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Author Topic:   Fender Four Neck Custom Steel Guitar
Al Gershen
Member

From: Grants Pass, OR, USA

posted 18 June 2000 08:49 PM     profile   send email     edit

Hi Group:

I'm looking at the October 1996 issue of "The Pedal Steel Newsletter" and on the front cover is a photograph of what appears to be a four neck Fender Custom steel guitar. The persons standing behind this guitar are Leonard T. Zinn, Dick Sanft and Elmer Ridenhour and it was taken at the 1996 Aloah International Steel Guitar Club Convention.

I wasn't aware that Fender made any four neck steel guitars except for the Stringmaster guitars that came out in the early 1950s.

Can anyone give me some information about this unusual steel guitar?

------------------
Regards,
Al Gershen
Grants Pass, Oregon. USA
Fender 1000 (1957),
Fender PS 210 (1972) &
Gibson Electraharp EH-820
(1962)
Pictures of PS 210 &
EH-820 at http://www.rvi.net/~aldg

Al Gershen
Member

From: Grants Pass, OR, USA

posted 23 June 2000 07:42 AM     profile   send email     edit
Hi group:

All that I am asking is if Fender made any four neck steel guitars before the Stringmasters came out?

I've got some old catalogs from Fender published before the Stringmasters came out and they only show a triple neck Custom model, yet the photo I talked about in my original posting showed a four neck model.

A picture is worth a "thousand words" so the model certainly existed. Were many built?

Please respond with your comments.

------------------
Regards,
Al Gershen
Grants Pass, Oregon. USA
Fender 1000 (1957),
Fender PS 210 (1972) &
Gibson Electraharp EH-820
(1962)
Pictures of PS 210 &
EH-820 at http://www.rvi.net/~aldg

Brad Bechtel
Moderator

From: San Francisco, CA

posted 23 June 2000 09:49 AM     profile   send email     edit
I haven't seen but two four-neck Stringmasters in my life, so I'm not really qualified to say. Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars only discusses the Stringmaster models as having four necks.
It's possible this was a custom guitar for some particular artist. Can you post a copy of the picture so we can discuss it better?

------------------
Brad's Page of Steel:
www.well.com/~wellvis/steel.html
A web site devoted to acoustic & electric lap steel guitars

Mike Black
Member

From: New Mexico, USA

posted 23 June 2000 10:05 AM     profile   send email     edit
Al, I've never seen a Direct String Quad but that dosen't mean they didn't make 1 as a 1 off or special order. Also the owner may have made one themselves. I'd like to see the photo too if you can do it.
Dosen't Leonard Zinn come to the Forum? He'd be the guy to ask. Seems I recall his name from the past.
Maybe John Tipka would know how to get ahold of him to ask that question.

[This message was edited by Mike Black on 23 June 2000 at 10:07 AM.]

[This message was edited by Mike Black on 23 June 2000 at 10:08 AM.]

Maurie Junod
Member

From: Oak Forest, Illinois, USA

posted 24 June 2000 06:01 PM     profile   send email     edit
Hi Al,

That's Duke Ching's Guitar, Sometimes the
HSGA gang will set up a triple neck in back
of the four neck and take a picture of the
resulting seven neck steel.

John Tipka will be able to supply an accurate
history of this guitar which Duke Ching
customized.

C6
B11
E13
C#mb9
not listed in rotation

Maurie

John Tipka
Member

From: Reynoldsburg,OH

posted 26 June 2000 03:57 AM     profile   send email     edit
Maurie,

The guitar in the picture with Dick Sanft is NOT Duke Ching's guitar.

Duke plays a standard late fifties quad Stringmaster and a 1953 26" scale length triple Stringmaster. He sold his Shot Jackson Frypan. (NOTE: The pickups, the wiring, and sound of the T-8 is different (much sweeter) from the Q-8 Stringmaster. The chrome covered pickups are different; smaller in physical size and have fewer turns of wire on the pickup bobbin. The T-8 pickups have 5700-6100 ohms of DC resistance as compared to 9600-9900 ohms of DC resistance in the Q-8 pickups. How about 11/32 inch string spacing on the T-8 or 7/16 inch difference in string span (bar length)between the T-8 and the Q-8?) I replaced a pickup and otherwise rehabilitated the guitar for Duke three years ago.

Duke plays C13 with a Bb and C on the bottom two strings, B11th with Jules Ah See's B, F#, and B on the bottom three strings, E13th with a D,B, and big fat E on the bottom strings which is very evident when he plays "Mauna Kea" in the style of his uncle, Jules Ah See; his fourth tuning is E-9th.

Aloha,

John

Al Gershen
Member

From: Grants Pass, OR, USA

posted 26 June 2000 07:39 AM     profile   send email     edit
Hi Group:

I will try to get the photo of the Fender Custom four neck guitar scanned sometime this week so that I can post it under this subject thread.

------------------
Regards,
Al Gershen
Grants Pass, Oregon. USA
Fender 1000 (1957),
Fender PS 210 (1972) &
Gibson Electraharp EH-820
(1962)
Pictures of PS 210 &
EH-820 at http://www.rvi.net/~aldg

Maurie Junod
Member

From: Oak Forest, Illinois, USA

posted 26 June 2000 08:51 AM     profile   send email     edit
Hi John,

I stand highly corrected on my appraisal of
that four neck Fender. Might have known
it wouldn't get by that Tipka scrutiny we
all rely upon and appreciate so much.

Sorry............Maurie

John Tipka
Member

From: Reynoldsburg,OH

posted 26 June 2000 10:14 AM     profile   send email     edit
I put a small picture of the quad neck guitar in question on my web page at:

http://www.iwaynet.net/~steelgtr/sanft.html

Aloha all,

John http://www.iwaynet.net/~steelgtr

Al Gershen
Member

From: Grants Pass, OR, USA

posted 26 June 2000 12:00 PM     profile   send email     edit
Hi John Tipka:

Your link to a photo of the Fender Custom four neck steel guitar is the same instrument shown on the cover of the October 1996 issue of "The Pedal Steel Newsletter."

I can tell because of the decal located in the center of the front of the instrument.

Thanks for posting you link so that others could see this photo.

Can you please advise me and the readers about how this guitar came about? Was it a custom made instrument out of the Fender factory or did the owner modify it himself?
Was it a triple neck that had an extra neck added to the front or rear? Was it two Fender Professional double necks attached together?

I look forward to reading more about this interesting guitar.

------------------
Regards,
Al Gershen
Grants Pass, Oregon. USA
Fender 1000 (1957),
Fender PS 210 (1972) &
Gibson Electraharp EH-820
(1962)
Pictures of PS 210 &
EH-820 at http://www.rvi.net/~aldg

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