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Author Topic:  Gold Tone lap steel
Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2002 4:29 pm    
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edit

Last edited by Doug Beaumier on 6 Jun 2013 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2002 4:43 pm    
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That instrument is a dead ringer for an Oahu Tonemaster lap steel. Nothing Gibson about it!


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Brad's Page of Steel
A web site devoted to acoustic & electric lap steel guitars

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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 19 Jan 2002 4:45 pm    
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Thanks Brad, I should have checked the photos on your site before I posted!
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Gerald Ross


From:
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jan 2002 6:41 am    
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Hey Doug,
How about some more details on the guitar. What are you guys selling it for? How does it play/sound? (is an objective review possible if you work in the store?). Does Gold Tone make more models?

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Gerald Ross

Gerald's Fingerstyle Guitar Website
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Ian McLatchie

 

From:
Sechelt, British Columbia
Post  Posted 20 Jan 2002 8:41 am    
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Thanks for posting this, Doug. I hadn't heard of this brand, and will add it to the list of steel guitar brands I'm compiling. I'm trying to verify a number of items on that list, and will post the amended version within a week or so. As Brad says, this looks like a close copy of an Oahu Tonemaster, except for the pickup. Where was this instrument made, and how's the sound?
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 20 Jan 2002 8:46 am    
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Gerald,

I'll get more details on the Gold Tone in a couple of days when I get back to the store. I just teach at the store, I have nothing to do with sales, so I think my assessment will be pretty objective.


Gold Tone makes mostly b@nj0s. I believe they're imports (Korea, China?) and they are fairly low end instruments. I was stunned when I saw the lap steel because I'm used to seeing similar old lap steels that are usually beat up... this one is all shiny new!

I'll add more info / price, etc. within a day or two. Again... this is just an informational post, not an ad. db

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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 20 Jan 2002 8:56 am    
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Ian, that list is growing by the day! Seems like every steel player knows of some obscure brand that was built in some nook and cranny long ago.

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Jason Lollar

 

From:
Seattle area
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2002 3:14 pm    
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I just had an original Oahu Tonemaster in my shop and that guitar is a dead ringer.
The pickup in the original is really hot.
Overdrive occurs on a Fender amp with the volume set at 2 and 3/4. The tone still has plenty of top end and clarity unlike a modern high output pickup.
If anyone wants a steel to play some really ratty Delta music the original tonemaster would be pretty good for it.
The pickup this one had has 2 large alnico magnets mounted externally under the coil attached to a couple of steel plates, pretty easy to duplicate in this case.

I sat in last night with some rockers in thier mid 20's and as soon as a couple licks came out of that Tonemaster they all got a big grin on thier face that wouldnt come off. I wouldnt want to play one all the time, its too much, but in certain situations its great. The tone control will mellow it out though.
Construction on them is pretty nice, kind of ugly though IMHO.
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Ian McLatchie

 

From:
Sechelt, British Columbia
Post  Posted 22 Jan 2002 1:31 pm    
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Jason: I agree with your assessment of the Tonemaster sound. I owned one only for a short time (you buy toys, you sell toys...), and really hated to part with it. It overdrived (overdrove?) practically before the amp was turned on, and had a distinctive "springy" tone, largely the result of the long scale length, I think (over 25", as I recall). As you say, not an instrument for every occasion, but a really fun guitar to have around.
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Jason Lollar

 

From:
Seattle area
Post  Posted 22 Jan 2002 6:56 pm    
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I hope we didnt just make the price raise on them!
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 22 Jan 2002 10:11 pm    
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I played the Gold Tone lap steel today and I love it! The pickup is very powerful. It's got far more punch than any older lap steel I've ever owned (Fenders, Rick, Nationals). The guitar has plenty of sustain and low end and lots of clean biting highs. I played it through a new Fender Deluxe amp with the volume on the amp below 1, and I felt like a had a "wall of sound" behind me. I'd play this lap steel anywhere... on any gig.

Single coil pickup, like a P-90 (a little wider than a regular single coil pickup). Solid wood body, Tobacco Sunburst finish with binding. Controls: volume and tone. Knobs: Gold "top hat style", like vintage Gibson.

Here's how Gold Tone describes the instrument on it's site:


Original Hawaiian design
Solid wood for sustain
Hand rest
Sealed guitar tuners
Hot pick-up


I didn't take any measurements, but the string spacing seemed to be quite comfortable for bar slants. The retail price is $325 (without a case).

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[This message was edited by Doug Beaumier on 21 March 2002 at 11:45 PM.]

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Jason Lollar

 

From:
Seattle area
Post  Posted 22 Jan 2002 11:20 pm    
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When I looked at the goldtone site before I posted about what the originals sound like I was thinking "sure it looks like one but I bet it doesnt sound like one"
Sounds like they hit the mark or right above it.
I told the owner of the one I had in the shop "I would play that". The guy that owns it doesnt know how to play steel.
I like the overdrive when it still has that much clarity, alot of pickups get muddy when they drive that hard but I also like a squeaky clean tone too.
Needless to say I got pretty excited about it (I shut down the shop for almost 2 hours and played) and I think everyone in a 3 block raduis did too wether they wanted to or not

[This message was edited by Jason Lollar on 22 January 2002 at 11:34 PM.]

[This message was edited by Jason Lollar on 22 January 2002 at 11:35 PM.]

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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2002 7:47 am    
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I know what you mean Jason, I got pretty excited playing the new Gold Tone "Tonemaster". I only got about 1/2 hour of playing time on it... and I couldn't put it down! A friend of mine was drawn into the store when he heard the steel... from outside. This is one powerful little tiger, and a lot of steel for not too much money. I'm going to play it again today and try using different amps (tubes, solid state). Maybe I'd should take my checkbook with me??

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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2002 10:09 pm    
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I was interested in Doug's posts regarding this guitar. Thanks for starting it!

I've ordered one which should be arriving any day now.

In pursuing more information on it I exhanged some emails with Wayne Rogers the President of Gold Tone.

Wayne asked me if I would post the following message to the forum:

"Hello Folks,

I've had quite a few inquiries to comment on the lap steel my company is presently selling. First off, our company, Gold Tone specializes in producing high quality instruments in a reasonable price range. We have been successful with banjos for 10 years, and more recently solid body upright basses, mandolins and other instruments. Our method for quality and economic price is to design instruments with prototypes, pay many $'s for tooling and then assemble and/or set up in our Florida factory. The parts are made by the premier factory in Korea, which rivals any U.S. factory for workmanship and quality.

The LS Lap Steel is obviously a replica of a very historical steel. I have owned an original since my teenage years and thought it to be a marvelous instrument perfectly designed for its intentions. Although it was possible to make any additions or improvements there was no need and I was determined to get a replica as close as possible. Although tooling was expensive, it was imperative on this guitar so the tone, response, and look would duplicate the original.

The response from owners has exceeded our expectations. It was recently debuted at the Annaheim NAMM show last week. Players where amazed at the playability and tone, and an endorsement was made with Gary Morse, the incredible steel player from Dwight Yokam's band, who plans to use it on future recordings. Also the legendary John Pearse (another endorsee) was quite impressed with the LS as he is a lap steel player and fan, and has a wide collection including the steel used on some of Patsy Clines recordings.

Most of all, I am quite proud to offer this instrument at an extremely affordable price of 399.00 retail. Hopefully its affordability and quality will interest musicians and generate even more popularity in the lap steel. Many thanks to the kind comments on this page.

Wayne Rogers
President
Goldtone.com
Goldtone1@aol.com "
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2002 10:49 pm    
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Thanks for sharing that David. Very informative and interesting to learn about the background and production of this instrument. It's great to hear that the company's President is a lap steel fan!

I know that you'll enjoy your new steel guitar. I play the Gold Tone steel in the shop every chance I get, and I'm still blown away by the high output pickup. Did you order your's through a local music store or on line? I'm thinking about buying one... I just need to justify having a 6 string steel guitar when I have a double 6, a double 8, a triple 8, a D-10 PSG, dobro, a few guitars, bass, etc, etc, etc.

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[This message was edited by Doug Beaumier on 29 January 2002 at 10:53 PM.]

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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2002 1:03 am    
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Doug,

No one local had it so I ordered online from someone Wayne recommended - Richard Hefner of http://www.thebanjostore.com/ He gave me a good price and said I can return it if I don't like it. Since they're so new he hadn't seen one yet and mine was drop shipped from Gold Tone in Florida. It should arrive tomorrow!

It seems like Downtown Sounds where you teach has one of the only ones in the retail channel.

I justified it as a birthday present to myself. I'll get rid of an old Gibson BR-9 six string and maybe my Chandler 6 string if I like the Gold Tone.

[This message was edited by David Siegler on 30 January 2002 at 01:04 AM.]

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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2002 10:33 am    
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Dave, let us know what you think of the Gold Tone when it arrives. Also... did you get a case with it? I'm interested to know what kind of case (if any) is available with this lap steel.

Yes, Downtown Sounds is always well stocked! Fender, Martin, Taylor, Peavey, Alesis, Sure, Zildian, Pearl, Tascam, Yamaha, Boss, Roland, Godin, Brian Moore..etc... We have several Gold Tone b@nj0$, and I'm really happy that the store owner ordered their new lap steel. The owner has attended the NAMM show every year for over 25 years... and that's 3000 miles away! Enjoy your new birthday present!

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Geoff Brown


From:
Nashvegas
Post  Posted 8 Feb 2002 3:33 pm    
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Dare I say it here? Gold Tone banjos are pretty nice too
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Jerry Ledsome

 

From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2020 10:50 pm    
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Gold tones are American made in florida....
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2020 4:07 am    
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Jerry Ledsome wrote:
Gold tones are American made in florida....


Wow - the rebirth of an 18 year old thread!

Except Gold Tone instruments are not made in Florida. The headquarters for the company is there, and often a guitar will receive final assembly and setup at the Florida facility, but they have always been produced in China, and some have been made in Korea.

The instruments are designed in the United States.

You can read about it below. I appreciate that they tell the story on their website. Some companies have their instruments produced in China but they seem to avoid mentioning it in their catalogs or on their website.

https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldtone/origins.php
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Mark
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2020 6:59 am    
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Some Gold Tones receive their final check over by Beard. I have a resonator like that. Very Happy
Erv
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2020 10:10 am    
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Erv Niehaus wrote:
Some Gold Tones receive their final check over by Beard. I have a resonator like that. Very Happy
Erv


This is true Erv regarding a small percentage of the Gold Tone/Paul Beard Signature resonators, but the guitars are still built in China, like the bazillion other instruments under the Gold Tone brand.
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Mark
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2020 10:15 am    
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They are still an excellent bang for the buck! Very Happy
Erv
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2020 5:56 pm    
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Erv Niehaus wrote:
They are still an excellent bang for the buck! Very Happy
Erv


Indeed they are Erv.

But the last time anyone posted in this thread prior to Jerome resurrecting it from the archives was 2002.

The Gold Tone/Beard resonators weren't even in existence at that time except for perhaps a couple prototypes! Very Happy
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Mark
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Brett Day


From:
Pickens, SC
Post  Posted 7 Jul 2020 7:38 pm    
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Mark Eaton wrote:
Erv Niehaus wrote:
Some Gold Tones receive their final check over by Beard. I have a resonator like that. Very Happy
Erv


This is true Erv regarding a small percentage of the Gold Tone/Paul Beard Signature resonators, but the guitars are still built in China, like the bazillion other instruments under the Gold Tone brand.


My dobro is a Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series Deluxe squareneck and it's awesome!
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