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Old 09-20-2022, 07:35 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Default What is the current most practical basic pedal steel?

My D-10 with so many pedals and levers is not looking too practical for basic play-along stuff. For one thing, it weighs more than I do!

Last edited by H165; 09-20-2022 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 09-20-2022, 11:54 PM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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The Justice company Pro Lite series is one of the new era of slimmed down pedal steels, originally designed for the steelers that travel on airlines. All built to order and competitively priced in the pedal steel market. These are class of the field steels.

Stage One makes a top notch portable steel. They were designed by Bruce Zumsteig of ZumSteel fame, now being built by Doug Ernest. Great reviews.

Obviously, these are both S10 body designs with limited pedal and knee configurations. But both use state of the are delrin bushings, and are available with splits on all pulls.

If not already, get on the Pedal Steel Guitar Forum. A wealth of information there.
frank d.
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Last edited by Chickee; 09-22-2022 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 09-21-2022, 12:08 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Not a lightweight, this is my SD10, 4pedal/5knee, splits on all, Fred Justice built TheJudge steel. Hard Rock Maple body, tri color(satin black top, pearl white and turquoise oyster split design aprons front and rear)fat back body design on a double size cabinet. This is a one of one made in the world of the over three hundred steels Mr. Justice built before he retired. I am extremely fortunate to have had this steel built for me by the man himself.

My friend and pedal steel mentor, Mr. Fred Justice passed away from complications of COPD on September 8, 2022. He is sorely missed by me, and the entire pedal steel community around the globe has lost one of its biggest advocates and a world class player. Godspeed dear Fred and rest easy now. Go and teach the angels those “big chords” you are famous for!
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Old 09-21-2022, 07:44 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
My D-10 with so many pedals and levers is not looking too practical for basic play-along stuff. For one thing, it weighs more than I do!
When I first retired I spent the first 5 years making custom lap steels. When I first developed a design I had considered a couple cable linked foot pedals but decided that the simplicity of the lap steel was really what appealed to me.

What sealed the deal for building simple 6, 7, and 8 string lap steels was having Bob Breidenbach, lap steel player for The Western Satellites, sit in with our Western Swing band. Bob played so expertly that it would be hard to tell he wasn't playing pedal steel.

Here's a bit of Bob with The Western Satellites:



An alternative might be to investigate a lap steel with a palm lever or two installed. These can also be very effective in achieving the pedal steel sound.

One of our local musicians who is a great pedal steel player told me that the greatest disadvantage to pedal steel, particularly an inexpensive one, is that you spend more time fiddling with the linkages than actually playing time.
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:10 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
My D-10 with so many pedals and levers is not looking too practical for basic play-along stuff. For one thing, it weighs more than I do!

One of the best innovations in the pedal steel universe was the Justice Pro Lite steel. At just around 27lbs out of the case it was the perfect instrument for a traveling/working steeler. Every weight saving measure was taken on this build without removing any high end mechanisms from the design. Light weight, high quality billet aluminum was used extensively to get the traditional weight of a pedal steel down to travel weight.

I remember when these were introduced, just about nine years ago, they were a game changer in the pedal steel community.
They run between $3k and $4k depending on you option list at time of build.

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Old 09-22-2022, 06:26 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Quote:
particularly an inexpensive one,
Mine is an MSA, and actually in pretty good shape. But lugging it around is, at my age of 73, positively dangerous
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:41 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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The most practical and portable steel on the market right now has to be the Stage One company’s Encore model. With three pedals and five knees at a sub $2k price tag it is the go to steel for people on the run who need quick set up and break down with a solid build and a no compromise guitar. And it’s a good looking steel to boot! As a senior citizen myself I could see this in my future!

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Old 09-23-2022, 06:52 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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And if I was young again with $12k laying around this would be my ticket!!! From the historic background of Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons of SHO-BUD fame, the Jackson family have kept the legacy alive with their line of top tier, pro level steels. Not for the faint of heart or bank account, these steels are the best of the best in this very small, and unfortunately shrinking industry. Long live Jackson steels!!!



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Last edited by Chickee; 09-23-2022 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:46 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
My D-10 with so many pedals and levers is not looking too practical for basic play-along stuff. For one thing, it weighs more than I do!
So, what exactly is it you are looking for?
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Old 09-23-2022, 08:07 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Check out the first minute of this palm bender video. It would be even better if he used the roller bridge with it, but it's a pretty convincing "pedal steel" sound:

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Old 09-23-2022, 08:30 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Check out the first minute of this palm bender video. It would be even better if he used the roller bridge with it, but it's a pretty convincing "pedal steel" sound:

They make benders like that for guitars too. Ive always wanted to try them. I have a little beater telecaster clone i may just give that a shot on. Thanks for posting and reminding me of those gadgets!
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:47 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
They make benders like that for guitars too. Ive always wanted to try them. I have a little beater telecaster clone i may just give that a shot on. Thanks for posting and reminding me of those gadgets!
frank d.
I just watched two videos on installing and playing the Certano benders. They looked and sounded great, and also seem very easy to install. Go for it Frank!!!

This guy really broke it down...

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Old 09-23-2022, 03:03 PM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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I just watched two videos on installing and playing the Certano benders. They looked and sounded great, and also seem very easy to install. Go for it Frank!!!

This guy really broke it down...

Bahahaha😂😹😂 This may just be the next project, Rocky!
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Old 09-23-2022, 04:11 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Anything that is too flimsy is to be avoided. My Stage One was a great ax to learn on, but had too much flex. The EMCI I got was the bomb. It had an aluminum frame but was still a beast to transport. A 3x5 will do a lot of what you need.
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Old 09-23-2022, 04:49 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
I just watched two videos on installing and playing the Certano benders. They looked and sounded great, and also seem very easy to install. Go for it Frank!!!

This guy really broke it down...

Anyone looking to install benders on a Tele should consider doing the real deal Parsons/White benders which are actuated by the end strap button and top strap horn.

If you're installing on a guitar I don't see the advantage of "palm benders".
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