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Author Topic:  BJS bars, worth the $?
Jim Curtain


From:
Phoenix,Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 6:26 am    
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8 months into learning the PSG, just bought a Dekley to replace my Carter-Starter. Are BJS bars really worth the Money? Thanks.
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Bob Knight


From:
Bowling Green KY
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 6:54 am    
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YES!!
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 6:56 am    
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A BJS bar is a great investment, well worth the money.
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Larry Behm


From:
Mt Angel, Or 97362
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 7:12 am    
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Spend the money. If money holds you back from getting great gear, sell something on Craig's list, mow a yard, ask for money for your birthday, ask your kids-they would not hesitate asking you. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

The BJS bar is THE bar, I have had one for 25+ years and it still looks great and I play a lot of weekends.

Larry Behm
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Gary Cosden


From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 8:02 am    
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The first time you hold a BJS bar in your hand you'll know it it was money well spent.
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Pete Nicholls


From:
Macon, Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 8:36 am    
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What differences should I expect when picking up and using a BJS bar? I'm a newbie as well, and would like to know why BJS bars apparently stand out from the crowd.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 8:41 am    
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It is the smoothest and best sounding bar on the market. The only bar that possibly equals it is a Zirconia bar.
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Bryan Daste


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 8:52 am    
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The first time I used one at rehearsal, my drummer could instantly hear the difference.
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Butch Pytko


From:
Orlando, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 9:14 am    
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Well, how ironic--just received my new BJS bar yesterday. I already had 2 BJS bars--10 & 12 string--for my pedal steels, but, needed a smaller bar for my non pedal steels. When I figured-out the size of the bar I needed(7/8" X 2 7/8"), I really didn't know if Butch Gardner of BJS Bars would be willing to make me a CUSTOM bar. I found-out real quick he was willing & able. The quality is just SUPERB, and he made it exactly to my specs. Needless to say, it works great! And, the service is fantastic, Butch is so easy to work with, he really is concerned to help you. Not only that, but he sent me the bar before I could pay him for it! Now is that fabulous or what?
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 10:48 am    
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Absolutely the highest quality Bars, great sound and feel. Service was always great, and Butch is continuing the tradition of truly stellar customer service.
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Chuck McGill


From:
An hour from Memphis and 2 from Nashville, R.I.P.
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 12:38 pm    
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It's like your floating above the string with no resistance.
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Carl Williams


From:
Oklahoma
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 3:15 pm    
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Another vote for BJS...I played a Zane Beck built bar that I bought from him at his shop at Scranton in 1974 and used it for 35 years. I decided to get a Bill Stroud BJS 7/8" bar and I was hooked and played this bar for past 4 yrs or so. Recently, I bought a 1" BJS (John Hughey Model) from Butch Gardner who now builds BJS bars and I've now weaned to the 1" bar and it's super! Jim, if you're going to be playing steel for years to come, it's like anything else, you get what you pay for. Good luck on your decision...Carl

Last edited by Carl Williams on 1 Sep 2012 4:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Bates


From:
Alvin, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 3:47 pm    
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I own three of the BJS, in diffferent sizes, and they are are still the smoothest I have ever played.

A friend gave me a new Ernie Ball (White insert) bar to use, and it has the same super hard, super polished finish as the BJS bars. Don't know the price, but it may be a close runnerup to the BJS.

Thanx,
Jim
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David Higginbotham


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 6:57 pm    
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BJS is all I use and worth the investment!
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 7:27 pm    
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Ernie Ball bars are no where close to the quality of a BJS. I have one of those too, besides my BJS. There is a definite difference in the feel (maybe balance, I don't know what it is exactly). The Ernie Ball stays at home, hidden, so I can't find it.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 1 Sep 2012 11:02 pm    
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Worth it? Yes, double yes, and triple yes.

I've told this story before. I bought a used Sierra pedal steel not long after I started playing PSG. I was a guitar dealer, and I ordered a bunch of the usual suspects in bars. But with this steel came a bar that had what looked to me like an "S" on the butt end. I assumed that "S" stood for Sierra. I pulled it out after a while and I was stunned at how much better it was than anything I had touched. I blithely used that bar for a few years until I joined the forum. I heard a lot of buzz about BJS bars, so I ordered one. Of course, it was exactly like the bar I had been using, I mean identical in every way. When I looked closer, I saw that the lettering was really BSJ, sho 'nuff I had been using a BJS bar all along.

I have a few, and have used mine for the last 12 years, dropped 'em, had 'em roll across the floor to be stomped on by dancers, you name it. Not a mark on them. It's not just sound - it feels smoother on the strings. I would never go to a gig without one. I also love the Zirconia bars, I have 3 of those - they are subtly different. For clean country, I tend to favor the BJS - the most brilliant and shimmering sound there is. If I'm playing with more hair on the amp settings or am looking for absolute evenness in sound and feel, I use the Zirc bar. I can tell the hardness and quality of each of these bars the minute I lay them on the strings.

These bars aren't actually expensive if you look at the whole picture. I expect they will last my entire lifetime, sound fantastic, and why the hell would I cheap out on a bar when I'm playing Zums and a Franklin through a '57 Fender Tweed Bassman - not exactly for the faint-of-pocketbook.
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Hook Moore


From:
South Charleston,West Virginia
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 3:05 am    
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Yes...
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Ned McIntosh


From:
New South Wales, Australia
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 4:35 am    
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Yes, they are worth every cent. I use a BJS bar I purchased off a forum-member. It is my must-have, go-to, number one bar. BJS bars are special in the way certain Emmons push-pull steels are special - their tone is unapproachable unless you use one.

"It's the bar Harrods would sell." Very Happy
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 5:30 am    
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I emailed my response to Jim yesterday but I feel the need to respond here too.
I agree with everything that has been said about BJS bars. Everything.
But an unasked question by the oringal poster who has been playing 8 months is: "do I need a BJS bar?"
My response to any newer player is----you can buy it now or you can buy it later. Buy it now, you will have a great bar that will last for ever. But you will not really appreciate it until later. Buy it later and you will thank yourself for the gift. At this stage of a steel player's learning he will not gain the extra tone that these bars provide. First you need to learn how get good tone. 95% of that you can learn with a cheaper bar. When you are ready, you will love the extra 5% the BJS brings to your sound. I strongly believe that a cheaper bar will NOT in any way hinder a student steel player and an expensive bar is absolutely NOT a requirement at this stage.
And then, when the time is right, you will be so glad to upgrade to the BJS.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 7:46 am    
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I find my BJS bar second only to my Zirc bars, and just barely. Worth every cent.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 8:47 am    
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"Are they worth the money": YES

"Do I need a BJS bar": OF COURSE NOT. Most any bar will allow you to play. It's just a personal thing to many of us.
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Chris LeDrew


From:
Canada
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 8:51 am    
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I don't know if there is another product in the steel guitar world that will elicit as many unanimously positive responses as the BJS bar. Money well spent. I love mine.
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Keith Davidson


From:
Nova Scotia, Canada
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 10:24 am    
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Ditto on everything above.

As you read more and more posts on this forum you will see guys trading, selling, and bartering pretty well anything and everything related to the pedal steel guitar in either a quest for a better tone, or just for a change.

BUT, I can't remember ever seeing someone posting a BJS bar for sale or trade.


Once you use it, you'll be hooked.[/i]
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 11:04 am    
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They come up for sale here, although not real often. I think most are from people who have tried different sizes and settled on one, then sell the ones they don't want.
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post  Posted 2 Sep 2012 2:10 pm    
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Quote:
had 'em roll across the floor to be stomped on by dancers


That's a neat trick to break up some cheesy line-dancing, Dave. How many bars do you usually use?




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