Pedal Steel Question before purchase

lpfella

Member
Messages
1,409
Hi, I am a novice who wants to buy a pedal steel. I know little but have read a bit here and there. I found one that I am interested in buying but not sure what to think of this being a good beginner model that will allow growth with the instrument. I mean, I know Shobud is good stuff but any insight on this particular one, based on the picture?

Thanks

 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
I'm not an expert but that looks like a Sho-bud maverick which is the starter model. the common consensus is that while these have a good tone your better of buying a better model for a few hundred more. When I started out I almost bought one but I read the steel guitar forums and was convinced to buy a Sho-bud Pro 1 which is an awesome guitar. Here is a link to a discussion about this instrument from the steel guitar forum-
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=201451&sid=b2ad1ce0827e3abfda437f9e50eaefa3
The steel guitar forum is a great place with lots of useful info, check it out and good luck with your purchase.
 

lpfella

Member
Messages
1,409
Ah yes, I think I have read much of the same but wasn't recalling exactly. Thanks for the input.
 

Hwy14

Member
Messages
2,168
There some great companies building very reasonable new steels. There are so many things that could be wrong with an old shobud if it wasn't maintained. I would go to the steel guitar forum and do a little research.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,629
IMO ... A Zumsteel Stage One is a great first steel. After a lot of research that's what I did and it continues to impress.

I would take that over a used steel with who knows what issues any day. They're damn hard to play, you don't want to be fighting your instrument.
 

kenneth

Member
Messages
931
Awesome, I am kinda jealous. I totally got hooked when I heard the work that Greg Leisz did with Matthew Sweet, and then of course all the other work he did before and after. Totally awesome.

But, I have my hands full with 6 strings and distortion pedals!

I can't comment on the actual steel above, but....I commend your pursuit.
 

PosterBoy

Member
Messages
3,197
There is part of me that wants to buy one too, but I'm also aware of the time and discipline it will take to learn, and I know what I'm like.
 

Quarter

Member
Messages
1,594
IMO ... A Zumsteel Stage One is a great first steel. After a lot of research that's what I did and it continues to impress.
I have no first hand experience with either the Maverick or the Stage One, but more often than not, those that do know make this exact recommendation.
 

rockinrobby

Senior member Professional musician ...
Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,585
I like the Carter starter it's a good quality steel stays in-tune and it's not a lot of money.. Steel guitar is not easy and it take lot's of practice and desire … You can alway climb the latter when you get better..

 

old goat

Member
Messages
1,987
I like the Carter starter it's a good quality steel stays in-tune and it's not a lot of money.. Steel guitar is not easy and it take lot's of practice and desire … You can alway climb the latter when you get better..

You'll have to buy one used--they don't make them any more.
My suggestion, based entirely on my personal experience, is to learn how to play a square neck resonator or lap steel first to see if you have the discipline to focus on the new instrument before spending the money on a pedal steel. There are plenty of guitar players who dabble in pedal but I've only heard one who is great on both guitar and pedal--Jerry Garcia. (And for the record, my personal experience is that I don't have the discipline to stick with my Dobro and suck when it's so easy to pick up my guitar.)
 

rockinrobby

Senior member Professional musician ...
Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,585
I did not know that the Carter starter was discontinued .. Bummer that was the go to beginner steel.. I guess the "Stage one" is the new kid on the block.. I have a Dobro in C6th tuning that great way to get the feel however the foot pedal and knee levers will get you there even faster..
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,598
Don't buy a Maverick as a first guitar. They're fairly cheaply made, and don't have a modern setup. The Carter Starter is alright, but they've been going for silly prices recently. The Zumsteel suggested above is a nice guitar. Look for something with a single neck, 10 strings, three pedals, and four knee levers. Someone above suggested going with a Dobro or lap steel. Personally, I don't agree with that route, because the techniques aren't all that similar. If you keep an eye out, you should be able to get a pedal steel that will serve you well for around a grand.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,152
Maybe this is a better way to go for the OP.
This might change the game for lap steel players:
Its a pedal slide by Axtremity.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,152
I agree with this quote.
Lap steel and pedal steel are two different instruments.
I bought a used Rittenberry SD10, after attending a steel guitar jam in Portland Oregon a few years back.
Pedal steel is a challenge to learn, but worth it.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,152
Don't buy a Maverick as a first guitar. They're fairly cheaply made, and don't have a modern setup. The Carter Starter is alright, but they've been going for silly prices recently. The Zumsteel suggested above is a nice guitar. Look for something with a single neck, 10 strings, three pedals, and four knee levers. Someone above suggested going with a Dobro or lap steel. Personally, I don't agree with that route, because the techniques aren't all that similar. If you keep an eye out, you should be able to get a pedal steel that will serve you well for around a grand.
This is what I have heard from my psg teacher as well.
Look for a used pro model.
Its worth the extra money
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
9,843
I had a Carter starter. It was ok at best. The pedals were ok, but the knee levers were aluminum and kept bending. Not good.
The one in the pic looks Like a Maverick to me too. Skip it, unless he is asking like a hundred bucks or something cheap.

With modern machining a pedal steel doesn't have to cost a fortune. I have heard good things about the entry level ZUm, Zum makes good stuff (it is actually a dif guy making them, but with Zum approval). There is other stuff out there, and used, you should be able to get something really good for 1k- 1200
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,697
I have a Sho Bud Maverick and it sounds fine. The Maverick is a fully functional pro instrument that has been used by many touring pros who don't require a double neck and want a more portable instrument. Any functional single neck would be fine as a starter instrument, but I concur with other posters who suggest you will face a learning curve that requires practice time. If you don't use thumb and finger picks and do Travis picking, you will need to develop that skill.

I paid $1000 used for mine from a dealer who sold them and set it up. The problem is that you need to make sure it is fully operational with the pedals in tune with the open strings. Once the open strings are tuned to the E9 chord, the pedal shifted strings are tuned with a hex wrench on small tuners behind the bridge - make sure none of them are stripped or get to know a machinist.

You should also get a strobe tuner, as the tuning is not equal temperment - certain strings are slightly flat and sharp relative to concert. I have the Peterson SP-1 and it has pre-defined "sweetened" tunings for E9 and C6 pedal steel tunings. If you can't get the thing tuned 'properly,' it will never sound right.

The key to understanding pedal steel is to realize that the pedals allow you to play harmonized major scales - hence its popularity among country players. But you can play anything you want on any instrument. You just have to devote the time to it. I suggest you find a local pedal steel player and buy him some beer and pick his brains. It's not a pick up and play instrument.
 




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