Dating valco amps
The first professional-quality Valco solidbody had arrived.Part II: Apogee However, Valco was hardly a company to rest on its laurels.This famous (or, more accurately, infamous) pickup is often described as a piezoelectric unit, but it is actually a regular electromagnetic pickup with a coil in the base of the bridge and two magnetic polepieces suspended from the saddle.The result was a primitive attempt to replicate the sound of an acoustic guitar that was unique but not very successful.The bound neck was bolted on and inlayed with fancy parallelogram fret markers.
Some models were available with Bigsby vibratos or Valcos own vibrato design, and the Silver-sound pickup was introduced.
These pre-war electric instruments are fairly rare today, though the lap steels pop up with some regularity.
The archtop bodies for the guitars were sourced from Regal and then from Kay, but the electronics were developed and manufactured by National-Dobro.
The new name came from the first initials of the owners (Victor Smith, Al Frost and Louis Dopyera), thus V. Starting in 1947, a new serial number system was adopted that allows for reasonably accurate dating of instruments.
Valco quickly became one of the leading manufacturers of lap steels, alongside Magnatone, Gibson and Rickenbacker, and the company also sold acoustic guitars with National necks and bodies by Gibson.
Valco also experimented briefly with other electronic devices like the Supro Stereo Converter, which took a mono input and sent the high frequencies to one amp and the bass frequencies to another.