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Post new topic first pedal steel
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Author Topic:  first pedal steel
David Hausner


From:
Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 8:52 am    
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I am sure this has been asked 100 times but is there any advise for someone who wants to buy their first pedal steel. Looking to keep it no more than $3000. Mostly for alt country and americana but also for blues and rock. Also what would be the best tuning to learn first.
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Skip Edwards


From:
LA,CA
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 9:27 am    
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There's plenty of second-hand pro steels available for 3K & under. Get a single neck, E9.
If you want to play some rock & blues, I'd suggest a single 12 extended E9.. so you have those low strings... your lowest will be the same as the low E on a gtr.
And personally, I suggest getting one with a pad, since I believe having that support for your right wrist really helps your right hand technique... makes it a bit easier to learn.
JMHO...
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Gene Tani


From:
Washington state, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 10:17 am    
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Helps if you look thru old threads about getting one that fits your body, doesn't have mechanical problems, light enough to be transported easily, stays in tune, why you need 3 pedals 4 knees, all pull vs push pull vs pull release etc https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=314108

Carter's list is pretty good http://steelguitar.com/buyersguide.html

Zum Stage one is pretty frequently recommended, you can read reviews from people who've bought since they were intro'd around 2012 but not sure if you can order one new. Website says otherwise but you can email and ask: http://www.stageonesteelguitars.com/

Also can contact Lynn Stafford in Portland area, he's been recommended as the goto repair person for Pac Northwest https://steelguitarwest.com/
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E-harp, stage 1
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Michael Hill


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 6:43 pm    
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I was in the same boat a short while ago. I ended up getting a new GFI Ultra S-10 keyless with E9 tuning. I bought it online at Billy Cooper's shop. I'm very satisfied with the product, price and the service I got.

There's a huge mechanical aspect to pedal steel and I didn't want to find myself wrestling with a used instrument that might have issues I didn't known how to recognize or deal with. Someone once said, "Pedal steel is hard enough to play when everything's working correctly".

I feel fortunate that I didn't find a shop to 'try before buying'. I sucked so hard at first that I probably would have walked away and sworn off the instrument. Smile
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Devon Teran


From:
Kansas City
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 7:15 pm    
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Quote:
Zum Stage one is pretty frequently recommended, you can read reviews from people who've bought since they were intro'd around 2012 but not sure if you can order one new. Website says otherwise but you can email and ask: http://www.stageonesteelguitars.com/


You can order them. They just take several months. I just got a new Encore, but I put in the order probably back in February.
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Devon Teran


From:
Kansas City
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 7:20 pm    
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For what it's worth, I'm realizing now all the stuff that was wrong with my first steel. If I had a second chance I would have bought a steel from a reputable shop or a local guy with a strong reputation. It turned out my steel sounded great - and I still think it does, but I had no idea what I was looking at under the hood.

My first steel was an old Dekley, which started out great, but someone tried to overhaul it and didn't do a great job. I didn't know what I was looking at when I started. I ended up with a great sounding, but really hard to play instrument. I'm realizing now how much more friendly a steel can be, and I'm already using a lot more of what my new steel can do than I ever did on the Dekley, just because of ergonomics.

Make sure you work with someone who really knows about steels and has a great reputation. Look for straight, clean rodding. If you're at all unsure about what you're looking at, then pay the premium to get a new starter steel, or one from a shop that knows steels because you know they'll set it up right.
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Sandy Inglis


From:
Christchurch New Zealand
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 4:15 am    
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I started out with a Sho-Bud S10 which (at the time) I thought was great.
I next bought a Sho-Bud D10 which I thought was so much greater so I sold my Sho-Bud S10.
I eventually bought a Zum D10 which surprised me with it's smoothness (mechanically).
I now have the Sho-Bud D10 Set up as a Practice PSG and keep the Zum D10 for a performance D10 as I can learn a lick on the old (Classic) Sho-Bud and know I can play it easier on the more modern Zum D10.
It is like Cheese & chalk as I don't mind struggling with a lick as I know I can nail it in the Zum D10.
I's like playing a lick in an old guitar then paying it on a modern guitar!
As an example, I learnt to Snow ski on old, Long, Cross Country Ski's so when I tried modern carvers I found them easy!
I still love the classic sound of the old Sho-Bud but prefer the play ability of the modern Zum's
Sandy
_________________
01'Zumsteel D10 9+9; Sho Bud D10 SuperPro; 6 String Lap Steel (Homemade); Peavey Nashville 1000; Fender Deluxe 85;
1968 Gibson SG; Taylor 710 CE; Encore Tele Copy; Peterson Tuner; HIWATT T40 C 40W/20W Combo
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Alex Stewart


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 5:16 am    
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I was in the same boat at the beginning of the year. After researching, like you, I ordered a Stage One from Doug and am very happy with it.

Like others said, even though the site says he is not taking orders, email him. Mine took around three months. During that time I learned about the tuning, grips, pedals and levers. When it arrived I was actually ready to do something with it.

I have played other instruments for over 50 years, including guitar. I know a quality instrument and recognize one that stays in tune. The Stage one is a quality economy PSG and we are lucky that Doug continues to make these. Difficult price-point to make a profit at, but he found a solid way!
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