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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?
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 7:20 am    
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Steve Schmidt


From:
Ramsey, MN, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 8:38 am    
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We've all tried to cop Paul Franklin's licks and of course thru that process became very familiar with his tone. I know, whatever guitar I play, I sound like me so I won't get into a what sounds better clash, however a few years ago a friend of mine called me up and asked if I wanted to buy his Franklin. The price was right and I jumped on it. I picked it up at his house and brought it to the gig that night. It wasn't completely setup for my liking but I wanted to play it. The very first thing I noticed was, there's that midrange quality I hear in all of Paul's recordings. It is definitely in that guitar. I have 2 push pulls and a Zum, and although those guitars also sound fabulous, they don't have that little midrange thing going on that the other do. Still I subscribe to, you play whatever is comfortable for you. Some nights I take my Franklin out, other nights I take my Push Pulls or my Mum out. Right now, I've really been enjoying the tone of my Push Pulls with the factory single coils in them. My Zum came with TrueTone single coils and I replaced them with 705 because of places we were playing had lighting that made the guitar noisy. I'm going to put the TrueTones back in as I just prefer the single coil sound. At the end of the day, I sound like me, no matter what I play.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 9:37 am    
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Old dogs ,children. Watermelon wine an Franklin steels our the spice of life!!!
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 2:13 pm    
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I guess the next obvious question will be, who will take over Paul Sr.’s job now that he’s retired?
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 4:31 pm    
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Quote:
I guess the next obvious question will be, who will take over Paul Sr.’s job now that he’s retired?

According to the Franklins, Buck Reid is the man, at least in terms of recommendations for additions or repairs - https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=355662&start=25
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Asa Brosius

 

Post  Posted 19 Jul 2020 4:40 pm    
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I brought a Fulawka into the shop for Buck to work on one day- he was deep in conversation with Franklin Sr- both wonderful men.
I love what Doug Earnest is doing so well with Bruce Zumsteg's designs- I'd love to see someone working with Franklin Sr. on a similar idea- great sounding affordable guitars incorporating his unique design aspects.
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2020 10:33 am    
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Having Buck take over is an excellent idea. I played some of the PP’s that were set up in Bobbe’s store in the early 90’s and was blown away by the accuracy and ease of action on them. If he can do that to a PP, a Franklin should be a walk in the park.
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Kenneth Kotsay

 

From:
Davie/Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2020 10:03 am    
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Simple because Paul Franklin plays one. I'm not Paul but I do own a D10 Franklin and I sure as hell don't sound like Paul. I'll say this about the Franklin's it feels like you are in Pedal Steel Guitar Heaven, it's smooth, it's tight, rugged, the pedal action is by far the best I have ever felt. Stays in tune, hardly ever breaks strings.

What else can I say, order one from Walmart they give you a great deal, free strings included, the color black sells the most, followed by black!!!!
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2020 12:56 pm    
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Quote:
I love what Doug Earnest is doing so well with Bruce Zumsteg's designs- I'd love to see someone working with Franklin Sr. on a similar idea- great sounding affordable guitars incorporating his unique design aspects.


The last time I was at Franklin's home he mentioned someone, in Texas, wanted to build Franklins. Paul said he sent him building plans but the sample that he got back was not acceptable. I don't know what transpired after that, but apparently it never made it as that was long enough ago that if it ultimately materialized we would be seeing new Franklin steels. He mentioned talking to another builder but he turned him down as he was tied up building his own steels.
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Jerry Horch


From:
Alva, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jul 2020 9:15 am     Guitars
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I'd like to see Paul Jr. take it....or at least sell me one of his at a good price....maybe that lacquer one....... Smile
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Ron Shalita


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jul 2020 1:16 pm    
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Is Paul Sr still with us?
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post  Posted 23 Jul 2020 1:27 pm    
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Ron yes he is.
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 5:23 pm     You all know this!
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It’s always the player. Not the instrument.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 7:12 pm    
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Well Bryan I don’t agree with your statement.
Even a pro steel players likes sugar in his lemonade.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2020 7:45 pm    
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Johnie King wrote:
Well Bryan I don’t agree with your statement.
Even a pro steel players likes sugar in his lemonade.


Perhaps, in this case, the pro player IS the sugar!

Smile
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2020 2:35 pm     Agreed!
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I think Mr. Baucum hit it on the nose.All the players mentioned in the thread are just scary good. They make anything they do sound great! That’s why we know them, that’s why they are in the studios. That’s why if I sat down behind a Franklin I would be my usual couple of steps slightly above lame when compared to our heroes.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2020 5:37 pm    
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playing Franklin guitar is like driving an old classic Cadillac, built so solid you can feel the quality as soon as you sit behind one... smooth and precise like a Swiss clock ...



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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2020 6:26 pm    
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Seems everybody wants to make general statements such as no matter what one plays, they still sound the same. That is simply not true.

Guitars have character and they sound differently. Whether it's better or not may be somewhat subjective.

Because a panel cannot identify different guitars in a blind test doesn't mean that each doesn't have a characteristic sound.

I can recall several times I heard Buddy Emmons on different guitars at the conventions and Johnny Cox as well. Tommy White too.

The difference was obvious. Yes, they all played fabulously but the character of the sound was different.

Regarding the Franklin, if you've ever spent any time talking to Mr. Paul, you'll see right away his ferver and dedication to building his guitars. I suspect he knows enough about what to do in his builds to get what he finds acceptable to him out of his guitars. I expect he learned a thing or two by trial and error through years of building steels, maybe even by accident through experimentation but a lot from knowledge and understanding how design and components affect sound.

His standards are high and it shows in his guitars.

There's a reason Franklin guitars are so desirable to many. If someone doesn't see that or feel they are overrated and overpriced then they are free to buy something else and stop criticizing those that feel they are worth the going rate.
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Mike Holder


From:
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 4 Aug 2020 9:40 pm    
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Well said Jerry!! Not one broken egg!
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post  Posted 6 Aug 2020 6:38 pm    
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Perfect summation Jerry - hit the nail on the head :-} !!
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Greg Milton


From:
Benalla, Australia
Post  Posted 7 Aug 2020 4:14 am    
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Jerry Overstreet wrote:
The difference was obvious. Yes, they all played fabulously but the character of the sound was different


Jerry, if it's obvious then why can't you do it in a blind test?
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 7 Aug 2020 4:28 am    
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Greg, do you own Franklin ? did you ever play one ?
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 7 Aug 2020 8:16 am    
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Damir Besic wrote:
Greg, do you own Franklin ? did you ever play one ?

Blind tests, yeah there is value in what the listener perceives to be the “better” sound. But Damir is right. What the the player experiences is the thing that matters most.

“What does the instrument do for the way I want to play?” It may be an interesting exercise to analyze how the construction relates to tone, but from my relatively green perspective as a player, playability and tone are separate issues that have to work together. Since the Franklin’s are both great players and great builders, I’m guessing they might treat both views equally. But I don’t care about how the end plates are effecting my tone when I’m playing, I just want them to hold the thing together. Conversely, if I’m getting great tone but having to fight levers and pedals and general instability, I am not going to be relaxed and able to make great music.

To answer Damir’s pointed questions, nope I don’t, nope I haven’t, and yep I sure hope I get the chance someday.
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Greg Milton


From:
Benalla, Australia
Post  Posted 7 Aug 2020 8:56 pm    
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Hey Damir, answer my question first! Smile
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 7 Aug 2020 9:21 pm    
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Greg Milton wrote:
Hey Damir, answer my question first! Smile


play one first, and you'll get your answer Greg
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