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Post new topic Lap steel player looking for his first Pedal Steel...
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Author Topic:  Lap steel player looking for his first Pedal Steel...
Rob Morrison


From:
New York, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 8:28 am    
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Hi all,

I hate to be that guy who does a "what should I buy?" post, but this forum is too good a resource not to poll you fine folks.

I'm a professional multi-instrumentalist...mainly guitar and mandolin, but I play a decent amount of banjo and lap steel, and picked up dobro recently. My GAS knows no bounds, and I'd like to use my time in quarantine woodshedding instruments I've always wanted to learn, namely pedal steel (though I have no illusions about it being an easy instrument to learn, of course)!

Being that I won't have any music gigs for quite a while, my budget is tight...I'd love to spend around 1500 if possible, which I know is low for pedal steels.

The subject of pedal steels is quite wide-ranging, and a bit intimidating when it comes to knowing terminology and making an informed decision. From older, similar posts on here, I've read that I should be looking for a psg with at least three pedals and four knee levers. I tend to prefer buying something a little beyond my abilities and growing into it, instead of getting a "student" model and growing out of it. Seems like on the beginner side of things, the Carter Starter is well-liked but limited, and a Zum Stage One might be a cut above that. Beyond those options though, I'm really not sure what to look at, and what I should be looking for.

I should add that I'm mostly looking to play country and country rock. I suppose I'm leaning toward a single neck, 10-string psg.

Any help/advice would be extremely appreciated! Many thanks in advance, and apologies for my long-winded post!
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 8:48 am    
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You could look for an older ShoBud or MSA. They are both good instruments and in the price range you’re talking about you can get some decent stuff. But you should also look into Justice guitars who make an expandable entry level instrument that is high-quality. That way you’ll have a brand new instrument that is mechanically very sound plus you can easily add onto and grow into.
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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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Gene Tani

 

From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 9:13 am    
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I have a recommendation but i bookmarked a lot o fthreads on just this point (with same rec heh). Lots of good advice about copeds, builders, trying before you buy, budgeting for amps/lessons/other essentials,

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=345537

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=340425

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=332808

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=353398

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=325398
(about not buying a steel that "needs a little work")

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=220322

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=360228
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- Rukavina and Sonny Jenkins laps, Carter
- The secret sauce: polyester sweatpants to buff your picks, cheapo Presonus channel strip for preamp/EQ/compress/limiter, Diet Mountain Dew


Last edited by Gene Tani on 2 Aug 2020 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Doug Earnest


From:
Branson, MO USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 11:42 am    
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A Stage One with three pedals and four levers in permanent standard 10 string Nashville setup is $1149 with case

A ZumSteel Encore with three pedals and five knee levers, triple raise triple lower changer, very deluxe setup which can be customized is $1649 with case.

There is always a wait for either model though, that's the down side. Used ones sell for more than new.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 1:57 pm    
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My experience has made me a strong believer that a beginner should buy as good of a new pedal steel as they can afford rather than a used one. I bought 2 used lemons before I learned this lesson: There's nothing worse than trying to learn on someone else's problem as you can't tell if that "sucking sound" is due to a mechanical issue you inherited or just experiencing that normal beginner learning curve Winking

Of course a problem with buying new is the wait time. The only new pedal steels I see that are usually in stock and ready to ship are the GFI S-10's from Sam Ash music. In fact, they have a GFI S-10 SM 3x4 in stock now at $1680 ready to ship.

https://www.samash.com/gfi-musical-instruments-s-10-sm-pedal-steel-guitar-with-hardshell-case-3-pedals-4-knee-levers-gs10sm4kx?source=igodigital

Perhaps someone more familiar with this model than I can comment on how good a fit this would be to the OP's requirements?
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Check out the website of my prog rock band, Mutiny in Jonestown at: https://wytchcrypt.wixsite.com/mutiny-in-jonestown

Check out Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 2:41 pm    
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Personally even though I never bought anything from him, I'd try to buy something through Steels of the North Country. He seems to have a great reputation and you can bet that it's going to be packed and shipped well and he will be able to tell you what you are buying.

The problem is that if you buy something used and you don't know that much about it, someone sends you something and you don't know how to evaluate it, and they are pretty hard to return.

That was my experience. The guitar I got needed a lot of tune up that I had to learn how to do, but I didn't really realize it when I got it. I ended up getting it working nicely but it was a bummer. I was not anticipating that.

My suggestion to would be don't try to buy a guitar that will do everything possible. I bought a 12 string extended E9 and I think I would have been better with a 10 string with 3 pedals. I'm definitely glad I didn't get a universal. Personally I think you'll have your hands (and feet) (and knees) full just figuring out how to coordinate things, so you don't really need a ton of extras to worry about.

But I ended up selling mine and I'll stick with the lap steel, maybe some benders on it. Just easier to deal with.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 3:29 am    
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Rob,Where in New Yawk is You?
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Desert Rose S-10 4+5,Desert Rose Keyless S-10 3+5... 8+5 Mullen G2D-10 8+5 Carter D-10 8+5,Blanton SD -10 any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since



the mid 50's.Peavey Nashville Scott Swartz Z-pickup...112,and LTD ,Sho-Bud Bill Groner .Telonics volume pedal,and 206 pickups.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 6:20 am    
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Justice new S10 junior is a very good option for pros an Beginners!!
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Rob Morrison


From:
New York, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 8:00 am    
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Stu Schulman wrote:
Rob,Where in New Yawk is You?


Hey Stu, I’m in Manhattan.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 9:40 am    
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Rob,I'm in Ulster Park if you like to visit some time,Try some stuff out?
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,Desert Rose Keyless S-10 3+5... 8+5 Mullen G2D-10 8+5 Carter D-10 8+5,Blanton SD -10 any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since



the mid 50's.Peavey Nashville Scott Swartz Z-pickup...112,and LTD ,Sho-Bud Bill Groner .Telonics volume pedal,and 206 pickups.
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Steven Hudson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2020 11:22 am    
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I received a Zum Encore right before Memorial Day and I love it. I play with a band that does country rock, rock, and some grungy music. The single neck in E9 works great for these genres. The action is good and it stays in tune well. And at 42 lbs. in the case it's not killing my back to take out to play.
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Zumsteel Encore 3x5, Melbert 6 string Roundabout, Melbert 8 string, Rondo SX 6 string
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Ray Ostwald

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 8 Aug 2020 10:50 am     For Sale - 1973 Sho-Bud LDG, Chicago, $2,000 or best offer
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Hey Rob,
I just posted my 1973 Sho-Bud LDG for sale on this site. I'm in Chicago, but we could talk delivery or pick-up.
Best wishes,
Ray
rayostwald312@gmail.com
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Rob Morrison


From:
New York, USA
Post  Posted 14 Aug 2020 9:14 am    
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Thank you all for the great suggestions. I know pedal steel is a very specific instrument, and while most of my instruments have been purchased used, I've gathered that can be a different ball of wax with a psg.

I think I'm going to hold out for a Zum Encore, or possibly a Stage One unless there's a really clean used option that pops up (there have been some nice looking Sierras close to my price range in the classifieds lately). Thanks again for your help, forumites!
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Bobby Bonds Sr.

 

From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2020 12:33 pm     Gfi S10
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CAll Billy Cooper. He can fix you up with what ever you need. I keep a GFI Ultra set up in my music room just for practice. Great Steel.
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