Lap Steels?

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Duo Slinger, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Yea I would just repurpose a little used guitar or but a very inexpensive one. I went the other route and bought an over engineered and over priced Duesenberg Alamon - totally worth it for me.

    I use the Shubb steel that has the finger grooves (easier to hold) but also a sort of half bullet nose (easier to play single notes). I have a bullet and find it hard to keep hold of.

    Here's mine. Gotta admit it gets more admiration than play time.
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  2. Lucky Jim

    Lucky Jim Electromatic

    Oct 16, 2020
    Kent, England
    I played lap steel in bands for quite a few years, first starting on an inexpensive 6-string model before buying an 8-string Fender Deluxe 8. That was my gigging instrument with a Recording King as backup.

    6 or eight strings depends on your musical preferences. For blues/rock 6 strings are OK. Also OK for starting out on country/honky-tonk and western swing but you'd probably soon look for an 8-string model - not to mention one with two or three necks for alternative tunings. It all depends how far you might want to go.

    A lap steel with telescopic legs will let you stand while playing.

    The SP1 bar mentioned is good, particularly for players coming from square-neck reso guitar, but I preferred the John Pearse cryogenic round bar for nicer tone. Using a round bar does mean practising damping with the palm of the picking hand.

    Tunings depend to some extent on the genre(s) of music played. C6 will immediately sound 'Hawaian' but is also good for early country.

    If you simply want to try the lap steel experience before buying one you can fit a nut raiser to a standard guitar.
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  3. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    Same here but got the other model.

  4. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    I sometimes wish I had an 8 string to save me sometimes fretting further up the neck.
    An extra high and low string would certainly be useful.
    Unfortunately, 8 strings are a lot harder to come by, especially for left handers.
  5. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    For straight up blue and rock in simple open E or D tuning a 6 string is really all you need.
    For other styles using fancier 6th or 7th tunings an 8 string would be preferable IMO. Wish I had one.
    Archtops likes this.
  6. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    Me too :


    Originally I wanted a Gretsch RI Lap Steel in Sparkle Black, but I prefered that FS-52 because that I could displace one of the pots to the other side and combine it under a coax pot, for an easier LH playing... :rolleyes:

    I got this instrument like new, plus case, plus steel bars for a mere 100 Euros on a local craiglist, from a Guy who gave up... :eek:

    I tune it CEGACE (C6th) which seems to be the most "all around" tuning for the beginner... But I do not use my Lap Steel very often : I should ! :cool:

    Here's an "isolation recording" of my band where I improvise a few notes on my FS-52 :rolleyes: :

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  7. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    Yes, the controls do get in the way for us lefties.
    Here's my solution with the upgraded pickup, and a Tele plate to cover the holes I drilled on the side.
    IMG_7807.jpeg IMG_8067.jpeg
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  8. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    They totally are, ive scored two Supros in the last year for under $400.00 each. Be patient and keep looking. Here's some of my oldies. 20210831_145612.jpg 20210916_163707.jpg 20210623_185618.jpg Screenshot_2021-09-24-07-31-02-1.png the two Fenders are expensive but the Supro and Magnatone are affordable ones and the Mag in particular is as good as anything ive ever played.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  9. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Good idea, a Squier Tele with a 10 buk nut adapter would work fine.
    Henry and Duo Slinger like this.
  10. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    New nut on Grandpa’s old Sears special. Great slide guitar, even love the stock single-coils, they break just the right amount of raunchy.

  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
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  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    I see... Very cool and clever solution, @Londoner ! :cool::cool::cool:

    I did not thought about this...:oops:

  13. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    Here are my steels:

    ‘66 Fender Stringmaster
    30’s Rickenbacher Model 59
    2018 Luna Weissenborn copy
    60’s Fender Champ

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  14. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    Oh wow!
  15. GVDobler

    GVDobler Synchromatic

    May 15, 2011
    Las Vegas
    Is the Epiphone Electar 1939 for $349 street price worth buying? I see a Gretsch 5700 and 5715 on the usual suspects (SW,MF,ZZ etc.) websites from $399 open-box/demo to $499-$515 new. Can't see spending much more to get my feet wet, so to speak.
  16. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    How's the Luna?
  17. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I absolutely love it. I had my doubts, having played Luna guitars and ukuleles and not being particularly impressed. This one, on the other hand, is solid mahogany and sounds great. I’ve used it on my last 2 tiki albums, “The Natives Are Restless” and “Sip It!” I’ve put a K&K Pure Mini pickup in it

  18. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead Gretschie

    Dec 29, 2012
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  19. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I'm sure either is fine. It would prob come down to the pickup for me between those two. Would I pay another $100 for some kinda "Gretsch inspired" single coil or go for the blade HB in the Epi? IDK. I like the looks of the Electar 1939 amp, & 20W with 2 12axs & 2 6L6s sounds pretty good to me. An Electar 1939 pair would be very tempting, but I'd prob go for the marked down Gretsch if for just the guitar.
    But I kinda like this one and its cheaper. RK is a pretty decent Chinese import brand. I have a 000 style guitar and a banjo from them. In my experience you can depend on Elderly as a reputable dealer.
    Just to get you feet wet even the $99 Rogues will work. They are put together solid enough. Its just they are shorter scale of 21" vs the more typical 22.5" and the pickup is is kinda meh. So I recc spending a little more for something like the RK above, where at least you get a P90 and it looks better to boot.
    GVDobler likes this.
  20. GVDobler

    GVDobler Synchromatic

    May 15, 2011
    Las Vegas
    @Pine Apple Slim

    Thank you, I took your advice and ordered the Gretsch G5715 in black sparkle.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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