Donde esta Ed Naylor: Pedal Steel Guitar Refurbisher?
November 11, 2007 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a pedal steel guitar, and preferably I would like to buy one from Ed Naylor. I visited his shop in Portsmouth, Ohio, a few years ago and almost got one for US$500. His shop isn't there any more. Anyone know where I can find him? If not, anyone know where I can get a basic beginner's pedal steel guitar for under $1000?
posted by billtron to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Carter Starter (single slab E9) is about $700 everywhere.
posted by sourwookie at 9:12 AM on November 11, 2007

Anyone know where I can find him?

It appears that Mr. Naylor is no longer among the living.
posted by mumkin at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: I can't find a link, I'm afraid, but I believe that Ed Naylor passed away in 2004 or so. That, at least, is the date of his last activity on the steel guitar forum. Unless I'm misremembering, there is an obituary thread somewhere.

I posted at length in this thread about buying pedal steels and this thread about learning pedal steel.

The Carter Starter is the instrument I started on and outgrew in a year or so. By the end of that year I was gigging 4-5 times/ month with a number of different bands so YMMV. The advantages of the starter is that is is, out of the box, a perfectly functional instrument. Because of the extremely complex nature of pedal steels, you're unlikely to find one in working order if it hasn't been gone over by a qualified mechanic*. This is not expertise that your average music store has access to.

Disadvantages of the carter starter is that it's extremely flimsy and the tuning can't be customized. On the upside, that means there's less to go wrong. On the downside, it can stifle.

I know that Carter manufacture the Magnum line of pedal steels which is intended to be a mass-produced, pro-level steel. I've never played one so I can't speak to their quality with authority. I do know that pro-model carters are excellent instruments and the Starter is great at what it is.

I've got more to say but I need to take off at the moment. Watch this space for updates, shit talking, and recommended dealers!

*Yes, if you fix pedal steels, they call you a mechanic. It's true!
posted by stet at 10:22 AM on November 11, 2007

I just play standard six-string guitars, but I saw the "How It's Made" episode on pedal steels recently and was amazed at how complicated they actually are. Good luck!
posted by mrbill at 9:26 PM on November 11, 2007

I would personally suggest a used guitar over the Carter Starter, unless weight is a big concern (the Starter is light, but doesn't feel that solid IMO). I think you'll get more milage out of a used MSA or Sho Bud or something similar.

The place you really want to look is the Steel Guitar Forum. The for sale thread there is a great place to find a used instrument, and there are discussions which have a lot more people who know about PSG than folks here (no offense).

Just FYI, PSG is an amazing instrument, but the learning curve is very steep. It's kind of like playing drums and guitar at the same time - you have 3+ foot pedals, a volume pedal, at least 1-4 knee levers, plus holding the steel and picking w/ your thumb and 2-3 fingers on your right hand. My steel has been languishing in my closet for a year or two at this point, though I keep telling myself I should start trying to play again.
posted by PandaMcBoof at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2007

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