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Post new topic Overtuning (and Undertuning) an All-Pull Steel
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Author Topic:  Overtuning (and Undertuning) an All-Pull Steel
Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 16 Feb 2020 7:48 pm    
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Had a problem with RKL not getting to the D# .Looked here,unscrewed the lever stop a few turns and fixed it in 5 minutes.MANY thanks! Winking
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 5:58 am    
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Proper! Love it.
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Bart Vervaeck

 

From:
Belgium
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2020 12:33 pm     overtuning?
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Hi Jon,

Would you be so kind to advice me on this matter?

Lately I came across some tuning problems. Yesterday right before the gig this happened: I was tuning the pedals and noticed F#-->G# (string 1) was slightly off. I sharpened it but instead of raising in tone it dropped!! The more I turned the peg (in the right direction off course) the more it went flat... How is this possible?? Today I tried again and this time it came back in place (a G# perfectly in tune on the 1 st string using LKR). Out of curiosity I continued turning the peg just a little more and again it happened: it became flat. I solved it for now by doing this: I released the KL and turned the peg until - after engaging the KL again - the G# sounded right again. For now this is the ONLY possible way to get it back in tune....

Please advice.

Thank you,

Bart
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2020 2:13 pm    
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Bart-- started to respond but then realized that where I was assuming you were talking about turning the nylon nut, you said 'peg'. Is this what you mean? The tuning peg at the tuning head, not the nuts at the changer (which are pretty much the entire subject of overtuning)?
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Bart Vervaeck

 

From:
Belgium
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2020 3:27 pm    
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I'm sorry I was talking about the tuning nut at the changer, not the tuning pegs at the head.. Sorry for the confusion...
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2020 3:27 am    
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I rely so much on my eyes and hands and I hate trying to diagnose problems without them.

It does sound like you are overtuned. For some guitars, that full step F# > G# is pushing their limits and you might be right at the extremity of possible adjustments. Or not.
What steel is this?

Before talking about overtuning, check and make sure that the lower finger is not moving from its stop. If it is, is the lower return spring -- the large springs at the very bottom of the changer -- adjustable? Tighten it.

Next, you need to consider all of the Overtuning ideas to maximize pull rod travel.
First, observe whether the raise finger with its nylon nut is resting with the finger at its natural stopping place, in line with all the other fingers, or is it being suspended by an over-tightened nut? Then unscrew that nut until the finger is at rest and there is at least 1/8 inch (3mm) of slack.

Now your possible adjustments include:

-- adjusting the lever stop to allow for more lever travel
-- depending on what guitar you have, adjusting the bell crank starting position on the cross shaft or adjusting the starting position of the whole cross shaft (is it moving from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock or is it moving from 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock?)
-- changing the leverage via the choice of bell crank slot and the changer hole

All of these things give you more rod movement to the changer. Think of them as the primary tuner for the changer, then use the nylon nut as the fine tuner.

I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing a report. I repeat that knowing what kind of guitar you have is an important part of visualizing the problem.
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Bart Vervaeck

 

From:
Belgium
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2020 6:08 am    
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Thanks Jon,

It's a Williams, bought in 2018. In the meantime I mailed Bill Rudolph and he came up with the solution. In fact it was the tuning peg that was worn out. I changed it and the problem was solved.... So a big thanks to Bill at Williams guitar company!

Anyway your explanations here are a huge help in understanding the mechanics of the steel.

Can't thank you enough!

Bart
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2020 6:41 am    
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Changing a tuning nut beats messing with the drive train, any day.
But understanding this stuff will be something that will reward you (anybody) some day as you troubleshoot a tuning problem or just want to change the feel of the steel.
Glad you got this one solved!
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Tommy Shown

 

From:
Denham Springs, La.
Post  Posted 18 Mar 2020 4:55 pm    
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Jon, Billy Tam and changed the tuner and spacers on my LeGrande today,and we having issues with a lower and couple of the raises on it. He suggested that I read up on ibertuning. It has helped me understand
Thanks for the information
Tommy Shown
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 19 Mar 2020 4:37 am    
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Thanks for reporting, Tommy. Glad it helped!
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Thomas Withrow

 

From:
Ashland Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 22 Mar 2020 7:59 pm    
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my problem is when i try to adjust my lowers especially on the 4th and 8th string lower i can get the 8th string to lower correctly but the 4th string gets to a point that it starts to raise the pitch back up and the same issue is happening on my 6th string lower i was so frustrated and i flipped the guitar upside down and noticed that when they get to the point of where they start to raise the pitch the lower finger is moving smoothly and then the raise finger starts moving with it and i cant understand why i really need some help i have tried every hole in the bellcranks and every hole in the changer i am about to give up
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 1:37 am    
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Truth is, that is an issue that I am not solid with. I am very familiar with the problem on 6. But there is no way it should be an issue on 8 (unless you are lowering 8 a full step....that, I have had the issue with.)

It would help a lot to know what guitar this is.

The only observation I can make from my own encounter with taking lowers to near their seeming limits and having the raise kick in, is that contrary to the maximum leverage you would expect from using the lowest bellcrank hole (farthest from the cross shaft) and the highest changer hole (closest to the changer axle), in fact the problem seems to happen more in that extreme changer hole and you can get better results by moving down a hole on the changer. It's backwrds from how it should be. I've seen this mentioned here on the forum and I can't recall the explanation but I've gotten improved results this way on an old Sho-Bud and on modern guitars.

I will add that if you are using a wound string on 6, you will get much better results on the full step lower with a plain string. I don't like plain strings on 6.

But you can't get the 8th string from E > D#? That ain't right.
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ollie strong

 

From:
penetang ontario can.
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 5:45 am    
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Hi Jon I just found your post .. I tune my second string to 'D' and pedal it up E flat and down to C# {two knee pedals]..I tried to do the Up and Down on one pedal..It would do it except it would go down ,then up, so you couldn't get a smooth change into the E flat..What I was doing was lowering the changer then pulling the whole changer up,,,I thought it was interesting that it could be done ,on purpose...wondering if you have tried or even thought of this ... I have an 18 year old Fulawka
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Thomas Withrow

 

From:
Ashland Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 8:01 am    
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Jon light you must have misread my post which is okay I can get the 8th string to lower correctly the 4th string lower and 6th string lower is where I am having the trouble of them wanting to raise back without lowering fully and the changer is from an MSA double raise double lower
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 8:45 am    
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Hi Ollie. That is actually my setup too. Open D. Lower it to C# on my E lower lever. Raise it to D# on another lever.

I'm having a hard time picturing what you are describing.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 8:47 am    
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Thomas Withrow wrote:
Jon light you must have misread my post which is okay I can get the 8th string to lower correctly the 4th string lower and 6th string lower is where I am having the trouble of them wanting to raise back without lowering fully and the changer is from an MSA double raise double lower


My bad. That's even tougher to figure. The 4th string does not even come close to pushing the limits. The only thing I can think of is a messed up pivot point on the changer fingers but now we are above my pay grade. I will not attempt to guide anyone inside the changer. But it does not sound like an overtuning situation. You really should start your own post in Pedal Steel. This has come up before and there are definitely people way better than me who maybe can help.
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Thomas Withrow

 

From:
Ashland Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 11:39 am    
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I thought of that myself but didn't want to get irrational I just might loosen the strings and pull the changer and inspect this is happening on a guitar that I built and the changer came off of my sd10 conversation MSA and everything on it works perfect so there has to be something going on that I'm not seeing
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 11:45 am    
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In that case I bet you could show me more than I could show you!
The only thing that hasn't been mentioned is -- if there are raise helper springs, look into that. Remove them on those strings.
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Thomas Withrow

 

From:
Ashland Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 23 Mar 2020 12:19 pm    
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the only springs i have on my guitar is the return springs that are hooked to the bottom of the lower fingers so i am going to be safe to say that i have a changer problem
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Thomas Withrow

 

From:
Ashland Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 24 Mar 2020 8:40 pm    
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Ok after looking and working I discovered that the return springs were to stiff lighter springs on the lowers and problem solved thanks for the help
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ollie strong

 

From:
penetang ontario can.
Post  Posted 30 Mar 2020 11:57 am    
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Hi Jon
Its been 2 maybe 3 years since I did this so I'm trying to remember just how it worked,,,I lowered the 2nd string D to C# ,,backed off the pedal stop which allowed the string to over tune so the string went back up from the C# ..from there it was a matter of how far the pedal went.. can't recall if I added another rod to catch the 'up 'motion,,I didn't like not getting to E- without going thro the C# so the idea went back on the shelf...possibly on another string [or application] it would be O K ..All the best and stay healthy.... Ollie
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 30 Mar 2020 12:08 pm    
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The idea of deliberately trying to make this mechanical quirk work makes me shudder. Headache! I will leave it to a braver or crazier tinker to try and report back to the forum.

ollie strong wrote:
..... and stay healthy.... Ollie

Amen!
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Billy McCombs


From:
Bakersfield California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 7:20 pm     7th string raise
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Thanks John, I got it Adjusted. also copied your post for future use. You made it a easy fix. Thanks again Billy. PS the Forum is a great source. Thank you Bobby.
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78 Emmons PP,Great tone.82 Emmons SKH #56
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2020 10:28 am    
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Bingo! Easy is good. Glad you got it sorted out.
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Tyler Atkinson


From:
Lindsborg, Kansas
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2020 7:55 am    
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Many, many thanks for this post, Jon! I am just beginning my pedal steel journey (and this is my first time posting on the forum!); and I was having exactly this problem with my fourth string raise on the C pedal. You helped me see the mechanical differences between my steel (a Fessenden S10) and others. I couldn't solve the issue by reading the troubleshooting portion of the Winston/Keith book, and was starting to get discouraged. This was just what I needed! Sending immense gratitude your way!
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Tyler Atkinson
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