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Post new topic New player here with rus-ler 3x1 tuning question
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Author Topic:  New player here with rus-ler 3x1 tuning question
Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 11:43 am     Reply with quote

John Law wrote:

There's four holes on each finger that the rods attach too....how do I know which hole to attach the rod.



Let's keep our terminology consistent. Those are the pullers or the bellcranks. The hole furthest away from the body of the guitar will give you more rod movement. So if you want increased action, yes, you can choose those holes. But first I'd look to see if the lever can and should move more via a lever-stop adjustment.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 11:59 am     Reply with quote

I just found the C pedal stop and loosened it. It was definatley a problem. I'm going to change angles on the lever bellcrank now.
Yes I need to get the lingo down..thanks!

By tight and loose I think I just need to work on pedal height. Right now the b pedal is hanging lower .

Thanks Jon!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 12:02 pm     Reply with quote

Cool.

Mostly, pedal height is adjusted down where the pedal connects with the pedal rod. Most modern guitars have threaded thingamabobs on the rods at the quick-connects that can screw/unscrew to set pedal height.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 12:02 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Bob, I'm an 8 hour drive from Al at steel guitar Canada.
Going to do some more work on it now. I feel I'm getting close with all the help around here!
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 12:05 pm     Reply with quote

Working on the thingamabobs now! Thx
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

John Law wrote:
I'm an 8 hour drive from Al at steel guitar Canada.


That's a long drive, but it will be worth it to get the guitar set up right. Even if you have to make the trip twice, once to drop it off and again to pick it up.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 1:55 pm     Reply with quote

John,
You could contact Chuck Back, who, builds Desert Rose Steel guitars. He has many parts for RusLers. In fact, many of his early DR steels where RusLer parts. He can tell you exactly what to do.
I own an S-11 RusLer with 5/4. I'll take a look see underneath and explain where the rods go into the bellcrank holes and the changer holes. I've had mine, new, since 76' and it never gave me a problem. It's got a ton of playing time and miles on it, but, still sounds and plays great.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 3:31 pm     Reply with quote

Hi John,
That's a beauty!
I have the a b and c pedal all tuned up. I need to figure out the 1 knee lever now. It's got me a little baffled. My pedals also need some work too with height and feel. I've come a long way today another few hours and I should have it lol.
I guess I should look up Chuck and ask him a few things soon. Thx.

Here's a pic of the only marking I found underneath. It's got an 11 but not sure what the other letter is.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 9:52 pm     Reply with quote

After working in it all day and night I've got the steel playing great. All pedals and lever in tune and sounding awesome. Now I can get to learning how to play Smile
Thanks a ton for everyone's help here on the forum!!
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 11:50 pm     Reply with quote

Good work and the best of luck with it!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 13 Feb 2018 3:18 am     Reply with quote

Excellent! Good job. And you learned a ton in the process.

When the time and the need comes, know that things such as the choice of holes in the bell crank and the changer, combined with the adjustment of the pedal and lever stops can serve to fine tune the mechanical operation. You have much better things to do right now than to keep mucking with the undersides of this steel but should you find, for instance, that one pedal has a much longer throw than another, starting too high and stopping too low, (and considering how out-of-standard this steel was when you started, this certainly might be) and considering that much conventional steel playing will involve the use of two pedals together, and considering that octave strings such as 5 & 10, 3 & 6 want to arrive at their destinations at the same time, this fine tuning may be something you will find the need to delve into.

As I said, this is important stuff to know but if the steel is operating well enough, more important is simply playing it. 35 years ago the Winston/Keith book got me from WTF to a very quick sense of what strings and what pedals get you instant gratification and a vague feeling of understanding. Highly recommended.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 13 Feb 2018 6:15 am     Reply with quote

Thanks John and Jon,
I learned way more than I set out to know about this instrument and I'm sure there's alot more to discover. I have ordered the Winnie Winston book and can't wait to get going at it. Sure am glad I joined this forum first...it saved my pedal steel life!
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Wayne Quinn


From:
Cape Breton.NovaScotia
Post Posted 13 Feb 2018 7:49 pm     Reply with quote

Hey John. your avatar says your in Ontario .if so get in touch with Al Brisco, at Steel Guitars Of Canada.905-355-3056, he is at 566 Dudley Road in Colborn ontario . i am sure Al would reconfig it for you to the co-ped that most use to day for E9th tuning. Smile
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John Brock


From:
Xenia, Ohio
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 10:04 am     Rus-Ler Reply with quote

Mr Light is correct. Here are some pics of the underside of mine if they help any. Good luck..carry on.




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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 3:24 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics John. I guess my question now would be what holes in the bell crank
do I put each rod in? Is that all about pedal feel or is there a method that I should know? Like yours theres four holes in each. I've tried a couple different combinations and so far the steel is playing pretty good.
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Pat Chong


From:
New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 4:34 pm     Reply with quote

Hi John,
What to consider as to which hole you use is: How much does the rod have to move?
The farther OUT the hole is, the more movement you have, but the stiffer the pedal becomes*. The closer in you go, you get less movement but the pedal is easier to move. You balance it with the pedal stop screw, too.

For example, you might look at one of the rods. It is all in tune, but there is too much play before the string starts to change. Too much movement! Use a hole closer to the shaft. If you are at the closest hole, then reduce the movement (adjust stop screw for less movement) Retune, and test.

You'd want all the "pedal-feel" to be easy, but it becomes a balancing act. It's all leverage you are working with, but you'll gain understanding as you go. Anyway, I am happy for you, that you got it all taken care of in a day! Happy playing.

.................................Pat

* As an example, just look at the operation of the bell crank as you push the pedal. You will see that the closer the hole is to the shaft, the less movement it has, farther away, more movement.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 5:49 pm     Reply with quote

Great explanation. Thanks Pat
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 15 Feb 2018 2:19 pm     Reply with quote

Unless you've got a pedal stiff enough that you need to call the neighbor over to help you push it, I wouldn't worry about that right now. That's a user preference thing that you can deal with once you establish a preference.

However, to elaborate on what I mentioned earlier:

If your pedals are reasonably level, at rest, but when you step on the A & B pedals together, one bottoms out while the other needs to go a lot lower to hit its stop -or- it hits the floor so you raise the pedal at the quick connect rod end and now it sits a lot higher than the other ---- this is a scenario that would call for shortening the overall throw of that pedal by adjusting the pedal stop and compensating for that reduction in pull by gaining more leverage with a different bellcrank hole and/or changer hole.
btw--pedals being level is not necessarily a standard. As you learn to roll your ankle on the AB combo you can decide how you want to set the pedals relative to each other.

-and-

If you slowly squeeze any one of the pedals and the two pulls on each pedal (B strings, G# strings, B & E strings) reach their pitch at very different times, again, this is a case for changing leverage. Every change you make in leverage may require a change in pedal stop.
I refer you to the sticky up top about overtuning because this becomes a very large possibility when you are messing with the pull train and possibly losing track of your rod slack. Once you lose that and enter overtuning territory, it is all too easy to waste way too much time trying to figure out what's wrong before you realize what's up.
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John Law


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 16 Feb 2018 8:12 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great insight Jon. I think as I get some playing hours under my belt I'll make some more adjustments. So far it's playing pretty good and I think it's a pretty nice steel. Im now digging into the bill keith book that came today!
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 16 Feb 2018 8:55 pm     Reply with quote

Congratulations John! Your mechanical expertise and understanding has allowed you to accomplish adjustments and repairs that many would find daunting.

Not to discount Jon's excellent instructions and tutoring of course. You could not have received better direction and advice and likely might not have been able to do it otherwise.

I've been following your thread and progress from the start. I'm glad that everyone elected to lay back and let Jon lead you through this. That avoided a lot of potential confusion. Sometimes through our eagerness to help, we unintentionally muddy the waters.

Like Jon said, if the guitar is feeling and playing good, just concentrate on learning to play it for now. Now that you're familiar with the mechanics, you can attend to issues as they come up. I'm sure Jon or any one of us that has the knowledge will be happy to help you where needed.

Good job and much success with your steel guitar journey.
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