Lap Steel Choices

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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inverseroom
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Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:44 pm

At the risk of incurring the Wrath Of Jeff, I present this geetar question: I find myself with a few hundred bucks from some eBay auctions and thought I might add a lap steel to my studio. I've been checking out the usual ones, Supro, Gretsch, etc., but ultimately I don't know what I'm looking for. Since there's no fretboard to like or dislike the feel of, it's hard to know what makes or breaks the instrument. The pickup? The bridge? Or do I just go with something from a reputable manufacturer that looks cool? If you've played a few and have a recommendation, lemme have it...

John.

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ideaofnorth
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by ideaofnorth » Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:20 pm

don't laugh.

i was given a gift certificate to musicians friend by a relative, and was won over to buying their budget line lap steel by reviews on harmony central. can't say i have anything to compare it to, but it's a surprisingly useful instrument.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=h ... id/518800/
http://harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4 ... el-01.html

buy a nice steel for it. i got a shubb something or other.

it's definitely not as cool as a gretsch or old fender or something, but pretty amazing if you just want something to fool around with.

good luck.

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Phiz
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Phiz » Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:22 pm

You can find lots of information on lap steels at The Steel Guitar Forum.

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by maz » Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:31 pm

I have an Oahu Tonemaster that I thought I totally scored for $250, but then I found out that's what they go for on the 'bay.

Anyway, it's pretty freakin' amazing. Loud and thick tone... the pickup buzzes but that's to be expected.

The vibe is really cool too. Mine was made in the 50's I'm pretty sure.

this one looks pretty great- the pickup has been rewound by Jason Lollar (lollarguitars.com) and he makes incredible pickups.

There are cool little tonemaster amps on ebay sometimes too...

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by joeysimms » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:34 pm

I'm thinking that red_rockets_glare will show up with some info any minute now. I think he plays lap steel.
beware bee wear

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Meriphew
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Meriphew » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:00 pm

I would check out those Chandlers. They look pretty nice.

http://www.chandlerguitars.com/lapsteel.html

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Meriphew » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:01 pm

Chandler

Image

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Meriphew » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:02 pm

Damn.... now you've got me thinking about picking one up John.

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inverseroom
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:12 pm

Meriphew wrote:Damn.... now you've got me thinking about picking one up John.
That's what this messageboard is for!

How much do those Chandlers go for? And hell, I could buy like five of those Artisans at sixty bucks and have a lap orchestra, complete with lap dancers.

I was also looking at some old Nationals on eBay. I'm kind of surprised how cheaply lap steels go for, even from Gibson and National.

Hey ideaofnorth, does it look like one could replace the PU on that Artisan? I could put a Lawrence in there or something if I didn't like the sound...

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Meriphew » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:21 pm

The Chandlers go for around $300-$350 (brand new).

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Wild Bill » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:11 pm

I got a 1954 Fender Champ (with the original Tele pickup) for $250 on eBay as well as a 1947 Ricky model "B" bakelite for around $500.00. Both are 100% playable and give you tone to die for.

I also have a GFI pedal steel.

Have fun with them, I get lost for hours playing mine.
Bill~~~

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by vernier » Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:33 am

I can help ..been playin' steel for years and own a bunch. If you're somewhat new to it, I'd get a six string. Most advise eight, but you can do anything (and great) w/six ..(mostly play one or two strings at a time anyway). Fender Deluxe-Six's and Eights sound good, but the best I've heard are old Rics ..large sounding and easy to play *the easiest*. Below is my 1950 Rickenbacker Silver Hawiaan ..(and thats Bob Warford on the right).

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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by chetatkinsdiet » Sun Sep 26, 2004 7:24 am

I've got a couple of old ones....40s-50s....
One is one of the very cool looking Mother of Toilet Seat models. I think these are all made by Magnatone. My other one is an ancient Oahu model. I believe it's actually made by Supro. Both are great.
Those Chandlers are great, but you should be able to get a cool vintage one for not much more than $100-150.
later,
m
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Wild Bill » Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:59 am

Indeed Ricky's are among the best laps ever made. The lap steel market is largely undervalued at this point. I can get a 40's or 50's vintage guitar for under $500.00 in most cases whereas a spanish electric (standard guitar) of the same relative era and mfr would be at least 3 to 4 times that.
Six strings is all you really need to get by.

Here's a picture of my Ricky Model "B". It's the largest hunk of bakelite your likely to see (LOL) and weighs a tonm but sounds like an angel's harp.

[img]http://www.tardis.20m.com\41%20Ricky.jpg[/img]
Last edited by Wild Bill on Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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maz
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Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by maz » Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:23 am

chetatkinsdiet wrote: My other one is an ancient Oahu model. I believe it's actually made by Supro. Both are great.

:D :D :D

yup yup yup

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