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Post new topic Preferences for Steel Slides
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Preferred Steel for Slide
Dobro style - Dunlop Lap Dawg (plated brass)
7%
 7%  [ 3 ]
Dobro Style - Shubb, Stephens, (Steel)
14%
 14%  [ 6 ]
Roundnose Steel Bar - 5 oz or less
30%
 30%  [ 13 ]
Roundnose Steel Bar - More than 5 oz
23%
 23%  [ 10 ]
Straight Cut Steel Bar
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Ceramic, Glass, Composite Bar
21%
 21%  [ 9 ]
Slab (steel or Glass)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Whatever is Handy
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 42

Author Topic:  Preferences for Steel Slides
Allan Revich


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post  Posted 8 Jan 2019 9:48 pm    
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I’m still pretty new at the lap steel game, and I’m trying to figure out what style, size, and weight works best for me on electric lap steel.

I have a 4.5 oz bar. A bigger 7.5 oz bar. And a Dobro style bar, about 4.5 oz too.

I’d love to know what other electric lap steel players prefer.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, Northern California
Post  Posted 8 Jan 2019 10:40 pm    
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www.steelguitarshopper.com/dunlop-919-jerry-byrd-tone-bar/

... but if the guitar has very wide string spacing, I use a larger diameter bar to get nose slant triads better in tune.

Tab:
E ------------------
C ----------7-------
A ----------7-------
G ---------/--------
E --------6---------
C ------------------

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Stephen Cowell


From:
Round Rock, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 11:55 am    
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I prefer a bottleneck for slide.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 12:11 pm    
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As suggested above, they are not slides, they are tone bars or steels. Slide guitar is a different subject.

I cannot advise on the best, because I have only used three: The Black Rajah, The Brozophonic, which is very close to the Jerry Byrd bar, and last but very much the least, the Stevens bar which is essentially a steel with training wheels. Although, I am beginning to see where they might be handy in old-age.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 1:57 pm    
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For overhand work I always use a bullet bar, but did not fill out the survey because length and diameter are both more important criteria to me than weight. My tonebar will vary depending on the instrument I'm playing.

On pedal steel, I have been using the same "Emmons" branded bar for over 40 years. It's 7/8" x 3-3/8" and weighs 8.8 oz.

On acoustics and lap steels, I generally use a Latch Lake (a/k/a Broz-o-phonic) bar, which is 3/4" x 3" and weighs 5.6 oz.

Because both of these bars are machined from stainless steel, I use bronze wounds on my acoustics and nickel wounds on my electrics. I can't play with stainless wound strings.
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C. E. Jackson


Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 2:22 pm    
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I have a collection of modern and antique bars from 5/8" x 2 1/2" to 7/8" x 4 1/2" with several 1" x 3 1/4" bars.
My collection includes round and non-round bars, chrome plated, stainless, brass, bakelite, and clear and colored plastic
bars, with bullet-nose on 1 end, bullet nose on both ends, square on both ends, (maybe others that I have forgotten).

I only use round stainless bars with bullet-nose ends (one end only). My favorites are DUNLOP, JOHN PEARSE, SHO-BUD,
and a couple of private made bars by steel players. Occasionally, I enjoy using one of my SITAR bars.

I agree with b0b with regard to string spacing and diameter of bars.

C. E. Jackson Smile
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Tom Keller


From:
Greeneville, TN, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 6:25 pm    
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I prefer the Stevens style bar for resophonic guitars and bullet bars for electric steel guitars with 8 or more strings. I find it almost impossible to attempt modern resophonic stylings with a bullet bar.

Tom Keller
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Frank James Pracher


From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jan 2019 7:39 pm    
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My main "go to" bar is 3/4 x 2 3/4 Ezzee slide bar made by Basil. Which is made from a sort of polymer.. Sticks to the hand but moves on the strings effortlessly.

I'm also a big fan of the powder coated bars by Michael Hillman..A bit more weight, also very smooth.

I keep one of each in my gig bag.. and several in my workshop/studio
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jan 2019 7:19 am    
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Nothing fits my hand and style better than a vintage Nick Manoloff bar.

Otherwise, a plain bullet bar is fine. I can't play with a dobro bar, the grip is weird to me.
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post  Posted 11 Jan 2019 11:03 pm     A 7/8" Round nose by Todd Clinesmith
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A 7/8" Round nose by Todd Clinesmith has become my favorite to use for both tone and feel. I also like my 7/8" steel one, but not quite as much.
I have a longer fatter one for practice on my PSG's, but never use that on non-pedal guitars.
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Allan Revich


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2019 8:29 pm    
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Thanks for all the thoughtful answers and comments so far. I’m learning a lot.
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George Piburn


From:
The Land of Enchantment New Mexico
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2019 8:42 am     Tone Bar
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In my limited experience as a professionally trained steel guitarist,
I was taught by the Jeffran College and later Hawaiian Masters and numerous high end steel guitar players - teachers, most of whom ane no longer living;

that Steel Guitars were played with a TONE BAR.

Since Tone Bar was omitted in the poll, my answer is none of the above.
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Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2019 5:06 pm    
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Of course a "tone bar" is best for most steel guitar playing styles. The extra weight of a solid bar make for better tone and sustain, and a round nose makes slants and single note runs across adjacent strings easier.

But there are some players that use a slide (bottle neck or metal/class cylinder) on a steel guitar. To me the sound suffers from rattles and seems brittle with little sustain, but there are a lot of standard guitarists that come to the world of lap steel and that's all they know and have in their guitar cases....
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