Vintage Fender Lap Steel Valuation Help Needed

K.E.P.

Member
Messages
543
A guy I work with got this at a yard sale for next to nothing. I can only find one number on the whole thing. It appears to be a 58-60 Deluxe 8 pedal steel.

probably 8 out of 10 when cleaned up. Very little wear?

Any ideas to valuation?





 

russ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,667
It doesn't appear to be a pedal steel to me...
Is it a 'Stringmaster'?
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,611
It's not a lap steel and not a pedal steel, just a Fender steel guitar.

Worth around $600.
 

standard24

Senior Member
Messages
9,079
I bought a no-name pedal steel for $20 at a garage sale once. I couldn't learn to play it, so I sent it to a friend who could make use of it.
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,514
It's not a lap steel and not a pedal steel, just a Fender steel guitar.

Worth around $600.
I agree. I payed that much for one about 15 years ago! The value has been flat. These are great sounding steels. The extra pickup does make a difference.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,998
A stringmaster. 600 is a good idea, but it's been a longtime since I saw one go for that price. You'll more often see the single neck SMs at 750 or so.
MD
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
^^^...mad dog has the Value about right on, I have a Pro. Dual 6 (early '60s) with original 'tonemaster' tone wheel, and was offered $700. from a Vintage Dealer a year, year and a half ago (mines Blonde, pretty much a 9 out of 10 condition wise as well as the case). At the time he had been receiving several request for these (especially the 6 string, E tuning is what these are made to be played in),...

...he had told me that the market is growing for these old Fender 'Console' Steel's (the proper term), as they've even crossed over into Rock and Metal...and NOT just for Country anymore, and my pups could also be used in a Tele., he also told me that these are worth FAR more 'as parts' than together, parts value is about double.

I checked eBay on closed/sold listings back then and he was right, the cases were bringing $350.-$500. alone. Another steel guy up here offered to buy my tuner's/tray and the legs (these old ones are the old 'thread specific' type, where as you have to have the sleeve as well as THAT specific leg for it),...these also bring a pretty good dollar,...

...BUT, alas I'm a true 'Purist', and the chances of me parting out ANY Instrument that is in playing condition (especially one in the condition of my/this Console Steel cosmetically/functionality) is just NOT going to happen, I would rather starve first or simply give the whole thing away. I'm NOT putting down partscasters, as I have a couple that were made with 'Fender Licensed' parts (that's why they make 'parts' I guess...LOL),...it's just the guitar has to be beyond repair before I will tear it down, and part with most parts.

If you can, do some more research on your 8 string as far as Value goes...you may just find a buyer willing to pay what the Instrument is worth (by the case I see it's a '50s model, along with the finish),...you can also call Elderly Instruments (1-888-473-5810) and they will take the time (and will look over any pic.' you can send) and get you REAL close as to exactly 'what' it's worth,...IMHO $600. is what a Dealer would give you,...mine valued higher because of it being a Blonde finish, and (I guess) the NOW more popular 6 string with the tonemaster wheel. Tom

EDIT: I JUST now noticed yours has the tonemaster on it also (plus dual pups, mine are spaced closer) ,...I wouldn't be so willing to jump on a set figure until I spoke to a Vintage Dealer like Elderly's, I used to be a Vintage Collector and most can say what they want about Elderly, BUT they will give you the straight poop on a Value without charge usually, UNLESS you need a legit WRITTEN appraisal, in which they would want the Instrument 'in hand'...I can attest to these becoming more and more in demand as I stated earlier in my post,...
 
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Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,611
Parts value double? False.

They are not "made" for E tunings--C6 would have been far more common in the day.

Btw, Elderly sold me a '57 Fender Stringmaster 7-8 years ago. I asked them if it was all original. Yes, yes, of course was the answer.

I get the guitar and the knobs were "harvested" by some ahole.

I call Elderly.

They claim they didn't know the knobs were replacement (aren't you guys supposed to be the experts?) but would give me $100 or take it back.

$100 for vintage Fender knobs--good luck finding any at that price.

So Elderly isn't the be-all source for this stuff in case anyone thinks otherwise.
 

syrynx

Member
Messages
58
It is not a Stringmaster. Stringmasters have two, three, or four necks. It is, as is correctly stated in the OP, a Deluxe 8, though it is of course not a pedal steel. As tamader74 has correctly noted, it's a console steel. (I've owned a triple 8 Stringmaster since 1976, and a Deluxe 8 since 1982.)

The Deluxe 8 is highly sought after by Sacred Steel guitarists because of its identification with a prominent player in that tradition. It's not unreasonable to expect a sale price in a private transaction approaching $1000, although dealers of course will offer considerably less.
 

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,486
It is not a Stringmaster. Stringmasters have two, three, or four necks. It is, as is correctly stated in the OP, a Deluxe 8, though it is of course not a pedal steel. As tamader74 has correctly noted, it's a console steel. (I've owned a triple 8 Stringmaster since 1976, and a Deluxe 8 since 1982.)

The Deluxe 8 is highly sought after by Sacred Steel guitarists because of its identification with a prominent player in that tradition. It's not unreasonable to expect a sale price in a private transaction approaching $1000, although dealers of course will offer considerably less.
Agree 100% with this--it is and has been a desirable model for many years. The earlier tweed or brown case eras tend to be more highly regarded and usually fetch a little more vs the black tolex years. BTW, this is where my Stringmaster "handle" came from--not that I'm a master of things with strings :)
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,514
My Deluxe 8 is blonde with a white case and 3 legs. I paid $550 or $600 for it about 15 years ago. Is that the one the Sacred Steel guys want? Actually I thought they were called Studio model?
 

syrynx

Member
Messages
58
My Deluxe 8 is blonde with a white case and 3 legs. I paid $550 or $600 for it about 15 years ago. Is that the one the Sacred Steel guys want?
Yep, that's the one.

I've read that one of the most reliable ways to date a Fender steel is by the case. (Cases can be swapped, of course, but... why?) I've also read that the white cases with black leather ends are from 1963 and early '64. I've never found any information to contradict these assertions. That's the case my Deluxe 8 came in, so I think that, in the absence of a penciled date under the tuner pan, it's reasonable to conclude that both yours and mine came from that era.

Actually I thought they were called Studio model?
In the '50s, Fender made two versions of a six string lap steel with a single bridge pickup, slanted like a Tele's, but with overall body shape and tuner pan closely resembling our Deluxe 8s. Version 1, with a thinnish body and no legs, was called Champ, while version 2, with thicker body and three legs, was called Studio Deluxe. So I can see how you might have thought that.

Fender's use of a specific name at different times for different feature sets is confusing enough by itself. Multiply that by thousands of Internet sellers who don't really know what they have, and those who claim they don't even if they do, and those who deliberately misrepresent what they're selling, and accurate identification often becomes an arduous exercise in patience.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
Parts value double? False.

They are not "made" for E tunings--C6 would have been far more common in the day.

Btw, Elderly sold me a '57 Fender Stringmaster 7-8 years ago. I asked them if it was all original. Yes, yes, of course was the answer.

I get the guitar and the knobs were "harvested" by some ahole.

I call Elderly.

They claim they didn't know the knobs were replacement (aren't you guys supposed to be the experts?) but would give me $100 or take it back.

$100 for vintage Fender knobs--good luck finding any at that price.

So Elderly isn't the be-all source for this stuff in case anyone thinks otherwise.
Sorry to offend you, and I'm also Sorry for your attack on just what I was personally there and offered for my Console steel in certain parts,...the funny part is why would you feel the need to belittle MY post, and put down any successful Vintage Dealer that most definitely has some awesome feedback, and deals with a slew of Professional Musicians.

You stated yourself, AND right after 'what' I was offered for my '63 (by the pots) Blonde Console Steel by a Dealer Buddy ($700.) for the whole guitar and case...how did you put it..."try finding a set of Vintage Knobs for $100.",...Now, IF you would add what you think the Knobs are worth (apparently WAY more than $100.), then the case (which the end/Sold listings has not changed much from what I stated), and the leg's, Sleeves and all, then the tuner's and the tray, the 2 pup's, the harness, the Body, plus numerous other parts,...

...I ask you, just WTF, and where the Hell was I off!!!, and YES, this is not made to be tuned to what MOST are (C6), the 6 string 'Dual Professional 6 Console Steel' (Dual meaning the pups in this case, not the neck) is played by most in E for the most part anymore, and as with any Console Steel can be tuned to most any traditional Steel 'Key' including C6.

Next time you feel the need to Jump, do it with someone that won't, or don't have the desire to Jump right back. We have all had Deals go South, according to most here GC shouldn't even be in the Instrument business, BUT there sure are a LOT of NGD pic.'s of guitars bought from them, or MF (LOL).

Elderly has it's flaws just as any Music Shop has, and I haven't bought but one guitar from there in years,...But at least they will try to make it right, and I'm more than SURE they offered you your money back with NO questions asked, and willing to have it returned at their cost.

I know I've made some long post, BUT I've always have believed IF someone ask a honest question, give them a honest answer in as much detail as you possibly can, and I guess I was attempting to give a 'shorter' answer...Plus I know just a bit more than I let on at times (LOL) JUST because this site is a wonderful site IMHO, and I joined for enjoyment, not to be put down by anyone,...especially not by anybody that speaks out of both sides of their 'thought process' which you did exactly when you pointed out just one part worth more than $100., and there being a WHOLE lot more than just those knobs. Tom
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,611
Easy there Chief. Wow.

I was merely saying that any vintage Fender steel is not worth twice what it would sell for in parts.

The OP's guitar is worth $6-800 let's say. No way he is getting 12-16 out of it in parts.

What parts on that guitar could possibly be worth that kind of scratch?
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
Easy there Chief. Wow.

I was merely saying that any vintage Fender steel is not worth twice what it would sell for in parts.

The OP's guitar is worth $6-800 let's say. No way he is getting 12-16 out of it in parts.

What parts on that guitar could possibly be worth that kind of scratch?
...LOL, nothing to ease off about Gas-man, first off, these have the same knobs that can be used on a vintage Tele., and I'm with you on just what Elderly offered you as compensation for the original knobs, as a set of those sell at swap meets, eBay, vintage shops for anywhere from $200-$300. which IS a far cry from a lousy $100.,...

...then the legs all in can run as much as another $300.-$500., and on these you are simply 'stuck', as the vintage legs are made when threading was 'Thread specific', and not 'universal', you had to have that particular leg to thread onto that particular/exact same sleeve,...(us old guys completely understand this, and these are what kept hardware stores in business back in the '40s, '50s, all thru to the mid '60s).

...the OHSC's, be it the Brown, Black (transition), or a tweed one, these go for $300. to $500. (even higher),...But just for sake of argument, lets put them at $400. right (and a little left...LOL) at the middle,...

...I do believe we are well past the $600. mark you put it at, and a but past what I was offered for my '6' wholesale @ $700., and we haven't even got to the tuners/tray, pups and wiring harness, bridge, etc., because when and IF a Vintage Dealer buys a guitar to part out due to him/her NOT being able to repair it and make it 'whole',...he/she will pick the bones clean like a 'Vulture on a road kills carcass' Brother, I know...been there and done that (LOL), and holding onto parts that don't sell quick is commonly referred to as 'stock', as nothing, and I do mean NOTHING gets thrown away.

Plus we are missing the big picture on these, and that is these and lap steel's are getting more popular everyday, especially Vintage ones...and while it may be a buyers market right now, I do NOT see that in the near future for them as the 'Buyers Market' part as moved a bit.

Bottom line is, I think you missed what you thought they are valued at now, to what they WERE valued at...in which should make you happy, as I'm sure you kept the one you bought from Elderly...Right?. BTW, No hard feelings here Brother, I just should have took my time and been a bit more specific, but I was just trying to shorten my post. Tom
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,514
I've also got one of single 6, single pickup, steels with three legs. It came with a nice tweed case. It's what I think they call desert tan in color. I tune it to E6. It's a great little steel!
My Deluxe 8 has the white case with black ends.
I have a couple of other Fender steels, a 1949 Double 8 in Walnut and a little Champ with the Mother-of-toilet seat finish. They are all really usable. The double 8 came in a linen covered case with red fur inside but no legs. I has sockets that take regular 3/4" pipe threads. I had a guy make me legs out of stainless steel pipe.
I've also got at least 10 other steels, Gibson, Ric, Supro, Magnatone etc..
 






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