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Author Topic:  Question about Steel resale value
Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 2:35 pm     Reply with quote

Curious what peoples opinions are. A steel manufacturer recently announced that they would no longer service steels not purchased directly from them. How does that affect resale value? Personally I would be hesitant to buy a used steel if the manufacturer no longer serviced it. Is that fear unfounded? Are there 3rd party sources that will service most steel models?

Example might be the old Carter Starters. Are people still servicing those?
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 3:41 pm     Reply with quote

It wouldn't bother me...

There are plenty of independent guys/shops out there still servicing these instruments. And, even if the parts aren't available, anyone with a decent mill/lathe setup can manufacture the needed parts.

Over the past year, I added 4 knees/pedals to my 70's Sierra, milled/created all the parts by hand.
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Ken Campbell


From:
Ferndale, Montana
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

Bill,

My own opinion is that Jerry is fully justified in his announcement. He has business to run and that business is predicated on building and selling a product. Asking for warranty type work as the buyer of a second hand instrument would be like asking for the same for a used car. That said, I'm sure Jim Palenscar and a score of other reputable craftsmen will work on Fessenden guitars.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 6:55 pm     Reply with quote

Actually, Jerry said:

Quote:
I will be limiting service for guitars that I did not sell originally.
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Joseph Napolitano


From:
New Jersey, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 7:01 pm     Reply with quote

Quite a few builders are no longer with us.
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Dave Stroud


From:
Canyon, TX
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 12:32 am     Reply with quote

Maybe I'm a bit funny, but I didn't see anything in that post suggesting he wouldn't service one of his steels (as in send in the steel for paid repairs). The way I read it, he was referring more to courtesy over-the-phone support for secondhand owners. The kind of support you could expect from being the original owner.

In the past few years, I've called Jerry twice about my secondhand steel. Once for a quote on a new body, and once to ask how to secure a loose cross-shaft. I admit, I was mildly embarrassed to call him about the cross-shaft, because I realized afterwards that I probably could have asked about it on the forum instead, and saved him the trouble of helping me. But he did so anyways, and I was very grateful for that. It's important to remember that steel builders don't get compensated for giving support to secondhand owners. It's also important to recognize when someone is helping you and there's nothing in it for them!!!


Last edited by Dave Stroud on 5 Dec 2017 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dave Stroud


From:
Canyon, TX
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 12:38 am     Reply with quote

And by the way... Fessendens are very easy to service. I completely disassembled and reassembled my 9x6 D10, and it wasn't too bad doing it my first time.
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 2:30 am     Reply with quote

I suppose we could also look at it this way; If I'm playing that guitar onstage, I'm also providing "free" advertising for said company. Maybe it wouldn't be too much to ask to get a little free advice...

I don't mean an hour long phone consultation, but a couple of questions shouldn't be too off-putting. That said, I am also in business for myself, and I certainly do know what it's like to get "those" phone calls, looking for free advice...it's a two edged sword... Cool
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Scott Duckworth


From:
Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 4:09 am     Reply with quote

IMHO, If the manufacturer would not service the item, even if I bought it used and was willing to pay for service, I would not buy the item, or even consider a new purchase of said item.

I have nothing against the man or company in question, my statement applies to anything I would buy.

And, to me, service applies to parts availability also.
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Sean Borton


From:
Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 5:48 am     Re: Question about Steel resale value Reply with quote

Bill McCloskey wrote:
Curious what peoples opinions are. A steel manufacturer recently announced that they would no longer service steels not purchased directly from them. How does that affect resale value? Personally I would be hesitant to buy a used steel if the manufacturer no longer serviced it. Is that fear unfounded? Are there 3rd party sources that will service most steel models?

Example might be the old Carter Starters. Are people still servicing those?


As for the old Carter Starters (or Carters in general) Al Brisco at Steel Guitars of Canada has all of those parts and is servicing those.

Steel manufacturers are all small business' run by proprietors that love the instrument. I doubt anyone gets rich off of making steels - it's more a labor of love. Their time is limited, and I suspect they would like to reserve that time for their direct customers. I don't see anything wrong with that. I doubt anyone is turning their back on support, just trying to make it as manageable as they can for themselves.

Not to mention - there are many great steels out there in which the company is no longer around to service them. In time any given steel builder will no longer be around to offer support and parts.

Just my opinion.


Last edited by Sean Borton on 5 Dec 2017 5:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 5:58 am     Reply with quote

Jerry is absolutely in his right to run his business the way he wants. I don't know Jerry and have never talked to him. But recently I was looking at some of the 6 string pedal steels like the Hudson and Fessenden's model as a way adding a pedal steel as a dobro player and lap steel player. I am not mechanical by any means, and the last time I tried Pedal Steel, I found it confusing as hell and relied on the folks at MSA to help me out. Before I'd get involved again, I would really need to know that I could rely on the manufacture to help me out whether I bought it new or used. It is one of the reasons I wouldn't buy a used Carter Starter. I need some handholding. Smile

I'm much more used to the dobro and lap steel world. I have a number of Beard dobros, some bought new and some bought used. Paul Beard has always been helpful, even spending a half hour on the phone with me when I was considering buying a Dobro brand (not even his guitar), and whether it would be a good buy or not. As a result, I'm pretty loyal to that brand and own 4 Beard resonators. Bill Asher has always taken time out any time I called him to discuss any issues I had with his instruments.

The same with MSA. Back in the day, i bought a number of superslides and an used MSA universal pedal steel because of Reece and his willingness to answer all my dumb questions. I mean Reece offered to put me up in house if I ever passed through town. Not sure I'd try again without someone like Reece around that I knew I could call anytime and who always seemed happy to hear from me.

I think I'll just stick to the non-pedal world. Smile
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 7:27 am     Reply with quote

Most of the time I can fix little things,But if it's something major I will find someone ,There are a few people around who can work on anything Jim Palenscar in Oceanside Ca.Billy Cooper in Va. Chuck Back in Tucson.Jon Light lives close to me and saved my musical life a few weeks ago,The guys at the Steel guitar shop in Nashville Buck Reid,Sho Pro Jeff Surratt just to name a few who would be able to fix just about anything.
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Last edited by Stu Schulman on 5 Dec 2017 11:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dave Stroud


From:
Canyon, TX
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 10:23 am     Reply with quote

I'm still confused as to why anyone believes Jerry is not accepting any repairs on secondhand Fessendens.

If you look closely at the language used, it doesn't imply that. Look at the word choice and the examples he gives.

He states: "I will be limiting service for guitars that I did not sell originally."

Instead of: "I will no longer service any steels I did not sell originally."

At this point in his statement, the term "service" could mean a few different things. It could mean accepting calls for free advice, or it could mean accepting requests to repair a Fessenden for fair compensation.

In the next two sentences, Jerry elaborates specifically as to which kind of "service" he is limiting.

He continues:
"Since the beginning , I have offered advice and many times spent hours on the phone with a person that bought a guitar from another source. Sometimes even giving parts away , or even sending parts at my expense."

Still, nothing suggesting that Jerry will reject paid service at the secondhand-owner's expense to work on an old steel.

Jerry goes on to further clarify his point, by giving an example of a person who, it appears, never had the intent of having his guitar sent in for paid service.

"The latest guy from Pa, has called about 10 times with a 27 yr old guitar , wanting to know when I changed my design, etc . Then he has been changing pickups and letting me know his "expertise" on guitars. Then the email I sent telling him I would be gone for a few days , to do business in Canada , got a reply stating that he had called the house , was told I was in the shop , Canada was a good place to hide out , and the steel should have been done "right" in the beginning ."

Again- what kind of service does Jerry appear to be limiting?

His last statement says:
"In the last few days , I've talked with other builders and repair people , and they seem to think this is where they have to be , as well."

This implies that other builders might already be limiting the 'free advice' type service to secondhand owners. Otherwise, the other builders would be coming out and making official statements themselves.

Find me one sentence with context in there suggesting Jerry won't be accepting paid repairs anymore and I'll rest my case.
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 10:45 am     Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the clarification if that is the case. That isn't the way I interpreted it. The phrase "limiting service" is pretty vague without a clear understanding of what that means, at least for my feeble brain. And honestly, a little intimidating for us non-mechanical newbies to pedal steel. I'm the kind of guy who only puts gas in his car and pays someone to do everything else. Smile

This whole thread has made me realize pedals are not in my future.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 4:25 pm     Reply with quote

Bill, I would not let it put you off. There are plenty of people who love to work on these (I am good, and cheap, but not quick: I have only a day or two at home each week, and will spend a lot of time with my wife. I'll work on a customer's guitar in my limited time, and I discount the fee to reflect the glacial speed) who'll provide needed services to those who don't want to wrench on them themselves.
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 4:44 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Lane. I fantasize from time to time about adding pedals. At heart I am an acoustic dobro player, who dabbles in lap steel. Looking at the six string pedals always gives me a Jones to explore pedals. But then I look at the mechanics, and I freeze.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 5:00 pm     Reply with quote

Then just play the top side
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More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Ken Pippus


From:
Lake Oswego, OR
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 10:48 pm     Reply with quote

If you do need to work on one, the Fessenden is about as easy as it gets. Jerry was very helpful when I called for assistance on a used one I owned about ten years ago. I didn’t try to convince him I knew more about the guitar than he did, though!
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 6 Dec 2017 1:23 am     Reply with quote

interesting, but I guess none of us would be playing Sho Bud's or Emmons Steels either. As well as several other well known and major brands.

I seriously doubt many people returned instruments to a manufacturer for repair or service, not that they never have, but thats probably NOT the normal .

There are plenty of very qualified guys with facilities that can handle ANY Steel for a major repair or restoration.

A manufacturer being out of business for me, has zero influence on a purchase. What does influence any purchase for me would be a complete factory guitar, no additional Rube Goldberg homemade extra parts to make it functional.

It should also be recognized that not all factory guitars are exactly the same either. So it's possible that we may compare 2 or 3 from the same manufacturer , same time period, and they may be a tad different, but they are each still factory guitars.


While it should not be expected that everyone can or should be able to work on a Pedal Steel, All Pull or Push Pull, it should be well known by now that we have many in our community that can and will do an outstanding job of repair or rebuild.

If we are talking about a common well known brand of Steel, resale will not be effected. By now we should know which brands are not effected and which will most certainly be effected. For ex, Emmons, Sho Bud vs Miller.
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 6 Dec 2017 10:51 am     Reply with quote

Tony,

I'd say many people drive vintage cars and know how to strip them down and rebuild them. I'm not one of those folks. When I buy a car, I buy a new one with a warrantee and I take it to someone to change the oil and tune it up. being mechanically challenged is a curse I have to live with. Wink
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 6 Dec 2017 11:17 am     Reply with quote

I hear ya Bill, I'm pretty mechanical and technical, I'm not afraid of most projects within reason, but I still bring my car to an oil change joint ! Very Happy
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