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Post new topic Strange Seven String Steel
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Author Topic:  Strange Seven String Steel
Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 21 Dec 2018 6:22 am    
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I'm just curious if anyone knows anything about this. I acquired it on eBay several years ago and had the non original six pole pickup replaced with a seven pole. It's VERY heavy. The cast aluminum plate has a lot of rhinestones and the border has abalone pieces all around it. The knobs and the case look like it's from the 1940's to me.




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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2018 2:25 pm    
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No idea what it is, but it's interesting to say the least. An odd mixture of the pedestrian and the sublime, with it's Valco-ish painted and silkscreened body and fretboard combo and the ornate custom mounting plate and headstock attachments.

What is its scale length? How does it sound?
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2018 3:33 pm    
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It has a European look, possibly made in the Baltic region, or maybe Russia. But the logo on the headstock is in English... so I dunno! Confused
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Joe Elk


From:
Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2018 6:51 pm    
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I wish I knew. Fantastic steel.
Joe Elk Central Ohio
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Bill Creller

 

From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2018 10:04 pm    
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The name Maestro was used on some plastic coated (MOTS) guitars, which aren't likely any relation to this one...
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Charles Stange

 

From:
San Francisco, California
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 9:44 am    
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in searching out clues to the "B" logo, this 2013 SGF thread showed up, similar lap (looks to be the same guitar, missing screws in headstock), also no conclusions as to origin....


https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2152954


edit: I see now, same owner, same question..
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Tonu Timm


From:
Estonia
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 1:35 pm    
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Not from Baltic region and not from Russia either.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 2:12 pm    
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My guess would be Germany or Eastern Europe.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 2:55 pm    
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The machine heads and pots might be clues to the guitar's origin.
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 3:33 pm    
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Here 's a few more photos...
The designs have a cloth-like texture so I think they're printed on with a silk screen. That, along with the chrome plated badge and cast plate would seem to indicate that this was meant to be repeated, as in production. But the whole fretboard is bound in steel in a way that suggests it's a one-off. I forgot I posted this before and that the eBay hype on it was that is was a house steel for some Chicago radio station. One comment on Facebook was that "it looked like something that slipped through the Stargate".

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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 3:37 pm    
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One more to show the steel binding...
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 3:54 pm    
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Jack Hanson asked about the scale and sound. It's only 22 7/8" which is probably why the strings feel so loose. The nut is too low as well. The sound is alright but the pickup could be closer to the strings. I have a new single coil pickup 7 poles but the guy who installed it put in in pretty low. He also had to chisel it out to make it fit and commented on how hard the wood was to carve. It's VERY heavy and dense wood.
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 4:55 pm    
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I have come up with a theory. If there's any truth about it's Chicago origins, it's possible this was made by someone at the Bally's -Midway manufacturing. They made pinball machines and slot machines and were based in Chicago. They would have had all the stuff needed to produce this thing. It does sort of look like an antique slot machine in a way.
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Jim Pitman

 

From:
Waterbury Ctr. VT 05677 USA
Post  Posted 26 Dec 2018 1:13 pm    
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I second the pinball theory.
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Michael Maddex


From:
Northern New Mexico, USA
Post  Posted 26 Dec 2018 3:03 pm    
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Just speculating: Has anybody considered that the ´EB´ on the bottom of the cast plate might indicate that this was made by or for Ernie Ball? FWIW, the ´B´ on that plate looks nothing like the ´B´ in the Bally logo.

Whatever, whenever and why ever, it sure is one cool guitar. Cool
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