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What do you think? Vintage lap steel

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by FastMattTX, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    A coworker who doesn't play guitar scored this old Magnatone lap steel at a yard sale and brought it in for me to check out. He then asked if I'd be interested in buying it at a price that's a profit for him but seemed reasonable to me.

    I brought it home for the weekend to find out if it actually works - it does, and that old pickup sounds pretty good through my Twanged Valve Jr. Volume and tone controls work. Condition is generally good, with some scrapes mostly in the picking area and a few dents/bubbles in the metal "fretboard". The triplex chord-changing bridge is interesting but needs some TLC - seems it should be disassembled, then cleaned up and lubed before reassembly. Haven't figured out how to tune it yet; the strings appear to be wrapped around the Allen screws visible in the nut assembly.

    I told him I'd bring $100 cash for it if it worked... do you think it's worth it? Information on how to tune it (no keys) and how the bridge works would also be appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  3. twintwelve

    twintwelve Tele-Afflicted

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    Hell yeah, give him a hundred bux for that thang! If nothing else, the fun of figuring out that bridge is worth the $$$. I'd lose my mind if I had a toy like that to play with......
     
  4. twintwelve

    twintwelve Tele-Afflicted

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  5. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    $100 for ANY vintage Maggie steel is a deal-that one is unlike any I've ever seen before, though I have seen that bridge on other steels... it was an early try at a pedal steel effect, though obviously not too successful... GET IT!!!

    Franc Robert
     
  6. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the information and enabling, guys. Seemed well worth it but I needed the reality check.

    I hadn't seen one like this before either but thought it looked much cooler -and more stable than the usual compressed-acoustic-guitar shape. The bridge scared me a bit - it's fascinating but a bit corroded and I have no idea how reliably it will work once restored. I suppose in the best case it will work beautifully, and if it doesn't I can always leave it in one position all the time. The links provide aren't for the exact same bridge but will certainly help.

    I think I'll be showing up with cash Monday... :)
     
  7. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh yeah!
     
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I get that the bridge is some sort of cam arrangement that can change tinings... but what the heck is up with the tuner block thingamajig?
     
  9. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    I'm liking this thing - it's a lot of fun to play and sounds great. I've never played a steel guitar before. Still need to figure out how to tune it and what string gauges are needed and put a complete set of new strings on it.

    One thing I didn't pay much attention to initially - there wasn't a serial number or manufacturer's plate anywhere on the instrument and I didn't know whether these had one.
    I now suspect a serial number plate once resided in the oval indent on the painted cork underside, which is similar in size and shape to the plate on this wooden Oahu steel.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1950S-OAHU-DIANA-ELECTRIC-STEEL-LAP-GUITAR-W-CASE-NO-RESERVE-VERY-RARE-/230681959404?pt=Guitar&hash=item35b5b75bec

    Would you consider that an issue or deal-breaker in any way, or (as I'm guessing) is it relatively common on these instruments, reducing the value a bit but still leaving it well worth the asking price?

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  10. bargoedboy

    bargoedboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks wild to me, I would get it for that kind of money like a shot !
     
  11. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

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  12. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Every Magnatone i've ever seen looked cool.............. and they sound fantastic for blues. $100 is a no-brainer.
     
  13. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    That looks wild - thanks for the link.

    Just realized looking at that link that the "nut" on mine is actually the original bridge. Closer inspection revealed that it's slightly crooked, sitting closer to the bridge on the bass side. The fingerboard is slightly buckled by the nut on that side, so it's possible new holes were drilled and/or slippage occurred when it was relocated. Seems like I should just buy it and figure out what it will take to make it right, though.

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    Someone on another forum called it a "Consolette", which led me to a page documenting this steel inside and out.
    http://www.dennysguitars.com/LinhofPalMaggieSet04.html

    Your link confirmed that the Allen socket heads really are used for tuning the steel.

    bargoedboy - Thanks. I've been following your lap steel thread, which asked a lot of questions I needed answers to.
     
  14. SCHU

    SCHU TDPRI Member

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    what do you think

    fast matt: and free shipping!
     
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