Still steelin' after all these years

Here is a list of my current equipment:

  • Steels - Carter D-10 8+5 Red wood-grain Formica
  •            Carter D-10 8+8 Green wood-grain Formica
  • Seat from Steel
  • 10-string Melobar Screemer
  • 7-string Sho-Bro resonator guitar
  • Peavey DPC-750 stereo power amp
  • Two Speaker Cabinets - Peavey 112E
  • Two Peavey Nashville 112 amps
  • POD X3 pre-amp / effects
  • BBE Sonic Maximizer
  • Hilton volume pedals
  • Gold Tone Electric Banjo
  • Gold Tone Accoustic Banjo

My first steel was a single neck Blanton. It had 10 strings, 4 pedals and no knee levers. I bought it for $300 dollars in a music shop in LA. I didn't know anything about steel but the salesman wrote me out a chart for the tuning and away I went. I eventually made a knee lever out of a wooden table leg and a hinge. (Sounds like a Red Green project.) I used the fourth pedal hardware for this. I was using a Fender Twin amp at this time.

My next steel was a single neck Sho-Bud. It was Blond wood and a really nice steel. This one was three pedals and two knee levers. I was really moving up in the world. I purchased a Randal Amp that I used for a while but eventually went back to the Twin.

I sold the Sho-Bud to buy a "like new" D-10 Emmons that had 8 floor pedals and 4 knee levers. This was 1977 and it cost me $1200. That was a lot for a musician making $100 dollars a week playing full time. I started using a Roland Jazz Chorus for an amp. I used this amp for several years then traded it for a Peavey Vegas 400. I was much happier with the Vegas 400.

For the last few years my main axe has been a red Carter D-10 with 8 pedals and 5 knee levers. I really like the sound and playability of the Carter. I also like the low weight when packing up at the end of the night. I liked it so much that I recently bought a second Carter steel.  A green one this time that has 8 pedals and 8 knee levers.

For amplification these days I have two rigs that I use regularly. I use a Line 6 POD X3 into a Peavey DPC-750 amp and a BBE Sonic Maximizer. This drives a pair of Peavey Black Widow speaker cabinets. I love the way that stereo opens up the sound, especially with a little chorus or delay happening.

My second system is the POD X3 into one or two Peavey Nashville 112 amps. This little amp is amazing in the sound that it puts out. I am starting to sound like a Peavey ad but I like the equipment that they put out. No one else has as much for steel players at these prices. The final touch is the Hilton volume pedal. These are a tremendous advancement in volume pedals. No pots to worry about and they do amazing things to the tone.