1953 Valco-made Oahu Diana Lap Steel Guitar

I've worked on plenty of older Kay-made Oahus and the related Kay products, but hadn't had the chance to look at one of these later fancy-pants "Dianas" in the flesh. It's a pretty instrument and the finish-crackle on this one in particular is grand. It was only in for a new set of buttons on its tuners, but I was glad to see it to compare notes with earlier ones.

The most drastic difference compared to the 40s Kay-made Oahus is that the pickup is now a National, adjustable-pole unit rather than an old blade pickup and the control plate and hardware is more "modern." That shouldn't be surprising because this was a Valco/National-made instrument (rather than Kay) and even has a Nat'l-style serial number on the reverse of the headstock.

It's hard to argue with that headstock motif!

The "fretboard" is reverse-painted plastic, now, just like on most post-WWII steels.

The owner noted the interesting knobs with a little "dish" in the front of them to grab the tip of your finger. That's pretty hip!

The unit below the bridge/string-load area is a string-bender gizmo. Note how it's set for three of the strings. Pseudo-pedal-steel-effect!

The X-serial places this at '53.

Electrosocket jack! Yum.

The the lucky owner of this also has its original case, too.