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Post new topic moving pedals on MSA - undercarriage picture and part names
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Author Topic:  moving pedals on MSA - undercarriage picture and part names
Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 3:15 pm    
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So I finally bit the bullet and moved all my pedals over one slot. Now I understand how this thing works.

But on my B and C pedals I'm having a problem. I pulled the rods tight against the changer and then attached the rods with the set screws to the pivot arms.

Now the b and c pedals are way overshooting their notes. I have to back out the tuning nuts till they fall off and they are still way to sharp.

I think I'm missing something but what?

Does it involve me moving tbe pedals one slot left or am I missing something about how I am supposed to attach the rods? I'm reading now in the manual it says "leave a little slack in the rod". I didn't do that.

Also does it matter which hole on the pivot pin you attach the control rod to?
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 4:13 pm    
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Quote:
But on my B and C pedals I'm having a problem. I pulled the rods tight against the changer and then attached the rods with the set screws to the pivot arms.


You have to have some slack in the pull train. You can't have the tuning nut making contact with the finger when the pedal is not pressed, without some play. And, you may also have to adjust the pedal travels if you have put different changes than were on the pedal previously, like if you changed the B pedal to be your C, pedal or other changes.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 5:20 am    
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Richard Sinkler wrote:
Quote:
But on my B and C pedals I'm having a problem. I pulled the rods tight against the changer and then attached the rods with the set screws to the pivot arms.


You have to have some slack in the pull train. You can't have the tuning nut making contact with the finger when the pedal is not pressed, without some play. And, you may also have to adjust the pedal travels if you have put different changes than were on the pedal previously, like if you changed the B pedal to be your C, pedal or other changes.


How do you adjust the pedal travels?

What is the significance of the different holes on the pivot arms? Does moving it higher or lower affect the tuning?
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Al Evans


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 6:23 am    
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Paul McEvoy wrote:
How do you adjust the pedal travels?

What is the significance of the different holes on the pivot arms? Does moving it higher or lower affect the tuning?


If you look at the first post in this thread, at the place marked "A", it's the little hole in the rail above the pedal pull. There's an Allen screw in there you adjust to limit the pedal travel. I think it's 1/8".

It isn't a whole bunch of help, but here's a manual for old MSAs:

https://www.steelguitar.com/manuals/MSA_OwnersManual.pdf

--Al Evans
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2018 ZumSteel Encore, 2015 Mullen G2, 1976 MSA D10 Classic, G&L S-500, G&L ASAT, G&L LB-100, Godin A4 Fretless, Kinscherff High Noon
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:39 am    
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Al Evans wrote:
Paul McEvoy wrote:
How do you adjust the pedal travels?

What is the significance of the different holes on the pivot arms? Does moving it higher or lower affect the tuning?


If you look at the first post in this thread, at the place marked "A", it's the little hole in the rail above the pedal pull. There's an Allen screw in there you adjust to limit the pedal travel. I think it's 1/8".

It isn't a whole bunch of help, but here's a manual for old MSAs:

https://www.steelguitar.com/manuals/MSA_OwnersManual.pdf

--Al Evans


That's really helpful I didn't think about adjusting those. I'm still a little confused as to what all goes into regulating the tuning of the pulls. Does the allen screw do the gross adjustment and the nylon rod nuts do the fine adjustment?
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Tommy Mc


From:
Middlesex VT
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 9:43 am    
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Paul McEvoy wrote:


That's really helpful I didn't think about adjusting those. I'm still a little confused as to what all goes into regulating the tuning of the pulls. Does the allen screw do the gross adjustment and the nylon rod nuts do the fine adjustment?


Paul, That allen screw in the rail is just for adjusting the pedal travel and providing a positive stop. If you go back to the original post and look at the part marked "C", this is called a "bell crank". I would argue that's where you make the "gross adjustment". There are several factors concerning the bell crank.

First, there is a brass barrel which goes through one of the holes in the bell crank and holds the end of the pull rod. If you need more travel in the pull rod, you can adjust it there. Just loosen the allen screw that holds the rod and pull the rod through as much as you need.

Additionally, the length of the pull can be altered, depending on which hole you put the barrel into. Farther out from the cross shaft will give you a longer pull for the same amount of pedal travel. This can be useful when timing two different strings on the same pedal/lever, especially feel-stops.

Finally, the entire bell crank can be loosened and rotated a bit on the cross rod. Ideally, you want it to be at 90 degrees when it's halfway through the pull, but there's some fine tuning that can be done with altering the angle a bit.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 7:29 am    
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Tommy Mc wrote:
Paul McEvoy wrote:


That's really helpful I didn't think about adjusting those. I'm still a little confused as to what all goes into regulating the tuning of the pulls. Does the allen screw do the gross adjustment and the nylon rod nuts do the fine adjustment?


Paul, That allen screw in the rail is just for adjusting the pedal travel and providing a positive stop. If you go back to the original post and look at the part marked "C", this is called a "bell crank". I would argue that's where you make the "gross adjustment". There are several factors concerning the bell crank.

First, there is a brass barrel which goes through one of the holes in the bell crank and holds the end of the pull rod. If you need more travel in the pull rod, you can adjust it there. Just loosen the allen screw that holds the rod and pull the rod through as much as you need.

Additionally, the length of the pull can be altered, depending on which hole you put the barrel into. Farther out from the cross shaft will give you a longer pull for the same amount of pedal travel. This can be useful when timing two different strings on the same pedal/lever, especially feel-stops.

Finally, the entire bell crank can be loosened and rotated a bit on the cross rod. Ideally, you want it to be at 90 degrees when it's halfway through the pull, but there's some fine tuning that can be done with altering the angle a bit.


That’s very helpful. My other question is about how the rods overlap. If multiple rods are passing over one spot, how do you choose which one goes in which hole in the bell crank? Not sure if I’m asking it right. There are multiple rods for each string, do the just go in order from low to high on the successive bell ranks?
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Tommy Mc


From:
Middlesex VT
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 9:53 am    
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Quote:
There are multiple rods for each string, do the just go in order from low to high on the successive bell ranks?


Pretty much. You can't have rods crossing or occupying the same space. The nature of the changer is that the raises are above the lowers. (closer to the cross shaft) The rods have to maintain that order. If you have two raises (or two lowers) on the same string, you can be judicious about which one goes over or under the other. In looking at my E9 MSA, I see that the 5th string raise (B→C#) uses the lowest hole in both bell cranks (A and C pedals) The A pedal rod goes to a 'lower to the floor' hole in the changer.

Looking at your photo in the first post, I can see that your C pedal uses the 1st hole in the bell crank and the A pedal used the 2nd hole, which is more consistent with stacking the rods in order.
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Al Evans


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 5:12 am    
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Paul McEvoy wrote:
My other question is about how the rods overlap. If multiple rods are passing over one spot, how do you choose which one goes in which hole in the bell crank?


For a given amount of pitch change, a thin string has to be stretched further than a fat string. And of course, the larger the pitch change, the more the string is stretched.

On the bell cranks, the further away from the cross shaft, the more the string is stretched for a given amount of pedal movement (which, as previously stated, is set by the limiting screws in the side rail).

At the changer, the closer to the shaft of the changer, the more the string is stretched for a given amount of pedal movement.

So it's a question of balance between all these factors. If it's working right, the best plan is to put the rods back in the same holes they came from! Smile

--Al Evans
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2018 ZumSteel Encore, 2015 Mullen G2, 1976 MSA D10 Classic, G&L S-500, G&L ASAT, G&L LB-100, Godin A4 Fretless, Kinscherff High Noon
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 5:27 am    
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Al Evans wrote:
Paul McEvoy wrote:
My other question is about how the rods overlap. If multiple rods are passing over one spot, how do you choose which one goes in which hole in the bell crank?


For a given amount of pitch change, a thin string has to be stretched further than a fat string. And of course, the larger the pitch change, the more the string is stretched.

On the bell cranks, the further away from the cross shaft, the more the string is stretched for a given amount of pedal movement (which, as previously stated, is set by the limiting screws in the side rail).

At the changer, the closer to the shaft of the changer, the more the string is stretched for a given amount of pedal movement.

So it's a question of balance between all these factors. If it's working right, the best plan is to put the rods back in the same holes they came from! Smile

--Al Evans


Thanks Al.

I think I pretty much did that, just one hole over (to migrate the pedals).

Does that point to an obvious reason why I'm overhooting the pitches to badly?

I'm going to have a look at it this weekend but thus far I'm going to
1) add slack to the pull rods)
2) check the stop screw on the rail
3) I may have placed some rods higher up on the pull rods, I'm not sure. I will move them down if possible.

I'm also missing a few rods. Am I looking for the 1/8" #5-40 diameter rods from PSG parts? And is the sleeve that goes over the rod called the "spacer"?
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Al Evans


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 8:13 am    
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Paul McEvoy wrote:
I'm also missing a few rods. Am I looking for the 1/8" #5-40 diameter rods from PSG parts? And is the sleeve that goes over the rod called the "spacer"?


Yes and yes.

--Al Evans
_________________
2018 ZumSteel Encore, 2015 Mullen G2, 1976 MSA D10 Classic, G&L S-500, G&L ASAT, G&L LB-100, Godin A4 Fretless, Kinscherff High Noon
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2019 2:49 pm    
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Thanks for all the help.

I'm starting to make some progress but running into a problem. On the extended E9 my a pedal takes 10 and 5 up one step. When I release the pedal, the 10th string seems to hang up a bit on the changer and either doesn't return to pitch exactly or ends up going out of tune a bit.

It wasn't doing this before I pulled it apart. I unfortunately don't have any oil handy but probably needs some lubrication but is there anything else I'm missing?

Thanks
Paul
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2019 4:32 pm    
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Paul, you may have it "overtuned". There's a sticky about this near the top of the Pedal Steel page.

Make sure your changer looks like exactly the one below when no pedals or levers are actuated! See how all the fingers are in a perfect line? If any of them aren't, the steel is usually overtuned. (Or, the springs could be weak.) If they aren't looking like these, and any are sticking out further than the rest, that will lead to all kinds of tuning problems:




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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2019 6:20 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
Paul, you may have it "overtuned". There's a sticky about this near the top of the Pedal Steel page.

Make sure your changer looks like exactly the one below when no pedals or levers are actuated! See how all the fingers are in a perfect line? If any of them aren't, the steel is usually overtuned. (Or, the springs could be weak.) If they aren't looking like these, and any are sticking out further than the rest, that will lead to all kinds of tuning problems:






Thanks Donnie! that's helpful. I noticed when I went for the 2nd round last night that when I released the barrel set screws the rods would pop back into place.

I need to buy some oil.

Are you in MD? I'm in Baltimore. Surprising amount of great steel players around here.
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Paul McEvoy


From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jul 2019 10:27 am    
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Thanks all.

I got it all back together and it appears to be working. Learned a lot along the way. My left knee is a lot happier.
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