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Post new topic ZB Pedal Steel Guitars - Please help!
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Author Topic:  ZB Pedal Steel Guitars - Please help!
Andrew Wright


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2015 7:45 pm     Reply with quote

I'm a pedal steel beginner. One of two pedal steels I picked up at an estate auction recently was a ZB custom. SN is 0477. Still trying to figure out exactly what I have. Lots of corrosion, and some serious squeaking underneath when I engage the pedals, but I think it's pretty cool.


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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 23 Sep 2015 1:37 pm     Double-Edged Axe Reply with quote

Set aside a couple of weeks to read this thread. Otherwise, here's the Reader's Digest version:

Unless you are master mechanic with NASA/JPL-level skills (and a lot of esoteric/specific ZB knowledge), make the acquaintance of someone who is.

ZBs are the Ultimate Tone Machines (my 40% of a nickel), but they're nothing for a neophyte or layman to fool with.

ZB specialists on the Forum include B. Greg Jones (Ohio), Kevin Hatton (NY), Billy Knowles (NC), Tom Bradshaw (CA) and I'll also recommend the Local SoCal Master of All Things Steel, Jim Palenscar.

Since you're a beginner (as I still am after 33 years), I would encourage you to make the D-10 a long-term project, and get something newer and less problematic to learn on. (If you have hundreds or a thousand or two for a complete refurb, full speed ahead.) You have more than enough on your hands learning to play one of these monsters without having to fight mechanical battles with the ZBeast With Two Necks. Zane Beck's (ZB) next brand was BMI and there could hardly be a more dramatic contrast. BMIs are elegant simplicity, easy playing, excellent sounding and usually attractively priced. They're still in production (although we lost Zane in the 80s) and there are numbers of used ones available.

I've had ten ZBs and after decades, I'm back to where I started: an S-10. The stupidest thing I ever did was letting a my first perfectly great S-10 get away because I got big eyes for a low-priced D-10. I've been where you don't want to go.
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B. Greg Jones


From:
Middleport, Ohio USA
Post Posted 23 Sep 2015 2:44 pm     Reply with quote

Andrew, based on the serial number that you gave, your ZB is a 72' or early 73'. It was built in Phoenix Arizona when Tom Brumley and Bill Sims owned the company. Ben is absolutely right, ZB's ARE tone machines!!!
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 23 Sep 2015 4:14 pm     Reply with quote

There not impossible to understand. Nice guitar.

I believe Andrew also posted the got a Sho-Bud at the same sale. He hit the jackpot.
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Alan Waslin


From:
Hull, England
Post Posted 24 Sep 2015 2:41 am     ZB Pedal Steel Reply with quote

Looks nice but it by the sounds of it lube in the right places may be a clean would like to see photos underneath
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building a pedal steel out of part from
C6 part Will be putting photo on forum later
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Andrew Wright


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 24 Sep 2015 3:08 am     Reply with quote

Appreciate the thoughts and advice, all! I may need to look up one of those experts at some point, but right now I'm hoping to just get it squeaking a bit less to help me make the decision on which of my new purchases to keep.

It was a good sale - there was an Emmons push/pull that went for less than it was worth at the same auction, but I'd bid as much as I felt safe.

Here's a shot of the innards.

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Bobby Burns


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 24 Sep 2015 4:48 am     Reply with quote

From all the visible rust, I'd say a very good cleaning and a bottle of Tri-Flo would help it greatly.
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Andrew Wright


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2015 7:50 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, I think so, Bobby. I don't know if I'm up for the disassembly/reassembly that it would require for the thorough cleaning, so that may well help make my decision for me! Wish there was a good steel guitar tech in the Indianapolis area for me to get an opinion on before I make the call to sell.
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Bobby Burns


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2015 8:29 pm     Reply with quote

Get a can of naphtha, a toothbrush, and a couple of rolls of paper towels, and scrub what you can with it assembled. Then apply the Tri-Flo to the contact points of every moving part. You won't have get get it perfect and shiny to notice an improvement.
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Tommy White


From:
Nashville
Post Posted 7 Dec 2015 9:52 am     Reply with quote

I've scoured back through most of this thread and can't find any definitive serial number date builds. Is there a list that I missed?
My guitar is serial number 0232. I've been told it is circa 1970. Rolene said she thought Tom built it in California.
Anyone?
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Bob Hamilton


From:
California Central Coast
Post Posted 7 Dec 2015 10:48 am     Dates Reply with quote

Sent you a PM.
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 7 Dec 2015 10:57 am     Reply with quote

classic beauty. i assume you got a great deal on it.
put some tri-flo on moving parts and start learning to play.
no need to invest money at this point in the game.
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Tommy White


From:
Nashville
Post Posted 7 Dec 2015 11:02 am     Reply with quote

Got it! Thanks so much Mr. Hamliton!👍🏻😊
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Bob Hamilton


From:
California Central Coast
Post Posted 7 Dec 2015 12:45 pm     Zb Reply with quote

anytime
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Russ Tkac


Post Posted 17 Dec 2015 4:52 pm     Reply with quote

Interesting ZB on ebay. Needs some work though. Smile

ZB Steel






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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 18 Dec 2015 1:48 pm     Reply with quote

Missing all the tops on the C6 changer. Kind of a mess underneath. The ZB logo looks like it was done with tape? Nice looking from the top though Smile
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Kevin Hatton


From:
Buffalo, N.Y.
Post Posted 18 Dec 2015 11:56 pm     Reply with quote

It's a basket case boys. Springs are all shot. Missing parts. The volume/tone electronics have all been pulled. The owner called me and wanted more than I knew it was worth. Needs a COMPLETE rebuild. He asked me if anyone famous played one and I mentioned Tommy. All of a sudden it's a Tommy White model. Not happy about that. I might call him on that. This guy is pissing me off. I have to apologize to Tommy. I'll never do that again. That's my fault. Seems like you can't trust anyone you don't know. That guitar is worth $500-$600 tops and only because I know whats involved with cleaning up the retched mess that someone butchered.
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Tommy White


From:
Nashville
Post Posted 19 Dec 2015 7:32 am     Reply with quote

No need to apologize Kevin. You did nothing wrong.
I just took a look at the liars ebay ad. He may be asking for
legal problems by another entity.
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2015 6:09 pm     Reply with quote

For reasons unrelated to ZBs or even pedal steels, the seller--and I'll happily mention and affirm his ebay handle of ratfart--is one of my least favorite people in the guitar universe.
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Kevin Hatton


From:
Buffalo, N.Y.
Post Posted 19 Dec 2015 8:18 pm     Reply with quote

By the way, he paid $800.00 for that guitar.
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Tommy White


From:
Nashville
Post Posted 21 Dec 2015 6:14 am     Reply with quote

He paid $799 too much!😄😂
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Billy Knowles


From:
Kenansville, N. C. 28349 usa
Post Posted 21 Dec 2015 6:29 am     Zb Reply with quote

agree with Tommy
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Kevin Hatton


From:
Buffalo, N.Y.
Post Posted 21 Dec 2015 11:37 am     Reply with quote

Ha,ha,ha!
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Lyle Clary


From:
Decatur, Illinois, KC9VCB
Post Posted 3 Jan 2016 4:10 pm     Reply with quote

My d10's serial number is 0154 bought in the fall of 1970. I was told by someone that it is a '69 made in California.
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10 3x4 Peavey Nashville 112 Peavey LTD 400 2014 Zum Encore Wood Grain 4x5 Stage One pot pedal
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 24 Jan 2016 6:02 pm     1969 ZB Time Capsule Reply with quote

I'd just spent the best part of an hour posting about The ZB Time Capsule For The Ages (s/n 0057). Then--and this NEVER happens--"Safari Quit Unexpectedly" and I've got bupkis to show for my efforts. (Steve Jobs is torturing me from the grave...while spell-check is obliterating my words from whichever corner of Hell it resides in...)

When I finally get tired of gnashing teeth and rending garments, I'll try to recreate the narrative, but for now some pictures:










(This is another reason why I bitterly grieve the loss of "Testing".)

Oh, and yes, I acquired it.
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