somewhere on the road...
Post Posted 29 Nov 2009 8:22 am     A Song For Youse Reply with quote

Where have all the Blantons gone, long time passing....
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Geoff Cline


From:
Somewhere on the road...
Post Posted 3 Dec 2009 2:18 pm     Reply with quote

Maybe the Blanton owners don't go to page 2, so I'll bump it up one more time, with gusto.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 3 Dec 2009 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

Very interesting, and ingenious, bell crank design!
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 3 Dec 2009 7:46 pm     Reply with quote

John, indeed it is. I like the pedal tuning feature right on the crank.
The only drawback is the width of the crank and the solid construction that doesn't allow for other rods to pass thru the crank so there will have to be bending of more rods than on a conventional design.

But there is no doubt: Jerry was way ahead of the times when he designed that system.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2009 7:13 am     Reply with quote

Bent,
Sort of infinite "timing" adjustment within the length of that screw. And in 1968! Way ahead of it's time. Even better than 11 hole bellcranks!
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 4 Dec 2009 9:43 am     Reply with quote

John, Jerry explained it this way That during the tuning process, the pedal timing also falls in to place.

Jerry also told me that he is working on building a new guitar for himself. I'd LOVE to see what he has come up with this time around!
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Parr Bryan


From:
Nacogdoches,Texas
Post Posted 6 Dec 2009 5:38 am     Reply with quote

Did Mr. Blanton ever play with a group called
"The Uptowners"? I got a record with a new pair of boots in '70 and the band had one of the best steel players I ever heard.
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Dennis Wireman


Post Posted 6 Dec 2009 4:24 pm     Blanton Reply with quote

Jerry is a great man interesting person. Just got one of his steels and love it

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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 9 Dec 2009 7:39 pm     Reply with quote

I just got off the phone with Jerry. We talked for over 2 1/2 hours. He sure is a well of information and is also sharp as a tack and makes his living playing steel. At age 73 that is not bad at all!
It is evident what so many of us have said: Jerry is a genius when it comes to building steel guitars. He built between 200 and 300 of his unique Blanton Guitars. He is currently working on a steel for his personal use.

I want to add that it is clear to me that the man is a musical genius as well. He has lots of experience; started playing in 1958 and just never quit. He has worked for names like Johnny Rodriguez and Freddie Fender. He asked me to post an ad for him, so take a look in the accessories for sale.
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 9 Dec 2009 7:40 pm     Reply with quote

Parr Bryan wrote:
Did Mr. Blanton ever play with a group called
"The Uptowners"? I got a record with a new pair of boots in '70 and the band had one of the best steel players I ever heard.


Parr, sorry, Jerry couldn't recall ever working with
The Uptowners.
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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post Posted 22 Dec 2009 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

I have got a couple. I think they were the greatest guitar ever built.

A friend just sold me one of the prototype models with the wood apron. I will try to get some photos up.





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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post Posted 22 Dec 2009 1:34 pm     Reply with quote

Did one of you just buy a D-10 that was kind of a dark green color?
How about a D-12?

Both of those guitars have some interesting history.

I just saw Jerry's new house he built in Terlingua, TX. It was really something to see. He built everything himself all the way down to the windows and latches for the doors. He even hand dug the basement.
He showed me this elevator type thing he built out of a golf cart. He could stand on it with his wheelbarrow full of cement, push a pedal and it would lift him up to pour the concrete for the arches on his porch.

He had a very simple but effective system for cooling the house using air from the basement. The day I was there it was 100 degrees outside and his house was like 80 degrees. He did this without electricity.

The guy is truly a genius.

The new guitar he is building is out of a solid block of wood. The one string he has on it sounds unlike anything I have ever heard.
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 22 Dec 2009 4:36 pm     Reply with quote

Justin, somehow it don't surprise me to see you talk about Jerry that way. I believe what you are telling us, that the man is indeed a genius. His quality work shows in his guitars as well as the house he builds.
When I talk to him on the phone, I lose all sense of time and just revel in all the interesting stuff he has to tell me.
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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post Posted 22 Dec 2009 4:49 pm     Reply with quote

He is very entertaining to talk to for sure. He is without a doubt one of my favorite people.
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 23 Dec 2009 9:27 am     Reply with quote

I bought a Blanton S-10 from Blackie Taylor Music in Hawaiian Gardens, California around 1970 or so. It had four floor pedals and no knee levers and sounded great along with good pedal action. I played it for a short while with the 9th string eliminated and the low B moved there and a low E string added. I missed the D note here and there so Blackie rigged up another tuning peg and modified the nut so we could make an eleven stringer out of it. He just rigged up the changer end so the 11th string hooked on it but wasn't able to make any changes. For the pickup we just took a Fender 800 ten string pickup as it was wide enough to cover all eleven strings. He then put a couple of thin metal rods over the pickup poles and that way they picked up all eleven strings. He also rigged up a couple of knee levers from angle aluminum and bicycle spokes which lowered the E strings and the 2nd and 9th strings. The tuning was done right on the rod with the turnbuckle on the spoke(s). I really liked that guitar and kept it until I decided to move to Texas for a while in the mid seventies so I traded the 11 string Blanton for a 1958 Volkswagen (in good shape). I miss both of 'em, the Blanton & the Bug.........JH in Va.
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Brad Malone


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 23 Dec 2009 10:10 am     get the right tool for the job. Reply with quote

He even hand dug the basement.
He showed me this elevator type thing he built out of a golf cart. He could stand on it with his wheelbarrow full of cement, push a pedal and it would lift him up to pour the concrete for the arches on his porch.<<

I thought smart people used heavy equiptment such as back-hoes and bulldozers to do such things as digging basements and footings for buildings. Recently, we had a big snowstorm that dropped 15 inches of snow and me and my Troy built snowblower cleaned out my 90 foot driveway in about 20 minutes...nothing like the right machine or right tool for the job IMHO.
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Justin Griffith


From:
Taylor, Texas, USA
Post Posted 23 Dec 2009 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

Brad,
Unless you have been to this part of Texas you wouldn't understand. There is not even electricity or water out there. No way I would ever want to live there but it is becoming a popular place to build a second home.

Jerry still has his place in San Antonio, this is just a place for him to get away from it all. And I mean ALL. Winking
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J D Sauser


From:
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Post Posted 23 Dec 2009 2:42 pm     Reply with quote

The bell crank design may seem ingenious at a first glance as it would allow for perfectly balanced pulls... HOWEVER, they do not allow for further back pulls to send pull rods THRU bell cranks in front... in other words, pulls would have to be fanned out to bypass bell cranks. For today's complex setups maybe not a good solution anymore.

... J-D.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 23 Dec 2009 2:48 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, that's true today JD. But this was made in 1968! Way ahead of the curve.
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