C6th with "DCA" Knee Lever Mechanics and Tab

This page is devoted to the C6th change denoted as "C6LKR" on the copendant chart below. Basically this inserts a "D" or 9th note into the middle of the tuning. If you want to experiment with this, just tune your open C6th tuning to D,E,C,A,G,E,D,C,A,C and you can try out some of the tab here. With the D note in the middle. a lot of single string licks become easier to play and there's even a few pedal changes that work between this change and other pedals. Note that some steel players have adopted this change permanently into their basic C6th tuning using open strings: D,E,C,A,G,E,D,C,A,F, dropping the bottom C string!

I will start by showing my current copedant. The two C to C# changes on one knee lever are covered by tab posted on my regular tab pages. Then I will show the changes I made to my MSA legend to implement the "DCA" knee lever. Note that my copedant requires 22 pulls on the C6th neck and things can get pretty congested underneath. I had to locate a few bellcranks off center and bend the pull rods to route them around obstacles located between the changer and the bellcrank. I also moved some existing pulls on the same strings to other holes in the changer finger to allow the use of the lowest travel hole in the bell crank to shorten the knee lever travel for this change. Although this knee lever is totally usable, it does require quite a bit of force to activate and I'm sure many would find this uncomfortable. The good news about the MSA Legend changer is that the raise finger had more than ample travel available to raise these strings... no small feat!

A quick note about the rod bends for handling the offset between the bell crank and the changer finger. Make each bend at 45 degrees and leave about 3/4" between the bends and the offset will equal about the space between changer slots.

I was able to re-use some bell cranks and purchase 4 additional cranks from MSA at a cost of $11 each. I had previoulsy purchased 4 extra pull rods and 6 extra nylon tuners. The raise and lower nylon tuners are cut differently and this can work to your advantage. I cut the rods with a hacksaw and made all the bends in a home vise always being careful to save the factory threaded end. Perhaps it would have been better to have saved the factory bend at the bellcrank end as this is a tricky bend to make at home. No matter, this is not rocket science, and definitely within the realm of the home hobbyist. Plan ahead and make the rod bend at the bellcrank side in the direction that provides the most clearance.

I didn't change the gauge of the strings. They are Jagwire (set JC6-15S) purchased from B0B: .015, .014, .018, .022, .026, .030, .036, .042, .054, .068. Perhaps I could reduce the required pull force, travel distance or get improved tone by using slightly thinner strings. If so maybe a good compromise would be to size the strings for the middle of the string's high and low notes.

See the changer end view showing the 22 C6th pulls, to the left of this text.

MSA Legend D-10 Tuning

Detailed Pictures (Mouse Over For Captions)

Top left quadrant shows 2 C# raise bellcranks 2 C# raise bellcranks closeup 2 C# raise bellcranks on right closeup showing rod bends and congestion! Middle of pic shows DAC bellcranks I added
Middle of pic shows DAC bellcranks I added, notice the non-factory bend at the end of the rod C6 changer end view Just a view of the congestion that forced me to bend rods to avoid obstacles Inside view of the C6 changer
Middle and lowermost rod bends were made by me Knee lever placement view 1 Knee lever placement view 2


Tab DCA1 -Simple Scale Tab
Tab DCA2 - Another Simple Scale Tab
Tab DCA3 - E9th Type Speed Riff Tab
Tab DCA4 - Using With Other Pedals Tab
Tab DCA5 - 7th Suspend 4 Sound Tab
Tab DCA6 - Not Much Bar Movement Needed Tab


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