1954 National New Yorker Lap Steel Guitar

How about them apples? Right from the tip of its deco headstock to the bottom of its skyscraper-styled body, these old New Yorker lap steels are classy as heck. I mean -- the celluloid that wraps the body's top is even "layered" with thicker/thinner patches per the color used, the pickup and bridge cover is clear, and the fingerboard markers are reverse-painted on clear as well. It's a bit of a tour de force.

This one appears to be entirely original except for a replacement jack and the tone knob (both my additions). The old screw-on jacks are both a liability to your cables and a frustration to deal with. This also has the "big" National pickup which is mounted to a plate that also includes the bridge and tailpiece construction, too. Like on a Telecaster bridge setup, this seems to give the whole thing a bit more of a "lively" or "direct" sound. It's got a bit of a burr to the voice, too -- clean and clear and sweet-sounding but also a little honky or woody in just the right way to snap.

The volume control works as-normal but the tone control is a 3-way selector with fixed settings.

Repairs included: replaced old-style screw-on jack with normal 1/4" jack, spray-out of the volume pot and tone switch, one replacement knob (broken original in case), new strings, minor cleaning, minor adjustments.

Body wood: solid poplar?

Bridge: one-piece stamped

Fretboard: reverse-painted clear plastic

Neck wood: same as body

Pickups: 1x original National

String gauges: 50w, 36w, 26w, 19, 16, 12 (open E tuning right now)

Neck shape: squareneck

Scale length: 23"

Nut width: 1 15/16"

Body width: 7"

Body depth: 1 5/8"

Weight: 5 lbs 1 oz

Condition notes: it's in quite good shape and looks stellar in person. The celluloid veneer on the body is crisp and clean. It's all-original except for the input jack, jack-plate, and tone knob. It's amazing to have one of these with the original clear pickup cover intact, too. Said cover has a little wear on one edge but is overall in great shape, too. The tuner covers are hiding a set of covered Kluson tuners. I initially thought these were replacements but I'm pretty sure they're original '50s ones, now. The wiring harness is completely original except for the jack and the pickup has good output and is strong and clean-sounding.

It comes with: a beautiful original hard case in fantastic shape, the damaged original tone knob, and a big old fat original Hawaiian-style bar.


daverepair said…
Gorgeous! And that case is a Lifton-labeled one, just like those supplied with same-era Gibsons. Be still, my heart...