Dating oahu lap steel
This famous (or, more accurately, infamous) pickup is often described as a piezoelectric unit, but it is actually a regular electromagnetic pickup with a coil in the base of the bridge and two magnetic polepieces suspended from the saddle.
The result was a primitive attempt to replicate the sound of an acoustic guitar that was unique but not very successful.
Supro amps, as well as those made for other brands, were mostly covered in conventional tolex with appealing piping.
The largest National- and Gretsch-branded amps were 70-Watt monsters with numerous features and up to 15 tubes.
A number of electric archtop models were sold with bodies by Gibson, Harmony and Kay, but fitted with Valco-made pickups, hardware and necks.
Following the leads of Fenders Telecaster and Gibsons Les Paul models, Valco introduced its first solidbody Spanish guitars in 1952 under the National and Supro brand names.
The first professional-quality Valco solidbody had arrived.
Valco quickly became one of the leading manufacturers of lap steels, alongside Magnatone, Gibson and Rickenbacker, and the company also sold acoustic guitars with National necks and bodies by Gibson.Valco continued to make lap steels through the 60s under a variety of brand names.These were nowhere near as fancy as the nicest steels of the 40s and 50s, but their space-age flair is a nifty reminder of the days when rocketships were en vogue.The bound neck was bolted on and inlayed with fancy parallelogram fret markers.The six knobs and two pickguards gave the instrument an appearance akin to a Les Paul in a tuxedo.