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Author Topic:  Why buy unseen?
Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 19 Jun 2014 8:32 am     Reply with quote

I bought a D10 guitar from Damir Besic last year. I needed a guitar in the USA to play at the Dallas show this year. Damir's photo's are virtually studio quality. I obtained a lot of detailed pics from Damir, who I know does not deal in inferior instruments. The guitar I purchased was in 9.75 condition, and I actually 'bought unseen'. It did meet much of Mickey Adams' criteria check list, but really I bought the guitar on Damir's reputation as a solid dealer.
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Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), Show Pro D10 - blueburst (9+5) Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,


Last edited by Ken Byng on 5 Nov 2015 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 20 Jun 2014 6:10 pm     Reply with quote

Ken, thank you so much for your kind words, I try to take as many pictures as necessary to present the guitar the way it is, I'm happy that you like your guitar, most of guitars I sell are priced reasonably, so buyer can get his money back if he decides to sell it, there is many things buyer may not like on steel guitar, pedal action, knee lever travel or position and so on... I guess its just something that comes with playing a steel guitar, when you buy an old Martin, there is really not much not to like, even if strings are little high, it is a easy fix, with steel guitars there is many different things that you can set up your way, and to your preferences... that is why I never complain when buying a guitar, it's just how it is... I remember when I bought my first Emmons push pull, I went back to Bobbe and complained about how stiff it is, and how the tone was too bright, and thin, lol...I remember Bobbe looking at me like I have lost my mind, it was an awesome guitar, but I didn't know any better, I realized the potential of that guitar first time I took it for a live gig, down to Tootsies, it kicked butt, it was one of the best sounding guitars I ever owned...

Db
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Lee Dassow


From:
Jefferson, Georgia USA
Post Posted 2 Oct 2014 9:03 am     Reply with quote

I bought once recently from someone on the Forum.
It came from the mid west And went to the east coast.
Bought and sold three times in about 15 months. I
was the 4th buyer. I figured it must have had problems and it did, but the price was fair. Being a BMI traveling around the country didn't hurt it. But the case took a beating. Personally I would rather go and look at The steels. Especially in the $900 to $1400 price range. I've bought five in 4 years in that price range. One on the forum, one on Ebay, The other 3 locally. 4 of them needed work one was fine.
So to sum it up you could say that I paid fair market value for them. It was a learning experience, and I enjoyed working on them. Tenn. Lee
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 31 Mar 2016 1:39 am     Reply with quote

I imagine someone said this above, I read several but not all..

Buying unseen vs seeing and touching each instrument we buy before we hand over the cash...that is an interesting concept but quite unrealistic. If we have the opportunity, sure, but if the instrument is 3000 miles away , then what ?

This gets back to both the buyer and seller communicating properly, asking the right questions instead of drooling over the name badge. There are a million things you can learn from photo's and from direct communication with the seller/buyer.

I have yet to find a forum member that I would not trust in a transaction, but , I have only dealt with a handful at best.

Due diligence is required.

Plus many folks here send a builder full payment for an axe that isn't even built yet and wait 12 months to touch it , Is that the same thing ?
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steve takacs


From:
beijing, china via pittsburgh
Post Posted 16 Jun 2016 7:23 pm     Reply with quote

I've only ever bought two new steels and the Sho-Bud was from Scotty. A long while ago I bought an new MSA at a shop in Pittsburgh and that was the only steel I'd seen and played prior to buying.

The rest (a bunch) were all purchased from Forum members and I've had good luck with each one of them. I know there have been some guys ripped off by Forum members. A seller now in France comes to mind, for example.

Still, my experience has shown me the vast majority of sellers here are honest. steve t
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 17 Jun 2016 10:08 am     Reply with quote

I've never seen a pedal steel guitar for sale in a shop of any kind. Ensuring that you play one before you buy it is okay if you happen to live close to a shop that specialises in them, but most of us don't. Crying or Very sad

I've bought several steel guitars over the years from eBay, from Forum members and from internet retailers, with varying results. Some of them were real dogs.

But between identical instruments there can be major differences. I used to own two Sho-Bud Crossovers that sounded completely different. I can remember going into a local music shop and playing a Guild 12-string guitar, and it was the greatest-sounding 12-string guitar I have ever handled, with wonderful action. A few years later I ordered an absolutely identical guitar direct from Guild, but it doesn't sound as good, or handle as well, as the one I played in the shop.
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steve takacs


From:
beijing, china via pittsburgh
Post Posted 17 Jun 2016 3:53 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, Alan, the days of the Sho-Bud shop on little Denmark Street in London seem to be over but perhaps there are other shops in London which do have pedal steels. stevet
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 18 Jun 2016 2:47 pm     Reply with quote

steve takacs wrote:
Yeah, Alan, the days of the Sho-Bud shop on little Denmark Street in London seem to be over but perhaps there are other shops in London which do have pedal steels. stevet
I didn't know about it at the time I was living in Birmingham, 1945-79, and now that I live in California it's too far away.
When I was growing up, steel guitars were almost impossible to buy in England. I started building my own lap steels in 1963, so that I could play like Don Helms, and never stopped. (Building, that is. I never did learn to play like Don Helms, but I'm still working on it.)Winking

One would think that there would be a pedal steel guitar store in the San Francisco area. If there is, it's news to me. Rolling Eyes
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Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 18 Jun 2016 9:35 pm     Reply with quote

Between 1970 to 2000 the UK had 2 main suppliers of pedal steels. ES Electronics in Maidstone, Kent, who sold mainly ZBs plus Emmons & Sho~Bud, and the Sho~Bud shop in London who sold mainly Sho~Bud plus MSA and others. A third company - Mucic Ground in the north of England - jumped on the bandwagon and dealt in pedal steels for a short period, but the father and son owners of this company were prosecuted and convicted for dealing in stolen international vintage guitars in a highly publicised case in the UK. Eric Snowball of ESE would continue to sell the occasional new Emmons guitar up to the time of his death in 2014.

I worked for both ESE and Sho~Bud (London) as a sales rep at separate times. They were extremely competitive price-wise, and anyone in the UK could have found a pedal steel at either company if they had just looked. They ran weekly adverts in Melody Maker and monthly adverts in Country Music People.

In their heyday, both companies sold vast quantities of guitars in the UK and Europe. I remember selling 4 pedal steels on one Saturday at the London shop, one of which was a Sho~Bud LDG to my pupil Sarah Jory and her father Arthur who was there to pay for it. Rolling Eyes Very Happy
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Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), Show Pro D10 - blueburst (9+5) Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
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steve takacs


From:
beijing, china via pittsburgh
Post Posted 19 Jun 2016 7:59 am     Style O from Denmark Street Reply with quote

This is off topic but I may have met you when you worked on Denmark St, Ken. I did buy a National Style 0 square-neck in the late 1970s but Ron Mawn sold it to me. Still have it and the memories of that shop and London in general.

There was a guitar shop next to the Sho-Bud shop or just a few doors down that had some fine guitars and basses. I think it was called Andy's. Here is the Style O




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Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 19 Jun 2016 8:12 am     Reply with quote

That's a fine guitar Steve. I didn't spend too much time at the shop as I used to bring customers there or meet them there. There is a thread on this site about the old Sho~Bud shop which is many pages long.

Ironically, Ron Mawn now lives a couple of miles from me on the outskirts of Southampton, some 70 miles or so away from London. He is keeping well, and is an outstanding steel guitar tech. I am blessed to have him and Dave Wheelhouse both in close proximity.
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Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), Show Pro D10 - blueburst (9+5) Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 20 Jun 2016 10:48 am     Reply with quote

Ken Byng wrote:
Between 1970 to 2000 the UK had 2 main suppliers of pedal steels ... They ran weekly adverts in Melody Maker and monthly adverts in Country Music People...
So I should have been aware of them for the period 1970-9. Unfortunately, there was no internet in those days and I didn't subscribe to either Melody Maker or County Music People, so I was completely oblivious to them.
Not that it would have made any difference. A pedal steel would have been way out of my budget in those days. Even after moving to California it was about 2004 before I was able to get my hands on one.
I did build my own pedal steel back in the early 70s almost entirely out of wood, with Mecanno parts. The rods were dowelling and the pedals were attached to the wooden frame with hinges. As you can imagine, it never stayed in tune. Laughing Embarassed
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Joshua Hicks


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 6 Feb 2017 3:29 pm     Reply with quote

Just adding a positive experience...I purchased a Zum Steel Encore this month. It plays and sounds great! Bill the guy I bought it off of put on pedal and leg extensions to make sure I could fit under it (I'm 6'6"). Very thankful for the forum and it's users!
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