Friday, August 9, 2013

Aloha Magnatone Lap Steel Guitar

Here's yet another in a long line of lap steels that I thought I wanted...but then realize I just can't seem to figure out how to play one of these well enough to keep it. I've said the same thing before in other posts...I always think I want a lap steel for recording purposes. And I do manage to get a few usable sounds out of them if I record and re-record a million times. But when it comes right down to it, I just can't get the hang of it enough to justify keeping one around. I will learn a lesson about this someday. Maybe.

The interesting part of the story about this lap steel is that I was looking on Ebay for an inexpensive lap steel and I noticed one for sale by a guy in my town. I emailed him and asked if I could just pick it up at his house instead of having him ship it, since that wouldn't make a lot of sense and would save time and money. He said SURE! So, long story short, that's what happened. I got the lap steel I won on Ebay home and there was a problem with it. So I took it back to his house and he had a few others that he was also selling. He exchanged mine for this Aloha and everyone was happy. It all worked out great and this was actually a little nicer than the one I had paid for.

I looked it up online and, lo and behold, the only documentation I could find had two photos of an Aloha exactly like mine, case and all. The closer I looked, it turns out it was actually the same exact lap steel! What are the chances? The instrument itself is nothing special really. It's your standard late '40s gray mother-of-toilet-seat lap steel that I've seen a hundred times by other brands like Dickerson and Magnatone and Supro, etc. Turns out this Aloha brand was actually made by Magnatone, as evidenced by the serial number plate on the back. The headstock decal says ALOHA Music Company, Corpus Christie, Texas. It was probably just a local company that contracted with Magnatone to make a generic lap steel and put the Aloha brand on it. It has Kluson tuners, a volume, a tone and a pickup. What else do you need?

After owning it for about a year, I turned it around on the Ebay and I think actually took a loss on it. Which is rare for me. I almost always make at least a little profit on things or break even. But that's the way it goes sometimes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a lot still interested in selling but I have no idea where I would look up more information with the serial number any ideas