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Author Topic:  Excel Superb
James Quackenbush


From:
Pomona, New York, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2018 11:08 pm     Reply with quote

I’m sure I’m not the only person to have a problem with the third string on a few different model pedal steels.....The problem was a few things...

1). On a longer scaled instrument the tension was so close to the 3rd strings breaking limit that it didn’t take much to break a string....

2). The design of the hardware of the pedal steel needed improvements.....

3). The strings were wound so that the windings of the string would cut into itself and the string would snap....

Certain,but not all brand strings could be used.......The 25+ scale length steel had a lot more tension than than the lesser scale length steels, but they had a punchier tone,especially on the lower strings of a U12....No muddy low end !!!

Question.....Does anyone have a later model Excel Superb U12 with a 25 1/2 inch scale that has no issues with the pesky 3rd string ?

I see that Sierra has dealt with the issue, just wondering if Excel has....Thanks,Jim
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Mike Vallandigham


From:
Martinez, CA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 8:27 am     Reply with quote

I have a 2008 or so S12 e9/c6 Superb. It's a long scale

I have had issues with the third string. breaking at the keyhead.

I found on my guitar that when you crank that tuner down to take up all that stretch, the geometry of the finger hole (that the ball seats in) cause the string to contact a sharp corner and basically cut the string. I used a tiny file and some sandpaper wrapped around a stick to take that sharp corner off (made a smooth groove)

Works great, no more problems.

Another way to avoid this (should do this anyway) is to pre-stretch the string. That way you don't have to crank the tuner down so far - thus avoiding that sharp corner.

I take the string ball, place it over a nail in my vice, then grab the other end of the string with vice=grips and stretch that sucker out. You need half the tuner travel to tune up to pitch if you pre-stretch.

And of course, make sure you pull them tight as you can when locking the string in place for the first time.

I also have a 2018 short scale Superb, the tuners pull straight down (not pivot). This works best.
On the newer guitar, you can release the lock on the changer finger and re-tighten the string. So if the string stretches too much, you back off the tuner head and re-tighten the lock on the finger to remove slack. Then tune up the keyhead again. Slack gone.

Cheers!
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James Quackenbush


From:
Pomona, New York, USA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 10:03 am     Reply with quote

Hi Mike ,
Thanks so much for the reply ...... so it sounds like the newer 2018 set up is a better set up ..... i’d like to order a new U12 but want to make sure that the third string is not going to break on me ..... i’d also like to make sure that I could use just about any brand of strings on the steel without string breakage ..... thanks again for your help and information much appreciated .......Jim
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Larry Allen


From:
Anchorage,Alaska & Kapaa,Hawaii
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 11:20 am     Reply with quote

Hello James, I have 4 Excels, long scale, never broke a string? I use Live Steel and NYXLs, .012 on the 3rd..only FYI...Larry Very Happy
_________________
Excel, Sho-Bud, Quilter & Peavey amps, Cadillacs, Mercedes
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James Quackenbush


From:
Pomona, New York, USA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 11:43 am     Reply with quote

Hi Larry,
Thanks for the reply......How old are your Excel’s ?....... Thanks,Jim
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Larry Allen


From:
Anchorage,Alaska & Kapaa,Hawaii
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 12:11 pm     Reply with quote

2010,2011, 2014 , 2015..all Superb S-10s.. Very Happy
_________________
Excel, Sho-Bud, Quilter & Peavey amps, Cadillacs, Mercedes
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Aaron Johnson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 4:10 pm     Reply with quote

I had a 2017 long scale Superb and during my time with it, I never broke a string.
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Michael Johnstone


From:
Sylmar,Ca. USA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 6:06 pm     Reply with quote

I have a 2004 Superb keyless with the 25.5" scale. I never break any strings including the 3rd for which I use a .011 like most people. Mostly I attribute that to the way the changer finger moves. It's about a 60/40 blend of a lateral pull like a Lamar or Anapeg - and a cam on a shaft like most changers. It's a sort of elliptical motion. So the "bending back and forth across a rotating cam till the string breaks" paradigm is essentially mollified. There's just so much good to say about the engineering of Mitsuo's guitars I don't know where to begin. I put a Wallace 17.5 Truetone single coil on there and it couldn't sound any better. It's a U12 w/8+9 and weighs just under 50 lbs in a road case so it's very flyable. One thing I am concerned about is strings. I always used JagWires and my stash is running out. I've heard D'Addario makes a comparable string now and I'm looking into that. Their factory is in my neighborhood.
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James Quackenbush


From:
Pomona, New York, USA
Post Posted 12 Oct 2018 11:37 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the info and replies guys .....The most success that I had with the 3rd string NOT snapping was the brand of string being used....Initially when I had the problem, the folks at Scotty’s sent me an assortment of 11’s and 12’s to check out ......This was a big help....The problem was that the strings that worked were not the ones I wanted to use a complete set of......

I’ve owned many pedal steels over the years, but my Excel U12 is the one that got away...I will own another one when the time is right !!!........ Thanks to all for the replies...Much appreciated.......Jim
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