In the words of Bobby Bowman:
I think a big plus for the P/P changer system is that it is the only system that is a two piece rather than a three or four piece changer and has a positive stop point for the changer fingers to come into direct contact with. This applies to either raises or lowers. The only exceptions are the half tone raises or lowers that occur when that particular string already has a full tone raise or lower. Even then, one part of the changer is always in direct contact with the body of the guitar. The all pull system actually pulls either finger (raise or lower) into open space and relys on some other stop system, including the nylon tuners, to attain proper pitch. There is nothing wrong with this system. As we know through years, it has certainly proven itself to be the more popular and understood method. However the "over-all" sound of the push pull system is what, to this very day, most builders and players are usually looking for and use as a comparison to gauge by. With just a little bit of study and attention to the "whys and hows" of the P/P system, it should be discovered that it is really a very simple and most trustworthy system. I thought something as simple as the method of attaching the pedal rod to the pedal was as good as it gets.
You have twice the adjustment easily accessible (every 180 degrees instead of 360) and is very strong and dependable. A few of the makers offered a "continuous" adjustment pip connector, but it was weak on the bottom and could often be "pulled through" with too heavy of a foot. I thought the shortcomings of the P/P were few, but never the less, were there, mostly due to manufacturing problems and expense of the time. These were the wire straps that went from the belly pull (raise) rods into the changer. They were noisy and sometimes caused too much of a problem in the "balancing" of multiple changes on any given pedal or lever. I corrected this problem by running a threaded rod through the raise finger and putting a nylon fine adjustment tuner on the end of it. I also thought that string breakage was matter of concern, so I increased the radius of the string finger to help in solving this problem. When I increased the radius of the finger, I also increased the diameter of the changer axle to keep the amount of metal between the string coming over the finger and the axle the same as it was on the original Emmons design, which I think had a big bearing on the sound of those guitars, pick-ups and their method of mounting not withstanding. I don't know for sure, but I think Buddy had in mind when he contributed to the design and playability of the guitar, a "feel" that would compliment and bring out the very soul of the accomplished player, or would be accomplished player, as no other guitar in that era could or was doing and has continued to be the benchmark for that goal.
Bobby Bowman's B guitar
John Lacey 403-473-7450
[In Buddy Emmon's Words] [In Bobby Bowman's Words] [Evolution Of The Tailpieces]
[A Wilderness Guide To The Basic Setup Of An Emmons Push Pull Steel Guitar]
[Some Additional Notes on Spacers and Shock Springs]
[Interesting Emmons Guitars]
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Last update May 7, 2013