1960 Eddie Alkire Eharp (National-made) 10-String Lap Steel Electric Guitar

Eddie Alkire was a Hawaiian guitar champion of the old days and after a stint working for the Oahu Publishing Company, started his own company for teaching his method of steel guitar playing. This 1960, National-made, 10-string creature is a latter-day version of his "Eharp" which debuted decades earlier and, at that time, was made by Epiphone. He taught how to use a 10-string with his own special (almost chromatic) tuning, but in the case of this particular instrument I have it strung-up and tuned in an extended E9 chord similar to E9 on pedal steel.

It runs, from low to high: E, B, D, E, F#, G#, B, C#, E, G# -- where the low E is the same pitch as "normal" guitar and the G# is the 4th fret of the high E string. There's no reason the higher C# couldn't be a D, though.

The instrument itself is built like a higher-spec National/Valco steel, with "console"-style legs fit to the bottom, a nice elevated "wrist rest," three-octave "fingerboard" with indents for easy reference, twin pickups and a 3-way lever control of the type found on fancy National "Spanish" electrics, double volume and a single tone control, and a kick-butt nameplate at the top of the headstock. There's a National-style serial number plate on the back as well, pointing to a 1960 build.

I'm pretty sure the body is some sort of softer maple but I suppose it might be poplar or similar with a yellow, translucent finish as well. It has a full set of Kluson tuners, but one is a later replacement with a replacement (similar) button that I stuck on.

My work was light but suffice to say, after much cleaning, grime removal, restringing, and minor adjustments, it plays spot-on and is ready to go. Only three of the four legs were functioning well, so I shimmed and turned-around one of the leg mounts so that it would work well with three-leg setup -- which sits nicer on uneven floors anyhow.

Repairs included: much cleaning, electronics spray-out, restring, minor setup adjustments, case repair, etc.

Body wood: some sort of softer maple (or similar)

Bridge: aluminum

Fretboard: plastic markers

Pickups: 2x original National/Valco 10-string

String gauges: 50w, 46w, 36w, 30w, 26w, 19, 17, 16, 14, 10 (as I recall!)

Scale length: 23"

Nut width: 3"

Body width: 7 1/4"

Body depth: 1 3/4"

Weight: 10 lbs 2 oz

Condition notes: it's all-original save one replacement tuner. I've modified one of the leg-mounting plates so a 3-leg setup is possible. There are numerous small scratches, nicks, dings, etc. on the body, though overall it does look rather clean and nice for its age. The original case is in good order save peeling outer wrap, though I did have to remove a considerable amount of brown tape and repair the inside divider panels. The pickups and wiring harness are in good order.

It comes with: an original hard case and 4 legs. 3 legs work well, 1 does not.