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Post new topic Mellow Strings for C 6th Lap Steel
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Author Topic:  Mellow Strings for C 6th Lap Steel
Russell Baker

Owego NY, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jul 2019 4:36 pm    
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Recently I changed out the pickup and electronics and nut on my Gretsch Electromatic Lap Steel.

I bought some GHS Custom Shop 15-36 strings.

I'm not real happy with the sound.

The C E G aren't too bad but the A C E strings sound sorta rinky dink. A little tinny I guess.

I'm looking for suggestions.

I prefer a full mellow sound.
(yea I know that really helps)

R.E. Baker
There's lots more of me where I come from!
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Robert Allen

Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jul 2019 5:22 pm    
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Try the SIT Scotty's semi-flat lap steel strings. I don't like them because they are too mellow for me. PM your address and I'll send you a set that I'll never use.
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Nic Neufeld

Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 17 Jul 2019 3:12 am    
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Well most of the difference in various kinds of strings is in the wound strings (type, composition of the windings, etc). What you seem displeased with are mostly the plain steel unwounds ...which largely don't vary much between manufacturer (in my limited opinion). Maybe step a bit back and see if there are other variables influencing the sound. Some of my steels I make heavy use of the tonepot on, and the amp settings are always skewed warm/bassy, for me to like the sound.
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Joe Major

Florida, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jul 2019 6:15 am     Mellower
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Hey Russell,
I guess my obvious question is what pickup did you use, and what pot and capacitor values? Seem like those factors would have more to do with tone than the strings. Also, did you try just adjusting the pickup farther away from the strings? That might make it mellower.
"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from...poor judgement."

'54 Fender D-8 Dual Pro, Magnatone G-65-W6, Tweed 5F1 Champ
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Stephen Cowell

Round Rock, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jul 2019 7:01 am    
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Turn down the tone control... after some playing that tone will go away. You can try some heavier strings on that end too. Mellowest would be flatwounds... you’d have to piece together a set from regular guitar strings... I’ve done this and it works fine.
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Bill Groner

Post  Posted 17 Jul 2019 3:56 pm    
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I like Scotty's SIT strings and turn down the tone. I also pick around the 12th when possible. My favorite guitar has a sweet spot around the 9th fret. It sounds a lot like Bobby Ingano's frypan........well sort of...Probably would if he played it. Yeah, that one string on it is a Scotty's. The other 5 were too.

Currently own, 5 Gronertone lap steels.
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Don Barnhardt

North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2019 2:35 pm    
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That new nut might be your culprit.
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Gene Tani

The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 24 Jul 2019 1:06 am    
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I've spent some time deplinking recently, PSG and non-pedals:

First make sure tuners, nut, bridge, tailpiece are all securely bolted down. Then look at string heights and tensions, they should be even, strings that are too low are definitely plinky. Try swapping e.g. wound .022 for unwound, and maybe increasing breakover angle at the nut w/string tree or wraps around tuning post (I'm going to assume you don't hae a roller nut, which can be source of problems)
- Rukavina and Sonny Jenkins laps, stage 1
- The secret sauce: polyester adidas sweatpants to buff your picks, 5 compressor pedals, Diet Mountain Dew
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