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Author Topic:  Williams 400 Series U12 unstable tuning
Zena Kay


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 12:04 pm    
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Hey folks, I’m having some peculiar issues with my 400 series, the tuning on the pull rods seem to be pretty unstable, for example when I raise B to C# with A and then further raise to D with LKL, the C# comes back about 20c sharp. When the pedal is released after that it perfectly in tune. Any tips for getting this to function properly?
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 12:51 pm    
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Call Bill Rudolph. Their customer service is excellent!
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Michael Johnstone


From:
Sylmar,Ca. USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 5:01 pm    
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Your A pedal cross shaft is flexing when loaded and then slightly unloaded when the secondary raise takes over. Then when the secondary raise is released,
it comes back to rest on the now differently loaded cross shaft and it's slightly out of tune. Replace the B pedal aluminum cross shaft with an exact copy made from hard steel. It won't flex near as much and the issue will be greatly minimized. Nothing wrong with the guitar. It's just the physics of metal parts under pressure. It can't be compensated because it's gonna be different under different combinations. I went thru this on a Sierra and an Excel. Both companies were happy to mill me a steel cross shaft. I popped it in and it really helped.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:52 am    
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Keyed or Keyless?... Just curious.
The quick fix is, when you relase the D to C#, you also need to release the A-pedal just a titch and re-engage it to C#.
Do that in one fluent instantanious, simultanious, unison, motion, and your C# will always be the pitch you want.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 9:59 am    
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I have had to do what Pete suggests on every guitar I ever owned. After engaging and releasing the B and C pedals I slightly bump the Eb knee lever without ever consciously thinking about it any more. Same thing when tuning the 4th string, bump the Eb knee lever after every twist of the tuning putting the E string back to the pitch where it will rest at most of the time. Otherwise it will be out of tune the first time the E to Eb knee lever is used!
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Chris Reesor


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 12:11 pm    
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Yes, there will always be some hysteresis, but 20 cents is pretty harsh. Maybe a little lube job on the nut rollers is in order?
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 12:46 pm    
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Good tip, Mike Johnstone!

Zena, that's a change I'm about to install on my next extended E9 setup. I have several uses for it in mind, and I'm giving it a prominent knee lever home for ease of use. How are you using that B>D change on your axe?
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Nikolai Shveitser


From:
Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 12:56 pm    
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...or you could lower your e's and go up a fret. Or use your second string. Razz Razz Razz
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Zena Kay


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 10:19 pm    
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Pete Burak wrote:
Keyed or Keyless?... Just curious.
The quick fix is, when you relase the D to C#, you also need to release the A-pedal just a titch and re-engage it to C#.
Do that in one fluent instantanious, simultanious, unison, motion, and your C# will always be the pitch you want.


Keyless! I’m also getting some cabinet drop on string 6 when A is depressed. Maybe I need to line up the changer or experiment with different positions on the bell crank. My guitar has pitch compensators but I don’t think any of them are activated. These are kind of recent issues that I’ve been having, which started after putting a fresh set of strings on the other week. It’s possible maybe some are higher gauge than the guitar likes?
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Zena Kay


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 10:21 pm    
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Michael Johnstone wrote:
Your A pedal cross shaft is flexing when loaded and then slightly unloaded when the secondary raise takes over. Then when the secondary raise is released,
it comes back to rest on the now differently loaded cross shaft and it's slightly out of tune. Replace the B pedal aluminum cross shaft with an exact copy made from hard steel. It won't flex near as much and the issue will be greatly minimized. Nothing wrong with the guitar. It's just the physics of metal parts under pressure. It can't be compensated because it's gonna be different under different combinations. I went thru this on a Sierra and an Excel. Both companies were happy to mill me a steel cross shaft. I popped it in and it really helped.


I think the cross shafts are steel already! Bill Rudolph has been super helpful in getting this sorted, I have to give him credit his customer service is top notch
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Zena Kay


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 10:25 pm    
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John McClung wrote:
Good tip, Mike Johnstone!

Zena, that's a change I'm about to install on my next extended E9 setup. I have several uses for it in mind, and I'm giving it a prominent knee lever home for ease of use. How are you using that B>D change on your axe?


I’m actually not loving it! I might change it around so that D is the default. I use it basically to play 13 voicings and general 7th chord like you’d get on an E9th. I’m not saying it’s a bad way to have your copedent or anything, especially if you prefer playing in B6 world but I use it so often and it’s a little inconvenient not to have it there automatically, you know?
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Chris Reesor


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 6:40 am    
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Extended E9 just might suit the way you play better than E9/B6, if you play mostly from an E9 perspective, but only you can make that call.

The cabinet drop issue on string six is common with a plain sixth and has been well discussed here. The easy fix (a wound sixth) comes with its own issues, especially if you love the sixth string drop to F#. If you are using a so called sweetened tuning, the drop can make that G# very flat for functioning as the fifth of C# minor. Try tuning closer to ET and see if that makes it more tolerable.

No doubt you have already figured out that compromises are the rule rather than the exception with complex pedal steel copedents.
And sudden string gauge changes can really throw a spanner into the works as our British friends might say.
Good luck with your issues, and keep on picking!
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Jeremy Threlfall


From:
now in Western Australia
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 6:46 am    
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Williams changers don’t take well to having oil dropped on top of the cams, on the wound strings especially
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John Goux


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jul 2019 7:44 pm    
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I use B to D to make people look up from their drink.
Mostly as the 4th degree in pedals down. I’ve got it near my volume pedal away from the other pedals.
Some of my guitars release D to C# in tune, others do not.
I’ll try Pete’s EVH A pedal yank after I finish writing this post.
John
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