Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

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Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (3001) » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:45 am

]Quite a bit newby over here.

Some context/bout myself: I'm just starting up with a lapsteel, I have always loved the sound. I picked up a zither randomly at an antique shop, a nice one from the 30s or so, and started loving the hell out of it playing with it on my lap. Hours of research later, looking at buying dulcimers, taishogotos, and a bunch of other folk instruments ended up pursuing lap guitars. Saw the Silver Hawaiian and could not resist. I've always wanted to play guitar, but with a broken finger in my left hand that didn't heal quite right it was always difficult, I'm hoping the slide will help a bit with that.

Musically I have been playing keyboards/synthesizers(mainly vintage, modular, buchla, serge, etc.) for about 25 years now, I've dropped down my setup quite a bit(just moved from NYC to Denver), and told myself I wouldnt' spend too much on instruments again, hahah(one of the modulars ended up being worth about $30-40,000...):

The fun stuff: scoured the internet for quite a while looking up other instruments for recording until I came onto a hawaiian silver, I originally was anticipating only spending a certain amount. But I couldn't resist, and now have this bugger on it's way:
116879167_10163745748785265_6871694900586677045_n.jpg
. But...now I need an amp. And I would love some suggestions!

I've read a number of Amp threads on forums, but in 2020 there seem to be A LOT more options. Do I go vintage, do I go modern? Reissue? I've heard 15w tube is the way to go? I'm looking to just have some fun, learning a new instrument with muscle memory, and also record it to the stuff I normally do(some what space music?): https://soundcloud.com/hal3001 for additional context.


I have an SSL soundcard for recording with focal 65s for monitors, and a waldorf quantum for processing/synth noodling...so in some regards I wonder...should I just get a nice tube preamp to go into the SSL? And use VSTs for processing?

I'm trying to keep my costs down abit. And i'd love to spend as little as possible, $500 would really be the upper range, I didn't expect to spend so much money yesterday...but it is what it is. I've seen a few bundled laps with the matching amp...it's made me ponder.... Do I get a Model B backlite with it's amp just because as a combo both will offset their cost? hahah... hmmm. :?


Any suggestions! And thank you for this forum, it's fantastic...I've learned a lot reading about!


Oh and I a complete idiot jumping straight into a silver hawaiian? I actually accidentally bought another lap last night too, so I guess I've got a second coming to ....a 40s National(I forgot to retaract my bid) :roll:
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (3001) » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:51 pm

...so on a friend's suggestion picked up a pignose for some lofi, and I think I'm going to be picking up a blackheart little giant tube amp found locally.

Am I going the right route?
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (cjj) » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:26 am

I've found a Sansamp RPM makes a good preamp for steel. I haven't done any playing through speakers though, just headphones. Plenty of options for sound...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (3001) » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:11 pm

Update: I went a little amp crazy...bought a blackheart, fender junior blues, and a pignose... :lol:

Now onto pedals and what not, I picked up a boss re20 which I liked a lot(had almost all the space echos, found it greaT). I'm thinking about going overtop and picking up an echoplex ep2... cryptos did well this week!...

Also eying a canyon pedal...ehx sounds really nice and clear...

Reverbs...I am a reverb whore...but I used to love the eventide h8000fw for it, and the high end lexicons like 224xls... but...pedal wise? I like the big sky, and blue sky, and space... but I feel they've got too "signature" a sound that has been over used.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (3001) » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:15 pm

cjj wrote:I've found a Sansamp RPM makes a good preamp for steel. I haven't done any playing through speakers though, just headphones. Plenty of options for sound...



Thank you for your input by the way!
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (jdogric12) » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:04 pm

One of my favorite vintage amps these days is an early 50's Gibson GA-90. My '38 Model 59 sounds killer through it. but it soudns killer through anything honestly lol
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (scott_s) » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:36 pm

jdogric12 wrote:One of my favorite vintage amps these days is an early 50's Gibson GA-90. My '38 Model 59 sounds killer through it. but it soudns killer through anything honestly lol


I don't know much about Gibson amps, so I looked that one up. Very cool setup! Bet it has a healthy amount of gain on tap. 8)
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Re: Amp to go with a Silver Hawaiian? 2020 version

Postby (jdogric12) » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:26 am

I have really enjoyed running a Rick 12 through it too. Its tube warmth nicely darkens any source. It's the holy grail of harmonica amps for this reason. It tames a Rick 12's highs wonderfully.
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