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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!
Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 25 Nov 2002 9:11 am     Reply with quote

bump-time!
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Chris Rohde


From:
Portland, ME, USA
Post Posted 25 Nov 2002 5:45 pm     Reply with quote

Larry - I tried to send a reply earlier - guess it didn't go through. I have a S10 ZB Custom with serial # 1092. Greg Jones said he thought it might be a '65 or '66 (I think). It has a red finish, and was made in Scranton, Arkansas. I bought the guitar about two years ago from a guy in New Hampshire, and I think he said he got it from someone in Arizona. Anyway, the guitar was originally set up with 5 pedals and either 1 or 2 knee levers (1 definetly original, hard to say with the other) - possibly for a C6 tuning? When I got it the guitar was set up with 3 pedals and 2 knee levers. I'm in the process of adding a 3rd knee lever (I got the parts, which were great, from Greg Jones, and he's been a huge help getting the guitar set up). Let me know if you want any other info; I'd definetly like to see what you come up with when you finish you ZB history.
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2002 12:30 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, Chris - great photos you sent me. Your guitar "fits" right into the info you sent over and posted here.

Happy T-Day and please keep the good ZB information coming.

zbguitarinfo@yahoo.com
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John Borchard


From:
Athens, OH 45701
Post Posted 29 Nov 2002 5:49 pm     Reply with quote

Hey, Larry, check out this 11-string ZB on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2384&item=924464626&rd=1

The auction is over but you might want to contact the buyer and/or seller for info. It seems a bit unusual as it appears to be built in an aluminum frame a la Fender 400s, etc. I didn't know ZB made anything like that. Perhaps Greg Jones or other knowledgeable persons could shed some light, eh?

John Borchard

[This message was edited by John Borchard on 29 November 2002 at 05:50 PM.]

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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 7:24 am     Reply with quote

Larry
My first steel was a red ZB 'Student' model, which I traded for a pro-model S10 on a single body. This had dark red-stained neck and aprons, with a maple top. I eventually sold this to Vic Collins (who then played with the Kursaal Flyers(!!)), and bought a D10 with maple top and mahogany-stained necks and aprons.

All this took place in England, by the way, in the '70s. The ZBs were imported by Eric Snowball of 'The Steel Mill' in Maidstone, Kent - I wonder if Eric still has records of all the steels he imported? For a number of years, ZBs were all we could buy over there.

I have a picture of me playing the D10 on a TV show with George Harrison - but, by then, I'd removed all the C6 stuff( ), and Gordon Huntley had made me a pad for its back neck.

I knew so little about steels then - I had a 'knee' lowering my 5th and 10th and, amazingly, the 'split' with my 'C' pedal ('Day') was perfectly in tune. When I sold the guitar and replaced it with a used Sho-Bud 'Pro III', I was dismayed to find that this change was out of tune! It was then I learned that I'd just been lucky with the ZB - there was no gaurantee that the 'splits' would work out!

After that, I went to LeGrandes, just to be SURE I'd get the 'split'.

We're moving 'house' right now - when I come across my old receipts, I'll see if I can let you have serial numbers and dates.

I miss my ZBs - they were like crafted furniture, and looked so beautiful. I haven't played one in fifteen years - I wonder how they'd feel to me now?

------------------
Roger Rettig
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 7:33 am     Reply with quote

John - I just checked out that 'E-Bay' link. After my previous 'post', that was like deja-vu! At a glance, it's identical to my first steel - the ZB Student with its red plastic shell set in the metal frame.

I'm amazed, though - I thought all the 'Students' were 10-string only....

I do remember that these were available in red, blue and black - there may have been other options, but I don't think so. The big selling point was that, unlike the other student guitars, the ZB' mechanics, while its body was somewhat 'utility' in character, were the same as the 'pro' guitars. It was quite possible to add pedals and 'knees' to them, 'though I suspect most chose to upgrade to a lacquer guitar.

I thought they sounded fine, but I was no judge back then! Two weeks after getting my first steel, I had the ignominous and humbling experience of having Buddy Emmons (then on tour with Roger Miller in the UK) walk in to the pub where I'd elected to perform my 'steel guitar debut'; I think he stayed to finish his drink, at least.....

PS: I bet I have a couple of '70s catalogs somewhere, too.

[This message was edited by Roger Rettig on 30 November 2002 at 07:45 AM.]

[This message was edited by Roger Rettig on 30 November 2002 at 08:15 AM.]

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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 10:13 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Roger and John -

I have a student S-10 (it's red w/ 3+1) and it sounds just fine. It's sitting at my girlfriend's house - she's a goooood girlfriend as neither I nor the steel have hit the pavement yet!.

Anyway, yes it does look very similar to the S-11 on Ebay and sounds identical to the one you had, Roger. It's the lightest ZB I own, too! Hee hee. The changer on the student models is the same as on the top of the line, and it keeps it's tuning well and also every one of the pulls is in tune!

Roger - I'd love to see photos and/or records of any ZB info you can find - especially if you have the serial numbers from your previous guitars and also photos of the catalog(s), esp. the dates, models and features inside. Any idea where I can find Eric Snowball?

Thanks so much! I'll let you all know what I find out.
larry

PS - I'd wish you a Happy T-Day, but I suspect it's not something that gets celebrated the same way as here in the States - accross the pond . . . (:
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 11:02 am     Reply with quote

Hey, Larry!

It's not Thanksgiving Day we have a problem with, it's that 'other' one near the beginning of July.....

As for Eric's whereabouts, I have no idea - I suspect that he's still in the Maidstone, Kent, area of southeast England. His business was also called 'E.S.E.' (or ES Electronics), but it's been over ten years since I saw him. Maybe some of the UK Forumites can help.

It'll be a few weeks before I can unearth anything, but I'll keep you posted - maybe you can send me a personal e-mail so I can 'log' your address. I think I still have the credit sale agreements on these guitars - maybe the serial numbers are on them.

Regarding the Student 11-string, I'm mystified as to how the plastic (or whatever composite it was) molding could accommodate the wider changer - surely they'd have all been mass-produced from the same template? I never saw an '11' before, though obviously any combination was available on the lacquer guitars.

------------------
Roger Rettig
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 11:40 am     Reply with quote

Roger,
I had a 10 string ZB student. It looked to me as if the plastic was vacuum formed over the top of the steel, so it would be quite easy to put plastic on an 11 stringer.
I had to sell the student, though, as the cabinet drop was insurmountable. It did have a typical ZB tone, and I was sorry to see it go, but at the end of the day, the tuning instability made it impossible to play.
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 30 Nov 2002 1:00 pm     Reply with quote

Hi, Richard

I bet mine had 'drop', too - back then, though, I'd have been convinced that the fault lay with the player!
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John Borchard


From:
Athens, OH 45701
Post Posted 2 Dec 2002 10:06 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Roger and Larry. You learn something new everyday, as they say.

John Borchard
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2002 11:07 am     Reply with quote

Just wanted to add that my Student Model ZB 3+1 has ZERO cabinet drop - as is the case with all of my steels. It stays in tune very nicely. I found with my guitar that, if the pulls are set up right with very little resistance and good balance, that the guitar plays as well as my pro-model ZBs. Sure, it take a little longer to setup and experiment, but the results are sure worth it. Pedal action is smooth and even and mmmmmmmZB!

Please keep the ZB info coming!
thanks
larry

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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 2 Dec 2002 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

Seriously, this time....

I don't remember having any tuning problems on my 'student' ZB - however limited my knowledge and technique may have been back then, my 'ears' have always been reasonably sharp - I think I'd have found it unacceptable if the guitar had been at fault in any way.

Doubtless, I would have exceeded my abilities on occasion and my intonation may have been wanting, but that's a different story! On my D10, I remember that I had a recurring problem when I pushed two pedals at once - it was sometimes a bit of a lottery as to where the strings would raise to! The guy that used to maintain my steel found the problem - there was a slight gap between the maple and the end-plate at the changer end; depending on climatic conditions, the end-plate would flex under the pressure, with a resulting variation in the 'raise'. He cured it by slipping a metal shim into the tiny gap. It was fine after that.

Could the wood have shrunk within the end-plates? It seems unlikely, but something happened to allow that gap to open.

------------------
Roger Rettig
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 12:32 pm     Reply with quote

BumpZeeBump.
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Pete Grant


From:
Auburn, CA, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 1:50 pm     Reply with quote

It makes sense to me that the student ZB would have less cabinet drop, since it's a metal frame not unlike the Fender.
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 8 Dec 2002 9:29 am     Reply with quote

ZeeBump.
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2002 3:17 pm     Reply with quote

Jingle ZeeBump!
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Patrick Ickes


From:
Upper Lake, CA USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2002 8:42 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Larry,
Are you/did you go to Sunshine's party. we got RAIN!!!!! and I smashed one of my pickin' fingers at work, so decided best to stay home. 3 hour drives turn into 5+ hour drives in this kinda weather. Sorry we missed you in Twain Harte. We felt honored and obligated to go to Van Atwell's 50th anniversary in Red Bluff Saturday.
Got any plans for the weekend after New Years?????
Pat
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 20 Dec 2002 9:01 am     Reply with quote

Hi Pat!

Yeah, we went to Sunshine's and it was great fun. No steels, but lots of banjos! We'll have to catch up and do some pickin' and grinnin' soon. (:

No plans for New Year's right now. Happy holidays!

More ZB info from the rest a'ya, please.
Happy Jingles!

zbguitarinfo@yahoo.com
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Chick Donner


From:
North Ridgeville, OH USA
Post Posted 20 Dec 2002 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

I notice that Jim Florence has mentioned my name here at leat once, so I thought I'd let you know that yes,I own a D-11-10 Zane Beck, serial # 0013, made in late 67 or early 68, and serial numbered as if built in Bakersfield, though I know Florence ordered them from Zane himself in Ark. His guitar was (is) a D-11 with eight floor and (originally) 2 knees. Mine is the 11-10 with 10 floor and 2 knees originally. I've added 3 more knees over the years. I think Jim's still has only 2. They are both red and white. If you needed pics, I took some at the Lexington show. I think Greg Jones might have taken some, too. I set mine up on Greg's table because of Jim Florence's BS claim that his was the only combat veteran ZB there; not so - mine was a combat veteran from a USO tour I did in RVN AFTER I got out of the Army. Had to visit old friends, doncha know.
Lemme know if you want copies of those pics. Jones may have already sent them to you, but if he didn't, gimme a shout.
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Henning Kock


From:
Odder, DK-8300, Denmark, Europe
Post Posted 22 Dec 2002 2:25 am     Reply with quote

21.dec.2002,
Hi Larry,
I got a single neck ZBcustom in.
I will try to make a photo of it soon. The endplates are covered in calf skin!!!
Very strange looking, but great sounding.
Kind regards
Henningいいいいいいいいいいいいいい
Henning Kock
(pedal steel guitar, piano, keyboards, vibraphone)
Henning K. Music
111 Aarhusvej
DK-8300 Odder
Denmark,
Europe
phone +45 8654 2959
--------------------------------------------
e-mail address: henningkmusic@hotmail.com
.........
webpages:
pedal steel guitar: www.geocities.com/Nashville/1520 www.steelguitardanmark.subnet.dk (information)
.........
piano & keyboard: www.sitecenter.dk/henning-kock www.danskmusik.com/dmfbook/selskab/html/henning_kock.html
.........
and for musical instrument products wholesale (to dealers): www.henningkmusic.subnet.dk
いいいいいいいいいいいいいいい
##############################
いいいいいいいいいいいいいいい


------------------
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 22 Dec 2002 9:21 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Chick and Hennig:

More info is good info! Happy Holidays!

As with everyone else on the Forum, I will send you all of what I find out!

Best,
larry

keep the ZB goodness coming -
zbguitarinfo@yahoo.com
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Patrick Ickes


From:
Upper Lake, CA USA
Post Posted 22 Dec 2002 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Larry,
What's Megan getting you for christmas?????
Hint hint....... http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum3/HTML/015430.html

Pat
PS Hope you guys can make it up here.
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Dave Van Allen


From:
Doylestown, PA , US , Earth
Post Posted 23 Dec 2002 12:33 pm     Reply with quote

dang... that's purty. If I hadn't made that remark in another thread about being satisfied with what I got now....

mmmmmmm, ZB-a-licious
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Larry Chung


From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Post Posted 30 Dec 2002 1:19 pm     Reply with quote

The last ZBump of 2002!
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