Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Impulsive GAS

16 Posts
6 Users
0 Reactions
5,397 Views
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

Had to grab this before Steinar and Dogbite saw it: eBay #160198802742

I'd thought it way cool when the first owner posted it over on BRB a few months back. Showed it to all the family and they did, too. Mrs. R just told me "Buy it!" and I did. :mrgreen:

I'll let y'all know how it plays when it gets here.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
Quote
(@steinar-gregertsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 503
 

:mrgreen:

Congrats!!

8)
Steinar

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

Thanks, Steinar! :D

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

my turn...what brand...looks like an Artisan.
anyway.
it sure is yellow and I think I can hear from where I live.
enjoy. 8)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

https://ssl.perfora.net/musonmt.com/sess/utn;jsessionid=154790feb8a94da/shopdata/index.shopscript

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@witchdoctor)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 124
 

Nice snag, looks like fun!


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

Last night I had a nice chat online with Bob Allen, who owns "Music on the Mountain" in Livingston, Tennessee and builds the Melbert lap steels. Nice guy. He got started in this by selling Morrell lap steels (which come from my home town) in his store, but had way too many complaints about their defects. He would rework and upgrade them, then started building his own. Sounds to me like he's really making a good quality instrument for the price. That's his goal. As he put it, "A Remington at a Morrell price." He made two of the "Police Line" steels, this 6-string and an 8-string that's a Morrell rework. The painter moved away, so he's finishing new ones himself in natural wood finishes. Check out his website.
http://musonmt.com/

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3636
 

Cool instrument, Rico!!

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

Thanks, Bish!

And it's appropriate, because the way I play is a crime! :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

The mailman brought it a little while ago. It is gorgeous! And sure enough new. Not a scratch or mark on it yet, it still has traces of polishing compound dust from the paintwork in the corners of the headstock, and the protective plastic still in place on the Select (cheap EMG) SES pickup. It's a Strat pickup of the "twin rail" mini-humbucker construction beneath the smooth black cover. I expect I'll like it fine, and if I don't I've got some sort of Rio Grande Strat pickup around here. I'm impressed with Bob's workmanship (and the painter's.) I especially like the way the "fretboard" is done. It's a piece of "Textured Co-extruded Impact Acrylic" plastic composed of two layers, the base white and the top layer black with a rough surface. The dots and "frets" have been milled through the top layer to expose the white beneath. Very nice idea. It might be a stock part, as the pickup plate looks like a Morrell Professional part, but the Morrell ones are marked differently. (All the Morrell ones I've seen had the fretboard painted on.) It's marked up to 36 "frets," and the center of the pickup is probably about where #41 would be. It uses a Morrell bridge, which Bob notched for the strings. The nut is a piece of Lucite, appropriately notched. Scale length is 23 1/4". The retro open gear Grover tuners look nice and seem sturdily built. The "POLICE LINE" lettering on the side is clearcoated over. The whole paint job is very professionally done. (And it sure is yellow!) Not pictured on the eBay site is the lettering on the end of the peghead, "Putnam County Six Iron" in fancy Gothic lettering. I love the TKL gig bag, which is also a dandy backpack. Would've been perfect when I was riding my Harley! And in the pocket is a spare set of Joe Morrell .016-.058" nickel strings. Just what the doctor ordered! I'm going to have a ball tuning this thing up and playing with it tonight!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

I've been playing this for a while, having a ball. It's a great playing instrument, and feels very comfortable on my lap. The jury's out on the pickup. I've never played one of these "rail" type pickups before. It's got a lot mellower, "darker" sort of sound than the single coils on my other lap steels, and its output is higher so I have to turn down the volume and gain to keep it clean. It puts out a very sharp attack when the strings are picked (especially with the very sharp tipped Dunlop "Picky Picky" picks I'm using), giving it a huge "twang." I'm not sure that's bad, it's just different from what I'm used to. I'll have to play with that, figure out how to use it and may find that a big advantage to have different steels with their own individual voices for different things. I may see how that Rio Grande sounds in here, too. I'm not normally big on pickup swaps, but this Select has me scratching my head. I think they're aimed at young metalheads primarily. May be that the real niche for this instrument is playing it with more gain "crunch," anyway. The "POLICE LINE" motif doesn't exactly fit with Bob Wills, does it?
8)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@steinar-gregertsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 503
 

Glad you like it! :)
It's got a lot mellower, "darker" sort of sound than the single coils on my other lap steels, and its output is higher so I have to turn down the volume and gain to keep it clean.

Judging by the distance from the pickup to the bridge it's quite natural that it sounds more mellow than more traditional lap steels. The higher output is probably caused by two things,- the strings' vibrations that far from the bridge is stronger, giving higher output, plus - unfortunately - many manufacturers compensate for mediocre/bad pickup construction and magnets by over winding them. For some reason the human brain has a tendency to go "it's loud so it must be good" - which rarely is true..
Also check the electronics,- high quality pots and the right capacitor can make a huge improvement to the sound.
a big advantage to have different steels with their own individual voices for different things

Oh, definitely! :wink:
The "POLICE LINE" motif doesn't exactly fit with Bob Wills, does it?

Perhaps not, but there's always Hank Williams..... 8)

Steinar

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

That's true! :lol:

I talked to Bob Allen a while ago. That fretboard is his own creation. He also has a new lap steel bridge he designed coming in a few weeks that he says will be "not cheap, but 100 times better than that Morrell bridge."

As for the Select pickup's dark tone but loud twang attack, it really all fits with the inductance, capacitance, resonant frequency and Q specs I found online for it compared to several other popular pickups. It has a lower resonance than any of Fender's single coils, but also a very low Q that would mean a relatively broad, flat, nonpeaky frequency response. And with its high inductance, it's likely to be a pretty hot pickup. (I don't know what sort of magnet it has powering those "rails.") I think basically it's a shredder's Strat pickup. If it had a higher Q with that lower frequency peak, it most certainly would be. It has 250K audio pots for volume and tone, with a .047 tone cap. Might be that if I put in a smaller tone cap (and/or a higher value tone pot) I'd get some brightening.

That's got me wondering, too, how I'm going to like this DiMarzio P-90 I've stashed away to put in my steel. I sure do like P-90s on my "Spanish" guitars for blues playing and figured a P-90 in bridge position would be the stuff for a lap steel. Haven't tried one on a lap steel, though. I think it might be darker sounding than the Select, having a lower resonant frequency and similar Q.

And you're absolutely right, Steinar, that this pickup's pretty far from the bridge. Might be a very different story if it were right down against it. That might work for the P-90, too.

It sure does sound better through my Valve Junior than through the Honeytone I started with! :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
Topic starter  

I have found this thing sounds absolutely killer playing I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Nothing doing with changing out the pickup, tone cap or any of that now! :mrgreen:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Well I had to come over here and take a look. That thing is COOL! I bet your having fun with it as I type.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2