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Post new topic 6-string Gibson holy grail lap steel on Denver Craigslist
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Author Topic:  6-string Gibson holy grail lap steel on Denver Craigslist
Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:47 pm     Reply with quote

For those with deep pockets (not me), this may be of interest. Looks like a really nice one:
https://denver.craigslist.org/msg/d/1930s-gibson-eh-185-lap-steel/6447239015.html
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Bryan Martin


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 6:17 am     Reply with quote

Jack,

What is your opinion of the 185 in relation to the pre-war EH150 and 100?

Also, I always wanted to know which one of those guys in your forum picture is you.

From the very cold and very snowy, Great White North, Bryan
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 10:16 am     Reply with quote

FWIW many consider the 1958 Gibson Ultratone to be the "holy grail" of lap steels.

And almost none are played in "stock" condition, since the PAF humbucking pickup is generally removed and installed on a Les Paul or ES-335.

The pickups alone sell for around $4-5,000 individually; $10-12k for a pair!
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 9:21 am     Reply with quote

Bryan Martin wrote:
Jack,
What is your opinion of the 185 in relation to the pre-war EH150 and 100?
Also, I always wanted to know which one of those guys in your forum picture is you.
From the very cold and very snowy, Great White North, Bryan

Bryan, Admittedly, I have no firsthand knowledge of any of the prewar Gibson lap steels besides a 1943 EH-125 that I purchased as a carcass and am presently in the process of bringing back to life. My opinion is based solely on the posts from Forumite C.E. Jackson, who has one of the premier collections of prewar Gibson steel guitars.

Perhaps my choice of the words "holy grail" may have been a tad too strong. (Mr. Jackson, feel free to chime in here).

As a Quebecois, you undoubtedly recognize my Avatar photo from the classic sports flick "Slap Shot." The guy in the middle, St. Paul's Dave Hanson, played "Jack Hanson" in the movie.
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Noah Miller


From:
Rocky Hill, CT
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 9:38 am     Reply with quote

I've owned an identical EH-185, and I've also owned an earlier EH-150 with a CC pickup.

While the 150 has limited sustain due to its hollow construction, the 185 has much, much better sustain thanks to the Hyblum (metal) core that runs through it. The adjustable pickup is significantly quieter than the CC (though not totally hum-free, since it's still a single-coil) and has more of a rounded sound.

My holy grail steel, at least as far as Gibsons go, would be a 7-string version of that same steel.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 9:49 am     Reply with quote

Jim Sliff wrote:
FWIW many consider the 1958 Gibson Ultratone to be the "holy grail" of lap steels.
And almost none are played in "stock" condition, since the PAF humbucking pickup is generally removed and installed on a Les Paul or ES-335.
The pickups alone sell for around $4-5,000 individually; $10-12k for a pair!

Jim, I would agree in terms of scarcity, the humbucker-equipped Ultratone may be considered the "holy grail" of 6-string Gibson lap steels. A few years back I was fortunate enough to come across a 1957 body with nut, fretboard, bridge, and backplate intact. Of course its original pickup, pickup ring, knobs, electronics, jackplate, Kluson Deluxes, and Plexiglas headstock and bridge covers, etc. were long gone.

I have since been able to acquire a nice set of original Plexiglas covers, and have replaced the missing electronics and tuners with modern reproduction parts. It's a wonderful instrument, but the narrow string spacing at the bridge, as necessitated by the PAF, is not as comfortable to play (at least for me) as comparable P-90 equipped Ultratones & Centurys.





I love my '57 Ultratone, but if the guy in NW Denver offered to trade his EH-185 even up, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 11:44 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
FWIW many consider the 1958 Gibson Ultratone to be the "holy grail" of lap steels.

I would say that the original Rickenbacher frypan is a much better fit if you want to use the term "Holy Grail." Ultratones are rare but coveted more for their mid-century design than for their sound.
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James Hartman


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 2:07 pm     Reply with quote

An Ultratone without a P-90 just seems wrong. Very Happy
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 3:14 pm     Reply with quote

Jack -

I don't quite understand how there can be the "string spacing" problem with any brand of humbucker. The spacing of all Gibson-type humbuckers is roughly 50mm - exactly the same as Gibson's 6-string P90's

The only common variation is "F", or "Fender-spaced" humbuckers - 52-53mm.

Since those would be wider than either a P-90 or Gibson-type humbucker I just can't figure out how you could have installed anything narrower.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 4:50 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Sliff wrote:
I don't quite understand how there can be the "string spacing" problem with any brand of humbucker. The spacing of all Gibson-type humbuckers is roughly 50mm - exactly the same as Gibson's 6-string P90's.

Jim, the spacing on Gibson's lap steel P-90s is 58mm. The 8mm difference may seem insignificant, but it's indeed noticable.
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Bryan Martin


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 6:11 pm     Reply with quote

Jack,

I must confess to being an ex-pat New Yorker. And while not much of a hockey fan, do have my contacts.

Cheers, Bryan
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 7:08 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Jim, the spacing on Gibson's lap steel P-90s is 58mm.


In what years?

The 60's Gibson lap steels I've swapped pickups in had standard string spacing. I've worked on many 50's models but didn't have to change pickups on them.

I never noticed any difference in spacing as small variations like that don't bother me at all from a playing standpoint. I'm curious when they changed them, though. It certainly would not have made much sense for Gibson to spend the money on lap-steel only pickup manufacturing into the 60's.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 8:47 pm     Reply with quote

Bryan Martin wrote:
I must confess to being an ex-pat New Yorker. And while not much of a hockey fan, do have my contacts.

That's an impressive lanyard, Bryan!
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 8:58 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Sliff wrote:
In what years?

The early postwar wide-oval (racetrack) pickups as installed on the 6-string BR-3, BR-4, early black BR-6, black Century, and white Ultratone all have 58mm string spacing.

Same for the post-1951 P-90 pickups as installed on the blue Century, Century Deluxe, and blonde Ultratone.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 9:50 am     Reply with quote

I'm confused, what did that lanyard have to do with the subject at hand? Whoa!
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Hugh Roche


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 18 Jan 2018 3:43 pm     Reply with quote

i would have to agree with Noah, but this pickup was only used for about 1 year. i have never seen a seven with the tortoise pickup. The Grail would be a blonde 6/7 double neck with tortoise pickups. Or better yet a 8/10!
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Cartwright Thompson


Post Posted 19 Jan 2018 3:03 am     Reply with quote

When it comes to Gibsons, one of these would have to be my holy grail:

Had a chance to buy one years ago but thought $600 was way too much to spend....
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 19 Jan 2018 6:18 am     Reply with quote

I'm with you, Cartwright!
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Ron Simpson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2018 9:08 am     Reply with quote



Another Gibson Holy Grail is the seven string Ultratone. How I managed to acquire two still boggles the mind.

Ron
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 20 Jan 2018 6:44 pm     One too many Reply with quote

Thats one to many Ron.
I could help you out with that problem! Whoa! Rolling Eyes Laughing
Best wishes,
Andy
_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
Todd Clinesmith Triple 8 Console Ordered.
Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway.
Morrell 8 string lap steel in E7th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
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Ron Simpson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2018 7:05 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the offer, but since steel guitars can handle so many different tunings it isn't a problem at all.

Ron
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 21 Jan 2018 9:02 am     Reply with quote

Ron Simpson wrote:
Another Gibson Holy Grail is the seven string Ultratone.

I can't help but agree, Ron. I love my old beat-up white 7-string "Ultramaster" with its custom wide-spaced bridge and nut.

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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 21 Jan 2018 9:54 am     Reply with quote

Hopefully I'm not screwing up one of you who was planning a snipe bid at the last minute but here ya go:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Gibson-Ultratone-7-Steel-Lap-Guitar/142657557050?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
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Ron Simpson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 21 Jan 2018 10:34 am     Reply with quote

Now that guitar is really a holy grail. First style body, with two pickups.
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