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Author Topic:  "How to intonate a Lapsteel"
G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 17 Dec 2017 11:01 am     Reply with quote

Perhaps, if we ask him (JoeDoc). He will give his take on setting the intonation on a Pedal Steel? Laughing
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 17 Dec 2017 11:23 am     Reply with quote

Yes, or maybe adjusting the truss rod in a pedal steel. Cool Come to think of it, I need to lower the action on my pedal steel. The strings are too far from the fingerboard. Rolling Eyes
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 17 Dec 2017 10:32 pm     Reply with quote

Be very careful Doug. I lowered the action on my Marlen and it took me forever to get the truss rod adjusted. Of course my intonation went completely out and I was getting a bad fret buzz past the 12th fret. Rolling Eyes
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 17 Dec 2017 10:39 pm     Reply with quote

Forget the truss rod.

You just need to re-profile the back of the neck. You can borrow my industrial chainsaw if you like. I installed a diamond blade on it - should cut through that thing like butter into any comfy shape you want!

!

Shocked
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 17 Dec 2017 10:55 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Jim!! I'll keep that in mind. For now I am considering changing the fret wire to a Dunlop 6120. I think the thicker fret wire may help the intonation. Laughing I hate to carve on a 1976 Marlen pull release but it may be the only way to solve the problem. I will check with JoeDoc over at youtube and see if they may have viable solution. (lol) Wink
Doug is right.... the amount of misinformation that is passed around on the internet is amazing!!
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 7:52 am     Reply with quote

As some Italians like to say, "intonate this!".
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Joe Breeden


From:
Virginia, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 8:55 am     Reply with quote

Question. Lets say you have an old lap steel that has an adjustable bridge. You know it's a 25" scale because it measures 12-1/2" from the nut to the 12th fret. So if you adjusted the bridge to 25" straight across for all strings, is that going to work. Thanks Joe
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 9:53 am     Reply with quote

Joe Breeden wrote:
Question. Lets say you have an old lap steel that has an adjustable bridge. You know it's a 25" scale because it measures 12-1/2" from the nut to the 12th fret. So if you adjusted the bridge to 25" straight across for all strings, is that going to work. Thanks Joe

Yup.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 9:59 am     Reply with quote

Jack Hanson wrote:
Joe Breeden wrote:
Question. Lets say you have an old lap steel that has an adjustable bridge. You know it's a 25" scale because it measures 12-1/2" from the nut to the 12th fret. So if you adjusted the bridge to 25" straight across for all strings, is that going to work. Thanks Joe

Yup.


My old foreman told me once..........numbers don't lie........just everyone else does.
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John Goux


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 2:12 pm     Reply with quote

I’ve heard Jerry Douglas has some compensation on the saddle of his Dobro. I can not verify this. Certainly there are enthusiastic Dobro players on this site that know JD,s gear, and can say whether this is true or not.
John
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Lee D Kaiser


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 10:53 pm     Reply with quote

I don't play a lot of lap steel, but I had a Rickenbacker Model 100 that I tuned to open E. The strings sizes were 14 to 58 as I recall. With the bar straight across the 12th fret, the low strings were noticeably sharp. I suppose an experienced player could have slanted the bar, with a different amount of slant depending how far up the neck he was playing. I made a fixed bridge with intonation that worked fine for these strings and this tuning--the bar straight across the neck sounded fine regardless of placement on the neck.

For C6 tuning, I have no problem with a straight bridge. I'm guessing because the difference in string gauges is not so great from high to low (fifteen to thirty-eight) that any 'need' for intonation would be slight.

Anyway, that's been my experience.
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Andrea Tazzini


From:
Massa, Italy
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 7:26 am     Reply with quote

Hello Lee, so what could I do with my baritone Weissemborn bridge since I use 080,.065,.045,.o32.022,.017. gauge? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Andrea
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Lee D Kaiser


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 8:07 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
Hello Lee, so what could I do with my baritone Weissemborn bridge since I use 080,.065,.045,.o32.022,.017. gauge?
Andrea


You could play it.
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 9:21 am     Reply with quote

Lee D Kaiser wrote:
I don't play a lot of lap steel, but I had a Rickenbacker Model 100 that I tuned to open E. The strings sizes were 14 to 58 as I recall. With the bar straight across the 12th fret, the low strings were noticeably sharp. I suppose an experienced player could have slanted the bar, with a different amount of slant depending how far up the neck he was playing. I made a fixed bridge with intonation that worked fine for these strings and this tuning--the bar straight across the neck sounded fine regardless of placement on the neck.

For C6 tuning, I have no problem with a straight bridge. I'm guessing because the difference in string gauges is not so great from high to low (fifteen to thirty-eight) that any 'need' for intonation would be slight.

Anyway, that's been my experience.


The only conceivable effect larger string gauge (or greater disparity of gauge from high to low strings) would have is if their tops were not on the same plane. In which case the bar would stretch the deviant ones more, or less, as it forced them all into the same plane. The logical fix would then be to seat them all uniformly (as to top surface) at the bridge and nut, rather than make a compensated bridge saddle.

Not to disparage your fix, if it's working for you. Just saying, as a general point.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 10:50 am     Reply with quote

Joe Breeden wrote:
Question. Lets say you have an old lap steel that has an adjustable bridge. You know it's a 25" scale because it measures 12-1/2" from the nut to the 12th fret. So if you adjusted the bridge to 25" straight across for all strings, is that going to work. Thanks Joe


To set my nut and bridge I use a piece of 1/4" aluminum milled square at the proper scale length. I work in a machine shop, so most of my stuff is metal, but if your miter saw cuts accurately the same thing can be achieved with a piece of wood. This works very well when a metal angle is used for a nut and bridge. When done mark the scale length on it, drill a hole in the end and hang it up at your work bench. Now it's nice and handy for the next Lap Steel you build. It would work good as well for setting up any lap steel, doesn't have to be a new build. It sure beats measuring with a tape measure.
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Lee D Kaiser


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 11:02 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
... would have is if their tops were not on the same plane ...


Strings were in a plane with the original bridge and the one I made.
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 11:10 am     Reply with quote

Lee D Kaiser wrote:
Quote:
... would have is if their tops were not on the same plane ...


Strings were in a plane with the original bridge and the one I made.


And at the nut? If so then I'm baffled, as it makes no sense that the low strings would sharp out; unless you lean harder on the bar on the lower strings when you play.
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Lee D Kaiser


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 11:23 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
And at the nut? If so then I'm baffled, as it makes no sense that the low strings would sharp out; unless you lean harder on the bar on the lower strings when you play.


In a plane at the nut.

I'm not much of a lap steel player, but I don't believe I press harder on the bar. Only enough to get a clean note.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

As long as your bridge and nut are:

1. set at correct distance
2. Straight
3. If tuned to an E tuning especially you need to use Just Intonation (if you are unsure what that is John Ely website goes into details about it check my first post)
I use a Peterson Stroboplus HD but you can get the app on your smartphone as well. And the Buddy Emmons - EM9 sounds great. In fact they have a huge array of Steel guitar specific tunings that have been set specifically like the Legends.

see the link below:
https://www.petersontuners.com/myinstrument/lapSteel

As I said I use a Pedal Steel Buddy Emmons tuning sweetner called the EM9 which uses Just Intonation and it sounds great.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 24 Dec 2017 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

I was lmao last night. The guy (Joedoc) is apparently p***ed off that so many players have called him out on his questionable technical knowledge, weirdly deleted "in tune" examples on the video etc etc.

I almost feel bad. Except I don't.

Laughing
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 25 Dec 2017 8:11 pm     Reply with quote

The scary thing is the same guys are selling lap steel instructional videos.
https://www.joedocmusic.com/learn-to-play-c6-lap-steel-guitar/
His bar technique is incredibly sloppy. (I guess he didn't set the intonation on the Rondo he filmed the video with. Rolling Eyes)
But, I was amazed that within the comments section he was being praised for telling people not to get the Epiphone Century Reissue to buy a Rondo instead as you can "set" the intonation....
Shocked
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 2 Jan 2018 1:28 pm     Reply with quote

"I’ve heard Jerry Douglas has some compensation on the saddle of his Dobro."

You are probably thinking of the Double Shot he has on his Beard resonator. The Double Shot allows him to flip between D tuning and G tuning and the tuning adjustments for the engaged position is where you set the second tuning.
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