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String Immortality
(Or at least a life span longer than three or four nights!) That's right, my pedal steel picking friends, you guessed it, I'm talking about that infamous 3rd. string.  That little .011 gauge projectile that takes off at you like a scud missile, and usually at the absolute worst possible times!

Almost all of us have had our problems with this enigma, and it's been a headline topic with us pedal steel players in practically every conversation we have.  I've heard many steelers say that the guy who comes up with the answer to this problem will be a millionaire!  Well folks, I don't know if this steel guitar dealer I'm about to tell you about is a millionaire or not, but I think I've just found something we might call the "Highlander" of pedal steel guitar strings!

Approximately two months ago, a very good friend of mine, Mr. Bill Echols, from Atlantic Beach, Florida called me, and we were having a discussion about his D-11 Emmons guitar.  Bill was commenting about how well this guitar stays in tune.  I told Bill that I also play Emmons guitars, and that I agree that the Emmons guitar is without a doubt one of the finest guitars available anywhere, and they indeed do stay in tune.  However, keeping third and fifth strings on it, (or on any other guitar I've ever had for that matter,) is indeed another story!  Bill then said that this use to be a problem for him as well, that is until he started using Bill Ray's “Rayline” strings.  Rayline?  Hmm... I've never heard of them before, but what to heck, I’ve tried just about everything else out there, so why not.  Bill said try them, I know your going to like them, ' they don't break! (Yea right!) and I've got some ocean front property in Arizona I'd like to sell you...No way, Danny, I'm not kidding you here.

At any rate, and as    the story goes, Bill Echols was kind enough to send me a    set of his own Rayline steel guitar strings for trial, and I immediately put them on my guitar the same day I got them.  That's been over two months ago now, and although this might sound impossible to some of you, those same strings are still on my guitar, and have well over 100 hours of playing time on them now, and guess what guys?.. NO STRING BREAKAGE!  Not only do they not break, but they stay in perfect tune and have excellent tone!  What's more, you'll also discover that the prices for these strings are more than fair as well.

If like me, string breakage has been a problem for you as well, then by all means get yourself a few sets of Bill Ray's “Rayline” steel guitar strings.  They sound great, and THEY DON'T BREAK!

In fact, if your still skeptical, (like I was) write to me, and I'll send you a third string for "free" and you can try it out for yourself.

For those of you who haven't tried these strings yet, give Bill Ray a call and tell him you want a set of his immortal Rayline "Highlander" strings.  You'll be very glad you did.  Here's the address and phone number...

Bill Ray, Rayline Steel Guitars, 2363 Forest Blvd. Jacksonville, Florida 32246 (904) 642-1229

A very special thanks to my good friend Mr. Bill Echols for sharing this information with us, which in turn may help many of us to reduce a lot of stress in worrying about that infamous third string!

As always, feel free to write anytime.  Your comments and letters are always welcomed, and your input is what helps us to keep this industry going strong.

In my next article I'll be covering the mighty "Evans" steel guitar amplifiers and accessories, and the many new and exciting innovations from this company, so be sure to keep your subscriptions current.  Also... more to come on John Hughey in the near future.

Danny Hullihen
605 W. Arnold Lake Rd.
Harrison, MI 48625