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Author Topic:  ZB Custom question
Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 8:36 am     Reply with quote

Is the "excess" travel you speak of, the distance from the spot you hit the lever until it contacts the screw?

That seems to be the case. If so I will do something about it. Punch a new hole in the crossbar or make a new design. The RKR must have 45 degrees of swing before making engagement and that is way to much time on my knees.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 8:45 am     Reply with quote

The right knee right is the one I had to put the block on.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 8:49 am     ZB rebuild Reply with quote

Jerry,
Here is a link to a ZB rebuild that I did a few years ago. I am surely no expert, but there are some good pictures of the guts inside the guitar.
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=254610&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

ZB's are setup much differently than "normal" PSG's Laughing
But I think they are fun to work on, if you have lots of time and patience...
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 9:52 am     Reply with quote

Eric, I read your thread, that will come in very handy as I go through this machine. The one I bought seems to be free, nothing hanging up or anything. I have a big learning curve ahead of me and all info is sacred. Mine is the same color. The company logo in the front is gone and someone painted that section black, why, I don't know? It would be nice to be able to have that restored, that is something I cannot do.
I wouldn't mind going through it like you did but for now I would like something I can play for awhile. If this one isn't working correctly I will have to do that. If I can get it working, until I buy another it will have to do. The two holes where the pedal rod goes in. Should you have your choice of which one to use, if so I can't get any but pedal A to go into the inside holes?


Last edited by Jerry Dragon on 22 Oct 2017 10:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 10:25 am     Reply with quote

I tried tuning the A pedal. I can see the screws in the end plate move so I know which they are. When I use the A pedal the B string on the bottom raises a whole step. The 5th string raises about a half step instead of a whole step. I tried adjusting the allen head screw on that string but nothing changed? Is that where you adjust the pedal, if not, where, and what are the screws in the end cap for? Also what are the different rows for, pedals and knees? There is the upper row and lower row and random one in between. I now know what the turnbuckles are now. I can see you can adjust the linkage with them.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 10:37 am     Reply with quote

Jerry,
On the end plate, the top row of allen heads is for tuning the raises and the bottom row is for tuning the lowers.
The middle row is for tuning 4th string E to F (the top tunes E to F#)

The screws should go all the way to the end plate when raising/lowering. In fact, you can "pre-tune" the changer by pushing each screw and adjusting the raise/lower before you even start adjusting the levers & pedals.


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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 11:16 am     Reply with quote

I tried adjusting the A pedal again. I can hear the change in pitch when I adjust the screw in the end plate but it does not adjust the string enough. There is only a small change in pitch on a short section of the adjustment. I backed the screw all the way out and back in again and for only a few threads of the screw was there a change in pitch, so, what is next? Will I have to under and adjust a turnbuckle to give it more pull or something? I figure once I do one I can figure the rest out.
On mine there are four rows of holes with screws in the top and bottom rows. On the fourth string on the E9 neck there is are three screws, one in the top row, one in the third row and one in the fourth row.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 9:41 pm     Reply with quote

If you tune string 5 to B, and then push the screw in you should be able to raise it to C#. If not, turn the screw counter clockwise, and try again, until you get the C#. Same with string 10.
Make sense?
After you get the raises set at the changer you can start looking to see if the pedal linkage and turnbuckles need adjusting.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 22 Oct 2017 10:31 pm     Reply with quote

Jerry,I live close to Rt.32 and I've been friends with Jimmy Eppard since 1972,great guy!
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 23 Oct 2017 5:40 am     Reply with quote

Eric Dahlhoff wrote:
If you tune string 5 to B, and then push the screw in you should be able to raise it to C#. If not, turn the screw counter clockwise, and try again, until you get the C#. Same with string 10.
Make sense?
After you get the raises set at the changer you can start looking to see if the pedal linkage and turnbuckles need adjusting.


Will try when I get home from work. Your rebuild has got me thinking which sometimes is bad news.
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 23 Oct 2017 2:16 pm     Reply with quote

Okay, tried that. When I push against the screw (I have the pedal pushed down) I cant get the pitch up to a full step. I let the pedal up and step on it again and it is right back where it was. I try adjusting the screw and can not get it to bring the pitch high enough. I am missing something here? Am I supposed to be holding the pedal down while pushing the screw. Either something else is wrong or I am doing something wrong and I am leaning towards me doing something wrong?
Thanx again for all the help.
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 23 Oct 2017 2:22 pm     Reply with quote

Tried it without pressing the pedal down. I can get it to raise the whole step, but then it just goes right back where it was and can only adjust about a half step.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 23 Oct 2017 5:14 pm     ZB adjustment Reply with quote

Jerry,
That's right - tune the raise without the pedal, using the Allen head screw at the changer. Also tune it's pair (3&6; 4&8; 5&10; etc) For that matter, just tune all the raises and lowers before doing anything else.

Once the changer is tuned you can flip the guitar over and look at the linkage. You should be able to push the A pedal and see that it is moving the pull rods for strings 5 & 10. You will need to adjust the two turnbuckles so that both strings are pulled, and so that the Allen head screws bottom out at the same time. If one string is not being pulled enough, tighten it's turnbuckle to balance the pull.

It takes a bit of trial and error, but eventually you'll see how it works. Good luck!
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 23 Oct 2017 6:32 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks again Eric. It is ten thirty, I will have to try again when I get home from work tomorrow. I have already confirmed by lying underneath it and operating the A pedal that it is pulling both strings. Just not pulling the 5 string enough I am guessing. Trial and error, the mother of invention.
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 28 Oct 2017 11:46 am     Reply with quote

Well, she is much closer to being in tune now thanks to Eric helping me out. Still working on it, what a beast. She sure is difficult, tougher than my wife and that's tough. I finally plugged her in and all electronics are working. I will continue on till all is well. The C6 neck and pedals seems all in tune by ear, have to throw a tuner on it.
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 4 Nov 2017 2:17 am     Reply with quote

the copedent that I was given with the ZB is not how it is set up. For one the C pedal lowers the 10 string a half step, it is not listed, among other things. I think I bit off a little more than I can chew for now. I am going to have to get this guitar to someone who knows them and get it set up. I am not sure if it has been modified and done wrong etc. The pedals are not original and have been changed out. It has to be put in order before I can learn how it works. Either that or I have to sell or trade it. I want to learn how to play and all I am doing really is being frustrated.
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 27 Nov 2017 9:25 am     Reply with quote

decided to take her apart, clean her up and replace anything worn that I find. This should be an adventure for sure.
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Art Beard


From:
Camp Verde, AZ
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 4:46 am     Zb D10 Reply with quote

Nice ZB Jerry. I just bought one and will be reading your post for more knowledge of the ZB. Mine is #024, I believe it was built by Tom Brumley (just a guess on my part from reading sale adds. Its a 2 tone Blonde Birdseye and meduim bron. Not a sunburst like yours and it a D11/10 which you don't see that many of any more. The listing spoke of a Emma, she has it set up with 9 strings on each neck and I must find out more about her before changing anything. It's on the way here right now, so have not seen in person. I am one of the crazies that believe I hear different TONE from several of the earlier Pedal steels. ZB has a Tone of it's own. aa does the early Sho-Bud round fronts like the Professional and Pro II's. I also am lucky enough to have the Modern Pedal steel sound from a Ray Walker SD10 custom. Good luck, keep posting and have fun
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Skip Edwards


From:
LA,CA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Art, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that your new ZB is Emmons setup, and those selling it didn't know very much about pedal steels. Emmas??
And the back neck is most likely just missing the high string - probably broke - and the previous owner never used an 11th string on the front neck, which looks to me like it's got 10 strings.
Just a hunch...
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 9:14 am     Reply with quote

I don't know much about PSGS but I cannot play this the way it is. Worst comes to worst, if I can't fix it I will either have to sell it or trade it or send it out. I will be bringing it into the machine shop on Monday (I am a machinst) and starting the process. I have three other machinists here besides myself, and a gaggle of mechanical engineers. As I take it apart I will make blueprints of the parts and programs to make them on CNC equipment. Anyone who wants the blueprints and programs will be welcome to them. This will take some time. I will be taking pics of before and after of whatever I do and will probably be asking questions, a lot of them.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 10:31 am     ZB changer fingers Reply with quote

Jerry,
If you take the changers apart, number each finger so you know which slot/string they go to. I use a punch.
I have found that mixing them up can cause much grief.
The tuning screws that go through the end plate need to line up with the holes, which are sometimes not drilled very perfectly. Oh Well And each finger has been adjusted to fit it's location.
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 11:24 am     Reply with quote

The ZB mechanism is very simple, it just looks complicated.

All the action happens at the changer.

All the tuning stops are set at the endplate, there is no need for any rods to be attached to get the changer in tune.

The pulling mechanism can be anything, even a piece of string will do the job, it's just pulling the changer finger until its stop hits the endplate.

The yoke mechanism is a stroke of brilliance, there's no complicated fiddling with adjusters, indeed there are no adjusters required, the fact that the yoke pivots means that the changer fingers always get pulled until they hit the endplate.

When I look at the mechanism of my ZB, I marvel at Zane Beck's ingenuity and lateral thinking
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 11:29 am     Re: ZB changer fingers Reply with quote

Eric Dahlhoff wrote:
Jerry,
If you take the changers apart, number each finger so you know which slot/string they go to. I use a punch.
I have found that mixing them up can cause much grief.
The tuning screws that go through the end plate need to line up with the holes, which are sometimes not drilled very perfectly. Oh Well And each finger has been adjusted to fit it's location.


I will label everything as if I were doing a motor. It is impossible to get to some of the turnbuckles without disassembly. The turnbuckles are froze and can only be turned with a one quarter wrench which can just barely get on them and then you have no stroke. What a pain the butt.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 11:34 am     Reply with quote

Welcome to the world of ZB! Very Happy
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Jerry Dragon


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 3:16 pm     Reply with quote

I really hadn't thought about it when I said I would make blueprints and programs, would that be legal? What is the legal status for making replacement parts for the ZBs?
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