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Post new topic How does a Multi-Kord changer work?
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Author Topic:  How does a Multi-Kord changer work?
Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

From what I've learned, the Multi-Kord changer was the first split finger all-pull raise and lower changer invented. (or at least patented) I've scoured the forum search but haven't been able to dig up a good diagram or animation of how this changer actually raises and lowers. Looking at the original patent sheds light on the construction but not how it pivots. Any ideas?


https://patents.google.com/patent/US2458263A/en?q=pitch+change+string+guitar&before=priority:19471231&after=priority:19470101
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 8:48 pm     Reply with quote

It's a little different from the patent drawing. There is one connection on the bottom for each pedal; each pulls down one of 4 bars that run across spring-loaded levers that are connected to the strings

The bars have a pair of holes for each string; one for a raise and one for a lower. A bolt is inserted in whichever hole is to be used for that string and pedal. It's screwed down until the proper pitch change is reached.

Each pedal can raise or lower one or more strings. As I recall they're limited to half-step changes.

There are adjusting nuts on the bottom to assist with pedal height and travel.

That's most of it. Here's a picture of the top of the changer (before being cleaned up!)





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Stephen Williams


From:
from Wales now in Berkeley,Ca, USA
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 9:30 pm     Reply with quote

It's a very interesting idea. Mainly because you can change the co-pedant by turning some screws.

I see no reason it can't have more than four bars. So for 6 pedals say and 4 knee levers say you would need 10 of the 1/4" square bars. Would take up a lot of space at the right end but I see no reason the bars and the changer fingers couldn't be set vertically. I think there was a steel guitar like this at one time.
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Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 27 Nov 2017 4:52 am     Reply with quote

From what I know it seems that the short lived Fender 210 was a refined version of this type of changer concept.

What I really want to see is how the fingers pivot to achieve the raise and lower functions. It must be similar to the way a modern finger is able to reverse direction via a rivet pivot, but this design seems to do all of that up near the fulcrum rather than halfway down the finger.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 27 Nov 2017 11:56 am     Reply with quote

There are some old threads about the Fender PS210 here and on my old Fender Pedal Steel Forum (now "retired" in lieu of the Facebook page - but still usable for research). As I recall it was quite different.

And yes, they can have more bars. The 6-pedal version has six. Razz

The levers are essentially "fingers" and work in a scissoring action. Again, wherever (and how deep) you insert the bolts a lever will be pressed down, raising or lowering a string.

Fender cable pedal steels also have scissoring fingers but are very different in the way they work.
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 27 Nov 2017 4:59 pm     Reply with quote

Good to see you back Jim!
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Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 6:25 am     Reply with quote

Jim, do you have any photos of a disassembled changer from a Fender 800 or 2000? I want to see and understand how those scissors look and function - especially since they are double raise and lower.
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Kristen Bruno


From:
Orlando, Florida, USA
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 10:07 am     Reply with quote

You might want to look at this video I made for a multikord a few months ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lClefP3a16U&t=513s


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Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 3:09 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks- but that doesn't show me how the fingers mechanically pivot and do what they do. Still looking for that video or animation. The video after yours dispels the idea that these can't be set up and played like a pedal steel though. Doesn't look too comfortable, but where there's a will there a a way.

https://youtu.be/FA0PXTJ1UGE
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Stephen Williams


From:
from Wales now in Berkeley,Ca, USA
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 4:46 pm     Reply with quote

If you look at the link provided by the OP, you can see how it works by looking at the patent drawings.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 1 Dec 2017 5:17 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
do you have any photos of a disassembled changer from a Fender 800 or 2000? I want to see and understand how those scissors look and function - especially since they are double raise and lower.


Unfortunately no - but I'll ask around, You might also check with the gang on the Facebook Fender Pedal steel page. It's taken over from my now-inactive Fender Steel Forum.
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Willis Vanderberg


From:
Petoskey Mi
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 11:38 pm     Reply with quote

Greg. Just for your information the MultiKord can be played as a pedal steel and not just a chord changer. It requires both feet on the pedals. I played one for three years back in the fifties. My late friend Gene Mears was about as good as you could get on the Multi kord. He could play all the Ralph Mooney licks and also played a few of Jerry Byrds numbers. I can not remember about the lowers but you could get a double raise. It was very easy to play anything you could play on your modern steel using the A and B pedals. I had an eight string with six pedals. We controlled volume and tone with the right hand. At that time the E9th had not been invented yet. I used a variation of E turnings . Sometimes E 13th and sometimes E 7 th. Anyway it was an interesting time in my limited career....lol
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 3:21 am     Reply with quote

If I remember correctly Danny James told me he converted his to rods and got rid of the cables.
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Don Drummer


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 7:00 pm     Multy chord Reply with quote

I used a gibson multi chord using strings eight thru one like a ten string. It was easy to get an AB pedal set up with that changer system. It was called a Gibson Multi-Harp. I never could figure out how to lower string pitches however
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Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 6 Dec 2017 5:21 am     Reply with quote

I don't ever plan to get a multikord and play one, my interest is in learning how it and the Fender 800 changers worked mechanically to achieve raises and lowers.

The steelguitar.com website shows animated drawings of push pull and all pull changers in action. I would really like to see that type of animation demonstrating the multikord changer and the Fender 800/2000 changer.

I looked at the multikord patent but my brain just cant process from the drawings how it actually pivots. I don't know if the Fender changers were patented and/or if there are any drawings/videos of their raise/lowering process in action to study. ??
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2017 2:49 pm     Reply with quote

Post the Fender question on the Facebook Fender pedal steel page. I know I have seen a GIF of the 800 changer before - that would be your best bet as cable-pull Fenders are the ONLY topic there!

I have never seen any "pivot" info for the Multi-Kord, as the only pivot is the one I described above. It'd pretty clear and simple if you have one in front of you. I don't know what to tell you as far as "abstract visualization" goes. I'm afraid you're on your own.
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Greg Gefell


From:
Farmington, NY
Post Posted 7 Dec 2017 3:13 pm     Reply with quote

Will do. Thanks Jim.
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Stephen Williams


From:
from Wales now in Berkeley,Ca, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2017 7:29 pm     Reply with quote

Greg, if you look at sheet 1 of the patent drawings press on pedal #39 pulls cable #37 which pulls on square bar #27 or #28. Each of those bars has holes for screws. If you put a screw in there when you press on the pedal the screw will push down on the finger.(see next paragraph)
Now on sheet 2 you can see the raise changer finger #18 which can be depressed by the bar #27 or #28. There is an axle #22 which goes through both raise and lower fingers.
On sheet 3 you can see the raise finger #18 and the lower finger #19. These actually are adjacent to each other.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 8 Dec 2017 6:07 am     Reply with quote

I could follow that, Stephen. These are old drawings and have some confusing things drawn such as to be more creatively descriptive and would be explained in the long long text.

The axle at 17 is the pivot about which the string receiver assembly 16 rotates. The assembly is held in place by a stud 23 on the lower finger, and the lever rotates about the main axle 22, forcing the pitch to raise [fig 9].

Lowering [fig 8], the stud moves independently of the raise finger and the string assembly rotates about the axle 17.

It's really ingenious, and the changers didn't have pitch drop.
The guitars had a lovely sound, maybe more mellow than PSG's, but very nice.
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