Pedals for lap steel?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by beautiful liar, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. beautiful liar

    beautiful liar Member

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    O.k. so this new band i'm playing in has me getting into the lap steel. Ironically, it's less alt-country than the previous band, but that's neither here nor there.

    Anyway, the lap steel i have is usable but really a learner model and eventually i'll have to upgrade. I've been running it through my regular guitar setup which has been working all right, but the lap is REALLY bright compared to the guitar (which is a tele- told you it was bright) so it takes a bit more tweaking than i'd like to deal with live. I'm thinking about a dedicated lap OD eq'ed to compensate for the brightness issue, but as always, real estate on the board is an issue.

    So those of you who play lap steel, how do you work it into your rig? Run it the same as guitar(s) or differently? Adjust on the fly? Or do you have a seperate rig?

    Lay it on me, folks.
     
  2. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    Email Larry, he can tell you how to tame it with out ruining it. He plays locally and played on some of Neil Young's stuff. Also Young't road tech for years.

    http://vintageinstrumentrental.com/elec_lapslides.htm

    Kind Regards,
    Steve

     
  3. slackandsteel

    slackandsteel Member

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    I have three lap steels (Asher, Fender Stringmaster and Rickenbacker bakelite) and they all sound fantastic through my Deluxe Reverb. I don't usually need to make any adjustments on the amp or pedals and frequently use an A/B switch when playing gigs to go between guitar and steel. Sometimes a bit of tone control adjustments but nothing major.

    I'd look into upgrading your lap steel before you sink money into a band-aid solution. What kind of lap steel is it?
     
  4. beautiful liar

    beautiful liar Member

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    the steel is an SX cheapo from ebay. It's got a single coil too close to the bridge, a bunch of little technical issues, and came with a fantastic case- ten times the quality of the instrument.

    incidentally, it gets run through an ac15.

    like i said, i will eventually have to upgrade, but as I'm only playing it on two or three songs at the moment and not sure if the band will take off or not, i'd like to wait on that.

    any recomendations for an inexpensive but still decent instrument? how's the Gretsch electromatic? is it the same mini-hum used in some of their guitars?
     
  5. blargfromouterspa

    blargfromouterspa Member

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    I have one of THESE and love it. Entry level-ish price but made with good pickups (the Tru-tone) and they sound awesome. He sells seconds cheaper too, send him an emai, he's a great bloke to deal with.
     
  6. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    The best thing about lap steel is that you can still find nice vintage instruments for a reasonable price. $500 can still buy a very nice old steel.

    I run mine through my electric rig too and just roll the tone off a bit.
     
  7. I-IV-V

    I-IV-V Member

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  8. slackandsteel

    slackandsteel Member

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    The SX is your problem. Don't work around it with a pedal, get a decent instrument. The Melberts look nice and TruTone's are great sounding pickups. I wouldn't go for a new Gretsch, they get poor reviews. A vintage Supro, Magnatone, Oahu are nice sounding instruments. David Lindley likes the Supros with the string-thru pickups and he gets a great tone with his. I love the old Rickenbacker bakelites (the black and white ones) and they are relatively inexpensive on Ebay for such a fantastic sounding instrument. They work well for any kind of music. This is the guitar that Lindley used on the solo for Jackson Brown's "Running on Empty".
     
  9. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

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    If you don't have the $$ for another lap steel, I'd get an OD or Distortion with good EQ and maybe a Vibe. You could probably get a decent sounding Cool Cat or Joyo OD and Vibe for less than $100 total. Since you are only using it on a few songs, I'd hold off spending a lot of $ on a new lap steel until you can afford it. You can always use the pedals for your regular guitar playing too.
     
  10. beautiful liar

    beautiful liar Member

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    eventually i'll upgrade but for the moment this is what i think i'll do. I'm waiting on delivery of a Timmy, and so the old TOD I'm upgrading from might just fit the bill as a dedicated steel drive. I've got the dano cool cat vibe too.

    thanks for all the suggestions everyone and if you have more they are all welcome.
     
  11. durbanpoison

    durbanpoison Member

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    All I can say is don't forget to experiment with other pedals, like delay and so on, as pedal steel can make some far out and fantastic sounds going through effects. Love using pedal steel in all kinds of psychedelic and improvisational settings.
     
  12. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    I use a Timmy and a Goodsell Super 17 Mk3 with my steels (Timmy also sounds great with my Blues Jr). I know there are some steelers who like to use delay, but I haven't tried that. Envelope filter is fun, but you wouldn't want it for every song. You might try an eq pedal to tame some of the highs, but with the SX, the issue is probably the pickup. A lot of steelers who get the SX use it as a modding platform.

    One thing you could try is to pick a little closer to the fingerboard -- I find that since lap steel pickups are so close to the bridge, moving my right hand position makes a big difference in the roundness of the tone.
     
  13. jbraun002

    jbraun002 Member

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    I don't know if these are readily available in Poland, but I recently got a very cheap old 50s National lap steel of ebay here in the States. Sounds awesome, and I run it through the same rig as my tele without having to really change anything. slackandsteel already mentioned some of the other good brands, some of which are (relatively) inexpensive.
     
  14. smallstoner

    smallstoner Member

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    Think about replacing the pickup. A regular EQ pedal would help too. A volume pedal is a lot of fun to use with steels. Reverb/delay is also great for them, at least for clean sounds.
     
  15. smallstoner

    smallstoner Member

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    BTW, get a 10 dollar nut extender and you can turn any guitar you want into a steel. I'm currently using a cheapo Epi Special II as my 'lap steel' and it sounds great.
     
  16. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    Or fuzz.

    Flying Burrito Brothers are a good example.
     

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