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Post new topic What do you consider the top 5 (or 10) best pedal steels?
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Author Topic:  What do you consider the top 5 (or 10) best pedal steels?
Richard Shelley


From:
Denver, CO, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2017 8:54 pm     Reply with quote

Most everyone on this forum is likely to be more experienced than me, so I'm wondering what your so many years & decades of experience have shown the best to be. In my very limited experience my personal favorites have been, in descending order: GFI, BMI, Sierra, Remington & Carter. Whaddaya think? Should Fessenden be up there? or MSA? or...........?
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2017 9:51 pm     Reply with quote

Kline!
_________________
Dr. Z Surgical Steel amp, amazing!
"74 Bud S-10 3&6
'73 Bud S-10 3&5(under construction)
'63 Fingertip S-10, at James awaiting 6 knees
'57 Strat, LP Blue
'91 Tele with 60's Maple neck
Dozen more guitars!
Dozens of amps, but SF Quad reverb, Rick Johnson cabs. JBL 15, '64 Vibroverb for at home.
'52 and '56 Pro Amps
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2017 10:00 pm     Reply with quote

The best-sounding PSG I have test-played, was an Excel.
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Larry Baker


From:
Columbia, Mo. U.S.A.
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 3:29 am     Reply with quote

Mullen all the way.
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Mullen G2 SD10 3 & 5 The Eagle
NV112 amp===Earnie Ball V.P.
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 4:10 am     Reply with quote

One guys opinion after owning quite a few. This is based on tone and playability. The only guitar I have ever owned with zero issues even small issues is the Infinity.

Infinity
Franklin
JCH
Emmons Push Pull
Emmons Legrandes
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Everything affects everythng

Infinity D-10 9x8, 73 Emmons P/P Lacquer/Metal neck D10, Telonics TCA-500c & Pedal, NV400, 64 Twin (JBLs) Visit my website www.p2pamps.com
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Ben Lawson


From:
Hillsborough N.J.
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 4:59 am     Reply with quote

Until 7 or 8 years ago the only steels I owned were Emmons P/Ps. I got an MSA Classic for practice but depending on amp settings it sounds good on lows or on highs. No happy middle. Nice guitar but after getting used to the Emmons sound I don't use it out on gigs.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 8:12 am     Reply with quote

Just my take: of guitars I have played.

Emmons push pulls
Emmons Legrands
The new MSA Legend
Fessenden
Zum Hybrid

This is just the guitars I have played, never played some of other major brands like Infinity, Franklin, Kline, so I'm sure they would fit somewhere in list.
_________________
Henry Matthews
D-10 1982 Emmons p/p Black
D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Quilter Steelaire amp, Goodrich pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 1:11 pm     Reply with quote

I can't say what the best Steels are. I've played 3 brands on regular duty over my entire journey since the mid 70's, gigs and sessions. 4 different Sho Buds, 2x Pro III's 1 Professional, 1 Pro I, 3 different Carters D10's and 4 different D10 Emmons guitars. I play different on each. IF there is any negative it would be the Carter underside has very small parts,but if you never change the setup then it's not an issue, the three I owned played great. One was the only Steel I owned for nearly 10 years , countless gigs. Currently playing Emmons Steels, 1 PP and 1 L-II, different tones, different feel, I hear different tones from the Instruments so I play different. I could easily play on each of the above mentioned again full time with no worries . They are all great instruments to me ! Smile

Many of us will say that brand X has better action or stays in tune better than brand Y, or Z. But to me, my take, the best instrument is the one that your ears connect with and allows you to work within it's timbre, it could take 3 or 4 of the same brand to find that.

When I go out, I'm just happy to see any Steel guitar in a band , because at that particular time, thats the best one ! Very Happy
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<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Brett Day


From:
Pickens, SC
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 2:40 pm     Reply with quote

Out of the three guitars I've owned/played, I've got to say my Jackson is my best and favorite steel. It's my main guitar. Before the Jackson, I played Emmons and GFI, but I love everything about the Jackson-looks, tone, playability, sound, pedal action,and sustain. The Emmons and GFI are wonderful guitars too.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

I've played quite a few steels, some good, some not so good, but, I have to say that my U-12 ZumSteel is the best I've ever played. I've played it through a FSK, PV 400,1000, Cube 80 and a Stereo Steel. It sounds great through all the amps. However, I just recently played a Rains and it played well and sounded good too. But, I'm prejudiced to my Zum!
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 5:41 pm     Reply with quote

ZUM
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

I'm assuming when you asked what are the best, you are referring to sound, so here is my experience with the best sounding steels:

1. Emmons Push-pull
2. Zumsteel
3. MSA Classic XL Supersustain
4. Mullen
5. LeGrande

Others that I am not familiar with, but that sound great are:

Franklin
JCH
Any other aluminum neck guitar
_________________
Emmons LeGrande II D-10
Mullen HWP D-10
'72 Stratocaster
'89 Custom Shop Telecaster
'61 Gibson SG/Les Paul
'74 Precision bass
'77 Guild D-50
Gold Star GF85 5-string banjo
Peavey Renown 1-15"
'76 Fender Twin Reverb w/JBLs
Peavey Classic 50 1-15"
'65 Ampeg Gemini II
Fender Rumble 200
Fender Sidekick Switcher
Hartke amp
Various delays, reverbs,compressors,etc
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Russell Adkins


From:
Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 6:14 pm     Reply with quote

I have often read Sierra was such a great Guitar yet no mention of Sierra , im puzzled
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 6:26 pm     Reply with quote

Russell Adkins wrote:
I have often read Sierra was such a great Guitar yet no mention of Sierra , im puzzled


Never heard a Sierra whose tone I liked, although they are built like the space shuttle.
_________________
Emmons LeGrande II D-10
Mullen HWP D-10
'72 Stratocaster
'89 Custom Shop Telecaster
'61 Gibson SG/Les Paul
'74 Precision bass
'77 Guild D-50
Gold Star GF85 5-string banjo
Peavey Renown 1-15"
'76 Fender Twin Reverb w/JBLs
Peavey Classic 50 1-15"
'65 Ampeg Gemini II
Fender Rumble 200
Fender Sidekick Switcher
Hartke amp
Various delays, reverbs,compressors,etc
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Dan Klotz


From:
Houston, Texas
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 11:31 pm     Reply with quote

I haven't owned as many guitars as a lot players here, but I love my Rittenberry's.
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2- Rittenberry D10's
Quilter Steelaire. Nashville 400. Session 500
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 12:19 am     Reply with quote

I take the question , which is the best , to imply all factors, not just tone.

regarding tone:

If we put 100 people in the same room, blindfolded, and had them listen to ONE player playing 10 different Steel guitars thru the same amp, my guess would be at best 10 people may possibly pick the SAME guitar (1) while the other 9 guitars and the other 90 people would be all over the map. It would be fun though ! Smile
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 12:39 am     Reply with quote

Desert Rose
Justice
GFI
Infinity
Sho-Pro
Mullen
Of the guitars that I've played!
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Desert Rose S-10 4+5,any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since the mid 50's
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 6:09 am     Reply with quote

Guitars I have owned and/or played that I really liked the way they played and build quality but not necessarily how they sounded was Mullen, Fessenden, Rains, Emmons LeGrande, MCI, EMCI, BMI, ZumSteel, Franklin, older MSA's and a rebuilt Emmons Push Pull by Bryan Adams that had 10 polished knee levers.

Pedal Steels that I've owned and played that sounded incredible but felt like I was in a fight all night long with was Sho-Bud (About 12 different models) and a couple of ZB Customs. I guess playability and tone can't be built into one particular guitar. Maybe it's all that work it takes to play it that gives it it's tone kinda like playing a punchy sounding upright bass compared to the easy playing electric bass. I would say the EMCI pedal steel came the closest on everything for me but you can't put split tuners on them because of the way the changer housing is built. I have not tried the newer stuff like Show Pro, New MSA's, new Sierra, etc. but would like too. Never played or even heard an Anapeg in person.
_________________
Emmons PP 8/10, Sho-Bud Pro ll 8/4, ZB Custom 8/4, MSA Classic 10/10, Fender 2000 10/2, Fender SF Quad Reverb, Fender BF Super Reverb, Fender Super Twin, Fender BF Vibroclone, Peavy Nashville 400, Peavy Nashville 1000, Peavy Session 400, Peavy Artist VT, Sho-Bud Christmas Tree
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 7:19 am     Reply with quote

Rich Upright wrote:
Russell Adkins wrote:
I have often read Sierra was such a great Guitar yet no mention of Sierra , im puzzled


Never heard a Sierra whose tone I liked, although they are built like the space shuttle.


Me either.
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Some anti-virus programs, like Trend and Norton, try to block my site and say it's malicious. It is not. Our computer experts on the forum have helped me and found nothing to worry about. It is safe to put in the exceptions list. See this post in Computers: http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=301399
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 9:48 am     Reply with quote

I got to watch Joe Wright a few years ago just killing it on a Sierra guitar,He got the most beautiful tone,I'm sure a large part was Joe but it was something else!!
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since the mid 50's
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Jerry Horch


From:
Alva, Florida, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 2:57 pm     Reply with quote

Franklin
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Franklin D10 /Walker Sterio Steel JBL's /DigiTech Quad4/ Korg Toneworks/ Dobro DM 1000 / Santa Cruz Guitar VA
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 5:42 pm     Reply with quote

Depends what you mean by best. In terms of build quality, I don't think you can beat the Emmons p/p, Franklin, ZumSteel, Mullen, Williams, Schild, Sierra, new gen and back as far as Olympic to my experience. Built like a tank with exacting tolerances.

In the 90's, lots of people played Sierra such as Emmons, Ron Elliott, Herby Wallace, Gene O'Neal et. al.
There are some clips on YT of these guitars being played.

In terms of Sierra tone, I can't see how anyone could not like this. https://youtu.be/J5Mx5lhreMY to address a couple comments, but I digress.

MSA also has a reputation for solid instruments all through their history. A friend of mine has a Legend and it's as good a guitar as you'll ever find and better engineered and built than some.

Eddie Fulawka's guitars were masterpieces as well.

I don't know enough about some of the more recent builds to comment on them.
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Johnny Cox


From:
Lives in Nashville, Missin Texas
Post Posted 30 Sep 2017 12:39 pm     Reply with quote

In no particular order but my personal favorites. I have owned and played all but Show Pro. I did order one but was forced to cancel due to financial circumstances.
Sho-Bud Permanent and Pro II
Emmons
Zumsteel
MSA Legend and Millinnium
Show Pro
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Johnny "Dumplin" Cox
"YANKIN' STRINGS, STOMPIN' PEDALS" & turnin' wrenches since 1967.
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 30 Sep 2017 1:33 pm     Reply with quote

MSA
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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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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 1 Oct 2017 9:08 am     Reply with quote

I love them all Smile
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