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Post new topic Tonemaster Lap Steel Need Some Info
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Author Topic:  Tonemaster Lap Steel Need Some Info
Carl Vilar


From:
New Jersey USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 10:29 am    
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I just bought a Tonemaster lap steel wanted to see if any of you guys knew anything about it like vintage, builder, value etc. It also has a thing on the end called a string tone I think that changes the tuning of the guitar any info would be great. I won't be getting the guitar till the end of next week so if any more pics are needed that's the earliest I can take them. Comes with a hard case and three legs.











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JCH 9/7
1971 Blond Twin Reverb 15" custom
Randall Steel Man 500
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 10:56 am    
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The ToneMaster issue has been recently discussed as to who made these and where.
High authority Michael Lee Allen say's they are of Valco desent. My research say's they're British made.
Either way, my old TM D8 was killer, and your's will probably have you smiling as well.

The tuning changer, is someone elses bag. MLA probably can dish it all out for you.
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 12:24 pm    
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The Tonemaster pictured was build by Valco of Chicago. It is not British made.

You can use this serial number scheme to determine the year:
http://www.provide.net/~cfh/national.html#valco

The Rowe Industries Stringtone changer has been discussed many times before on this forum. Do a search for the tunings it's designed to use and how the changer works.
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Carl Vilar


From:
New Jersey USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 1:20 pm    
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Thanks Ron and Brad for the info so far I don't think the plate with the serial number is on the guitar if it's not is this from the 50's 60's? guitar will be delivered next week but I won't be able to see it till friday I'm getting back surgery on monday and won't be back home till friday. The guy I bought from said he couldn't find a serial number on it. I did a search on the stringtone changer sounds like a neat tool if it works right. Any idea on value just wondering if I got a good deal on it not that it matters from the pics it looks like it's in great condition and I should be very happy with it.
_________________
JCH 9/7
1971 Blond Twin Reverb 15" custom
Randall Steel Man 500
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D Schubert

 

From:
Columbia, MO, USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 2:34 pm     this & that
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I have a Tonemaster double-eight that also has an English Electronics logo. I'm told that EE was a music company in Lansing, MI -- that sold Valco products under their house brand name. Maybe that's the root of the "British" story.

I also have a Supro guitar with one of those Rowe Stringtone changers. Lotsa fun.
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Danny Bates

 

From:
Fresno, CA. USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 4:00 pm    
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You're gonna love it... be prepared to blow your mind. Nice clean tone... tons of sustain.

Order some new strings now from b0b ... enjoy! Smile
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 4:06 pm    
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This same guitar occasionally surfaces with the name "English" on the head. This is in reference to [url= http://tinyurl.com/3rxswv ]Norman English[/url], whose Lansing, Michigan music studio apparently sold enough steel guitars for him to be able to order custom instruments from Valco. It does not refer to the United Kingdom, in spite of what you might have read on eBay. Smile
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 4:23 pm     Uncle!
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OK, I've done my 50 push-ups.
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Bill Creller

 

From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 4:35 pm    
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The serial number plate is usually under the headstock where it meets the neck on most Valco made guitars.
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Don Kona Woods


From:
Hawaiian Kama'aina
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 4:48 pm    
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Quote:
Norman English whose Lansing, Michigan music studio apparently sold enough steel guitars for him to be able to order custom instruments from Valco.

I knew Norm before he passed away. I visited him in Lansing and we jammed together with others that he had taught. He was a "real" character. He would come to the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Convention in Winchester and always pull some prank. He would get everybody laughing. One year he brought his steel guitar made from a toilet seat. It cracked everybody up.

Norm and quite a number of others, especially in the Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, taught the old Oahu Conservatory method who settled in and joined the two steel guitar clubs - Aloha International Steel Guitar Club and Hawaiian Steel Guitar Assn.

Aloha, Smile
Don
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Carl Vilar


From:
New Jersey USA
Post  Posted 2 Oct 2008 6:43 pm    
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Danny got my order in for strings yesterday from Bobby Lee can't wait till next friday slap on a new set of strings on it and take it for a test drive. If it sounds as good as it looks I'm going to be one happy camper.
_________________
JCH 9/7
1971 Blond Twin Reverb 15" custom
Randall Steel Man 500
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Danny Bates

 

From:
Fresno, CA. USA
Post  Posted 3 Oct 2008 2:50 am    
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Carl, I don't have the stringtone hooked up on mine. It stays in the case. I have a feeling you're gonna like the tone better than the looks.

If you get a chance, check out my tuning.
Low to high its ACEGBD.

I stole it from a standard C6 pedal setup with the 7th pedal pressed. A standard C6 set of strings works on it. Each string is tuned lower. You might like it.
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Michael Lee Allen

 

From:
Portage Park, Chicago, Illinois
Post  Posted 3 Oct 2008 5:29 pm    
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DELETED

Last edited by Michael Lee Allen on 27 Feb 2011 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Lee Allen

 

From:
Portage Park, Chicago, Illinois
Post  Posted 3 Oct 2008 5:31 pm    
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DELETED

Last edited by Michael Lee Allen on 27 Feb 2011 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ron Whitfield

 

From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 3 Oct 2008 6:04 pm    
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Curse you Super Myth Buster! AAAAaarrgg....!

Glad to finally know the facts about Norman. Wish he was still around to make more great steels and pull more pranks!
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