4/18/2014

c.2010 VT Steelz Lap Steel




Vermont Steelz are made be a fellow named Andy Foster and I had no idea about them until this came to me via a trade deal. It's a cool rig with a double-row "soapbar" style humbucker, big old (ash?) body stained green, and a flamed maple veneer on the top of the body with an additional flamed maple "pickguard." While the workmanship is folksy here and there the sound is big and bell-like and I like the aesthetics. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a fan of the satin colored-stain look and part of me has been eying those new Fender "rustic" series guits because of that...! I don't know what year it made by the serial on the back of the headstock suggests maybe December of 2007?

With a 2 1/4" nut and 24 1/2" scale length, this thing feels a lot more substantial than most vintage steels. For the layman: this means more stretching room which means an easier time keeping your lead work clean. The long scale also gives it more tension so it feels a bit more like a Dobro than a shorter 23" scale lap steel. I like it. The soundclip above was recorded with a mic from my little 2W tube amp.



Green guits are just a lot of fun.


Sealed tuners are good to go. Check out that massive brass nut, by the way. Can you say sustain?


A flamed maple (and walnut? rosewood?) position-marker fingerboard looks pretty slick.


I like the "through body" stringing and the massive brass bridge, too. The non-branded soapbar pickup is a mystery but it must be decent quality as it sounds excellent.


The volume and tone knobs were missing so I replaced them with some 50s-looking modern brown "cupcake" knobs that I had in my bins.


So, I read somewhere online that the shape of the steel is vaguely the shape of the borders of Vermont, but that may be stretching it. Either way, the profile sort of "hugs" the body which is nice.



No comments: