New Lap Steel Day!

Ed Driscoll

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Posts
2,486
Location
South of Dallas
So the delivery truck arrived today, and this was inside it:

i-6vCPPTg-X2.jpg


Let's open 'er up!

i-WG8m84m-X2.jpg


My, that's a lot of wrapping! So what's under it all?

A Recording King RG-35-SN Lap Steel with Humbucking Pickup!

i-M3dwj25-X2.jpg


Here's a photo of the guitar without the box:

i-983k2HQ-X3.jpg


First impressions? This is the first guitar I've purchased from Sweetwater that arrived completely out of tune, which wasn't the end of the world, but I wish I knew what tuning Recording King ships their lap steels in. (I filled in the intake form on their Website; I'll be curious to see if I get a response.) I had visions of a trip to the ER after being stabbed, if I snapped one of the strings setting them in a tuning they weren't designed for. Speaking of which, the tuners don't seem especially sensitive, and I will likely replace them at some point in the future. Similarly, I assume Seymour Duncan probably wouldn't lose much sleep over the humbucker and pots installed in the guitar. But for a cheap gateway drug into lap steel, I suspect it will be lots of fun! :D
 
Last edited:

T-Bone

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Posts
1,286
Location
Victoria, BC
If you can’t wait for Sweetwater, try this.
if the lowest string looks a lot lighter than a guitar low E, it’s probably in C6 (CEGACE)
if the lowest string looks quite a bit heavier than a guitar E, try D or E (DADF#AD or EBEG#BE)
if the low string looks about the same, then Donto G, GBDGBD. This is unlikely but possible.

i put together a page of tunings here…
 

Ed Driscoll

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Posts
2,486
Location
South of Dallas
Major Update: I discovered to my horror that at least my copy of the Recording King lap steel has the worst tuners I've ever had on a guitar. The 1982 Hondo Les Paul clone I started out on and the Squier Strats I purchased in 2020 and 2021 have much better tuners than this guitar. I had thought about having Sweetwater swap out the tuners with something better, but the quality of the tuners on the Squiers led to think, "How bad could the lap steel tuners be?"

Really, really bad, so when the Sweetwater "sales engineer's" assistant dispatched the obligatory "are you enjoying the guitar?!" email, I really vented spleen. She asked me if I wanted a replacement guitar, and I responded by asking yes, but could a set of Grovers be installed, and the Custom Shop did so. (I'm FedEx-ing back the original Recording King tomorrow.) They make such a huge difference. Starting from scratch on lap steel, I knew I was going to be out of tune a lot -- but that should be the player's fault, not the guitar's!

Photo of the replacement lap steel, and a closeup of the headstock with the replacement Grovers:

i-Z473pRd-X2.jpg


i-5WMST7f-X2.jpg
 

Wally

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
42,717
Location
Lubbock, TX
Yahoo! Looks like fun! With that humbucker and a little smooth distortion you should be able to cop this tone:



The lap steel solo is at at 5:10. David had his tech replace the pickup on his Jedson (a Fender Deluxe copy) with an EMG humbucker. to get a rounder sound The tuning is E minor.

Bob


One wonders if Gilmour simply tuned that steel to Em11…..which is standard tuning a six string guitar? That tuning would allow him to play exactly what he would play on his Strat.
 

Wally

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
42,717
Location
Lubbock, TX
The playing shapes match open Em, which I've taken to playing it in.

Bob

and standard guitar tuning is an Em chord…with the 11…the open 5th string A. Leave that 5th string out and you have an Em7. Leave the fourth string out, and you have an Em. Play the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd string for a G chord. Add the high E to that and you have a G6…or an Em Again.
Playing the steel in that ‘standard guitar tuning’ keeps it simple in that one doesn’t have to relearn the fretboard. All of the notes are there.
 

crazydave911

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Posts
14,296
Age
63
Location
East Tennessee
I got one of those over a year ago, being a humbucker fan on lap steel.i had a good pair of Wilkenson open gear tuners so no problem there. It arrived with VERY heavy strings and since I play C6 off they came. I buy singles in packs of 10 from GHS so using John Pearse's string sets I made up my own set. It was quite a bit wider than I'd been playing so I had to adapt a little but now quite like it.
Have fun and enjoy the humbucker 😁
 




Top