Lap Steel Suggestions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Killcrop, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,124
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location:
    Motown
    I think I want to get one of these and mess around. Is there a decent model to look for? Don't really want to spend a bunch but I also don't like to buy junk.
     
    nasonm likes this.
  2. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    9,574
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    My mom plays and has the Gold Tone one. Its decently nice. Also if you want to upgrade the Lollar Chicago steel fits perfectly. Can get either a 6 or 8 string version.
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Member

    Messages:
    38,770
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    big mike likes this.
  4. nasonm

    nasonm Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,488
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    New England, USA
    I have a peavey powerslide in the emporium but also suggest you look for a used:
    Chandler RH-2
    Rukavina
    or Melbert lap steel

    also join the steel guitar forum. Lots to learn there (and keep an eye on their forum classifieds).
     
    Steve Hotra likes this.
  5. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Camas WA.
    How much do you want to spend?
    6 or 8 string lap steel?
    I bought a used 8 string lap from West Coast Guitars.
    Mine is tuned to E9.. bit there's so many tunings to go after.
    Lap steels are a lot of fun!
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T aspiring cartographer and social media influencer Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,762
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    There are lots of vintage ones out there for not too much money. They'll often need a bit of TLC, like new tuners, but can be a good buy. On the downside, they tend to be short scale, which is not my preference.

    I have an electric Asher that I bought in '08 and have loved playing. I found its acoustic sister (consecutive serial numbers) a few years ago used at a local shop.

    Here are my pair:

    [​IMG]
     
    themannamedbones and derekd like this.
  7. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

    Messages:
    4,345
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Location:
    Toowoomba, Australia
    I play more lap steel than anything these days. I would not buy an inexpensive model, be it electric or acoustic. IMO, a far better alternative is to use a nut raiser or conversion capo on an ordinary guitar. This allows more choice, possible use of one of your existing collection, and easier resale if you don't take to it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've gone so far as to inlay a marker at the 14th fret on my bari, to act as an octave marker when using a capo on the 2nd fret, but a sticker would do.

    I often used to end up playing lap style at gigs on my conventional slide electric, but I found I was hammering notches in the frets with the strings.

    If you take to it, think about getting a decent lap steel with a bit of mojo.
     
  8. mrsongbird

    mrsongbird Member

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    I think Lap Steels are still in that zone that Jazzmasters and Princetons were mythically (it seems like to me) in 25 years ago: cool, vintage models are still available RELATIVELY cheap. Look for old Supro Comets or student models. I have a Comet with a hard-wired input cable (I should probably replace it) for pretty cheap!
     
  9. Daytona57

    Daytona57 Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    I have installed a small wooden dowel under the 2nd fret of my Epiphone Les Paul, tuned to open D and capo on 2nd feet for open E tuning. It sounds really good.

    I would recommend it, I used a wooden skewer, cut down, cost $0.00 and a capo, purchased years ago.

    Bought a Dunlop steel bar, $45.00 and had some fingerpicks, lying around and started practicing to YouTube instructional videos.

    YMMV
     
    Gevalt likes this.
  10. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

    Messages:
    4,345
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Location:
    Toowoomba, Australia
    The one in my pic is a bamboos skewer, but I replaced it with a piece of brazing rod. I've tried various bars, but I've found that I get on better with the same heavy brass bottleneck that I use for slide.
     
    Daytona57 likes this.
  11. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,909
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
  12. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,974
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    This was on SNL not long ago. Nice lap steel solo.

     
  13. Calebz

    Calebz Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Harley benton Vintage Slider.

    Bought one for my mother last year. She has since upgraded to an Epiphone.

    The Harley benton is around $100. The one I have definitely shows that some of the parts are cheap-ish. But it plays, stays in tune and has been an excellent starter lap steel for myself, my mother and 2-3 other people that have borrowed it over the past year.

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone that wants to experiment with lap steel.

    https://m.thomannmusic.com/harley_benton_slider_ii.htm
     
  14. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Messages:
    11,814
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    playing in traffic...
    The old used Supro for $200 is the route to pursue. A lot of the time, people don't have a clue what it is or how to play or tune the device. If it has Fender or Gibson on it, expect that some idiot is going to try to sell it for a premium, whether he can play it or not.
     
  15. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,015
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    A lap steel is really just stings and a pickup (which does matter!). Anything beyond that is pretty much cosmetics/bling (which is fine and can be nice). The aforementioned old Supro (with "Ozark" string through pickup) can sound great. I have several.
    An old Gibson BR9 with a P90 sounds great and is still not too expensive.
    Actually the best sounding lap steel I have is a dirt cheap Peavey Powerslide. It has a highish output humbucker with a 'spin-a-split" in place of tone control that gradually removes one coil of the humbucker to clean single coil at one end of the spectrum. Lots of sounds in there. It was made to be played standing Dobro style but it is pretty awkward for that to me, so it makes a dandy (and unusual looking) lap steel.
     
    themannamedbones likes this.
  16. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

    Messages:
    10,500
    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    I think they're going to stay in that zone, because there isn't a huge amount of demand for lap steels.
     
    mrsongbird likes this.
  17. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

    Messages:
    3,981
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    Oahu Diana is my fave
     
  18. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,015
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    I would love to find one of those Robert Randolph Power Slides!
     
  19. themannamedbones

    themannamedbones Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Location:
    Vegas
    There is a video on YouTube where a guy makes one. Seems like a cool quick project. Lap Steel rules!!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice