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Author Topic:  My first pedal steel guitar
Bill Duncan

 

From:
Lenoir, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2020 4:11 pm    
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My first pedal steel, (1976) was a ShoBud Pro 1. Beautiful, brilliant red. I loved it. I bought it on credit with payments, when I really could not afford them.

After about a year I was in a music store in Charlotte, NC, I saw and tried out a brand-new MSA D10 Classic. It was so smooth and solid so, I traded the ShoBud for the MSA. I have never regretted it, I still have it and I will never part with it. All those years and never a major problem. Some of the pedal tops are worn slick from use. The only change made to it is I swapped out the Super Sustain pickups about 10 years ago because they had become so microphonic (pedal noise), I could have used them for a vocal mic....almost. MSA did a fantastic job! I still love it.
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Larry Bressington


From:
The beautiful sunsets of Nebraska
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2020 7:52 pm    
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Most excellent Bill, agreed Sir. Actually I love my Sho~Bud and my 1980 ish MSA equally, My first was an Emmons student model, 3 and 1, it got me alot of places, ahh life was so much simpler back then...yes they are such lovely wives!

Last edited by Larry Bressington on 13 Apr 2020 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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K Maul


From:
Upstate NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 4:38 am    
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My first were a 70s Maverick with 3+1 and Fender 2000 but soon after that Bud Pro 1 with pot metal knee levers (I broke two ). Then MSA. I have always loved the simplicity, reliability and user friendliness of the MSA undercarriage.
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Kevin Maul: Asher, Airline, Beard, Clinesmith, Dobro, Evans, Excel, Fender, Fluger, Gibson, Hilton, Ibanez, Justice, K+K, Live Strings, Martin, National, Peterson, Quilter, Rickenbacher, Sho~Bud, Supro, TC, Ultimate, VHT, Webb, X-otic, Yamaha, ZKing.
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Tommy Mc


From:
Middlesex VT
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 6:45 am     Re: My first pedal steel guitar
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Bill Duncan wrote:
The only change made to it is I swapped out the Super Sustain pickups about 10 years ago because they had become so microphonic (pedal noise), I could have used them for a vocal mic....almost.


I had the same thing happen to my SuperSustain II (single coil) pickup. I replaced it with a George L E66. Then I read an article about potting microphonic pickups, so I tried it with the SuperSustain. Basically just dipping it in molten wax. I put it back in the guitar to test it out. It worked good as new., so I just left it there. Out of curiosity, what did you use for a replacement pickup, and how did it compare to the original?
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Gaylen James


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 10:01 am     Wheeler
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I was driving down Sandy Blvd in Portland, Oregon in the 70's and saw a building with a steel guitar in the window and pulled over and talked to Lee Wheeler. What a life changing day that was. I could not afford it, didnt know how to play it so I gave him all the money I had on me as a down payment and ordered one. Picked it up a month later and still play to this day. I even get paid once in awhile
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 12:39 pm    
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About 30 years ago my local music store reorganised so that the brass department (where I was headed) was next to the guitars. In the corner was an ancient D10 with half its strings missing. I knew what it was, because I already knew who Buddy Emmons was, but I wondered if they did. They didn't, so I gave them £200. That was the day a journey began.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 1:49 pm    
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Early 90's...I'd been playing electric guitar for years and was aware of pedal steel through it's appearance on some of my favorite rock songs, (The Stones - Torn and Frayed, Grateful Dead - Pride of Cucamonga, Flying Burrito Bros - Six Days on the Road, Yes - To Be Over, Frank Zappa - It Just Might be a One Shot Deal, etc...) but the tipping point was when I bought the Grateful Dead album, "Workingman's Dead". Jerry's pedal steel on Dire Wolf was just too cool and I knew I had to learn how to play that thing.

Went to my local music store (Guitar Showcase in Campbell) where I bought all my gear. My guy out there said they didn't carry them but he knew someone in San Jose who was a great player and always had some to sell. Went to see him (unfortunately don't remember his name) and he had several available. I bought a ShoBud D10 (have no idea what model) for $800. Got the Dewitt Scott & Winnie Winston books, a bunch of fingerpicks and started trying to learn.

Unfortunately it was just the wrong time. I'd been dealing with severe tendinitis in both arms and nerve damage in my right elbow for a couple years - so bad I'd been out on workers comp twice and nearly had to give up my career as a software engineer and go on full disability. Playing the pedal steel made the symptoms worse so I had to give it up and sell it. I still wonder what model that ShoBud was and what happened to it Winking
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Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Bill Duncan

 

From:
Lenoir, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 3:17 pm    
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Tommy Mc, True Tone on E9... E66 on C6. Other than having no microphonics, I cannot tell a lot of difference.
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Dean Rimmer

 

From:
texas
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 7:25 pm     steel
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red n black ...z b student from blackie taylor
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 4 Apr 2020 8:58 am    
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Started playing country,kept seeing all these six-string wizards,while hearing all this gorgeous pedal steel on the radio.My go-to music store made me a nice deal on a Fender/Sho-Bud S-10 3+1.Started figuring that out,then pulled the trigger on a lightly used MSA D-10 and took some lessons.Still mashing pedals! Winking
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Doug Ferguson

 

From:
Burnet, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 13 Apr 2020 9:28 am    
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I played regular guitar most of my life and when I married my first wife, she wanted to learn the steel. I found her a used Sho Bud Maverick, no knees and three pedals for $225. I helped her tune it, bought the Winston book with the little flexible record in it and she picked around on it for a couple days and it sat in the living room for about a year. I was tempted to mess with it but I knew if I picked up anything musical on it, she would have hated me so I never touched it. It went back in the case and in the closet eventually, and about 12 years later she divorced me but I got the steel. I had a lot of time, and the steel on my hands so I got it out and never looked back.
I added a Session 500 and I started with Winnie's book and would sit in front of the TV (CMT) or the stereo and many nights I went to sleep playing it. Eventually I bought a D12 MSA Classic and sold the Mav. Then I found an MSA Classic S10 and bought that. Still have the S10 and love it.
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Fergy, MSA Classic D12, MSA Classic S10, Peavey Session 500
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Mike Wilkerson


From:
Antioch California
Post  Posted 13 Apr 2020 10:33 am    
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My very first pedal steel was gift from our family friend in Oklahoma who was none other than Speedy West. He had a house in Broken Arrow and had one in Oklahoma City. My dad serviced his garage doors. I had been learning on a console 4 neck fender. Speedy who always referred to me as sprout asked me if I had started playing pedal steel. My response was no and told him we couldn’t afford one at the time. After dad finished working on his garage Door speedy brought out this huge case and said sprout I hope this Ole bucket of bolts will help you get by. I opened the case and low and behold it was one of his speedy west models built by Leonard Stadler at Marlen Guitar company. Wow I said to myself. I had that guitar until 2010 when dads house burned down. I was really saddened because Speedy who had already passed given me one of his personal guitars. I remember that guitar had tone to the bone but good gosh that thing was like carrying a Sherman Tank. Just thought I would share. Slim
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ShoBud Pro III custom Rittenberry D-10 Nashville 400 with fox mods amp 1 volume pedal 1 Lil Izzy and 3 cords
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 13 Apr 2020 11:46 am    
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My 1st pedal steel was a Sho~Bud D-10 Fingertip model.
I went to a Little Jimmy Dickens show in a neighboring town and after the show got next to his steel guitar player. He gave me the address and phone number for Sho~Bud and said to give Shot a call and he will build one for you.
He said to set it up Emmons style.
Here is the invoice for the guitar:
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Larry Jamieson


From:
Walton, NY USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 5:57 am    
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My first pedal steel was an MSA Semi-Classic, 3 pedals and one knee that lowered the Es. I bought it brand new from a music store in Binghamton, NY. When I sold it, the pedals were worn quite a bit but the guitar played well.
After the MSA I went through a Cougar, BMI, Carter, and an Excel before finally ordering a new Zum. When I was gigging on steel I had a Williams and an older MSA wood neck classic that I left set up for practice guitars while the Zum went to my gigs. The only one left is the Zum.
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John Sluszny

 

From:
Brussels, Belgium
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 7:46 am    
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First one SB Maverick, second one SB Pro I and third one Carter S12 Universal 8&5.
Next one: ???
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Jack Hargraves

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 8:17 am    
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I had been playing lead guitar for many years. I developed arthritis in my left hand to the point that I had trouble making some of the cords. I have always loved the sound of steel guitar, and had a steel in my band most of the time.
I bought a Carter starter 3/4 and with some help from some steeler friends on the forum and locally, I learned to play
well enough to get a pro model. I bought a GFI S10 with a pad and have been playing about 10 years now. I love it, and sometimes I even get paid.
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GFI Expo SD10, Nashville 112, Steelers choice Pak-a- seat, Carter vol. pedal, Stage one vol. pedal, Peavey Deltafex. Goodrich volume pedal.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 10:18 am     My first PSG
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One cold winter afternoon during the second half of the last century, I walked into Suneson Music Center on East Lake Street in Minneapolis with the intention of purchasing a set of strings for my Ovation Custom Balladeer. I walked out with a black 3x1 MSA Red Baron (Roger Suneson could have sold moonshine and marijuana to Billy Graham).

Rog set me up for lessons with a fine player and instructor, Cal Hand. Shortly thereafter, I traded the MSA in on a beautiful new birdseye 3x2 Pro I. As I progressed from beginner to advanced beginner, Cal told me I needed an "F" lever. After asking around, everybody said "go see Clem."

"Who's Clem?" I inquired. After someone furnished his phone number, I phoned this Clem guy and discovered he had recently set up shop (the Pedal Steel Guitar Emporium) a few miles due west of Suneson's on West Lake Street. Thus began a lifelong friendship with Clem Schmitz and an appreciation for Emmons push/pull guitars.

I soon purchased a used '73 rosewood 'mica fatback 8x4 D-10 that I still own. I've come full circle, however, and spend most of my seat time these days behind an ugly old 3x1 bowlin' ball 'mica Emmons student model that sings like a bird and rings like a bell.

Thanks Roger (RIP), Cal, Clem, Russ Pahl, Mike Cass, and Dave Knight (RIP). I never could have done it without you guys.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 10:25 am    
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Jack,
What I liked about Roger was that the coffee pot was always on.
I used to park in the back, walk in, and help myself to a cup of coffee and some good conversation.
I also spent some money there time and again.
I remember him bringing in Curly Chalker to pick some tunes for us at one time. I was amazed at Curly's C6th work!
If I'm not mistaken, there was a VFW or an American Legion next door and they had to extract Curly from there to get him to play! Very Happy
Erv
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 11:23 am    
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https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=242510&highlight=roger+suneson
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 15 Apr 2020 12:07 pm    
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Jack,
Thanks! Very Happy
Erv
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Sam Inglis

 

From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2020 1:12 pm    
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Always loved the sound of pedal steel but never dared try one until last year. I was looking at an auction house catalogue and they had a bunch of interesting old musical instruments including a ’70s MSA D10. I put in a low bid sight unseen and I guess no one else bid.

Getting it home was... interesting. I had naively assumed that anyone selling a pedal steel would obviously also include a case, even if it wasn't pictured. I had also blithely figured that getting the thing across London by public transport in rush hour couldn't be *that* difficult. Wrong on both counts, as it turned out.

All in all though I got pretty lucky. MSAs are as tough as old boots and this one had come through years of neglect without more than a lot of dust and a weird setup. Even more luckily, it turns out I live quite near one of very few people in the UK who can properly work on these instruments. John Davis set it up beautifully and even made longer rods for it to make room for my lanky legs.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 19 Apr 2020 1:35 am    
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My first pedal steel guitar was a not so great Sho Bud "Maverick"maybe around 1970?3 pedals no rollers?can't remember if it had a knee lever,my late mom said"what is that sound? It sounds like two cats fighting in an alley",broke 3rd strings every few minutes "Why did they ever build a pedal steel guitar without rollers?"next up was a Sho-Bud 6139 rack& pinion,MSA semi Classic"second worse guitar I've ever owned"Moved to Austin in 72-73 Bought brand new Sho-Bud Lloyd Green model"round front"about this time I was befriended by Jimmy Day,and he told me that I should get a "Blanton D-10"so a bunch of Blanton guitars followed,as did the "ZB nightmare"and a move to Alaska and few Desert Rose guitars which I love ...Recently thanks to Jon Light. And a few other friends My old Blanton guitar SD-10 4+4 2pickups has found a spot in my home,Oh I almost forgot The Mullen people built me a beautiful G2 8+5.any minute,a new Desert Rose Keyless S-10 3+5 will be showing up!!Somewhere along the way I also had a little red Emmons student model which sounded great,And GFI Ultra D-10 8+5 great guitar!
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,Desert Rose Keyless S-10 3+5... 8+5 Mullen G2D-10 8+5 Carter D-10 8+5,Blanton SD -10 any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since



the mid 50's.Peavey Nashville Scott Swartz Z-pickup...112,and LTD ,Sho-Bud Bill Groner .Telonics volume pedal,and 206 pickups.


Last edited by Stu Schulman on 19 Apr 2020 8:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wesley Medlen

 

From:
LaCygne,Ks
Post  Posted 19 Apr 2020 2:52 am    
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S10 BNI 3 and 4 `1969 model Don told me they sold them new back then for 150 dollars. Bought a BMI SD10 with 3 & 5 wish I had them back. Wes
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Justice S10 Jr, Gibson Electra 6string, Boss Katana 100, Steelers Choice ,Gretsch 6 string lap, Hilton VP
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 19 Apr 2020 1:22 pm    
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My first pedal steel was a surprise gift given to me by my band mates back in 1972 or so.
It was just the body ( top, neck, keyhead, changer, fretboard, undercarriage) of an 8 string Pierce steel guitar. Having only seen pictures of these contraptions, I decided to build the rest. I appropriated four legs from a card table. I made the pedal board and pedals from marine grade 3/4" plywood using small brass hinges and carriage bolts to attach the board to the legs. I used clothes hangers for the pedal rods. It all worked pretty good, but, not great! The pickup was weak, so, I replaced it with two pickups from a Femder lap steel I had. But. The big thing was that, I had no idea how to tune this thing. So, I tuned it to an E chord and tuned it to an A chord with the pull release changer. It really was a nightmare to keep tuned and play in tune.
Around 1974 I got my first real steel, a ShoBud Maverick with 3+1. I was in hog heaven!
I played the crap out of that steel, but, soon learned that it was a student model with limited modern conveniences. So, in 1976 I bought my first professional steel, a RusLer S-11 with 5+4. It has a ZB sound, but, easier modern all pull changer and bell cranks and rods. I played that steel for 26 years doing club dates and studio sessions. It never failed me or let me down. Finally in 2003, I bought my U-12 ZumSteel with 7+5. It will probably be my last Steel since I'm getting older and the playing dates see not what they used to be. So....... that's my little story in the steel guitar world. It's been a long wonderful journey with many surprises and meeting some great people.
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Pat Chong

 

From:
New Mexico, USA
Post  Posted 19 Apr 2020 3:54 pm    
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My first pedal steel could have been a Fender 3 + 1, in a pawn shop, but I was younger and 300.00 bucks was way out of my budget at the time.
Later, after having caught the desire to play one, I was bidding on Carter starters on eBay. I kept losing those bids, and in my frustration, I saw and bid on a Dekley S10......and won. Having seen what others have said about Carter starters, I am glad it turned out that way. My S10 was not a student model and has served quite well. Originally, it was a 3p + 5k setup. Now, it is a 6p + 4k, still learning.......
...Pat
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