The Steel Guitar Forum Store 

Post new topic Slack adjustment on Williams 700
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Slack adjustment on Williams 700
Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 8:27 am    
Reply with quote

I'm a mechanical dummy, but I need to adjust my A pedal to give more slack/give. It's killing my ears and my left foot technique to have to keep my foot floating in the air above that pedal.

The Williams 700 manual says this can be done by adjusting either a slack spring or a screw, but it doesn't say where that is. Anybody know so that I don't have to interrupt Bill?

Thanks in advance!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Swartz


From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 9:13 am    
Reply with quote

If this is a pedal height issue only, you can adjust the pedal rod longer at the connector at the bottom of the pedal rod, which would lower the pedal. This is the easiest way as long as the pedal does not bottom out on the floor before hitting the stop. If it bottoms out you would have to adjust the leverage for a shorter travel.
_________________
Scott Swartz
Steeltronics - Steel Guitar Pickups
www.steeltronics.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 11:29 am    
Reply with quote

Not a pedal height issue. I've got that covered.

It's the slack in the pedal action. With the lightest touch on the A pedal, it engages the pull. There should be a little give (as on the B and C pedals) so that incidental pressure doesn't engage the pull.

I just can't find the right thing to adjust the amount of slack.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 11:43 am    
Reply with quote

On every guitar I have had, the weight of the pedal takes up any slack in the undercarriage, making the pedal actuate when resting your foot on the pedal. That was the case on the Williams 600 series guitar I used to have. It may be different on other guitars.
_________________
Carter D10 8p/9k, Regal RD40 Dobro, "The Loar" (brand) mandolin, Cozart D6 lap steel, NV400, Evans DPR2 preamp, Rockville power amp, Ibanez acoustic/electric guitar.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 12:42 pm    
Reply with quote

The Williams manual notes that "all pedals and levers need tuning slack." That's true in my experience, and all pedals and levers on all three of my guitars have had some slack except for the A pedal on my new Williams.

I mean, when you let off the accelerator of your car, you can still rest your foot slightly on the pedal without giving it gas, right?


The manual mentions a "slack adjustment screw" and gives the dimensions. I just hoped someone would know where that is, but I'll just fire off an email to Bill.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Swartz


From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 12:43 pm    
Reply with quote

The screw marked can adjust how slack the pull rods can go, but the pedal weight will still take up any downward slack since this screw would move away from the body.

[/img]
_________________
Scott Swartz
Steeltronics - Steel Guitar Pickups
www.steeltronics.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 1:59 pm    
Reply with quote

If you have an MSA hanging about, borrow one of its silly pedal return springs. Or rig up a light duty return spring.

I keep my foot off the pedal until I mean to hit it.
_________________
2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger

Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 2:14 pm    
Reply with quote

Ah, thanks Scott--that helped a lot. The angle of the mechanism associated with Pedal A to the cabinet was much different than the angle for B and C.

Once I turned that screw clockwise and got the angle more like the other pedals' mechanisms, the "hair trigger" quality lessened. However, I had to work so hard to re-tune that I'm gonna live with it the way it is now rather than play with that screw further.

Thanks again!


Last edited by Buell Wisner on 29 Jul 2015 3:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 2:20 pm    
Reply with quote

Lane Gray wrote:
If you have an MSA hanging about, borrow one of its silly pedal return springs. Or rig up a light duty return spring.

I keep my foot off the pedal until I mean to hit it.



I actually did bring the pedals down a bit closer to the floor, which helps me keep off of them more easily.

I had raised them a hair the last place I rehearsed, where I was on a slightly soft rug.

It's still annoying to have one pedal more sensitive than the others. You feel like you're off of them (with the E and G# strings perfectly intonated) until you hit the B-string. That's an unpleasant surprise. Maybe play barefoot? Wink
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Hal Braun


From:
Eustis, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 5:21 pm    
Reply with quote

My brand new Williams has the same characteristic, and the A pedal has a slightly longer throw than the B..

The weight of the pedal does indeed take up the slack (if you lift the pedal, you can see how much) but when your foot exerts any pressure.. It is going to pull sharp.

I asked Bill, he said (in the kindest way possible) don't mess with the timing and learn to keep my darn foot off the pedal until I mean to play it 😀

That is what I am practicing.. I do find playing barefoot helps, but probably not a good habit to learn.. Most bars I have been in are not conducive to going barefoot. I did but a light weight pair of "keds" canvas shoes to keep them in the air easier. Some folks say the higher heel of the cowboy boot helps as a lever to help keep your toe up..
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Buell Wisner

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 5:48 pm    
Reply with quote

Ah--so you know what I mean. Honestly, I just want the A pedal to trigger the change like the B and C pedals do. The difference is hard to handle when you've got shoes of any kind on and can't feel whether you're 100% clear of the pedal.

Turning the screw helped, but the change in the tension of the pull rod significantly stressed me out with re-tuning.

There's a section of the manual that deals with this; alas, no pictures.

When I get my laptop tomorrow (as opposed to phone), I'll copy and paste the relevant section of the manual plus a picture of my undercarriage. That might help y'all help me.

I'm not stupid, I just don't know the name for the parts. And I don't enjoy mechanics. For me they're a necessary evil, and I'd rather spend my free time playing.

Says me, who spent my off day today mostly working on my lawnmower . . . not enthusiastically.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Hal Braun


From:
Eustis, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2015 6:57 pm    
Reply with quote

I would seriously talk with Bill.. No one is going to know the guitar any better...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Jamie Howarth

 

From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jun 2021 9:23 pm    
Reply with quote

i have precisely the same issue. B and C are manageable, A of i breathe on it it triggers

Why there is a manual page on adjusting it with no diagram is maddening.

Bill advised to stay off the A pedal.

No. Make it act like B and C. With all respect 4 players with an identical problem it becones a matter of convincing the designer from afar that something is off.
_________________
I'll know I'm playing good when the dog stops howling.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Ron Pruter

 

From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 7 Jun 2021 8:15 pm    
Reply with quote

Lane has the answer. You need a small spring to pull the pedal up after loosening up some slack. Many guitars have these. Some don't. I took mine off. RP
_________________
Emmons SKH Le Grande, '73 P/J bass, Tick tack bass, Regal high strung, and a Coral Sitar.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post  Posted 7 Jun 2021 10:37 pm    
Reply with quote

Jamie Howarth wrote:
...a matter of convincing the designer from afar that something is off.

No, something is not "off". Tuning slack and what you're looking for are two different things. What you want is stiffer pedal action, stiff enough to resist the weight of your foot.

The Rudolphs build really fine, modern, precision instruments that play with a very light touch. If that doesn't suit your technique and you need more resistance you can stiffen the action on your Williams by relocating the pull rod(s) to provide less leverage on those pulls. Moving the rods further from the cross shaft on the bell cranks, or closer to the axle on the changer end, or both, will stiffen (and shorten) the action. Re-adjust pedal height to suit your needs.

Otherwise, perhaps you should consider buying an old MSA or Sho-Bud with nice stiff pedal action. Wink
_________________
All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest - Paul Simon
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2021 2:57 am    
Reply with quote

Not mentioned, or my apologies if I've missed it, is raise helper springs. If they are in play, reduction of their tension or total removal, on overly easy-touch pedals would be my first step.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Jamie Howarth

 

From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2021 8:33 pm    
Reply with quote

Ian Worley wrote:
Jamie Howarth wrote:
...a matter of convincing the designer from afar that something is off.

No, something is not "off". Tuning slack and what you're looking for are two different things. What you want is stiffer pedal action, stiff enough to resist the weight of your foot.

The Rudolphs build really fine, modern, precision instruments that play with a very light touch. If that doesn't suit your technique and you need more resistance you can stiffen the action on your Williams by relocating the pull rod(s) to provide less leverage on those pulls. Moving the rods further from the cross shaft on the bell cranks, or closer to the axle on the changer end, or both, will stiffen (and shorten) the action. Re-adjust pedal height to suit your needs.

Otherwise, perhaps you should consider buying an old MSA or Sho-Bud with nice stiff pedal action. Wink


No, i don’t want stiffer action B and C are fine... they require a light amount of force but at rest they do not immediately exercise the changer, there is something different about the “modern precision” adjustment of this A pull, period full stop.

Somebody else said tuning slack. Perhaps what you have described moving the rod to a different slot on the bell crank might work, but it functions as a different amount of leverage and may actually screw up the balance and timing.I assume the Williams folks know which slot it belongs in. Bill did suggest a tiny helper spring which stiffened the action but didn’t solve the problem.

So thanks for the mini lecture, and btw ironically I own a rod and barrel ShoBud and it is adjusted perfectly... took months and months to learn all the angles - I’ve become a fairly good mechanic Smile.The Williams action isn’t a mystery,, for the most part this contacts that and that pushes this and this screw adjusrs this travel or slack etc.. .Didn’t help that it was dropped in shipping- The problems from day one were with the A pedal and on the phone Mr. Rudolph repaired the more egregious bent stuff ... I agree it’s well made - I might have not cut it so fine where the hook tab nestles under an undercut in the adjacent cross/shaft... that rubbed and prevented the string to come to open pitch reliably.... an easy fix - twisting it slightly and tightening it without allowing it to twist again.

But despite you old saltys growling to keep my foot off the A pedal the B and C pedals seem to be ignoring you. Common sense says it’s a problem with one mechanical system and not the other identical two.

I now think the slack problem is at the changer end:. I may not have figured it out but I’m close. Maybe there’s a better way to achieve the following:

Looks actually fairly simple but subtle and not what you or Bill described - I noticed that there was a staggered response. The first initial tiny pressure changed 5 and then really leaning into it both fingers moved and it felt like B and C ...what’s happening is with the bushing.between the hex nut (plastic end) and the actual abutting inner plastic spacer/bushing that contacts the raise tab itself...on all but one of the pulls (guess which one) there is a small amount of clearance between the tuning nut and the bushing., the bushing spins freely at rest and there is a gap of maybe 0.030” . I noticed that string 10 had that gap and it doesn’t change pitch until a firm but light pressure is on it. Like B and C.. and there's the staggered response... String 5 does not have a gap-it's tight against the raise tab at rest and the spacer can't freely spin....Now, on this problem child if i detune the pull somewhat flat the problem goes away...because a tiny spacing opens up....but turning the nut to true pitch narrows that gap to nothing, so breathing on the pedal it moves the finger. What might be more salient: when one pull engages before the other it's a problem... it’s the combination of both return springs engaging simultaneously that provides the tiny bit iof stiffness required. They really have to make initial contact simultaneously AND with a tiny bit of play between the nut the spacer and the tab...Seems like the adjustment necessary is to change the pedal travel with the the stop just a little more travel such that the pull can come to pitch without being jammed against the finger at rest. I don’t think the docs discuss this. i will try adjusting the stop such that a tiny bit more sharp range is happening —- at rest that should leave a little clearance at rest and it won’t be so damn touchy.

Meanwhile there are some other adjustments in the docs that may or may not be on this instrument, but there is no diagram showing where those adjustments are -simply turn this or that... oh yeah? Where is that on the diagram... there's no diagram?

That's when I get salty. All due respect...
_________________
I'll know I'm playing good when the dog stops howling.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2021 5:37 pm    
Reply with quote

I wasn't trying to lecture you Jamie, I apologize if I offended you. I was just being defensive on behalf of Bill and Tim Rudolph. Your earlier post (the part I quoted) implied there was something wrong with the design and/or construction of your guitar, I was saying that, based on your description of the issue you're having, there is not.

There are certainly some adjustments you can make that would improve how your guitar works relative to your playing style. Timing multiple pulls to start and end together can be a challenge sometimes, depending on what leverage options are available between the bell cranks an changer. You can experiment with this to see if there are other combinations that work better. Different string gauges affect timing too, smaller gauges require longer pulls. A slightly heavier gauge string 5 or lighter 10 could give you enough to get the tuning nut slack balanced between them.

Just keep in mind that it's the laws of physics, not our expectations, that are the ultimate arbiter in such quests. And as my mom often told me growing up, expectations are fraught with disappointment.
_________________
All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest - Paul Simon
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Jamie Howarth

 

From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2021 8:55 am    
Reply with quote

Ian Worley wrote:
I wasn't trying to lecture you Jamie, I apologize if I offended you. I was just being defensive on behalf of Bill and Tim Rudolph. Your earlier post (the part I quoted) implied there was something wrong with the design and/or construction of your guitar, I was saying that, based on your description of the issue you're having, there is not.

There are certainly some adjustments you can make that would improve how your guitar works relative to your playing style. Timing multiple pulls to start and end together can be a challenge sometimes, depending on what leverage options are available between the bell cranks an changer. You can experiment with this to see if there are other combinations that work better. Different string gauges affect timing too, smaller gauges require longer pulls. A slightly heavier gauge string 5 or lighter 10 could give you enough to get the tuning nut slack balanced between them.

Just keep in mind that it's the laws of physics, not our expectations, that are the ultimate arbiter in such quests. And as my mom often told me growing up, expectations are fraught with disappointment.


The guitar comes from the factory IN MY OPINION with its sails trimmed a little close to the wind. It is a great design but perhaps set up a little close to the edge of the ideal that Bill and Tim expect of it. For example I found the e lowers actually were acting screwy and it turned out it arrived slightly over-tuned, could be because the string aged but more likely that it was just set up a little ... "hopefully".

I know from my experience with the Sho-Bud that to set the midpoint of the range of tuning is to lose some responsiveness. I set up the rods and barrels to be dead on plus or minus 20 cents on the thin string and reach under and adjust the stops every day rather than twisting the endnuts more than a tiny bit and only to balance the thicker string - the barrels are set ideally - the faint of heart could mess this guitar up in seconds if it were tuned with the tuning nuts. IT would work but it would react dully. So I totally get that hot-rodding is to play the tolerances close. Just not too close. When one string goes a 1/4 tone before the thicker string moves, maybe Greg Leisz can control that... I can't. Got it. But if the guitar ships such that within weeks the opens are being tuned by the lower nut and it can't make it...Is intentional over-tuning a thing? I doubt it. So my humble suggestion would be to add a couple thousandths of slop just to be safer, it's still going to be extremely responsive.

Bill suggested moving the 5 string to another slot on the bellcrank, that did make the pull feel more simultaneous. The one that resists earliest is now the heavier string ... rather than the light one leading the charge, so the stasis point of the heavy string defines a faint but determinative "top of travel feel stop" for lack of a better term. That feels much more secure. I think I will move 4 and 3 as well...
_________________
I'll know I'm playing good when the dog stops howling.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

David Nugent

 

From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2021 10:22 am    
Reply with quote

Buell..Also play a Willams '700' series (with very light action as well) and may be sticking my neck out but here goes; you might try shifting your seating position a tiny bit to the right. This should alter the placement of your foot slightly and may help lift some of the pressure off the 'A' pedal onto the 'B' pedal. Since the Williams' cabinets are shorter than most, I found it helped to seat myself somewhere around the 14th fret.
View user's profile Send private message

John Palumbo


From:
Lansdale, PA.
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2021 11:50 am    
Reply with quote

On my Willy (700 Series) the weight of the pedal itself takes out any slack, it's the same on all 3 pedals. I've learned to keep my foot above and not touching them.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2021 7:19 pm    
Reply with quote

To get free slack in the pedal pull system requires a spring of some type to return the pedal to the top height of its travel. This is required to give the pedal a little free travel before engaging the pull on the changer fingers. Either a straight pull spring attached to a lever on the cross rod or a spring like MSA used in their old guitar, That Lain Gray mentioned in a previous post, Will give the pull slack before engaging the changer lever.

In Mickey Adams Steel Guitar adjustment and set up video lesson, He covers free play in the pull system before actually engaging the changer fingers.

I want all pedals and knee levers have a little free play in their pulls before engaging the changer levers. The old MSA I played for 20 years with its cross shaft return springs made me this way.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com
BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron
The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Click Here to Send a Donation

Email SteelGuitarForum@gmail.com for technical support.