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Author Topic:  If you could have only one?
Patrick Fleming

 

From:
South Dakota, USA
Post  Posted 18 Oct 2019 6:26 pm    
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I have been following the vintage vs modern thread and the push pull vs all pull etc... in hopes of deciding what to buy, and now I am more confused than ever. I have been playing for a year on a fender (by sho-bud) student model that I got here on the forum, and now want to buy a "pro-level" guitar but only one. So can you help me out?


If you could have only one PSG, what would it by and why?
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Greg Lambert

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 18 Oct 2019 6:43 pm    
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Well Derby is no longer in business but if they were I would buy another. I have had mine around 20 years and done nothing to the guitar other than change a few tuners. It stays in tune and very very little cabinet drop.

There are others on the market now that are just as good if not better. I personally prefer the all pull guitar. Super easy to set up and work on if needed.
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David Nugent

 

From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 18 Oct 2019 7:05 pm    
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You may find as many of us have, that it is strictly a matter of personal preference. Most all of the steel guitars currently being manufactured are of high quality but you may own several before finding that one particular brand that seems to "fit" better than the others. It will just feel right when you sit behind it. My advice is to attend as many steel jams and shows as possible and play as many different guitars as you can.
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Pat Moore


From:
Virginia USA
Post  Posted 18 Oct 2019 7:49 pm     PP vs AP
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Hi Patrick,
Being that you're just into it a while, I'd recommend the all-pull. The reason being that it's mechanically easier to deal with, and you really want to spend your time learning how to play it, not spend your time trying to adjust it and tune on it. Yes, the push-pull is a great guitar when all is working right, but you almost need to be a PSG mechanic to work on it if you have an issue and don't understand the principle behind it. It's great when it's great, but when something comes loose, or binds, you really need to know how to get it back on point. If you don't, and you don't have a good steel buddy mechanic, you could be in for a time.
An all pull is an better way to go when you're just into it. Just my 2 cents, and I hope you get a lot of "seat time"!
There's tons of information on this site, and great cats that will bend over backwards to help you along your journey. And it is a journey!
Enjoy your new venture!
Pat
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Douglas Schuch


From:
Valencia, Philippines
Post  Posted 18 Oct 2019 8:34 pm    
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My MSA Millennium III I sold 15 months ago (I still have an MSA Millenium II - so I'm not suffering too terribly).
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Billy Carr

 

From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2019 6:41 pm     psg
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Williams !!!
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2019 8:12 pm    
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Push pull is not as complicated as one might think how simple could it be push too lower pull to raise. Just a small learning curve for a good tone that will inspire you for a life time. And it would be cool too have some young push pull mechanics not a bad career for a young person who loves pedal steel at least for a side line job.
Some of the good steel mechanics charge $50 per hour an are worth even more.
A well set up push pull is a joy too play. If you need 11 knees an 9 pedals I would get a nice all pull for sure.
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2019 10:10 pm    
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Human nature being what it is, everybody here will tell you to buy whatever they play. The truth is, EVERYBODY makes really good steels these days, and you can't go wrong with any of them.

Is is possible for you to attend a show where different ones are on display? Or visit a steel guitar shop where you could try out different ones?

BTW, I play an MSA. They make great steels, but so does Mullen, Sho-Pro, Jackson, Franklin, Justice. Rittenbury, Fessenden, GFI, Infinity etc.

You will be happy with any of these.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2019 10:16 pm    
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You should not get a used guitar. All of the push-pull talk is about vintage Emmons guitars that are a risky purchase for an inexperienced player. Same with old Sho-Buds, ZBs, MSAs, Sierras, Fenders, etc.. You can get stuck in endless trades trying to find one that's set up right.

Get a new, modern pro guitar. There are a lot of good builders here in the US: Desert Rose, Mullen, Justice, Show Pro, Williams, GFI, Fessenden, ZumSteel, Jackson, Rittenberry, MSA, and of course the new Sierra by Ross Shafer. They are all reliable instruments that sound very good. Any one of them will serve you well for decades to come.

Find one that you like the way it looks. Mr. Green
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 12:02 am     Re: If you could have only one?
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Patrick Fleming wrote:
If you could have only one PSG, what would it by and why?

The only PSG brand that has impressed me enough in later years to make me even contemplate throwing out the ones I got and buy one, is Excel.
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 2:33 am    
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Buying a PSG for a fairly new player can be a tough choice as you probably havent settled in yet on what you really like yet. From a mechanical aspect an all pull, more modern guitar will be easier for you to understand and make changes on. As a fairly new player making changes will probably be in your future as you experiment around with new tuning etc.

An Emmons push pull is a wonderful thing but does come with their own set of things to learn. Once setup they are one of the best staying in tune guitars I have ever owned and the sound speaks for itself. The drawback is if you need a ton of knee levers and pedals things can get pretty complicated. Also, push pulls do not do splits which is important to some players. Most modern guitars do splits as to be expected.

IMO, buying used is ok as long as you know exactly what you are getting. I have seen some used guitars better than new to be honest. I have seen quite a few new guitars with issues right out of the gate as well so I would say buy from a reputable person or company and you should be just fine rather new or used.

Tip: Don't buy a guitar because the pictures look pretty Smile

I always thought the Carters were great guitars for the money. They play good and sound good and will not cost you a fortune. I know several pros that play them and love them (Bobby Black is one).

Good luck to you in your search. The journey should be enjoyed.

Cheers,
Mike
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Patrick Fleming

 

From:
South Dakota, USA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 6:47 am    
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Thanks for the insight. People often talk about Push pull being harder to adjust but the all pull scissor mechanism looks more prone problem than my Pull release or the push/pull. But then you would not need the "slack" in the system to have everything in tune. Maybe an all pull is easier play-ability? I was trying to decide between an old Show-Bud or a modern guitar like Fessenden, Mullen, Justice etc... I will be looking used. Worn Scissors seems like they would be hard to repair.
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Daniel McKee

 

From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 9:14 am    
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I like the old stuff but the old guitars are usually a lot of trouble unless previously restored or gone through by a good mechanic. I would suggest getting something newer now and over time if you feel an old Shobud is what you need then go that path. There are quite a few really nice economy models out there. Mullen makes a discovery, Zum makes the Encore and stage one. BMI has a Axius model and flight ready. JUstice has some new ones out. None of these will set you back a lot. The best part is they are new and the company is still around to help if you have mechanical problems.
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K Maul


From:
Upstate NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 9:32 am    
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It would be a tough decision, but I would keep my EXCEL S-11. Sounds great, is very stable and I can fly with it.
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Kevin Maul: Asher, Airline, Beard, Clinesmith, Dobro, Evans, Excel, Fender, Fluger, Gibson, Hilton, Ibanez, Justice, K+K, Live Strings, Martin, National, Peterson, Quilter, Rickenbacher, Sho~Bud, Supro, TC, Ultimate, VHT, Webb, X-otic, Yamaha, ZKing.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 11:03 am    
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Billy Carr wrote:
Williams !!!
and K Maul wrote:
It would be a tough decision, but I would keep my EXCEL S-11. Sounds great, is very stable and I can fly with it.

I have one of each. They are both excellent in terms of playability and stability. If I ever have to give one up it will be a tough choice.

But like b0b says, there are no bad guitars being made. However, there are some heavy ones and if that's a consideration Williams and Excel are two of the lightest.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2019 11:26 am    
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Patrick, how much are you willing to spend? If money is an issue, you can buy one of the less expensive steels like the Encore. If you have an unlimited budget, you can get something along the lines of an MSA or Mullen.

If you want the old Sho-Bud sound, you can buy a Jackson which has that vintage tone with modern mechanics.

Finally, don't be afraid to check out the classifieds here on the forum. There are some very nice steels for sale here.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2019 4:08 am     Re: If you could have only one?
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Patrick Fleming wrote:
If you could have only one PSG, what would it by and why?

Since I've been at it awhile and presently have three vintage push/pulls, I would likely keep the one that is the easiest to schlep around (I ain't gettin' any younger). It's a butt-ugly 3x1 bowlin' ball 'mica student model that plays well and sounds wonderful.

If I was a newby living in SoDak and shopping for a brand-new instrument, I'd take a day trip to both Oak Grove, MN and Flagler, CO to check out Williams and Mullen guitars respectively, and order whichever impressed me the most. The new all-pull instruments share more similarities than differences, and you really can't go wrong with any of 'em.
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Jeremy Threlfall


From:
now in Western Australia
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2019 8:33 pm    
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Williams. I would say (but that’s my experience) for a top-class rugged pro guitar without selling a kidney. I’ve toured mine all round Australia in the boot of my Caprice. Never a problem. Looks as pretty as the day it was born.

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Jeremy Threlfall


From:
now in Western Australia
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2019 9:18 pm    
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Sorry, just read the thread again properly. For a new player, I would echo the sentiments of some others - don’t get an old guitar (unless, PERHAPS, it’s just been restored). Unless you are really of two minds, and don’t mind dealing with second hand sub-pro guitars (some of them aren’t bad) I would avoid starter guitars too, myself.

Buying a US-made guitar in Australia is a slightly bigger money commitment than buying local. I bought a Carter Starter new when I (huh) started, and sold it six months later (no fault of the guitar). Wasted a bunch of AUD there

There are plenty of new guitars I covet but the Williams was just at the right practicality/price point for me when I last bought a new guitar.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2019 11:19 pm    
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To answer the question - I'm telling you my preference, regardless of price, whether it's currently being made, or other blah blah blah. There is no "best", just what I think works best for me.

So if I could only have one, it would be down to a Zumsteel (D10 and U12) or Franklin D10, both of which I currently have. But you'd have to pry any of them from my cold, dead fingers. I've tried a lot of steels, and it comes down to those for me. I'd say I use my Zumsteels the most, for a host of practical reasons.

But there are so many excellent pedal steels out there. I have a Mullen G2, and it's outstanding. I've had an Emmons LeGrande, same deal. I'd probably go for a LeGrande II or III, but the early Lashley LeGrandes and Short Key Head (SKH) models are great too. I've also played but not owned a modern MSA Legend, great guitar. But since I haven't owned it, I haven't played it as much as the others, and so do not necessarily speak authoritatively.

Why these? For me, the Zum, Emmons, and Mullen G2 have a combination of great playability plus classic Emmons-style tone in an all-pull guitar. The Franklin is also a tremendous player, and has its own thing tonally, distinct from any other guitar I've played.

I love push-pulls, but if I had to have just one, it would be a modern all-pull. I don't think any of these sacrifice tone in the slightest, and I just find them easier to deal with. I have a push-pull presently, and I've had several.

And if I had to have just one, I wouldn't skimp on it. It would have to be super clean, super playable, and have everything I could possibly want on it. If it was $5 or 6 grand, so be it. Good luck finding a decked out Franklin D10 for that. But for any of those other guitars, it should be possible to get the absolute cats meow in that range. And I would absolutely have to have a D10 if I could only have one.

But I'm gonna challenge your premise a bit - I have a Zum D10 and a U12 that are not decked out to the absolute max, for the money I'd spend for a totally decked-out single guitar. So I'd keep that pair rather than get the absolute most killer single guitar. There are music and situations for which I prefer the U12.
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Larry Baker

 

From:
Columbia, Mo. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2019 12:21 pm    
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After 4 other brands, I now play a Mullen G2.
3 & 5 Sd10. 2009. Will most likely be my forever
Guitar. Plays and sounds great. No string
breakage and stays in tune. My 2 cents.
Red is the new black
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Eric Philippsen


From:
Central Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2019 1:05 pm    
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The original posting’s question is a tough one. All the responses, although certainly genuine, honest, and based on many years of experience, might be confusing taken as a whole.

My 2 cents: I have a stupid amount of nice steels but today, for the heck of it, I pulled out an Emmons student model with 3 pedals and 4 knees. Dang thing played great and had tone to die for.

My advice is go simple. Get a 3x4 Emmons or a Zumsteel Encore. They’re the ticket and you can always sell or trade them for pretty much what you got invested.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2019 3:01 pm    
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If I could play like a pro I would keep this one, But I’m thinking a young pro player in town is taking this one.
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Richard Alderson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2019 4:53 pm    
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Bob is right. Get the newest guitar you can afford. Any modern steel built in the last 5 - 10 years; Its not like other instruments. its got screws and nuts and bolts and springs and pedals and levers, The newer your instrument is the higher the probability that all those moving parts are in optimal working condition and properly adjusted. It will be complicated enough to learn how to play, so as a new player you dont need the extra distractions of having to fix and adjust the instrument; You want to be able to concentrate on playing. Buy an instrument you can trust from a dealer or seller that you can trust.

Good luck ! You have come to a good place to find the right information; After that it all depends on your budget and price points.
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Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2019 5:32 pm    
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If I could only have one I'd sell my Rains and keep my Emmons Push Pull. The Rains is an excellent steel, but the Emmons is a very sold workhorse that sounds fabulous.
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