Featuring a solid Poplar body, original early 1952 Clarostat pots and original red Astron capacitor, the tone this fabulous Magnatone lap steel puts out is absolutely heavenly! Unlike some of their contemporaries, the fifties Magnatones are revered by musicians worldwide for their standout, almost acoustic sound.
The grey “perloid” finish, (aka mother-of-toilet-seat, aka MOTS), is in overall excellent condition, the black flocking on the rear is 99% intact, and the only non-original part is one screw, (and screw hole), on the electrics coverplate, (see pic # 8).
The sum of the parts
Sometimes things just come together perfectly – “the sum of the parts, etc” – and really, there’s not that much here: two pots; one wax impregnated paper & foil capacitor; one pickup, six strings; and some timber. But, oh, how magically it all combines!
Magnatone advertised the MOTS as “seamless pearl plastic covering”, and it could be had in a medium blue, black, and our grey here, which is probably the most stylish of the options.
One thing that makes these unique in the world of vintage lap steels, is the “buried pickup”. You’ll notice – or not – in pic # 7, that there’s no pickup visible, and that the pickup cover is quite low. People speculate that part of the sweet tone derives from Magnatone’s decision to cover all of the guitar in the perloid wrap, including the pickup! (Or perhaps they were concealing trade secrets…?)
Anyway, it plays great, sounds great, and includes the great bonus of a vintage Nick Manoloff bakelite* tone bar, made in Chicago and first marketed sometime around 1937.
Your 1952 Magnatone lap steel will arrive in its original alligator pattern Geib chipboard case, (see pics 4, 5, 6 & 8), and SHIPS FREE to any address in Australia
*If you’d like to be prepared for your next trivia night, Bakelite was the trademarked name of an early form of plastic, a heat-set phenol formaldehyde resin, with the instantly memorable chemical moniker, polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride!