1990s Melobar CC-8 Lap Steel Guitar

A local consignor dropped this off in a batch of instruments (he's going non-electric) and this one seems to be a '90s-era Melobar made by Ted Smith. A quick search of the web will find numerous examples of this type of instrument, but I haven't seen another in this weirdly-attractive red-pearl-metallic finish or with the red-pearl/bowling-ball fretboard, yet. The pink control plate/pickguard is also neat.

The biggest difference, however, is that when it was made it was using a "new-old-stock" Bill Lawrence pedal steel pickup with the chromed edges. This is the L605 or L705 model -- something seen on much older Melobar instruments made by the builder's father, if I've got the history correct. 

Mr. Smith chimed-in about this instrument on a forum last year, too. He said that he remembered building it but that he'd remembered using an old "Swing Era" record as the control plate/pickguard instead. There are other examples of black-pearl and white-pearl pickguards used on these instruments at the same time and cut in the same fashion, too, though. Still -- it may be "aftermarket."

Work included: a light cleaning, tune-up to (low to high) F#-A-C#-E-F#-A-C#-E tuning (Herb Remington's), and that's it! It has a good feel and a clean, chimey tone.

Scale length: 24 1/2"
Nut width: 2 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 2 3/16"
String spacing at saddle: 2 3/4"
Lower bout width: 8 3/4"
Upper bout width: 6 3/4"
Side depth at endblock: 1 3/4"
Neck profile: squareneck
Weight: 7 lb, 0 oz
Wood: unsure - poplar or?
String height overall: 7/16"

Condition notes: it appears to be all-original save perhaps the pickguard/control plate. There are minor nicks and dings and scratches here and there with the worst being a few that scraped the finish on the back/sides. The pickup rides a little low but this could be changed if desired via shimming.