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Post new topic Buy this old Shobud, or explore other options?
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Author Topic:  Buy this old Shobud, or explore other options?
David Cochran

 

From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2022 8:39 am    
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I am brand new to playing pedal steel, but groomed my affinity for bends and steel-style sounds on my telecaster with a B bender and G bender.

A friend has loaned me his old Shobud S10 3x4 to try out for the last several months, and now I have the opportunity to purchase it (plus his old Randall Steelman). I am very motivated to keep learning, and to commit to the investment of owning a pedal steel, so I'm considering my options. I feel like it's bad practice to buy the first one I ever play, but given the scarcity (or absolute dearth) of pedal steels in local stores, I cannot build a good standard of comparison.

My impressions of the Shobud are positive enough, though I feel like there are better guitars out there. The pedal travel seems a little inconsistent between A,B, and C, but maybe that can be adjusted, or acclimated to. I'm pretty indifferent about the tone; it understandably doesn't quite compare to the recordings I know and love, since those are studio quality sound recorded by studio quality musicians, while I'm a novice with likely poor bar technique. Structurally, one of the end brackets was a little loose and looks to have some new hardware holding it on. After a little tightening, it felt a bit more secure. The legs are sometimes a pain to screw in while assembling it, and I anticipate taking my prospective steel to jams on a weekly basis, so that might get annoying.

Maybe someone could tell me more about this guitar from the photos that I have, and inform me of any endemic issues to look for on this particular model, and point me to resources that will help me set it up optimally?

In my experience with guitars, sometimes vintage instruments aren't always the best options for a beginner, so if I could do better for my money, I welcome that input as well. It's not much of a budget, but I'm looking to spend between 2500 and 3000. I'm almost exclusively searching the secondhand market in the Oklahoma/Texas area, since shipping can be a prohibitive headache.

Thank you!








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Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post  Posted 12 May 2022 9:58 am    
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The guitar is a model 6139, built June '73. There is a serial # list here: https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1951049#1951049. When properly setup and maintained, this era of Sho-Bud can be really nice and tend to sound really good. This one looks pretty tired though, rode hard and put up wet. A lot of the original setup has been altered, to what extent is hard to tell from the limited pics. Also hard to know what effect this has had on play-ability. In any case, this guitar looks like it's ready for a full tear down and rebuild.

This was the first iteration of '70s Professional series, the "rack and barrel" undercarriage. This one still has the original five "racks" but only one barrel, that's the brass tuner thingy on the C pedal, string 5. The range of adjustment for pedal and lever travel that you asked about is one of the big limitations compared to a modern guitar, which tend to have more leverage options for each individual pull. If you have $2500-$3k to spend I would suggest looking elsewhere, there are some very nice used, and even new, modern pro level guitars available in that price range. Clunky old guitars are not very motivating for learning on.
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Skip Edwards

 

From:
LA,CA
Post  Posted 12 May 2022 11:03 am    
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As much as I like old 6139's (I have one myself that I bought new), after looking at the one posted, I'd say explore other options.
Something new might work out better...
JMHO
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D Schubert

 

From:
Columbia, MO, USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2022 12:30 pm    
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I also have a blonde Sho-Bud 6140 (converted to a 6139) that was just overhauled by Ricky Davis, and it sounds great. It plays well now, but there are still some limitations to the rack-and-barrel linkage and the 1+1 changer. As much as I hate to say it, I've been playing my GFI EXPO a lot more, mostly because it feels tight and precise, and there are a few changes you just can't add to the old Sho-Bud. 💙
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David Cochran

 

From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2022 2:01 pm    
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Thanks for all of the input so far! As chance would have it, I just got a lead on a 4 x 4 MSA for a pretty good price that I’m going to look at on Saturday. Still welcoming feedback as well!
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Richard Alderson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2022 7:56 am     This Buds for you ... maybe
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Dear David - You have a great price point, for 2500 to 3000 you have a ton of options, and much better than the particular guitar in question. If you like single neck Sho Buds and you are willing to pay 2500, here is a nice option already been worked on and has everything you'll ever need, and with new parts and a great finish. This one is not going last long I don't think. Its in the for sale section now at 2800.



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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2022 9:33 am    
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I restore many shobud's for 28 years; but I always suggest if you HAVE to buy your first pedal steel to learn on; Get a More Modern USER Friendly at least 3 pedals and 3 knee levers and Learn for couple years. Then you have just added to your EAR and TECHNIQUE and MECHANICAL repertoire that will guide you RiGHT TO the Pedal Steel you will want for a long long time for the price you are willing/Can Pay.(it might be Old Classic or NEW; but you won't know until you get there.)
Good luck.
Ricky
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 14 May 2022 12:42 am    
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David, did you say how much the Sho Bud will cost you ? If you did, I didn't see it.

I would certainly agree that a newer modern era Steel is perhaps the best bet for a new player but that doesn't guarantee that it will be in good order.

I've seen and worked on several NEW era Steels that were in need of some serious work.

New doesn't mean good, GOOD means Good !

be wise, ask questions . If possible purchase from a PLAYER , retail stores typically know nothing about Steel guitars other than it has 4 legs.

ask away !

tp
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CURRENT MUSIC TRACKS AT > https://tprior2241.wixsite.com/website
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K Maul


From:
Hadley, NY/Hobe Sound, FL
Post  Posted 14 May 2022 5:00 am    
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Why would someone replace the original pull rods on a rack+barrel with rods with nylon tuners? Eliminating the barrels completely messes up the tuning system!
Years ago I bought (for a low price) a two-hole puller Bud that had been similarly “converted”. I got new Allen key type rods from PSG Parts and redid the whole thing. It worked fine and sounded great. Later I sold it, of course… I miss it now-of course!
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 14 May 2022 6:10 am    
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As already stated, you have much, much better options in the $2500-3000 range than that tired, altered, old Sho Bud. I had a '73 6139 with the rack-and-barrel system totally intact and original. It sounded great but didn't play like a modern steel. I agree with others to get something that is smooth, easy-to-play, and bullet-proof. It's easy to get frustrated by bad mechanics, and doubly so when starting out.

I would thank your friend for letting you use it, and go find a top-rate steel. There are almost weekly threads about "What should I get for a starter (or beginner) steel?" on the forum - look at some of them and then ask more questions.

Here are a few to start you out:

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

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=362849

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=380435

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=378735

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=379539
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 14 May 2022 6:25 am    
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I would not pay $1000 for that guitar. Clunky.
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David Cochran

 

From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 15 May 2022 6:28 am    
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Much gratitude to all for the input here! I’m glad I heeded the advice and looked at other options. Yesterday I brought home this MSA. The seller said it is a mid 70’s Classic that has been tuned up by the MSA techs in Mesquite, TX. I haven’t spent much time with it yet, but it already feels tighter and smoother than the ShoBud I was loaned, and at a considerable fraction of the asking cost. I even get an extra foot pedal out of the deal!

Last edited by David Cochran on 15 May 2022 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 15 May 2022 6:56 am    
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Nice! Very Happy
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post  Posted 15 May 2022 7:45 am     Your "NEW TO YOU" MSA
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You have hit a GRAND SLAM HOME RUN, enjoy...
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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 15 May 2022 10:07 am    
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Great job David, that'll work. MSA is wonderful old or new, very user-friendly enjoy, soak it all in bro.
Ricky
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Email Ricky: sshawaiian@austin.rr.com
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