Bronson Singing Electric Lap Steel Electric Guitar, made by Valco (1952)

Bronson Singing Electric Lap Steel Electric Guitar, made by Valco  (1952)

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Item # 8742
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Bronson Singing Electric Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar, made by Valco (1952), made in Chicago, serial # X-12311, blue/grey celluloid finish, hardwood body, original brown hard shell case.

The Bronson Company was a Detroit-based spinoff of the Oahu publishing empire that did a similar business selling Hawaiian guitar arrangements to teaching studios, and instruments to go with them. Bronson products were always designed to be classy-looking, and are often of better quality than their Oahu counterparts. Bronson was fond of adding gold-plated accents to their instruments, and this steel presents a visual symphony of blue-grey pearloid and gold to stunning effect!

Most Bronson-labeled instruments were Hawaiian guitars, by the 1940s primarily electric lap steels. The firm was supplied by several different subcontractors including Rickenbacker and Regal. This fancy-looking 1952-era steel is an example of a mid-line Bronson -- most of them were basic student-grade models. It was made by Valco in Chicago and is generally similar to the Supro and National brand instruments that company marketed themselves. It uses the same great-sounding steel pickup unit with adjustable poles under a metal coverplate as many other Valco products, primarily Supro-branded ones. This unit has lately become popular on regular electric guitar custom builds -- often called "CooderCasters" -- for its powerful overdrive facility.

All the hardware on this guitar is gold-plated, including the entire pickup assembly. A plastic cover is fitted over the bridge and pickup area to protect the gold plating from rapid wear. The swirling pearloid patterns on the body are further offset by a gold-and-cream back-painted Lucite fingerboard and cream knobs. The headstock is faced in pearloid with the "Bronson Singing electric" logo beautifully incised and painted on a two-tone metal plate, and fitted with gold-plated Kluson deluxe tuners with gold sparkle plastic buttons. This is a powerful-sounding and very unique-looking 1950s steel guitar, one of the more distinctive of the Populuxe era.
 
Overall length is 32 1/8 in. (81.6 cm.), 7 in. (17.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth at side. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

This steel is all original and very clean with just some light wear, mostly to the gold plating. It sounds great and comes with the original cloth-covered Amphenol cord which is amazingly still working fine. We can also supply an adaptor allowing any standard phone cord to be used. A neat and very attractive steel complete in its original rectangular hard case. Excellent Condition.