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Post new topic Thank you Guitar Ctr. Sorry Carter
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Author Topic:  Thank you Guitar Ctr. Sorry Carter
Steve Hudson


From:
weymouth Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 4:25 am    
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So some may remember recently i was looking for my first Pedal steel, well i ended up with a carter Starer that i found online on Guitar ctrs site. I jumped on it in a heartbeat when it got listed at 899 and thankfully bought the repair warranty as well.

Well the LKL has what appears to be the common issue with carter starters in that its messed up, dangles uselessly, has no stop, etc. The usual stuff. Well after lots of online tips, im not good enough to do any of those creative DIY fixes of adding pieces etc.

I even managed to pick up a set of the levers cheap online just in case i could.

well to make along story short, The pickup was also pretty microphonic. so i figured, okay lets see if they'll fix this.. What do i have to lose.

So i filed a claim with their insurance company to get the repair work done. Well first off, the ins company has no idea what a pedal steel is as opposed to a regular guitar.

This actually worked in my favor. Thier "specialist" was like, " wait, it has pedals, and levers?" lol

So anyway they contact me and ask that i bring it in to the guitar center tech who they had contacted to take a look at it. Great guy, really nice, first time he has ever laid eyes on a pedal steel. lol He is from the Uk and we are in Massachusetts, not exactly the hotbed of pedal steels.

Well he of course, and I completely decide there is no way he can fix it. So last night i got my full gift card for about a grand to guitar center.

But the best part is, since its "unrepairable" they were just going to trash it, so he just had me meet him by the dumpster to take it home.

So i have my carter starter, although it needs a new pickup and still has that knee lever issue. And i get to pick out a new guitar.

SDince ive been playing more slide now than pedal steel, im probably just going to go with something nice to play slide on, probably a tele or SG.

But the moral of the story, if you buy a pedal steel from a GC, get that warranty,. you never know how much it may matter.


I may also look at selling this carter starter at a good discount to someone who can make that knee lever work correctly, in the hopes some new player will give it a good home.
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 5:13 am    
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Not bad. There's a whole bunch you can do with ABC pedals. If those pedals work well on the Carter, you've got plenty of stuff to keep you busy for a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=beCHoCP5YHU
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 5:14 am    
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Wow, a story about someone who bought a “student psg” with a happy ending. Their ignorance worked in your favor this time.
I wish Walmart sold steel guitars. They probably know more that Guitar Center does.
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Steve Hudson


From:
weymouth Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 5:18 am    
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lol, wouldnt doubt it, it was fun when i set it up there in the store and people were like, well what does this thing do, what do that lever do. etc. i had one person say, " oh thats how they get that country sound, i always thought it was keyboards.

lol, sigh. guess it snot just the employees who arent the brightest.
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Peter Leavenworth


From:
Madbury, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 6:00 am     Carter Startet
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Hey Steve, PM sent
Peter
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 11:02 am    
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A while back our local Guitar Center ordered the Carter Starter kit which consisted of the guitar, cords, volume pedal, and tuning wrench. They made the HUGE mistake of placing it the six string room and before long, every item but the steel had grown legs and the guitar itself had suffered considerable abuse! Had to perform numerous repairs (broken knee levers, loose pedal board brackets, etc.) before it finally sold. The manager (at the time) and I became very well acquainted.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 11:20 am    
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Quote:
...So anyway they contact me and ask that i bring it in to the guitar center tech who they had contacted to take a look at it. Great guy, really nice, first time he has ever laid eyes on a pedal steel. lol He is from the Uk and we are in Massachusetts, not exactly the hotbed of pedal steels.

Well he of course, and I completely decide there is no way he can fix it. So last night i got my full gift card for about a grand to guitar center.


Sounds like a "guitar tech" with zero mechanical skills. "Like, wow man, the handle on your case is broken, but I have no idea how to deal with that."
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 1:02 pm    
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The Carter Starter was a very lo cost build and sold new for around $795. Yes true, one knee lever was wacky but it also had 3 others.

Perspective. expecting any GC rep to work on or even understand how a Pedal Steel , any Pedal Steel works would be quite a stretch !

That one wacky knee lever CAN be controlled but it requires some engineering, ingenuity and some parts from the hardware store .
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Charlie Hansen


From:
Halifax, NS Canada and Various Southern Towns.
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 1:29 pm    
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I had a discussion with a GC employee who was calling a Gibson Electra harp a pedal steel.
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Bluegrass Island CFCY FM 95.1 Charlottetown, PE, Canada
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Len Amaral


From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 3:18 pm    
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Steve, good to have another pedal steel player in Massachusetts. Drop by my place sometime with the Carter and maybe I can fix the knee lever.
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Barry Coker


From:
Bagley Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 3:30 pm    
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Ha Steven I hate to here about all your problems I wish we were closer I could help you out. Really hope something works out for you best of luck

Barry
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 12:00 am    
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Steve,Go see Len Amaral !
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 2:09 am    
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I recently did a bunch of repairs on a Starter for a local guy. Wow, what a dreadful machine.
Got it playing pretty well, but who knows for how long?. The quality is simply awful.
Bud Carter, God rest his soul, was a great guy, built great pedal steels for decades, and came up with great designs.. However, I will never understand how he could put his name on the Starter.

OP got himself a killer deal there. Kinda like having an insurance company total a car thats still worth a lot of money, giving you a check to cover it, and then letting you keep the car.. bob
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:23 am    
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Some of you expect a GC tech to know how to fix a pedal steel?
I really can't fault them if they don't.
After all, while it's our "thing", it's not exactly a well known instrument.

I still know actual musicians, some of them semi-professional, some of them country, that refer to it as a "slide" guitar.
And then there are some musicians that don't even know what it is.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:26 am    
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Steve Hudson: Have you seen John Widgren's recent repair service post?

That, along with a couple of others that have commented here, gives you three repair sources near you.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 3:05 am    
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ajm wrote:
Some of you expect a GC tech to know how to fix a pedal steel?
I really can't fault them if they don't.
After all, while it's our "thing", it's not exactly a well known instrument.

I still know actual musicians, some of them semi-professional, some of them country, that refer to it as a "slide" guitar.
And then there are some musicians that don't even know what it is.


GC "techs" can't even fix guitars.. They hire kids on the cheap for the most part.. Maybe in LA, or NYC, or Dallas there might be a real tech at a GC, but I tend to doubt it.. Most any guitar I pick up and play at a GC plays like crap... bob
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 9:22 am    
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Bob Carlucci: "Most any guitar I pick up and play at a GC plays like crap...."

Not that I'm vouching for the capabilities of the average GC "guitar tech", but there are several reasons for a guitar hanging on the wall at a GC playing like crap.
None of them have anything to do with a guitar tech (or not) on staff.
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Peter Leavenworth


From:
Madbury, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 3:56 am     Carter Starter
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Steve, I sent you another PM
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1996 Mullen PRP D-10, 1974 Emmons D-10, 1976 Emmons D-10, early 70s Emmons S-10, Carter S-10, Milkman Sideman head w/Telonics 15" speaker, Fender DeVille 410, Music Man HD130, Wechter/Scheerhorn and Beard Dobros, 1962 Supro lap steel, Gibson 1939 RB-11 banjo, Gibson 1978 RB-250 banjo
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2019 2:33 am    
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ajm wrote:
Bob Carlucci: "Most any guitar I pick up and play at a GC plays like crap...."

Not that I'm vouching for the capabilities of the average GC "guitar tech", but there are several reasons for a guitar hanging on the wall at a GC playing like crap.
None of them have anything to do with a guitar tech (or not) on staff.


Understood, but you would think these guitars would be tuned up and had at least a prelim adjustment or two before being hung on the wall .. Prospective buyers are liable to walk and shop elsewhere, if the guitar they want to try out plays poorly.
Anyone that works with guitars daily, should be able to unbox it, tune it up, check the neck for a bow, and do a quick bridge and pickup adjustment so the guitar presents well. Takes 5 minutes.. Fine adjustments can come later, but the stuff I have played at GC over the years is abysmal.... bob
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Mitchell Smithey


From:
Dallas, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2019 11:41 am    
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Quote:
"I recently did a bunch of repairs on a Starter for a local guy. Wow, what a dreadful machine.
Got it playing pretty well, but who knows for how long?. The quality is simply awful.
Bud Carter, God rest his soul, was a great guy, built great pedal steels for decades, and came up with great designs.. However, I will never understand how he could put his name on the Starter."

Just to clear the air a little, John Fabian designed the starter. Bud didn't have a whole lot to do with it except being in a partnership with John. They were built by 3 guys in the back of the shop that were not players, just labor, in lots of 30 to 40 at a time. EitherJohn or myself would rod and tune those 30 to 40 guitars in about 2 or 3 days. When they were ready to ship they were capable of playing and staying in tune enough for someone to learn the basics.
If the guitar retailed for $899.00 What did the dealer pay for it? So if you figure the dealer cost and the freight to get to the dealer you are working with very thin margins.
Yes the Starter is pretty bad pedal steel by pro standards. But if you figure you have to build a pedal steel for about $200 in parts and pay 3 guys wages, then sell to a dealer who has to make a little money on it, do the math and see what you come up with. I just worked on one last week and had to manhandle bent knee levers and make a better stop, I used a bigger screw!
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 14 Jul 2019 4:58 pm    
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ajm wrote:
Some of you expect a GC tech to know how to fix a pedal steel?
I really can't fault them if they don't.


It depends on what's wrong. I don't expect a guitar tech to be able to set up or re-rod a pedal steel. But then again, it's not exactly rocket science that we're talking about here. Anyone with rudimentary "drill and screwdriver training 101" should be able to put in a screw, or make a simple mechanical stop where it's needed. Oh Well
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