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Post new topic Why do Franklin guitars sound so great?
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Author Topic:  Why do Franklin guitars sound so great?
Ron Scott


Post  Posted 10 Aug 2020 12:23 pm    
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I don't really know why I bought mine in !982 from Mr Franklin.I went to the steel convention in St Louis to order one and after playing the demo model, I ordered it. It just sounds good to me. We are just 2 happy partners now. Very Happy Very Happy
Franklin D10 Stereo - 8 and 6 - Zum Encore 4 and 5 Nashville 400,Session 400, DD3 for delay ,also Benado Effects pedal.
Steeling with Franklin's..and Zum Encore

Last edited by Ron Scott on 11 Aug 2020 4:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Holder

Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2020 2:26 pm    
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Fred Treece;... great answer and analysis! I couldn’t agree more with you!
If it’s cryin, you ain’t lyin!!
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Post  Posted 10 Aug 2020 11:33 pm    
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The only blind test that matters happens each day. On a session they don't care what brands are brought in...If a silvertone and a brand X sounds great! The engineers will tell you..If they ask questions such as "Don't you own a tube amp?" or "Have you played that guitar "Weldon" plays? It takes common sense to understand what they are really saying to the player...Which is: "The playing is good, but the tone is lacking" This happens to players on stage as well...The first time I switched to the "Lil Walter" amp the TJ's started commenting on the tone being great...Sometimes players convince themselves what they play sounds as good as the next rig...

Pete Drake's wisdom was to tell a kid - listen when questions are asked of you on dates... "Never" try to convince anyone how great your rig sounds to those asking the questions, instead ask them to tell you what they think and more will come flowing out. They are only trying to help you get work..Therein lies the blind tests that matter...

I first went into the studio with an MSA and the Old "A Team" players and the engineer Al Pachucki asked me if I had ever played a Sho-Bud or an Emmons? I switched to Sho-Bud in a few weeks of that moment and "Wala" I started getting tonal compliments from the players who had asked the question. In the 70's when the Emmons guitar started dominating the Nashville pop session scene. Due to Judy Collin's hit and Weldon's playing on Area Code 615 it became the modern sound for PSG...I was asked again had I played an Emmons...So I switched because I listen and I like working!

Then when I took the Franklin guitar in for the first time...The engineers had not noticed I switched guitars - both my Emmons and Franklin were black mica - they commented that my sound had changed and I asked has it improved?...Jerry Reed said Chip Young could place it better in the track. Chet loved it!..For months after that first appearance and once I was booked, I got phone calls in advance of the session asking me to bring the new guitar...Couple that with the mechanical aspects, sustain, inspirational aspects, etc...Its a no brainer why I stayed on this path. So far nobody has asked whether I have played a different amp or guitar...You can bet, I will listen to the ears around me.
Hope this explains why...
"If a guitar doesn't inspire us, why play it?"... A lot is mentioned about Buddy Emmons...His tonal and playing preference was in the last guitar he kept. No matter what brands he pushed, the PP Blade is the one guitar he never sold. He kept and played it until the end of his historical journey...To me, that speaks volumes!
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Ken Byng

Southampton, England
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2020 4:20 am    
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I remember Bobbe Seymour telling me about a session that he did in Nashville when he first came to town. He was asked to do a session, and took his MSA along. He thought that he did a good job, and that his guitar sounded pretty good. When the session ended, the engineer asked Seymour to come into the control room. The engineer played back the track that had just been recorded. Then he put on a tape where Weldon was playing an Emmons, and Bobbe said that the tone of Weldon's guitar was "huge". The engineer told Bobbe that there was a big difference in the way that the MSA sat in the mix and the way that the push pull Emmons sat in it.

Seymour reckoned that the old MSA was offloaded super fast and he ordered a new Emmons D10 immediately. Of course, Weldon's playing technique was more than great, but that sound engineer could hear the sonic difference between Brand A and Brand B. I hear that today, sound engineers are similarly reassured when they see a Franklin steel in the main studios in Nashville. However, there are a significant number of great sounding pedal steels being produced these days, and maybe there is some similarity in the tonal range between all of them.
Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), MSA D10 Legend XL Signature - redburst (9+6), Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
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Henry Matthews

Texarkana, Ark USA
Post  Posted 13 Aug 2020 3:57 pm    
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I had never played a Franklin so was somewhat skeptical of all the talk about one and just wondered maybe if it was because one of the greatest players on the planet played one.
I had the opportunity to sit down at Damir’s Franklin a while back at his home and I can truly say that there is something special about them. The feel of guitar was also different. Best way to describe is it felt like driving a Cadillac over a 59 Ford. I can’t really say that tone wise was any better than my 68 PP because didn’t get to jam with it were you can really get a good feel for tone but it is definitely a very fine guitar with something special.
Henry Matthews

D-10 1968 Emmons cut tail, black, 8&5
D-10 1971 Emmons cut tail, glossy rosewood, 8&4
Nashville 112 amp, Fishman Loudbox Performer amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Bob Hoffnar

Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 14 Aug 2020 8:04 am    
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"If you can't hear the difference YOU can't hear the difference"

Wash your hands !
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