Console steel guitar
The console steel guitar is a type of electric steel guitar intermediate between the lap steel guitar and the pedal steel guitar. Console steel guitars typically have multiple necks and/or more than six strings per neck, and are too large to be easily played in lap steel fashion.
They are particularly favoured in Hawaiian music, especially the twin neck eight string per neck configuration. Don Helms played a Gibson Console with Hank Williams. Also, Hank Williams III's steel guitar player Andy Gibson plays a Fender Dual Professional steel guitar. Kayton Roberts, who also played with Hank Williams III, used this same particular model as well.
Console steel guitars most commonly have eight strings per neck, with six or seven strings less common and mainly on older instruments. Up to four necks is not unusual, as without the benefit of pedals, the player has only as many tunings available as there are necks, but two necks are most common. As with the pedal steel guitar, the neck closest to the player is most commonly C6 tuning, and the next closest E9 tuning.
The line between electric lap steel guitar and console steel guitar is fuzzy, with a great deal of overlap. Some makers and authorities do not use the term console steel guitar at all, but refer to any steel guitar without pedals as a lap steel guitar. In 1956, Gibson was selling an 8+8 string with folding legs as a lap steel guitar, but this particular instrument is unplayable in lap steel fashion; The Fender Stringmaster with up to four necks was also described as a lap steel guitar in some Fender catalogs, while in others it was simply described as a steel guitar.
- George Boards