- Durable hardware and tonewood
- Rich sound
- Ok electronics
Everyone wants to play an instrument. Some people take a leap of faith and actually do it, while others choose to keep it as a dream. Most times, people who do actually decide to play an instrument don’t really have the luxury of buying the most expensive and the highest quality instruments. While we all want the best, sometimes it is impossible (a.k.a. We don’t really have that moneyyy) BUT luckily there are models that will bring you the closest to your dream instrument. One of those instruments is Imperial Royal Hawaiian Classic-T Weissenborn Style Lap Steel Guitar, an instrument that balance quality and price. It’s great for beginners as well as intermediate players.
So if you are unsure of whether you want to invest money in a lap steel that costs over $300-400, the first thing you need to do is… well, it is obvious- DO the research! While you can find a lot (and I mean A LOT) of guitars and ukuleles at quite a decent price without any obvious quality issues, the same cannot be said about instruments like a lap steel. The quality of the material and workmanship really shows in these guitars and with this model you know that you have not wasted your money.
First of all, this lap steel has a mahogany top and Sapele back and sides. This model is pretty lightweight for its construction and Weissenborn. The neck is very comfortable and the overall playability of this instrument is what makes this model so beginner-friendly. One of the reasons why this lap steel is lightweight is that the depth of this Classic-T is a bit smaller than with other Weissenborns and I will be talking a bit about it in the sound section.
Imperial Guitars equipped this T style lap steel with a few high-end and functional details. For instance, you get gold and ebony “violin” tuners that work really well and don’t have issues with consistency or slippage. The bridge is a rosewood mustache while the binding is traditional “rope”. This adds not only to the aesthetical value but to the stability of the guitar. This lap steel, if not already a great bang for a buck, ships with a quality extra deep hardshell case included that will keep your instrument safe from all the possible damage.
Weissenborn Guitar Sound
This Classic-T offers some high-quality workmanship. And quality workmanship means good sound. While this specific model comes with pickup and preamps, this model sounds pretty amazing without that. Rich, deep sound along with balanced tone and crispiness is all you can ask for from a model that already offers great construction, hardware, and durability. As already mentioned this model is not as deep as some other Weissenborns. While it does make the instrument have a smaller sound, I don’t think it really makes a humongous difference when it comes to quality.
Okay, let’s talk a bit about electronics on this model. Imperial Guitars chose standard preamp with 4-bands of EQ. So you get simple under-saddle pickup and equalizer system. It is great for playing with high volumes and easy to use, optimized for use at higher volumes. This lap steel does not feature a built-in tuner or notch filter like some standard lat steels with electronics but that is not a big issue. All in all, I would say that while the electronics are not the best part of this model, they do quite a decent job to recreate the sound as authentically as possible.
Imperial Royal Hawaiian Classic-T Weissenborn Style Lap Steel Guitar might be quite a big investment, especially for a beginner who is unsure whether they will be using it for years and years. In our opinion, this model is one of the best lap steel guitars with electronics and it delivers on aspects that other models lack.
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