1950s Magnatone Lap Steel Guitar

A friend of mine owns this guitar and its matching amp. He'd brought this by for show-and-tell, but it wound-up staying for a bit of spa treatment and it's now quite clean and sounding the biz. These same pearloid-covered lap steels come in variations of a similar format. This one dates from the early '50s rather than the late '40s as it has a larger, straight-mounted hand/wrist-rest/pickup cover, the curved/sloping-deck top shape on the lower-bout bass side and, of course, same-era Kluson tuners.

These guitars have an entirely-covered pickup that's actually wax-potted right into the body and so almost impossible to remove without damaging it if something goes wrong. The benefit of that is that the whole assembly is invisible and its body "lines" are clean.

Work included:  just a cleaning, spray-out of the electronics, replacement set-screw for the tone knob, and a restring of the treble strings. I left the ancient, semi-flattened wound strings as they're neat, but I did clean them up a bit. I have it tuned to open E at the moment -- EBEG#BE low to high.

Specs are: 22 3/8" scale length, 2 1/2" nut width, 1 7/8" string spacing at the nut, 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge, 7 3/4" lower bout, 6 3/4" upper bout, and 1 3/4" side depth.

Materials are: lightweight poplar (I think?) body, celluloid/pearloid wrap, decal fretboard, and chrome and nickel-plated-steel hardware.

Condition notes: it's 100% original, clean throughout, and only has rust and tarnish on the tuners and pickup cover/wrist-rest. There's minor wear to the "board" decal, too. Overall it's in good shape for one of these.

How about that Tele-style jack?

Here's the accompanying tube amp in the same trim. It, unfortunately, has a few demons to wrestle.

I was intending to install a proper 3-prong cord on this amp, but because of the circuit, adding a ground to the chassis incurs a brutal ground-loop type of hum which I can't figure-out how to rid. Hence why I've chalked "amp not grounded" on the chassis even though this has a 3-prong cable on it. If anyone has experience with 3-pronging one of these successfully, please let me know. I spent a few "freebie hours" trying to logic-it-out, but gave up.