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Author Topic:  Recommendations wanted
Ryan Taylor


Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2020 9:12 pm    
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Hi everyone! I’m looking to take the steel plunge. I’m an accomplished musician and play slide and lap but never have played a pedal. I’m looking to start with an s10 , but I want to get something that’s gonna be good for the long haul and sound good recorded. Looking to spend up to about 2500 used. What would you guys recommend? Thanks!
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Jeremy Reeves

Chatham, IL, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2020 9:34 pm    
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road trip?
no affiliation https://fredericksburg.craigslist.org/msg/d/spotsylvania-msa-classic-pedal-steel/7165206906.html
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Chris Brooks


Providence, Rhode Island
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 8:33 am    
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That's a great deal for the MSA, Ryan!

Also 1. Check the Forum's list.

2. Check with Tom Cass up in Baldwinville.

3. Check with John Widgren in southern Connecticut.

Tommy and John are ace restorers.
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Leo Grassl


Nashville TN
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 9:14 am    
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Hey Ryan,

Congrats on your decision to get a steel! As Chris said, Tommy Cass and John Widgren no whats up with steels in your neck of the woods. You cant go wrong buying a used Axe from either of them and they both usually have quality guitars for sale. 3 pedals and 4 knee levers is plenty fro an E9 tuning.

If I was to buy a new single E9 guitar within your budget today I would easily choose the Stage One guitar or a Justice Pro Lite model or Junior model. These guitars have excellent tone and all sound good recorded as you mentioned was important.

Leo G
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Lee Warren

Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 11:16 am    
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Hi Ryan,
There are a number of good options in your price range.
One that I can highly recommend, from personal experience, is a Zum Encore from Doug Earnest.


For what it’s worth, I also own an Emmons and Derby, and find that the Encore feels, plays and sounds just as good as both those guitars.
Doug Earnest is also a great guy to deal with.
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Jim Kennedy


Brentwood California, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 11:49 am    
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Hudson and Justice guitars are also selling 3&4 E9 setups in the $1500 range. I have been considering one from either of these builders. Google them and take a look.
ShoBud Pro 1, 75 Tele, 85 Yamaha SA 2000, Fender Cybertwin,
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Jerry Overstreet

Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 11:57 am    
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I would caution you against buying old used pedal steel guitars that aren't supported anymore. It might be the best or it might be the worst. Thing is you won't know.

Buy as new a modern guitar as you can afford. Modern builds are lighter weight and have the most modern mechanics and changer capabilities, plus parts are more available and support from the builder can be obtained.

New players need to weed out all the negative possibilities and unknowns particularly when just starting out blind. JMO.
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Ken Pippus

Lake Oswego, OR
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 12:07 pm    
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Having owned one, I think the Zum Encore is absolutely ridiculous bang for the buck. If you pick up a new one, you won't have to sweat mechanics and adjustments.

And I agree with all the other recommendations above.
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Ron Pruter


Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 3:38 pm    
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Easier to say what not to get. People don't like to get negative and and argumentative though. PM me if you want my opinions. Good luck and welcome aboard. Ron
Emmons SKH Le Grande, '73 P/J bass, Tick tack bass, Regal high strung, and a Coral Sitar.
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Dennis Montgomery

Western Washington
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 3:54 pm    
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I would highly recommend buying new if at all possible. Used is only a good idea for a beginner if it's from a local store or pedal steel expert who knows how to properly setup a used instrument and stand behind their work.

When starting out, the last thing you want is to inherit someone else's problem and not be able to tell if you sound lousy because there's a mechanical issue or because you're a beginner Winking
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:


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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