Player Reviews

Here's What The Players Are Saying

Reviews by the Players that choose MSA

Players listed in alphabetical order...

Mickey Adams


Mickey was one of the first players to begin utilizing social media in order to reach the masses with his teaching techniques. In 2005 he started a YouTube Channel which today has garnered million upon millions of hits. To this day he remains focused on promoting the instrument on a global scale. Over the last 5 years he has traveled abroad teaching scores of Steel Guitarists Worldwide. A second mentor site was created by one his many subscribers, which he uses to communicate directly with his followers. Mickeys objectives here at MSA are very simple..Keep the lines of communication open, and respond to the customer directly. Mickey began playing pedal steel guitar at 22.., but at 28 found his true calling in the aviation industry. For 28 years Mickey pursued his dream of flying, and after 15000 hours as a corporate Jet Captain, recently retired. This has left him all the time to pursue his first love, playing music. 

Mickey is also a very accomplished guitarist and vocalist as well, traits that many times are overshadowed by his deep commitment to the Steel Guitar, and the community as a whole. Mickey joined the MSA after playing our new Legend XL Signature model, and when asked about the impression that MSA made on him..This is what he had to say..
Over the last 4 decades I have owned, bought and sold, as well as repaired, almost every make and model.
For the first time in my life, I have the one guitar that does everything better than the rest.. The MSA Legend has outshined and performed all of the competition in every single area..In fact, I was so moved by this guitar that when asked to represent them through social media, I was absolutely onboard..
Ergonomically pleasing, stunning finishes, ease of adjustment, precision mechanics, and tone for days...The Bar has Risen!

Find out more

Johnny Briggs


Johnny Briggs has been playing MSA's for many years and now he's playing a new MSA Legend equipped with Lfrets.  Johnny plays several acts around the Saint Charles/Beaumont area in addition to playing with the South of the Tracks Band.  Here is a quote from Johnny.. "Regarding the Lfrets, I didn't order them thinking I played without them and wouldn't need them. Well, it came with the Lfrets and I love it! As a steel player in many small venues, I usually get stuffed in the back in the dark! They are an awesome feature and kudos to whoever thought it up!" Johnny is a wonderful family man. We thank you Johnny for your years of loyalty to our MSA Family.

Jody Cameron


"I have played steel guitar for 36 years now; all but a handful of those years I’ve done it as my only source of income. I can honestly and unequivocally say that the new MSA Legend steel guitar truly gives me what I want out of the instrument. I’ve owned most every brand made and played on ALL brands made with exception of two.  I could find exactly what I wanted as far as tone, and exactly what I wanted as far as playability and engineering; but NEVER in one instrument until I experienced the new MSA Legend.  The tone is beautiful, and the playability is precise and easy. There are so many features that set the MSA apart; including many simple ideas that should have been standard on ALL steels years ago (such as the quick change pickup system and the quick lock legs and pedal rod adjustments). Then there are the more complicated ideas that went into the mechanical and aesthetic sides of the guitar that have never been done before, and are truly astounding and simply must be experienced to fully understand. When I sat down to the new MSA Legend for the first time, there was an instant bond! It fit me perfectly, and played like a dream. The MSA is a guitar that I feel will take me the rest of the way in my career. Plus, the people at MSA are approachable, helpful and kind and want nothing more than to produce the world’s finest steel guitar...which they are doing in a BIG way!"

Jody's PSG Academy

Joan Cox


 “I love this guitar so much. It’s beautiful!!! It was one of the last carbon fiber bodies left. It’s very comfortable to play; it’s like putting on a glove. Pedals and knees are solid, but yet easy to push. It stays in tune-very little to have to do to keep it in tune. Johnny Cox built this guitar for me several years ago, and it’s perfect for me. I use the single coil pick ups; that’s all I’ve ever used, and I always get compliments on my tone. Kyle and the guys there put a lot of time and effort to make it exactly right for me, and I feel very blessed to own this guitar."  

About the L Frets:

 "The weekend after I got Lfrets on my guitar, I played a night gig outside on a stage…we had lights on the stage, but they kept going out for some reason…all I had to do was turn the dial and turn the neck lights on….not only did I make my fellow bandmates jealous because I could see what I was doing, and they couldn’t, but the lights made my guitar have a very high cool factor in the dark!!!. I would recommend this feature to all steel players; eventually you are gonna play in a dark club somewhere or outside at night, and they are great to have. I love showing them off to people!!!"

Johnny Cox


"I've been involved with MSA since 2002. First as a player then as a builder. From the first time I sat down at a prototype Millennium I knew that this guitar was ahead of its time. The Legend is as well. It has the tone, playability and looks that are unmatched by any other. MSA is truly raising the bar."


Milo Deering


“My first experience with pedal steel and especially MSA was in 1980. I purchased an MSA Sidekick and had the opportunity to take some lessons from Reece Anderson. His encouragement was the motivation I needed to continue to work to improve as a steel player. In the mid 80s I had the good fortune to have lessons with Mitchell Smithey, who I consider to be one of the finest steel guitarists playing the instrument today. 

Fast forward to the spring of 2015, I was offered a job playing steel in Don Henley’s band. I’d heard great things about the new MSA guitars, and talked to Mitchell at MSA about building a Legend S10 that I could take on the road.

Having toured with the guitar now for 2 years, I can honestly say it’s a joy to play. It’s a truly beautiful instrument, the mechanics and tone are exceptional, and I believe the guitar has helped me become a better player. What more can you ask for? about great service and support. The folks at MSA are striving to develop and improve their products, and are building what I consider to be the pedal steel of the future.”

Randy Gilliam


"When my new MSA arrived with a damaged case, I was worried that the guitar may have suffered damage as well. Several weeks into ownership it appears that it was. A quick call to Mickey Adams and the guitar was delivered by Mickey personally back to the shop in Dallas..2 days later it arrived completely repaired and looking brand new again. Customer service second to none... The new MSA is setting a new standard.."

Junior Knight


Junior Knight from Eustice, Texas has been playing pedal steel guitar for 48 years. He bought his first MSA in 1968 from Maurice "Reece" Anderson when MSA was on Tyler Street in Oak Cliff. His first MSA was a 1965 black D10/11 with wood key heads. Even though he's owned many D-10's, Juniors favorite tuning is still Bb6. Junior is semi-retired and a member of the TSGA Hall of Fame as well as one of its founders. He is also a member of the Texas Swing Hall of Fame as a member of Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys. Junior is also a member of the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest Hall of Fame. Junior's musical career includes: Ray Price, Wynn Stewart, Tony Douglas, Gary Stewart, LeAnn Rimes, Junior Brown, Jody Nix, Jeff Woolsey, The (Dewey Groom) Longhorn Ballroom and Cowboys Dancehall in Dallas. I've known Junior for 45 years and I've painted more guitars for him than anyone else. Those of you that know him know his heart is the size of Texas! A better, kinder man you will not meet. Junior is also a family man with four kids, eight grandchildren and one great grandson. He and his wife Saran have been married for 40 years.

Jim Palenscar


"I have been playing the pedal steel guitar since 1973. I have owned MSA steel guitars since that time and I am proud to call the folks at MSA my friends. I have owned and played pretty much every brand of pedal steel guitar and make my living servicing and selling all brands of steel guitars. I owned the first MSA Legend guitar as it was designed in response to my query about when they were going to build another wood body guitar shortly after the carbon fiber bodied Millennium was released.  I consider the design, appearance, tone, and playability to be among the very top steel guitars on the market.  I don’t have to own and play one, I choose to."

Dale Rottacker


I went to my 1st TSGA Event in Dallas in 2017, where Scott Anderson and I shared a room together.  Scott brought along the Studio Pro that had previously been owned by Junior Knight.  So we were all set up with the Studio Pro an Evans amp and all the goodies for having our own jam session in our room.  Well after I sat down to Scotts guitar and started playing it, even though it was set up about 180º from what my guitar was, poor Scott could barely peel me off of it.  It played absolutely beautiful and sounded incredible, NOT what I had expected from an MSA. 

Then we went to the MSA room, where I saw and heard Mitchell Smithey playing the Red/Plum and Black Legend XL Signature Series, that a few months later would become mine.  That was as good a sounding guitar as I’d ever heard, and I told Scott right then and there, “I WANT THAT GUITAR”.  When it was delivered to me, I couldn’t believe how flawless the finish was and the attention to every detail was more than I could’ve imagined. 

2 or 3 weeks after I received my “Stunning” guitar, Mickey Adams called me to ask, “well now that you’ve had some time with her, what do you REALLY think of her?”… Without hesitation I told him how even the tone was up and down the neck and all the way across the strings.  With other guitars I’ve had, I had struggled a bit with shrillness and harshness the further up the neck I went, and if I could get that dialed back, then it would feel a bit muddy on the bottom.  Not so with this guitar.  With this guitar I like to say, “No HOT Spots, No DEAD Spots, Only SWEET Spots”™.  And with “Tone, As RICH as a Rockefeller”™ This is NOT, your Fathers MSA.

In addition to how beautiful the NEW MSA sounds, the innovations are something that makes me think, “Why didn’t anybody else think of these things?”… They just seem to make sense.

* Adjustable pedal height, WHILE sitting at the guitar… Think Hardwood to Carpet, Slippers to Boots

* Adjustable lever width, WHILE sitting at the guitar, WITHOUT TOOLS… Think, Shorts to Jeans or Slacks

* Quick change pickups, so when you hear another MSA you like, you can ask, “What pickup are you using?” and then you pop their pickup into your guitar to QUICKLY try it out with your settings

* L-Frets, so you can see the Frets on your Neck in the DARK

* Aura Lights, if you just have to have that Romantic Glow.

I’m so happy to be a part of the MSA Family, a family I NEVER thought I’d belong to.  In fact, I’m so happy with MSA I ordered a 2nd one.

BTW, Kyle Bennett is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever talk to, and someone who truly is in the PLEASING business.  Mitchell Smithey is a Master Craftsman, who know’s these guitars inside and out, and Mickey Adams is someone ALWAYS willing to help, and you can ALWAYS talk guitars too.

Incredible guitars, Incredible people, MSA

Mitchell Smithey


Mitchell Smithey bought his first MSA in 1974. As a kid of 16, Mitchell would visit Maurice Anderson, aka "Reece" who would explain to him how the pedal steel guitar worked. He used to hang out at the factory before he bought his first MSA. Mitchell turned 18 at a gig in Dallas at the Texas Tea House on Lemmon Ave. Mitchell has always loved pedal steel. Mitchell is now one of the best pedal steel players in the business. As a professional Pedal Steel Guitarist, Mitchell has toured with many different artists including Capital artists Side of the Road Gang, Gary Stewart, TG Sheppard, David Frizzel, Ty Herndon, Doug Stone, Holly Tucker, Feen Boyette, Jolie Holiday and LeAnn Rimes.  Mitchell was the steel player for the Stars Behind the Stars benefit for the Dallas Police fallen officers show. This included Tanya Tucker, The Oakridge Boys, Collin Raye, Janie Fricke, The Bellamy Brothers, T Graham Brown, TG Sheppard, Kelly Lang, Johnny Lee, Gene Watson, Mark Wills, John Conlee, Ronnie McDowell, Moe Bandy and Randy Travis. Mitchell is currently with the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Band. Mitchell worked at Carter Steel Guitars for many years. He began there as an apprentice for Bud Carter. Some time after Carter closed, Maurice called Mitchell and asked if he would come to work at MSA. Mitchell said yes and started the very next week. Mitchell has been building MSA's for the last six years. Through the influence of Bud Carter and Mitchell's own mechanical ingenuity, he has developed a reputation as a "World Class" master builder of pedal steel guitars. Mitchell maintains a home recording studio and he does his fair share of recording sessions throughout the area. In addition, Mitchell also teaches pedal steel.  Mitchell is a family man with 5 children and 5 grandchildren.

Travis Toy


"I discovered some VERY exciting things when I sat down behind a new MSA Legend XL pedal steel guitar for the first time. I found the ultimate in playability. I found a tonal balance and evenness that I’ve not experienced in any guitar I’ve played before. I found craftsmanship and attention to detail that is unmatched by anything I’ve seen. I found a company that is innovating, discovering, and actually implementing new features and ways to make the pedal steel better than it’s ever been.

When players ask me about gear, I often say that you owe it to yourself, and to your career, to be aware of what’s available, and to be constantly on the hunt for the best possible tool to do the job you’re doing. As far as I am concerned, I have just found a new standard. I am beyond excited to take delivery of my first MSA Legend XL very soon, and I have actually already ordered two more. They’re THAT good folks. There are a lot of talented builders making instruments right now, and I think we are really in an era where there aren’t any “bad” guitars. With that said, I believe that MSA is truly “raising the bar”, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of everything that is to come." 👍🏻

Travis Toy-Facebook

Travis Toy-Instagram

Travis Toy-You Tube

Travis Toy Signature Double-T 12 Pedal Steel Guitar Speaker by Eminence 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to create a signature steel guitar speaker with the amazing engineers at Eminence.” said Toy.  “This speaker directly addresses many of the issues I’ve had with existing speaker designs for my entire career. I feel that it’s the perfect modern steel guitar speaker. There’s nothing else like it on the market.”

Eminence has teamed up with Nashville session artist and Rascal Flatts sideman Travis Toy to create a 300 watt, ultra-lightweight signature pedal steel guitar speaker.

Find out more

Paulo Perin


Paulo Perin is from Londrina Brazil.
Paulo is a multi-instrumentalist, with roots in the music of the country's south (country), sertanejo (Brazil) and rock. Born in the southern region of Brazil, in the city of Passo Fundo - RS, on July 10, 1974.
Paulo entered the musical scene in the 90s playing acoustic and electric guitar in bars and bands. The study of the country style propitiated the acting like side-man with several artists. His main influences: ‪Alan Jackson‬, ‪Ricky Skaggs‬, ‪George Strait‬, ‪Albert Lee‬, Brent Mason.
From then on, his first contact with Pedal Steel was in 2001. After that, the studies and the work were constant. He worked for many years in studio sessions recording, arranging and producing music. His main influences on the steel pedal are: Tommy White, Terry Crisp, Junior Knight, Weldon Myrick, Lloyd Green and Paul Franklin.
The MSA Millennium D-10 8 & 7 is his main instrument, especially for recordings, highlighting the quality of tone, sustain, clarity, tuning and playability, as well as the elegant and imposing look.

Among the highlights in the Brazilian country scene are recordings of live DVDs, with artists Jads & Jadson
/ Chitãozinho & Xororó / Fernando & Sorocaba.
He has been a member of the band Fernando & Sorocaba for 9 years, having participated in all the works of these artists.
Check out Paulo on YouTube. He’s a monster player. We are very proud ofPaulo and we are so happy he’s a part of our MSA Family.

Paulo's You Tube Page

Paulo's Facebook Page

Ward Williams


Ward Williams plays pedal steel, lead guitar, and vocals for The Randy Houser Band. Ward has played MSA's for many years. Wards now plays an MSA Legend S12 equipped with Lfrets. Here is a quote from Ward about his new MSA.

"I love my MSA Legend and I love Lfrets! Especially when I have to kick off a song and the stage is completely dark! It's hard to imagine playing without them now. Most of us steel players wind up in a dark corner on the stage anyway without much spotlight on an instrument that crucial to see where you are on the fretboard. Even if you do get some light, the stage lights can throw shadows on your guitar that can skew your actual position. All of these issues are eliminated with Lfrets!"

Thank you Ward for your loyalty to MSA. Photo credit: Justin Harris

David Wright


"In 1970 I moved from California to Dallas and started my alliance with MSA.  At that time MSA was located on Tyler Street.  My dad, Chuck Wright, was the production manager and I joined him to learn pedal steel guitar manufacturing and mechanics.  At the same time, Maurice Anderson started teaching me to play.  I had found a job   and two teachers at MSA.

Striving to build the best steel guitars, I was exposed to not only my Dad’s creativity, but also Bud Carter, Billy Braddy, Tom Morrell, Jerry Anderson and Maurice Anderson’s ingenuity and skill.  It was in the early 70’s that MSA joined forces with Micro Instruments to further the advancement of the pedal steel guitar.  This included Stan Bennett, Kyle Bennett and Sonny Bennett who were capable of producing the most precision production of the pedal steel guitar, of which thousands were built.

In 1975 I returned to California and started a career as a brick mason and continued my advancement as a musician.  In 2001 MSA started production of the state of the art Millennium series.  Once again I aligned with MSA and have remained true to representing the MSA brand.

Today, MSA represents one of the best pedal steel guitars in production with many new and advanced features that no one else can duplicate.  Quality features such as aurora lighting, adjustable pedals (from your seat) and interchangeable pickups created by my Dad years ago.  

All the materials used today are state of the art made with precision machining and detail.  Every guitar can be specifically built to the exclusive needs of the player.  The player can custom order to their specifications the guitar of their dreams!  The pedal set-up, pedal action, knee levers, tuning, and color can all be customized!  Get your ideas to us, and see what we can build for you!

Looking forward to many more years of playing the incredible MSA pedal steel guitar, creating new ideas, and working with the extraordinarily talented and professional MSA team!"

David Wright's Website

Dicky Wood


In my 38 years of playing steel, I thought I had seen steel guitar evolve in many great ways.Pretty much all builders were offering good quality instruments in whatever kinds of finishes the customer requested. MSA has taken  that to a whole new level or as they say "Raised the bar" with a host of new innovations that make owning and playing one a whole new experience. MSA offers features others don't but if I picked one I couldn't  do without, it would be the L-Frets which make playing dark stages a much better experience. I feel you won't find another guitar on the market with the Features, Fit and Finish offered by MSA Steel Guitars. Check them out. You'll be glad you did.

(Update 10-2-2018)


It's been a few weeks now since I brought home the brand new hand full of happiness from MSA and wanted to share some thoughts. I am still getting used to the new 4th pedal in the 0 position as well as the size and spacing of the smaller pedals compared to 12 years on the other guitar but this will pass in time. My wife who's not a musician says she can definitely hear a difference and likes the MSA better. The guitar is without a doubt the best looking of all the guitars I've ever owned over the last 38 years thanks to the outstanding artistry of Mark Giles. Fit and finish are second to none. String separation, clarity and balance over the entire neck is very obvious with no hot spots. 

The half stop is very positive with no mushiness. I think everyone agrees the L-Frets make seeing what we're doing on dark stages so much nicer than some clip on light. Being able to change pickups in seconds make changing from a Humbucker to Single coil a snap. Being able to to change pedal height without looking at hard to see pedal rod numbers and the need for tools is just to cool. The positive fitting snap fit pedal bar locks into place quickly and stays put. If you're considering a new guitar,you need to go look at MSA and see what the talks all about.

Future Member


Future Member


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At MSA We Are Raising The Bar