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Author Topic:  Keyless PSGs
Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 1 Dec 2017 5:51 pm     Reply with quote

My Excel 12 string keyless:

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Excel%2012%20String%20Keyless/Excel%2012%20String%20Keyless.html


Changer layout ( the top lower should say 1 slot):

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Hans Holzherr


From:
Bern, Switzerland
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 7:41 am     Reply with quote

Ian Rae wrote:
Schild are clearly well-engineered, but their keyless tuner misses the point I think, as it's as long as a conventional one and has just as much length of string between the nut and the puller.


It isn't a design flaw. It was a conscious decision based on.....

1) Some people say that the string section behind the rollers plays a part in the tone of the instrument.

2) This section of the strings is more or less equally long for all strings, possibly evening out effect (1).

3) The main reason why the keyless mechanism on a Schild is as long as it is is to offer enough room for a 9th and possibly a 10th pedal. Also, a player may want to have pedal 'zero' at the 'zero' position, not at position 1.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 11:10 am     Reply with quote

Hans,

That all makes perfect sense. Sometimes what seem like imperfections from an engineering point of view can lend character to an instrument. And the main objection to keyless PSGs is nothing to do with how they function but the loss of space for the leftmost pedals.

I'm sorry to leave Schild out of consideration but the changer has only three raises which is not enough for me.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 11:40 am     Reply with quote

Damir and Greg,

Thank you - now I get the picture, literally Smile

It looks as though Excel may be the only choice for what I want to do copedent-wise. I've had a bit of a negative revelation. This is the copedent I have on my homemade uni with the Kline-style changer:-



Taking string 5 as an example, the E9 C#s are different from the B6 one, so to me that's 2 raises and 1 lower. But in Scissorworld that's 3 raises. Now if I also wanted to have another B6 C# on a lever:-



that's four raises. On my guitar it would still be 2 (if I had anywhere to put the lever), but it rules out Williams, Schild and GFI.

Getting back to Excel, I am amazed at their C6 lock. I would never want one as I've only ever learnt B6 and I tend to wander between the two tunings, but it testifies to their skill. I assume they can build one without.
_________________
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs


Last edited by Ian Rae on 2 Dec 2017 11:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Hans Holzherr


From:
Bern, Switzerland
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 11:41 am     Reply with quote

Ian, good point on the 3/3 changer. I keep encouraging Peter Schild to add holes.... so far, to no avail. With slight modifications, there would be room for at least a 4/4 changer.

Good luck in your search!
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Hans Holzherr


From:
Bern, Switzerland
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 10:57 pm     Reply with quote

Actually, Peter Schild built a 4/4 changer 6 years ago. The reason why he didn't pursue it was lack of demand, and now he has a stock of 3/3 changer fingers he needs to use in his guitars to be profitable.
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Les Wright


From:
Norfolk,England
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 12:40 am     Reply with quote

Ian, when I purchased my Excel the Eb lock or C6th lock was an optional extra,which I didn't pursue.
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Dan Burnham


From:
Greenfield, Tennessee
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 5:39 am     BMI in Business? Reply with quote

Ian,
Yes we are still in business. Our website was hacked and Jordan Howell our webmaster is having to rebuild from scratch. The website is done in WordPress and the hackers used one of the plugins to infect the whole site,

Dan
_________________
BMI Jet10 10 string, BMI S14, BMI SD14 Classic Tube 100. Don't know what it is? Ask me about it!
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www.classictubesound.com
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 4:05 am     Reply with quote

Dan - thanks for popping up!

My main question is how many raises the BMI changer has. Three is enough for a totally basic uni, but to include some of the more sophisticated changes it's good to have 4 or even 5.

While I was researching Excel I read a couple of posts about measurements which I will respond to here. One member surmised that the 24.125" scale length was something to do with Japan being metric, but it's no more a round number in millimetres than 24.00" is. It's just a length some makers favour. Also someone who had tried one at a show thought the string spacing was slightly closer than expected, but in fact it's 8.7mm which translates as the 11/32" which has been traditional for a long time.
_________________
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs


Last edited by Ian Rae on 5 Dec 2017 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 7:38 am     Reply with quote

Les, you set me thinking. That E to C mechanism is a wonder but I'd never go for it as I learned B6 from the beginning.

As for the Eb lock, I've never considered one and I'm quite content without it. But then I think, supposing it was there, it wouldn't mean I had to use it, and you never know, one day...
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, Northern California
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 9:11 am     Reply with quote

I had a year to work out the D6th copedent for my new 10 string Sierra. Most of my charts had a lock lever on them. In the last month before rodding was to begin, I had a revelation that eliminated the lock lever and simplified the setup. Now I can't imagine what I was thinking - why would I ever need a lock lever? It's a complicated mechanical limitation.
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-b0b- (SGF Admin) Bobby Lee ♪ @b0bleeCopedentsRecordings
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 9:59 am     Reply with quote

b0b, any links or sound samples of the new keyless Sierra guitar with this copedent?

Interesting set-up. https://b0b.com/wp/?page_id=551
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 2:30 pm     Reply with quote

I look forward to seeing your new Sierra in Phoenix soon, b0b.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 1 Feb 2018 4:29 pm     Reply with quote

Well, I took the plunge and this arrived today.



Mitsuo talked me into having an E lower lock! What a salesman. Now I have it I suspect I may actually use it Smile

It's very different to anything I've played before and I look forward to making friends with it.



The package was so light I was afraid it was empty! 45 pounds. The body alone of my homebuilt guitar weighs that out of its case!
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 1 Feb 2018 5:50 pm     Reply with quote

The Superb sticker fell off of mine! Yours is looking good all around. Incredible how small and light the Excel guitars and cases are.
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Chris Reesor


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 1 Feb 2018 7:55 pm     We have a winner! Reply with quote

I had a feeling something like this was coming when the thread went quiet.
I doubt that you will regret the purchase. I didn't.
Very fast delivery from Fuzzy. How many knee levers did you get? Copedent chart and more pix, s.v.p.
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Excel Superb U12, Heritage H575, MIJ Squier tele, Hwy 1 Strat, modified Deluxe Reverb RI, Cube 80XL, self built acoustics & mandolins
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 8:41 am     Reply with quote

Congrats on the new rig Ian. Mitsuo does a lot of really cool stuff!
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 10:38 am     Reply with quote

This is the setup I went for (ignore the colours). Although in theory there are eight levers, the LKR and CKL are the same piece of metal that pushes both ways - clever.



I've got them all adjusted to my satisfaction now. The lever lock was a bit high and got in the way of my picking hand so I shortened it half an inch.




Fortunately, the 5mm thread on the knob has the same 32 tpi as a #10NF. (We're supposed to be metric over here but I try to steer clear.)
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 11:14 am     Reply with quote

At the risk of being labeled a know it all....10-32 and M5 (5x.8mm) at not the same and are not interchangeable.

a 10-32 will thread into and M5 nut, but it will be sloppy and will encourage stripping when tightened. Am M5 thread will not go into 10-32 nut without some persuasion....the persuasion is damaging the threads.
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Chris Reesor


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 11:42 am     Reply with quote

I'll need to study your copedent to see what is going on with pedals 4 thru 8 and the levers.
My lock lever is at the other end, so its height is fine as supplied; I can engage or disengage it quickly with bar in hand.
Looks like you put string ball ends at the changer and tune open notes at the roller nut end like mine.
I am still pondering adding a couple more knees for serious 6th tuning work. At the moment I have backed off the 6th string lower on LKR so it only drops to G. But the deeper I get into the jazz bag with this beast, the more I miss those half step raises on strings 5 and 6. What I would really like to do: order an S10 Superb, 25.5" scale. 5x4 with Buddy Emmons C6 setup, tuned down to B of course so I don't have to relearn my positions Laughing
Mitsuo is an amazing designer and builder.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 11:50 am     Reply with quote

Ross, you do know it all, but surely that's a good thing? Everthing you say is true.

I got away with it because that knob only needs to be finger tight.

Chris, I wouldn't waste too much time on my setup - it's fairly standard really. The main feature is having P6 on a lever which brings what most people would call P5 & P7 next to each other - but that's all.

The F lever drops string 11 to C# for a fat chord, and the A pedal drops 12 for another. CKV has the 9th string raise to B# to save having to use the full P8 just for one pull.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, Northern California
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 1:01 pm     Reply with quote

That RKR doing the E9th E lowers and the C6th P6 is really trick! Cool
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 2 Feb 2018 4:36 pm     Reply with quote

I tried that out on my homebuilt steel and it's useful in E9 mode as well. I wasn't clever enough to make string 4 go back up to E as well but Mitsuo is Smile

[edit] Feb 3rd

In the process of adjusting and tuning I discovered a mistake. I asked for two pulls to lower string 7 a fraction if either the A or C pedal is pressed so that the F#m is in tune - a luxury maybe, but not an extravagance. I couldn't make them work until I realised they had been installed as raises! Luckily there are so many holes in the changer it was easy to swap them - it's very neat and tidy under there.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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Mike Vallandigham


From:
Martinez, CA
Post Posted 4 Feb 2018 8:36 am     Reply with quote

Killer guitar. Mitsuo is working on a new one for me right now. Almost done I think.
I asked for a special color of aluminum panel, and it was a little tricky to get it.

I own a 2008 S-12 Superb with the E9/C6 lock, a 25.5" scale. It works flawlessly. It's really amazing. My new one will be the same with 8 pedals and 7 levers and short scale.

Did you order this one from Mitsuo yourself? I'm wondering if mine will be the very next one. Mitsuo improves his designs so often that they are almost unique, each one. This is one of the appealing things for me. Did you get the hard case? I'm going to try the semi-hard one, in RED!.

I'm pretty sure that Mitsuo builds these basically by himself, making nearly all parts by hand and machine.

I'm so glad you chose an Excel. You'll love it. It's the only guitar I own, and I'm buying another one.

I'd love to see more photos!
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 4 Feb 2018 1:53 pm     Reply with quote

This is the case - weighs 11 pounds!


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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Hilton pedal, Telonics mini rack and 15" cabs
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