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Post new topic Sho-Bud Pro II - Pros and Cons??
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Author Topic:  Sho-Bud Pro II - Pros and Cons??
Jim Fogarty


From:
Phila, Pa, USA
Post Posted 12 Jul 2018 1:59 pm     Reply with quote

Hey,

Looking to possibly move from my Stage One up to an affordable D-10. I've seen a few Sho-Bud Pro II's in my budget.

What's the general consensus on these? Anything in particular.....or years.....to watch out for?

Likes? Dislikes?

Any opinion and experience most welcome.

Thanks!
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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post Posted 12 Jul 2018 3:35 pm     Reply with quote

Well there was about 4 different mechanical different "Pro-II" and "The Pro-II Custom" through the timeline of that model(1972-1984...ish)
along with other part and body differences...
So it would be a book you would have to study for a whole weekend..ha, for me to tell you all the pro's and Con's.....and differences.
So to cut it short....put a few links of the ones you are looking at in your budget and I can help you choose and why.
Ricky
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Ricky Davis
Email Ricky: sshawaiian@austin.rr.com
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Andrew Roblin


From:
Various places
Post Posted 14 Jul 2018 6:18 am     Reply with quote

Hi, Jim...

Sho-Bud Pro II's can be excellent playing and sounding instruments. I play a Pro II, and Professional and and Pro I.

Look for a Pro II with the barrel and two-hole puller mechanism (the rack and barrel mechanism is also very nice) and aluminum changer fingers. Those are the fingers that hold the string with a pin. NOT a slot, found on later Sho-Buds. The slotted changers are plated and often have not worn well.

Do a search of Sho-Bud and Ricky Davis, and you'll get a world-class education in these instruments. When you find one you want, I suggest you get Ricky to set it up. We're lucky to have his support here.

While you're looking, you can educate yourself with Forum searches to learn how to do routine Pro II maintenance once you have your instrument.

All the best, buddy.
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Billy Carr


From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 2:15 am     Psg Reply with quote

Piece of the Sho-Bud history. Heavy but that's not unusual for guitars built in that era. Lot of beautiful cabinets were made for Buds. Good luck.
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Dave Campbell


From:
Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 2:33 am     Reply with quote

there are a few main types of undercarriages for pro IIs. i'm trying to summarize forum info here, not all of this is from personal experience or first hand knowledge.

1) might be rack and barrel, though this is unlikey because most rack and barrels were called professionals, but you never know. great sounding system, little bit clunky.

2) might be barrel behind two hole pullers w/ aluminum fingers. a great combination of playability and sound. some call it the best sho bud mechanism.

3) two hole pullers, no barrels, aluminum fingers. seems these are rare. probably play a little smoother than #2.

4) two hole pullers, coated fingers. great sounding and playing, but the fingers are prone to wear. there are forum members who will make you aluminum tops for the fingers, or you can swap high use fingers (like 4) for low use fingers (like 9, or anything from the c6 neck).

5) super pro undercarriage. usually these are badged as pro II custom, but again, nothing really standard happened at sho bud. a lot of people are very unhappy with the quality of knee bracket parts. they can be replaced.

in my personal opinion, i would jump at anything from 2-4 (i own a 4 now). i'd consider a 1 for the right price, and i'm not so into 5.

a sho bud that hasn't been beat to death is, again in my opinion, a great steel. it's got mojo, looks good, sounds great, and is easy to work on and relatively easy to get parts for.

ps i learned most of this from reading ricky davis' posts, so do a little search for more info.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 7:57 am     Reply with quote

Play it for a while before buying.. Buds are fabulous sounding, geat looking , soft playing guitars, but after having owned a bunch of them over the past 42 years, I have found that some won't stay/play in tune as well as others...
Some you have to tune up constantly, at the keyhead, and the endplate.. OR, you can get one that stays in tune quite well.. There was/is an entire cottage industry that provided/provides "better" Sho Bud parts, and complete refits.. The first I am aware of was the original Duane Marrs Sho Bud conversions, that basically removed the Bud "drive train", and replaced it with better machined, better performing parts, and stabilized the undercarriage with aluminum frame reinforcement.. I will get flack and flame for these comments, but so many times, I have made a Bud my #1 on stage guitar, only to be disappointed again and again at a steel guitar, that needed to be tuned up mid set night after night, set after set.. A LOT of them are stable, there's no doubt at all about that, but among all those great looking, playing and sounding old Buds are some that simply won't stay in tune.. As Jim Palanscar once said to me over the phone- "Some pieces of wood have no business being in a pedal steel guitar"
We were discussing a Bud at the time.. I love Buds, they are among my favorite guitars, but if I ever buy another, I will play it for at least an hour r longer,, If I can't do that, I'll walk away... Just make sure it stays in tune before pulling the trigger.... bob
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no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 10:11 am     Reply with quote

There are a couple more factors regarding playability.

The earliest examples would have the wide Sho-Bud pedals. There are those who like them, but others (like me) who don't.

In the case of the '74 Bud I have, it also has the barrels behind two-hole pullers. Between the changer design and the two-hole pullers, there's no way to significantly change the timing of the pulls on a pedal (except by choice of string gauge), and very little flexibility in adjusting the pedal action (pedal travel required and/or stiffness). You only have one place to attach the pull rod at the changer and only one place at the puller. You have two choices of where to attach the pedal rod at each end--that's it. The easiest-playing pedal rod attachment points result in pedal travel much longer than on later Buds.

For me, the combination of the very long pedal travel and the width of the pedals makes the guitar hard to play, relative to my later Buds. I have to uncomfortably max out my ankle to rock between the A and B pedals, and even then the wide pedals make it hard to get all the way off a pedal while pressing the other one so far. I keep experimenting with different overall pedal height off the floor and relative pedal heights to try to find the golden setting, but haven't found it yet.

All that is, of course, subjective to me, and might not apply to you (editorial you) at all. But I just thought I'd throw my perspective into the mix for possible consideration, as it is not often expressed in my experience on the Forum, where this era of Sho-Bud is very popular. (Not without reason! My '74 sounds great, holds tune like a champ, and I love the round-front, rope-inlay look.)
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Andrew Roblin


From:
Various places
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 6:11 pm     Reply with quote

Brint...

Here's how Ricky Davis gets timed pulls on a Pro II:

Ricky Davis From: Buda, Texas USA
Post Posted 10 Apr 12 3:35pm
Here's a little tutorial I wrote a friend when he asked what all the springs are for...ha..
------------------------------
Yes all those lower springs serve a purpose�..not just in the lowering.
They are there also to stabilize the lower section when you raise a string.

Take for instance.

If you raise your 1st string say a whole tone on E9th�..>if you tighten the lower spring almost all the way�..>you will find that that raise with happen much easier and sooner; as making that lower section more tight�.>the raise section will move more freely.

AS for the strings that lower�..Yes you want the lower springs just tight enough so that the lower will come back to pitch�.> and maybe a couple turns just tighter�.so that it will not have to be adjusted again.

Also take for instance the 3rd and 6th string raise on the B pedal�..>you�ll notice that they don�t particularly move together; as it takes more travel and throw to pull the 3rd string up to pitch than the 6th string.

So to make them pull more even�..Loosen the lower spring on the 6th string half way�.and tighten the lower spring on the 3rd string almost all the way and leave the raise spring on�.>so with that what you are doing is stabilizing that 3rd string lower section very tight�so that the raise on the 3rd will happen more quickly and then it might move with the now lazier 6th string more so and taking the raise spring off the 6th string helps almost perfectly....but for sure if you use a .012p for the 3rd and .022w for the 6th; then they become dead perfect�..>make sense???

Also another trick��on those little Raise springs that are next to the body and attach to the raise portion of the finger and onto a bracket on the body of the guitar.

Those help strings raise�..so have them on the ones that raise��.and if you don�t have them on the ones that lower�.>than of course the lower will happen more freely and moreso��>so here�s another trick I have with them.

Take the 4th string and 8th string lowers�>well you�ll notice that they don�t particularly move together also�..cause the 4th string needs more throw/distance than the 8th. So to get them to move together better�..I like to take off the raise spring of the 4th�..and leave it on the 8th�..>so now the 4th will lower quicker and the 8th will drag behind a little cause the raise spring is on 8th and not on the 4th and the 8th will drag behind because of the raise spring inhibiting the lower��so now they will move better together�.

Ok there�s your little �Spring� lesson for the day�
Have fun.

Ricky
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Jul 2018 7:50 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, Andrew, I have seen Ricky's springs "lesson" on the Forum and in fact he has emailed it to me as well, and I have followed his suggestions. That's why I said There's no way to "significantly" change the timing of the pulls. Adjusting the springs may have made some difference, but as I mentioned the only thing, I think, that would make a substantial difference for me would be to change from a .022 plain to a .022 wound for the 6th string, which would mean giving up the 6th string whole step lower that I have used as a major element of my E9th playing since 1984. Even with his spring suggestions, with a .022 plain the 6th string change doesn't kick in on the B pedal till after at least 3/4 of the pedal travel. It's a minor sacrifice I make (on that guitar) to get the copedent I want.

But timing of pulls is less important to me than the ergonomic problem of being able to consistently execute the ankle-rolling dance on the pedals cleanly, without the foot sometimes being unable to fully release, or avoid pressing, the un-desired pedal resulting in out of tune harmonies. Not sure springs adjustments can help with that.

Again, maybe it's just me. Oh Well But for someone pondering which Sho-Bud to buy, my experience might be something to at least consider.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 16 Jul 2018 3:44 am     Reply with quote

[quote="Brint Hannay"]There are a couple more factors regarding playability.

The earliest examples would have the wide Sho-Bud pedals. There are those who like them, but others (like me) who don't.

In the case of the '74 Bud I have, it also has the barrels behind two-hole pullers. Between the changer design and the two-hole pullers, there's no way to significantly change the timing of the pulls on a pedal (except by choice of string gauge), and very little flexibility in adjusting the pedal action (pedal travel required and/or stiffness). You only have one place to attach the pull rod at the changer and only one place at the puller. You have two choices of where to attach the pedal rod at each end--that's it. The easiest-playing pedal rod attachment points result in pedal travel much longer than on later Buds.

For me, the combination of the very long pedal travel and the width of the pedals makes the guitar hard to play, relative to my later Buds. I have to uncomfortably max out my ankle to rock between the A and B pedals....
quote....

I have found the same thing as I got older.. As a young man, the wide pedals were perfectly comfortable to me, and as long as the guitar had good pedal action, and positive stops, Buds were pleasure to play.. However, as I got into my late 50's and early 60's, things had changed, and it became an effort to play wide pedal Buds.. Can't say why, but instead of being natural, I was aware of the effort to pivot my ankle, lift my foot high enough to clear the hump in the pedal when needed, as well as the stipples on the pedal surface.. It wasn't that I couldn't do it, I was just aware I had to pay attention to it, and it was distracting.. Not sure I could even play a wide pedal bud at 100% efficiency these days... bob
_________________
I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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