Lapdancer Steel

Art that carries at tune
Art that carries at tune

Hearing we were set to receive lapsteel to review, we thought “Finally, something we’re qualified to review!”

Then the Lapdancer arrived in its huge case, and we thought, “It’s a regular old guitar?”

Eh eh. Far from it. True, the Lapdancer isn’t your grandpa’s steel guitar. But it’s also beyond the realm of your typical electric six-string player, as well. If at first glance we were confused by its purpose, we were certainly clear on one thing: the Lapdancer is the most beautiful and unique lapsteel we’ve ever seen.

Constructed of a single piece of Honduras mahogany with a chambered Koa neck, our prototype test unit is an absolute work of art; the maple fret lines and neck binding contrast nicely with the koa and mahogany, and the fret markers are actually holes drilled into the neck chamber.

The strings rest on an ebony nut and Koa bridge with a Graph-tech saddle terminating through the body. A clear satin finish, gold Grover Imperial tuners, and amber tophat knobs finish the visual accents.

The Lapdancer’s electronics are centered around a custom seven-string Seymour Duncan humbucking pickup housed in a Brazilian rosewood cover and controlled by knobs for volume and tone, and a push/pull pot for series/parallel wiring of the coils (production models have a splitter instead).

The lapdancer came to us tuned to C5 – a standard in Hawaiian and Western Swing music. We plugged it into one of our favorite tube combo amps and weren’t surprised by the huge, rich tone. But we expected that from a guitar of this quality. Only a minor polepiece adjustment to the G string was needed to balance out the strings. The tone was very clear and punchy, which made us want to add pedals and knee levers. In the hands of an adept steel player, this guitar’s tone could whisk one off to a white-sand beach in the tropics, or maybe to a Texas dance hall (given our skills on it, though, you might need a few Margaritas for effect!).

Excellent craftsmanship, materials, and design make the Lapdancer an extremely gorgeous instrument, aesthetically and aurally.

Lapdancer Steel
Type of Guitar: hollow-neck lapsteel.
Features: Hand-made of Koa and mahogany, chambered neck, seven-string Seymour Duncan pickup.
Price: $2,100.
Contact: Loni Specter Productions, 7104 Deveron Ridge Rd., West Hills, CA 91307, phone (818) 992-0745,

This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display