Lap Steel Choices

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
User avatar
inverseroom
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5031
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:24 am

Got one--a National! Don't know the model. MOTO.

Image

Let's see how it plays when it gets here. The amp needs recapping, but the price was great.

Yeah, Norton, that was me on the radio--I can't even get that show where I live and I haven't even heard it yet! However the signal path was:

C1 >> Aphex 107 >> RNC

In case you were curious!

Wild Bill
pushin' record
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:17 am
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Wild Bill » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:44 am

Tonewoods,
That's a nice guiatr you have there, but the picture is kind fuzzy (for my old eyes). Is that a Model "BD" you got there? It looks like it has the pre-war "silver" front plates but not a string through... Do you know it's history?

I play mine through a Mesa/Boogie MK IV with a 2-15 cabinet, but most of the playes have the Peavey Nashville 1-112 or 1000's or Evans amps. I'm sort of a loose cannon in their eyes.
Bill~~~

Wild Bill
pushin' record
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:17 am
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Wild Bill » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:56 am

Inverseroom,
That's a model I don't recognize, but I've never played a National I didn't like!!!!

Congtratulations and enjoy that axe.

Do you know which tuning you're gonna use yet? I'd get a small tonebar for that puppy. I have one that's 3" long and 5/8" in diameter. It's made from amber colored bakeltite with a lead core, shaped like a bullet. I have another one that's 3" long and 3/4 diameter at one end and 11/16 at the tip. Same construction materials only black. The smaller one is good for slant bar techniques while the larger has more mass and sustains better. The tone from these as compared to the all metal ones is a smoother, more crying tone, similar to the old Hank Williams backup steelers.

One more time, enjoy that steel.
Bill~~~

User avatar
inverseroom
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5031
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:58 pm

Wild Bill wrote:Inverseroom,
That's a model I don't recognize, but I've never played a National I didn't like!!!!

Congtratulations and enjoy that axe.

Do you know which tuning you're gonna use yet? I'd get a small tonebar for that puppy. I have one that's 3" long and 5/8" in diameter. It's made from amber colored bakeltite with a lead core, shaped like a bullet. I have another one that's 3" long and 3/4 diameter at one end and 11/16 at the tip. Same construction materials only black. The smaller one is good for slant bar techniques while the larger has more mass and sustains better. The tone from these as compared to the all metal ones is a smoother, more crying tone, similar to the old Hank Williams backup steelers.

One more time, enjoy that steel.
I've been searching the internet trying to figure out what the hell it is...I know from the serial number it's from 1947, which I believe was their first year for electrics...but I can't find anything that looks like it, except some Supros (same manufacturer I think). Anyway, I bought an all metal tone bar today--when the guitar comes I'll experiment with it. Where the hell would one get a bakelite tone bar?!!? None on eBay that I can find...

What tunings are there? Open ones, I assume? Honestly, I've been playing regular guitar for twenty years in various tunings but I have never so much as picked up a lap steel.

User avatar
tonewoods
buyin' a studio
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:48 pm
Location: Orcas Island, WA
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by tonewoods » Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:34 pm

Wild Bill wrote:Tonewoods,
That's a nice guiatr you have there, but the picture is kind fuzzy (for my old eyes). Is that a Model "BD" you got there? It looks like it has the pre-war "silver" front plates but not a string through... Do you know it's history?
It's a Model G, I think...
1950's...
You can see another one here:

http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/mccorp/1950modelG.html

I've only seen one other, and that had a huge price tag on it at one of the music shops on Denmark St. in London...
It's probably still there...

I've got a similar guitar, only it's a double-necker...

Those horseshoes are the best sounding pickups for a lap steel, IMO...
I'd love to hear one on a standard guitar....
"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude--not truth, but the appearance of truth."
Jerry Wexler

brianb
gettin' sounds
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 12:08 pm

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by brianb » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:56 pm

inverseroom wrote: What tunings are there? Open ones, I assume? Honestly, I've been playing regular guitar for twenty years in various tunings but I have never so much as picked up a lap steel.
Here is a site that is pretty useful has links to just about everything you need, different tone bars, instructional materials, tunings, even a string guage chart which is helpful.

I've been playing various slide instruments for llonger than i care to admit and I would recommend using an open D tuning (lowest to highest dadf#ad) to start with. Having the third in there only once makes its easier to play minor chords without having to slant. I like it for its versatility across different styles and its especially good for darker more moody type of stuff.

As far as bars go I think you'll be fine with what you have. I've always preferred heavier bars myself-better sustain and better tone in my opinion.

It's also worth getting a "stevens"style bar to mess around with. It's easier to do hammer-ons and single note stuff with one of those.

If you've got an extra guitar lying around that you don't play much I would suggest getting a nut riser and a saddle for it. You can use it to mess around with different tunings while not having to retune the lap. This can be useful, particularly since some of the tunings, like the C6 that is used by a lot of lap players, really requires a different set of strings. Hope this is helpful. Congrats on your new purchase.

Brian

User avatar
inverseroom
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5031
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:45 pm

brianb wrote:I've been playing various slide instruments for llonger than i care to admit and I would recommend using an open D tuning (lowest to highest dadf#ad) to start with. Having the third in there only once makes its easier to play minor chords without having to slant.
Excellent--I'm already pretty OK at open D on fretted guitar.

That "Page of Steel" is great--an excellent resource. I'm kind of surprised there isn't more like it. I checked all his nationals but none of them look much like this one--except the Chicagoan--same finish, different shape. And the Dynamic has the same design on the board.

Haven't heard from the seller yet though. He better not have yanked it out from under me.

Wild Bill
pushin' record
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:17 am
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Wild Bill » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:34 pm

inverseroom wrote:
Wild Bill wrote:Inverseroom,
Where the hell would one get a bakelite tone bar?!!? None on eBay that I can find...
That's exactly where I got mine. There was one on auction this weekend.
search for "Black Rahjah". The amber one was my dad's. I've never seen another like it.

That "Brad's Pages of Steel" is one of the best starting places I lnow of, the second has been already mentioned, but I'll refer you again.

www.steelguitarforum.com

Is an excellent community to get involved in. There's a nominal fee to register, but it's to keep away some troublesome types from bothering. I've gotten sweet equipment deals, friendly advice (from acomplished star talent) all like I was a long lost cousin. They have a steelers convention in St Louis every year in late summer. I've attend quite a few and it was woth my while every time. I even got tips from and had a shot of bourbon with Buddy Emmons. This last Sept I saw Don Helms and Hal Rugg perform so close I could throw a peanut at them if I had a mind to.

Enjoy the steel, bro...
Bill~~~

User avatar
linus
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by linus » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:46 pm

If you are interested in dealing with a great stringed instrument shop that has knowledge about lap steels try: Spruce Tree Music in Madison WI. The website is:

www.sprucetreemusic.com

I don't think they carry many new lap steels but they always have a couple used/vintage ones in. They know their stuff, are priced fairly, and are a pleasure to work with.

Wil and Julie are the shop owners. Great people.

User avatar
DryCounty
buyin' a studio
Posts: 860
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:04 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by DryCounty » Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:14 am

Inverseroom

Any luck with that lap steel you got? Did you finally get it? How does it sound?

I noticed that MF has those Artisan's again at $80 or whatever, and am thinking that if the hole in my pocket isn't too deep I might just pick one up.
"I would imagine that the inside of a bottle of cleaning fluid is fucking clean." -Hedberg
-----
Tulsa Drone
Dry County Records ? Richmond, Virginia
twitter: drycounty

User avatar
Don Shumai
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:41 am
Location: the appetizer menu
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Don Shumai » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:28 am

I've kind of always wanted to get one of those mini flying Vs and jacking up the action on it and using it as a lap steel. It might sound like ass but it would look cool.

As it is I just have one some dude on ebay made. It gets the job done when your job is just dickin' around.

User avatar
Red Rockets Glare
tinnitus
Posts: 1132
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:36 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Red Rockets Glare » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:37 am

joeysimms wrote:I'm thinking that red_rockets_glare will show up with some info any minute now. I think he plays lap steel.
God Dammit man, I play PEDAL STEEL.
For fucks sake get it right.
:D

User avatar
Phiz
buyin' gear
Posts: 503
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by Phiz » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:55 am

Yay for Pedal Steels. I play one too.

For more information than you could ever need to pedal and lap steels see the folks over at The Steel Guitar Forum. Some of the biggest names in steel guitars, such as Buddy Emmons, read and post there.

User avatar
inverseroom
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5031
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Lap Steel Choices

Post by inverseroom » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:05 am

DryCounty wrote:Inverseroom

Any luck with that lap steel you got? Did you finally get it? How does it sound?

I noticed that MF has those Artisan's again at $80 or whatever, and am thinking that if the hole in my pocket isn't too deep I might just pick one up.
Well, it's awesome. As it happens, it required a lot more work than I anticipated--but you know, that's the eBay way. The pickup is marvelous, really hot and clear. It's not a very fancy instrument, it just plays and sounds good.

The amp was almost totally gutted--the insides all rusted out and parts missing. Weirdly though all the original RCA tubes were intact. Someone had done a horrible recapping job and changed the circuit to accomodate it. It's now at my local tech's place waiting for him to have a burst of inspiration about how to fix it.

I'm gonna use the lap steel in this electronic/ambient/noise combo I'm starting with a friend--that oughta be interesting!

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests