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Post new topic Tall player question
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Author Topic:  Tall player question
Christopher Meskow

 

From:
Pittsburgh, PA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 5:47 pm    
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Greetings!

I'm looking to purchase my first SPG and was curious how to choose a lift kit to adjust the leg and pedal rod height from a standard height to fit my bohemoth stature. Being that the guitar I purchase will most likely be of standard height, what size lift kit will get me the appropriate fit for my lanky disposition? I've noticed most kits come in a single variation of 1 - 3 inchs. Also, are there any makes and models that are better suited for tall players?

I look forward to your feedback.

Thanks!
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 6:27 pm    
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Are you buying used or new?
First, take a measurement of floor to top-of-knee, seated in the shoes you'll play in.
If buying a new guitar, give this info to the builder, and s/he will add about an inch or so to this number for floor-to-bottom-of-endplate.
If buying a used guitar, inquire about floor-to-bottom-of-endplate height. If this doesn't exceed the measurement you took, you'll need a lift kit of whatever the difference is.
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Christopher Meskow

 

From:
Pittsburgh, PA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 6:42 pm    
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Thanks for the reply. I'm most likely going to purchase a used guitar. Definitely adds a level of complication I wasn't prepared for.
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Ronnie Boettcher


From:
Brunswick Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 8:17 pm    
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Chris, if the legs of the guitar can be adjusted to suit your height, and you don't mind something not standard looking, you can extend your pedal rods very cheap. I have posted this before, and I will tell you again. Find out what the thread size is on the rods. Go to a hardware, home depot, or lowes, and buy some threaded rod, or long machine screws. Cut the all thread or the heads off of the screws, the length you are raising your steel. Buy a rod coupling for each rod, and a few nuts of that size. Screw a nut on the rod, then the coupling, and then the piece of threaded rod, with another nut or 2. Then the ball joint end back on. Total price, about $10. You just need the nuts as a jam nut so it remains tight.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 10:00 pm     How Long is a Piece of String
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Hi Christopher,

You didn't say how tall you are. "Average" pedal steel height... 26 inches from bottom of the cabinet to the floor. Rear legs are adjustable, and taller players often raise rear legs. I raised my guitar 1" using threaded coupling nuts, just as Ronnie described above. Lifting the front requires a threaded extension on each pedal rod, and front legs extended.

A steel you like that sounds/plays good, changing the height is not hard, and doesn't have to be expensive.

In playing position the top of your thighs will be about parallel to the floor, with your right foot on a volume pedal. Low profile pedals are available. The height of your seat is important. Folding chairs score badly, hence the popularity of steel "pack-a-seats." Drum thrones, folding piano benches work, too. You can look forward to making a lot of choices.

Welcome to the madness. It's a "nice little hobby."


Last edited by Dan Robinson on 28 Feb 2016 10:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2016 10:05 pm    
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I'm 6'4" tall. When I started on a standard-size PSG (it's Pedal Steel Guitar (PSG), not Steel Pedal Guitar (SPG)), I couldn't cram my legs underneath. That stunted my playing for a few years. Back then, I assumed that all pedal steel players must be short. Smile

You haven't said how tall you are, but if you're already concerned, then unless you're incredibly lucky and get a steel that is already oversized so that it's tall enough for you, you will need to get a lift kit for sure. For me, it depends on the exact steel I have - usually 2" of lift is about right on a standard-sized D10. Here's a thread where I link a bunch of old threads on lift kits: http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=216553

I personally got my pedal-rod extenders from McMaster-Carr - M/F standoffs will work (they're usually hex) but I usually prefer cylindrical F/F standoffs with threaded rod. I forget the sizes, but I'm pretty sure those old threads will give the details. I got leg spacers at Home Depot, which I cut to size with a simple $10 pipe cutter. I just brought a leg with me and picked the thin-walled steel pipe that fit. I got enough parts to do a dozen or more steels, they're cheap enough when you just buy the raw parts. It's pretty easy to set things up correctly if you just take your time.

When I get a new steel, I generally set it up without the pedal rods connected, and then raise the legs up enough so I have around an inch (or maybe a wee bit less) clearance when I'm addressing the guitar at a comfortable level, WITH my shoes on and my right foot ON the volume pedal. I'll mess with heights for a while until I'm pretty sure it's right. Then I attach the rods and see how much additional length I need. I'll move it up and down a bit so an integer number of inches raise will be comfortable, and then attach the standoffs and cut the leg spacers to the right length.

BTW - where are you in PA? I'm in the dead-center middle of the state at Linebacker U.
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Christopher Meskow

 

From:
Pittsburgh, PA
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 7:02 am    
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Thanks for the responses, gents.

I'm 6'4" and accustomed to having to adjust to the shorter world around me Winking

You guys have set me at ease, as it sounds like this is commonplace to have to make these adjustments.

Ronnie - what you suggested seems pretty straight forward and doable. Thanks.

Dave - PSG got it. thanks for the correction, link, and detail of your process. And, I'm in Pittsburgh. Nice to meet someone from Pennsyltucky!
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Howard Steinberg


From:
St. Petersburg, Florida & Concord, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 7:24 am    
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I'm 6'3", with a 32" inseam. A 1" lift is perfect for me. I purchased a used guitar that was 1 1/2" over normal and found it to be a problem with respect to reaching a vertical lever.

I played standard height guitars, in the past, and ended up playing without shoes. Another thing that you should consider is a low profile volume pedal.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 8:51 am    
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You can also make your own by going to the hardware store, buying threaded spacers of the length you need, set screws long enough to fit into both the spacer and ball joint thingie that attaches to the pedal. Cheap, and takes maybe a minute for each one. I bought a lift kit from Bobbe Seymore, and this all he did. He peend the aluminum spacer to hold the set screw in place, but Loctite works just as good.
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Adam Tracksler


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 2:44 pm    
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Another 6'4" guy here. A 1" lift kit did the trick for me... Plus a little taller seat.
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 3:27 pm    
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It's not just your height, your arm and leg length matter too. Personally, I've never found a pedal steel guitar that I've felt comfortable in. Having to sit in one position, dictated by the location of the knee levers, and position your feet according to the location of the pedals and volume control, is a form of masochism which we have to suffer for the art.
I've always thought that pedal steels should benefit from race car technology, with the foot pedals way out in front, and the seat in a laid-back position, with the keyboard at an angle in front.
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Calvin Walley


From:
colorado city colorado, USA
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2016 6:02 pm    
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while i'm 5 foot 11 inches , i have the opposite problem
i am short legged with a long back and most steels feel a tad
to tall for me
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Howard Steinberg


From:
St. Petersburg, Florida & Concord, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2016 4:46 am    
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Another consideration for you could be the location of the left side knee levers. Some guitars such as the older MSA classics have these further to the right. Having had one of these, I don't recommend it for taller people. Others may be ok with this. Just sayin'.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2016 5:29 am    
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Knee lever location is ALWAYS changeable, although on the MSA it requires extra hardware (or machine shop time).
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More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Rick Abbott

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2016 1:19 pm    
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Are you using a low profile volume pedal? If not, it does help. The real question for a tall person and the amount of raise is the inseam measurement...how long are your legs. I'm 6'4 with a 36" inseam. One guy above mentioned being the same height and has a 32" inseam. He uses a 1" raise, I use a 2" raise. You need a seat that allows for your knee to bend at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor while wearing the shoes you intend to play in. Just my take on it...mostly repeat.
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Robert Daniels


From:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 4 Mar 2016 7:48 am    
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I'm 6'4" with 35" inseam. I bought 2" lift kits from Steel Guitars of Nashville, but the homemade options should work as well. I play in western boots and have a Emmons Student model and Sho-Bud Super Pro. Hope that helps. Note that a vertical lever can complicate things and may require more height.
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