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My steel has this much de-tuning/cabinet drop.
Between 0 and 1 cents...
28%
 28%  [ 34 ]
Between 1 and 2 cents...
14%
 14%  [ 17 ]
Between 2 and 4 cents
35%
 35%  [ 43 ]
Between 4 and 6 cents
10%
 10%  [ 13 ]
Between 6 and 10 cents
9%
 9%  [ 11 ]
Over 10 cents
1%
 1%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 120

Author Topic:  Cabinet Drop Poll
Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 1:27 pm    
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Not tied to any brand of steel, with no requirement to ID your self, consider participating in this poll to see where your steel measures up in the De-Tuning/Cabinet Drop issue. The more participating the bigger the picture. And just so we are at least close to being on the same page, lets use the C. Dixon method of measurement, paraphrased here:

Using a quality tuner:

1. Connect it to your guitar's jack. You need no amp for this test.

2. Tune the E9th 6th string (the one that is usually the worst when it comes to cabinet drop), to dead straight up 440.

3. Pick the string, and engage the C pedal.

4. Write down what the drop of that string is, in "cents".

Then participate in the poll... More then one steels, different results, POLL the Middle, then add a post.

Thank you...


Last edited by Dick Sexton on 20 Oct 2010 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jay Yuskaitis

 

From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 2:10 pm     cabinet drop????
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Is this all we have to worry about? Jay Y.
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 3:45 pm     Poll?
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Idea
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Tim Heidner

 

From:
Groves, TX
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 3:59 pm    
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anybody that votes 0-1 I would love to know the brand of the guitar.
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Doug Palmer


From:
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 4:16 pm     Ld-10-iii
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Tim, mine is a LeGrande III with a counter force.

Doug
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Clete Ritta


From:
San Antonio, Texas
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 8:27 pm    
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Im thinking those with 0-1 cent drop may have compensators.
I may be wrong, it happened once before. Razz
Im in the 6-10 camp.

Clete
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David Beckner


From:
Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 8:39 pm    
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Tim Heidner wrote:
anybody that votes 0-1 I would love to know the brand of the guitar.

SHOBUD CROSSOVER. Very Happy
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David Hartley

 

Post  Posted 20 Oct 2010 10:26 pm     Ok
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I was wondering.........Why?

Would the amount of detune be a factor on wether you bought a steel by a particular maker or not.?

I suppose it would looking back at the Buddy Emmons poster on the other cab drop thread.

Would a solid lump of steel about 4" thick for the body of the guitar stop these micro amounts of detune?

I wish i had your ears, it must really be annoying to hear guitars go out of tune when playing.

7.00am here, its a day off for me but I have an instrumental to record thats for a funeral at the weekend. A Sinatra song. I hope the guitar stays in tune.

For some reason, this topic rattles my cage.

Whatever will happen when peterson bring out a tuner more accurate than the ones already available? All the builders will have to put compensators in for this.

Anyway, are you really telling me that a guitar with a light pedal action, actually bends when a pedal is pressed? I cant believe it myself but i suppose there are instruments that measure this kind of thing in the engineering world? Wouldn't a cab drop affect all strings? I believe it would, so, cab drop cant really exist, can it?

I am getting 'drawn into' these cab drop detuning threads, and i really dont know why?

Have a good day measuring your drops!

Let me out of this cage now, please.



Very Happy
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Greg Wisecup


From:
Troy, Ohio
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 5:00 am    
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Got with Dick last night and here's my surprising results. 1 cent on the 6th string with the c pedal down, 4 cents on the 6th with a&f. Now I have no one or nothing to blame but myself. Oh well, time to go practice. It's a DERBY!!!!!! Very Happy
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Ethan Shaw

 

From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 7:11 am    
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Fender 400's and 1000's have no cabinet drop.
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Jay Yuskaitis

 

From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 1:44 pm     cabinet drop????
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Oh my gosh!! Jay Y.
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Chris Lucker

 

From:
Los Angeles, California USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 4:26 pm    
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This is an outstanding wine.


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Barry Hyman


From:
upstate New York, USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 5:14 pm    
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In response to what David Hartley said -- I think the phenomenon of cabinet drop rattles a lot of cages, some of us because we don't want to think about it, and some of us because we know it's a problem.

Yes, David, the steel actually does bend. It is under a lot of tension just by having strings on it, and when you increase the tension by raising the pitch of various strings, both wood and metal bend. It's a fact; no good pretending it just ain't so.

Light pedal action has nothing to do with it -- you are still raising the pitch of strings when you step on the pedals, whether the pedals are easy to press or not. And no, you don't need a Peterson or fancy engineering equipment to measure it -- if you can't hear it (?!?) you can clearly see it with nothing more than a $25 Korg tuner.

A more important question is: What do we do about it? Once again, incomplete or illogical thinking characterizes most of the approaches I have seen, as with many issues that involve tuning. Let's say your sixth string drops 8 cents when you step on the C pedal. (That's what mine does.) So the solution I have seen suggested is to tune the sixth string a little sharp, so it will be just a little sharp before you step on the pedal, and just a little flat when you do.

Problem solved, right? Wrong! What about when you activate a pedal or knee lever that lowers strings? Then the sixth string would go up, and be really sharp! Bet you never thought about that, did you?

The body bows when you put strings on it, and it bows more when you tighten any string, and it bows less when you loosen any string. That would be true even if it was a 4" slab of solid steel! (It wouldn't bow as much as a normal psg does, but it would still bend some.)

So the only solution I can see is to ignore cabinet drop. It strikes me as the type of thing that most concerns obsessive living room players who always play psg in a quiet place and who have spent large amounts of money on fancy tuners and who have little else to worry about. When you play out, in a club with a band, you have more important things to worry about than a few cents here and there. A cent is 1/100th of a fret. How many of us are that accurate with our left hands? And if our ears are good enough to hear a few cents difference in a noisy room, then we can always compensate with our left hands, at least when just playing one string at a time.

I don't deny cabinet drop, and I don't like cabinet drop, but it bothers me less than the guitar player who won't use a tuner, or the drunken fiddle player who tends to slide a little too far, or the bass player who thinks there is a C# in E harmonic minor! In the studio it might bother me enough to record another take, but on stage, cabinet drop is the least of my worries.
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C Dixon

 

From:
Duluth, GA USA
Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 5:42 pm    
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I can assure you that LONG before tuners came into vogue, many of us noticed (thru our ears) cabinet drop. I noticed it right away on the 6th string and the A & F pedal on my '69 Emmons P/P. It was intolerable for me, so a second pull rod and a bellcrank on the A pedal (6th string), solved the problem.

'Tis very true that Fender 400's thru 2,000's did not exhibit cabinet drop. But it took too cases (1,000's and 2,000's) to divide the weight, because of the massive aluminum super structures and heavy aluminum braces that prevented the cabinet from dropping (bowing)

And yes the cabinet DOES drop an equal amount, BUT it manisfests it self thusly:

Using the test you would NOT see any cabinet drop on strings 4 and 5 since they are raising and responsible for the cabinet bowing. The other strings will all drop. There drop has to do with gauges and tension. So the amount of drop varies from miniscule to intolerable to those of us mentioned earlier.

This can all be demonstated and verified with controlled tests.

Cabinet drop, by some is NO problem. But, it IS for greats like BE and Tommy Dodd, to name just 2. BE is also bothered by cabinet raise. IE: E's to Eb and the 6th string raises; and it is OUT of tune with those E's on more than just a few brands, IF it was in tune before the E's were lowered.

When Emmons introduced a solution to the malady with their LeGrande III's, MANY players jumped on it. And it truly is a blessing for those who it does bother. And well worth the 300 bucks per neck. This is why the III's just about always sell quickly any time they are put up for sale on the forum. As opposed to the LeGrande II's that do not have the counterforce option to cure cabinet drop. In fact, that is the ONLY difference between the II's and the III's!

If'n ya don' hear it, don' sweat it! If'n ya do, please don' condemn or make fun of those who it does bother. For as far as I know, it is not (as yet) against the law or morals, to seek a solution and/or rememdy when something bothers a person. Praise Jesus.

Finally, the number of threads (and posts) on this topic, over the last 13 yrs, says to me at least, that it bothers a LOT of players. And it just may be (NOT saying it is), that the one's it bothers, are in the majority. Rolling Eyes

"What EVAH floatest thou boat", is the golden rule here, I believe. Whoa!

c.

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David Hartley

 

Post  Posted 21 Oct 2010 9:52 pm     Hi
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Hi to you all.
Great replies there many thanks. I am beginning to understand this a little more now, after all these years of playing. What I am thinking here now is this, yes, this detuning affects all steel guitars some more than others. So, shouldn't the modern day steel guitar builder incorporate the compensation methods used on the legrande 3. Steel guitars are expensive anyway so what's an extra $600 on a D10 to fix this.? If I was building a steel guitar, it would probably be something I would treat as a priority knowing that it would probably be the biggest selling point in the build. The other thing I am thinking, the compensators that are fitted to Legrand and I think Franklins,? ..... Is this another tuning adjustment that has to be made when tuning your steel up, or is it something that that works without extra tweaking..? Anyway, at the end of the day, these are interesting topics, and it exists, and it can be resolved, so, builders, let's have steels that don't detune please. Maybe strings could be better? Yet another question here, you are measuring your 6th drop when operating C pedal ...... I don't know any lick that would require me to use C on it's own while playing 6th (not that I can think of at 6 in the morning anyway).. Perhaps we should all practice bar slanting more,..Would the Newman preset be void and not work on a guitar with no pitch drop?

Regards to you all..
David.
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Barry Hyman


From:
upstate New York, USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 6:08 am    
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How does the counterforce work?

I was thinking this morning you could have a laser measure the flex and have some kind of mechanical or hydraulic device to counteract it. That would probably add $1000 in cost! Very Happy Mr. Green Sad Obviously I am not mechanically-minded and there has to be a simpler way. So how does the Emmons counterforce work?

Solving cabinet drop with compensators or re-tuning still seems too complicated to me -- on my S-12 I have six strings that can be lowered and nine that can be raised. That would be a lot of compensators!
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Brint Hannay

 

From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 6:20 am    
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If I were a PSG builder or designer, I'm sure I would make a serious effort to reduce or ideally eliminate "cabinet drop".

As a player, my "vote" in this poll would have been for the missing option "Whatever--it sounds fine."
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Alan Tanner


From:
Near Dayton, Ohio
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 6:32 am    
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How do you know its all "cab drop?" as opposed to some other problem or combination of problems. With so many moving parts, the elasticity of aluminum and wood, strings stretching, little levers and bearings, tuning keys, pivot shafts, bridge, nut, turnbuckles, and anything else that I have missed, I fail to see how you can say it is just cab drop. If a person was to set up where fixed indicators graduated in .001 of an inch, or as was noted lasers, were applied to detect any lateral, horizontal, or radial movement when the pedals were depressed, it may show the other factors are at work, or at least your drop is not what you thought it to be. Aluminum will change considerably with heat alone. The steel guitar is a somewhat uncomplicated machine, but one that has many moving parts. It also seems to be a pretty unstable platform, as most players seem to be constantly tuning them. Maybe we have "over built" if you will, using current and accepted designs, and the continued adding of even more levers and pedals will just add to not only the complexity of the machine, but also inherent problems with so many moving parts that are deigned to either stretch or relax a music wire to preset pitches. Just thinking here...
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 6:47 am    
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Barry raises a good point when he talks about 'cabinet raise', and there's not a lot that can be done about it.

However, most steels built today do have some cabinet drop, but it's within acceptable limits, and, if you know what you're doing, the effect of this small amount of drop can be minimised even further by tuning it out.

I don't mean JI or ET tuning, I mean tuning with all the raises activated, then listening to the rise in pitch of the E strings when the pedals/levers are released, and tuning the rest of the strings by ear, using the E strings as a reference.

Once the instrument is in tune, the actual pitch readings can be inputted to your Peterson or whatever tuner you use.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 7:27 am    
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I discovered quite by accident that removing the strings from the back neck increases cabinet drop on the front neck by a measurable and audible amount. Muttering
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 8:05 am     Hummm!
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B0B, that is interesting and the first time I've heard that... It almost sounds like a pre-stress component in play.

Al wrote: As most "steel" players seem to be constantly tuning them. Laughing And your point? Al, I'm doomed, with Artie in one ear and Smiley in the other, no wonder I think I'm out of tune. Hahahaha!

Al, of course your absolutely right, just the temperature coefficient of aluminum alone is a huge factor, I suspect. But when we get right down to it, it's still just a physics problem, that is solvable. Of course the cost of solving it may make its solution unreasonable, to most players anyway.

The poll, the poll!!!!
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David Hartley

 

Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 10:01 am     Dick
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I will see if I get a chance to do the measurements for the poll. I am usually too busy working, and/or playing steel to fiddle around taking measurements, which the builders should have done when they built the steels perhaps, and tried to rectify, and then make it known to us just what the detune, cab drop, etc is.....! If Emmons done it, so can everybody else..Smile
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C Dixon

 

From:
Duluth, GA USA
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 10:09 am    
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How do you know its all "cab drop?"

We DON'T!

But, MOST of it is I can assure you. And yes it can be measured and calculated. AND the late Ron Lashley Sr did JUST that when he came up with the LeGrande III's "counterforce" option.

Note: It does NOT work by straightening a bent axle as many believe as I too believed. That is NOT what is happening.

With a 9/16" hardened steel axle there is so little flex in the middle, as to be zero for all practical purposes.

The Major cause of strings dropping when other strings are raised (and vice versa) is caused by the cabinet simply bowing. You can prove this by simply picking a string and pressing down on the middle of the cabinet.

The reason the 6th string drops so much is because of its gauge and tension. NOT necessarily because it is near the middle of the axle.

Also, The first LeGrandes; the ones called "SKH's (short keyheads) rigidly supported the axle between EACH changer finger, and it did NOTHING to correct cabinet drop. (according to tests made by Ron Sr).

How does the counterforce work? Very simple once you see it in your mind.

So foget pedal steel guitar for a moment and think of a bow (as in bow and arrow). Where a very taught string is stretched accross the ends of a piece of wood. The string prestresses the wood in to a given arc.

Now pull the string, the bow ALWAYS flexes more.

This is exactly what happens on ALL PSG's more or less.

Now.....

Devise a way to counter this additional flexing so that as you pull the string, another string attaches in a way that pulls on the OTHER side of the arc. And adjust this second string so that the arc does NOT change.

That is precisely how the Emmons LL3's work. Very simple once you see it.




Notice the strings are prestressing the cabinet. Without countering this stress, WHEN given strings stress the cabinet more, other strings WILL drop in pitch, because the scale length IS decreasing.

BUT, if you can counter this added stress, with a rod UNDER the guitar, you CAN stop the dropping. And that is precisely what Emmons' counterforce does. NOTHING less, NOTHING more.

Finally notice the "adjusters" on each pedal involved.

May Jesus rest Ron's precious soul. He WAS a true genious. THE most intelligent person I have EVER met.

c.

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David Hartley

 

Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 11:11 am     I just had a thought.....?
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Remember the true tone mod, that was a secret....... Why doesn't someone start a true tune mod where any steel can modded to eliminate this characteristic detuning.

Also, why does a lowered string always come back sharp?

Ie.. Tune your E's, lower, then let the knee lever off, and it always comes back sharp?

Why?

Ok. I've invented the true tune name, I would therefore like to be part of the company that offers these mods to correct nearly every steel guitar ever made..

Mmmmm... I might be a millionaire yet?

Oh, I can see a reply coming..... It's already here.... Please visit www.truetune.com

Well, the web domain is name is available, I would grab it quick if somebody can do this mod... Don't forget, I'm in business with you.... Smile
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post  Posted 22 Oct 2010 11:28 am    
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I'm not buying that explanation, Carl.

If all that is needed is to have an adjustable rod under the cabinet, the obvious place to fasten it to is the changer endplate, not a lever that locates on the changer axle, and fouls the pickup cavity.

No, I think it was Ron Sr indulging in a bit of spin, understandably not wanting to admit that the changer axle flexes, (as by stating that, he would be undermining the sales of his other steels that did not have the counterforce} so he came up with the bow and arrow explanation.

A quite ingenious piece of spin Very Happy
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