Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Is a National Chicagoan a good starter lap steel?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by WilburBufferson, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2009
    I've never owned a lap steel. Never played one either. One has come up for about $450 on the used market -- all original in excellent condition. I am wondering whether this is good value, or whether I should look at a newer or other model. The way I see it, they are not all that popular so it's possible to find a nice, vintage one for not an arm and a leg, so why not be choosey? Any other suggestions? I just love the sound and am more interested for tinkering and experimentation at this point. Thanks guys and gals.

  2. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    If your interest is at least as much in having an affordable vintage instrument as in having a lap steel, $450 is probably a decent deal. On the other hand, if you're mostly after a lap steel to mess around with, it's easy enough to find perfectly fine lap steels for less than a quarter that price (Rondo, Rogue...). And if by tinkering you mean changing pickups etc etc, you may find yourself more willing to do that with a budget instrument than with a vintage instrument.
    FenderGyrl and 2much like this.

  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    That's Valco-made and probably has a good pickup in it . The best pickups in the old ones are miles beyond pickups found in modern ones.

    And you already know how few people play them now but back in the day (late 40's/early 50's) they were massively popular . In fact some dude named Leo founded a company to make them...;)

    The upshot : on something like that where there are 1,000 instruments for every one person who wants one - never pay asking price.

    Not on a lap steel.

    For value ? You need to check Ebay "sold" items and the Reverb price guide.

    Good luck and btw , one of the amps they sold to accompany that lap steel was the National Chicagoan amp (go figure :rolleyes:) and - it was one of the 6973 powered grail Valco amps - also sold under the Supro/Oahu/Airline brands. Screamed like a scalded dog (I had one).

    Good luck !
    FenderGyrl and dr_tom like this.

  4. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I play a '47 National New Yorker and love it. Snag it, but offer less to see if they'll bite.
    FenderGyrl likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.