This MSA D12 pedal steel guitar is from I believe the mid 1960’s. I haven’t been able to verify the date as of yet. This amazing guitar spent most of the last 40 years in the case and is a time capsule to see and hear a very early MSA pedal steel. This particular guitar is unique because the original owner (my friend and longtime guitar teacher) bought it new and had an unusual copedant installed. It has 12 pedals and 4 knee levers!
After a while the original owner upgraded to the MSA Classic D10 when they became available and this guitar went into the case until now.
The E9 neck is pretty much a standard Emmons setup but is an extended E9 with the 12 strings.
The C neck is also 12 strings and is a work in progress in that I am experimenting with the extra two strings and pedal placements. The very unique thing with this neck is there are no knee levers available so any pull you would want on a knee lever has to be done with a pedal hence the 12 pedals. Take a look at the undercarrage and you will see why.
Because of the “drawbar” type mechanism, a vertical lever isn’t possible and more knee levers won’t fit. I have come to like it’s simplicity and at the same time wish it had standard cross rods which came a few years later. I have completely taken the guitar apart to make a pedal change and while it’s not too difficult a lot has to come apart to access most of the pull rods on the C neck.
How does it sound? Amazing! When I play this steel guitar it sounds so good that it makes up for the sometimes awkward dancing on the pedals.
If you own one of these early MSA pedal steel guitars, let me know! Do you know anyone who actively plays one of these type of guitars? Also if you have an early MSA guitar or just parts for one of these and are interested in selling let me know.