9/20/2013

c.1947 Supro Lap Steel




This whole post was updated on February 12th, 2014.

The serial number at the back of the headstock dates this fella to 1947 and it certainly looks it with the space-age "burnt guava" pearloid covering and retro-modern looks. Initially (in 2013) I fixed this lap steel up with its original pickup hooked up but since it's been in the store that pickup died out (someone must have given the coil a good whack) and so I installed a 70s Strat-style (Asian import vintage) pickup instead. This meant that my (already replaced) wiring harness gained a new pickup as well and the sound went from lo-fi sweet National with relatively low output to a nice, hot, Fendery clear-toned sound. Consider it "hot-rodded."

Mix in the flatwound strings it's setup with and you have a sort of late-40s, early 50s Western swing tonality.


The stenciled-on fret markers are still in surprisingly good shape. Note that I've replaced what used to be the tone control with an output jack, so this is a "1 vol, 1 pickup" setup. This jack means you need to use a right-angle connector to make the best use of it.


Aside from the pickup and wiring harness, all the rest is original, including these shrunken-buttoned Kluson tuners and the tall bone nut.



In addition to installing the new pickup (which meant cutting away that heavy steel coverplate and making room for it in the body), I also jacked up the wrist-rest coverplate with some copper tubing. It's sort of "back angled" so that the wrist sits on it nicely.




The back has a sort of non-slip texture to it. Note the old ferrule for the "cord-connected-to-body" output cable this had originally. Those always get ripped off.



Here you can see that cream-covered Strat-style pickup sticking up. It has a good sound to it. Note that this guitar also comes with its original chip case (still functional) and old wiring harness, too.

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