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Author Topic:  MSA Classic XL S10 Rebuild
Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2019 3:19 pm    
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I am planning a project to convert my old MSA to an SD-10 with an aluminum neck.

I resurrected an old thread entitled "Aluminum neck question" posted by Roy Glaze in 2009.

Roy and Scott Howard, how did your projects turn out? If you still have your guitars could you post a picture?

Scott Howard posted a reply showing a one piece aluminum neck casting that he had done which I really like.
Scott, can you give me some info on where you had your neck casting done?

Can I get opinions from any of you on casting vs. milling an aluminum neck.

I plan to build a new maple body and I am thinking of wrapping it with black carbon fiber. I think it would look sharp with an aluminum neck.

I am just in the planning stages and hopefully I will come to my senses and realize that I just can't do this.
But I would appreciate any comments or suggestions on doing a project like this.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2019 6:00 pm    
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Here's how I would handle it.. I would sell the MSA and buy what you really want. Its a nice guitar and someone wants it and will love it as is .. You seem to not like it as she sits. NO problem.. By the time you build or buy a new SD 10 body, get a good pro finish on it, buy and fit a custom aluminum neck and have the guitar you want, you STILL have an MSA, that you have put a fortune into..... Thats an s10.. HOW are you going to extend the frame to accept the wider body?????..
Sell it and buy a great SD 10 that will sound better than and play at least as well as the MSA.. There are a LOT out there, and with what you get from selling the MSA you will be LOTS of money ahead... bob
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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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Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2019 8:38 am    
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Thanks for responding, Bob. As always, I respect your opinions and suggestions. In my heart I know you are right and that's exactly what I should do.
My problem is I am a tinkerer. I've successfully added pedals, knee levers, splits, half stops and pickups to this guitar, and I love doing it even as frustrating as it can be. I think I'm a better mechanic than player.
I like everything about this guitar except I would like it to be a little brighter. Of course I can accomplish that with pickups and amp settings, but my curiosity make me wonder what makes the guitar more mellow than so many of the newer ones.
My thinking was this would be a good guitar to use for this project since I don't have a large investment and I would use all of the mechanical parts for the new build. Then it would give me some experience in woodworking and machining/milling as I have access to all of the equipment I need.
Thanks again stay well. I suspect it's getting a little cool up in your neck of the woods. I'm originally from Endicott, so I know what's coming for you folks.
Regards, Bill
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2019 2:39 pm    
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Bill Hoskins wrote:
Thanks for responding, Bob. As always, I respect your opinions and suggestions. In my heart I know you are right and that's exactly what I should do.
My problem is I am a tinkerer. I've successfully added pedals, knee levers, splits, half stops and pickups to this guitar, and I love doing it even as frustrating as it can be. I think I'm a better mechanic than player.
I like everything about this guitar except I would like it to be a little brighter. Of course I can accomplish that with pickups and amp settings, but my curiosity make me wonder what makes the guitar more mellow than so many of the newer ones.
My thinking was this would be a good guitar to use for this project since I don't have a large investment and I would use all of the mechanical parts for the new build. Then it would give me some experience in woodworking and machining/milling as I have access to all of the equipment I need.
Thanks again stay well. I suspect it's getting a little cool up in your neck of the woods. I'm originally from Endicott, so I know what's coming for you folks.
Regards, Bill

Bill,If you want a brighter more "traditional" sound on that MSA, get a different pickup on it. I suggest a Wallace Truetone with a coil tap.. I would suggest maybe 17 ohms and a tap at 12. That will get you a bright sound, and a more meaty tone while still retaining good clarity.. MSA steels are typically darker sounding than most with the original Supersustain pickups. They really wake up when a good single coil is installed.. I understand where you are coming from wanting to "tinker" and all, but I dunno, extending the frame?. Aluminum neck? Custom body and finish? New pickups new cross shafts for the wider frame?
For what its going to cost, KEEP the MSA, tinker as you like, and simply buy a great SD 10 thats exactly what you want in a steel. You are going to spend a ton of money and time converting an S10 to an SD 10 with aluminum neck anyway, might as well just use the conversion money to buy what you really want anyway.. That MSA is a great guitar, and the right pickup will transform the sound.. Take it from a guy that played several MSA Lacquer body guitars for 40+ years on stage .. They sound really good with the right pickups.. For many of us the MSA SS humbucker was not the right pickup for a bright "traditional" pedal steel sound . Its your guitar and of course you do whats best for you, but the money you are talking about spending on that MSA would get you a very big chunk of a top of the line used SD 10.. just looking from practicality viewpoint... bob
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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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Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 7 Nov 2019 10:57 am    
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Bob,
I've got a Truetone in it now that helped a lot. I have an E-66 that I'm going to put in it. I've read some posts that say the E-66 made it too bright, but I'm going to see what happens.

Thanks again for your feedback. I've read a lot of your posts and I know you've been an MSA man for a long time.
I'm going to step back and rethink the project.
Thanks again,
Bill
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Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 7 Nov 2019 10:58 am    
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Bob,
I've got a Truetone in it now that helped a lot. I have an E-66 that I'm going to put in it. I've read some posts that say the E-66 made it too bright, but I'm going to see what happens.

Thanks again for your feedback. I've read a lot of your posts and I know you've been an MSA man for a long time.
I'm going to step back and rethink the project.
Thanks again,
Bill
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Kenneth Kotsay


From:
Davie/Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Post  Posted 7 Nov 2019 12:43 pm    
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Very nice indeed, looks new to me.
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Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2019 8:55 am    
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Thanks, Kenneth. It is in nice shape, a little fading, but unfortunately I learned on it and it has quite a few bar dings.
I don't know if anything can be done to fix that. I have read posts that talk about using an iron and damp cloth, but I'm a little afraid to try it.
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Jeff Keyton


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2019 1:08 pm    
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Yeah, that's not like sizing down a D-10 MSA, of which there are tons of affordable ones around to do that with. I could see losing a neck if you didn't want both of those. Some guy out there makes or use to make a pad to attach to a single neck steel, don't recall the name.
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2019 6:07 pm    
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I added this wrist pad an shelf to my Little Emmons there’s lots of ways to add a pad. Someone here on forum offers a Cadillac of a pad system that attaches to the legs for a very reasonable price.
That’s a really nice looking MSA.






Last edited by Johnie King on 8 Nov 2019 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2019 6:22 pm    
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Some of the best time I’ve every had is building pedal steels guitars an lap steels.
But financially if I count the long hours I spent an all the dust I breathed the risk of using power tools the endless cost of tooling. I think the men in white coats were lurking around the corner waiting too hall me away. But if tinkering with these pedal steels is in your blood there nothing you can do about it just enjoy your craft.
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Pat Chong


From:
New Mexico, USA
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2019 11:29 pm     Armrests for psg.
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Hello Jeff,
I believe you are looking for Don Blood, who makes armrests for psgs that attach to the legs.....Pat.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 9 Nov 2019 3:30 am    
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The OP mentioned he wanted to build a new SD 10 body not add an armrest.. That would make a lot more sense if he wants to keep the guitar. Getting new endplates and everything else required to convert from a single to double body would cost as much as a nice SD10 thats already an SD 10, not a conversion... 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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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 9 Nov 2019 6:20 am    
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Try an Alumitone pickup.
_________________
Kevin Maul: Asher, Beard, Clinesmith, Dobro, Evans, EXCEL, Fender, Fishman, Fluger, GFI, Gibson, Quilter, RAM, Redline, Rickenbacher, Sho~Bud, Supro, ZKing.
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post  Posted 9 Nov 2019 9:06 am    
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I don't know anything about the construction of MSA's, but if the neck is held on with screws, the tone might come to life if those screws are slacked off a bit.

I've found, on the various steels that I have had, that if the neck screws are too tight, the tone of the steel is 'choked'off.

On the downside, if the neck screws are not tight enough, cabinet drop gets worse, so it's a compromise
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Bill Hoskins


From:
Sun City, Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 10 Nov 2019 11:41 am    
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Kevin, thanks for the pickup suggestion.

Richard, thanks for your tip about the neck screws. I know I've gone thru it and made sure the all the screws were tight, so I'll try experimenting with the neck.

Bill
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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 11 Nov 2019 3:20 pm     MSA Classic XL S10 Rebuild
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This is a picture of a pad I added to my MSA S10. With the shelf on the back of the MSA S10 body you have space to put about a 2 inch pad, And the 12 key head on the old MSA's allow to put a nice place to put bars and picks, This one held a Steel Bar and Plastic Do-Bro Bar for an easy bar change when on stage. This pad also has a steel loop on the Right end that held my tuner in good view.

The pad was made out of Poplar wood Stained with a magic marker and held in place with 3 patches of Industrial Vel-cro. The pad has Top, Front and Back cotton padding and Nyga-Hyde cover. It pulls off and goes in pedal bar, Pedal Rod area of its case.

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