Iseman Hawaiian Lap Steel – Custom
This is an Iseman Koa Weissenborn Style Guitar
Aesthetically this guitar was created and designed by Matthew Nigro for personal use at the time as co-owner of Iseman Guitars, The Serial Number reads Serial #: Nigro-001
This is definitely a unique item I built and we had a number of custom orders based off this exact model, which we gave the nickname the FishFace.
This particular instrument sounds incredible and I hate to see it go, but I have some new builds on the way. Whoever I sell this to just know I would love to buy it back a few years down the road.
The Instrument is in USED Condition. The instrument has player scratches around the picking area, and the rosette, and a few minor scratches around the instrument. No cracks, fully functioning. There is a slight belly that may occur, especially with high tension tunings that are not slacked and stored over a long period of time. I always keep the tension off unless playing. This is indicative of most traditional weissenborn builds and proper care is a must.
~ Iseman’s Lap Steel’s were 100% Handcrafted in their shop in the Kaka’ako District of Honolulu, Hawai’i. This guitar is made from strictly ‘Fallen’ Big Island Koa. This Hawaiian Koa is only taken when the tree is dead, it is never cut, and it can only be locally sourced and used. The Koa is from the Slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa at an elevation about 5000 ft, known locally as the best. This is handpicked and milled into large cants, which we then mill and air dry for instrument grade use. We source Koa that is very consistent, dense and not too mention highly figured. Typically we source aged trees that have lived their life out and have developed a great density and figure, which produces a better sound. The guitar is finished with a shellac and oil combination, which is an older method that was used by Hermann from 1916 to 1926. At the time Hermann also had a great source of dense Hawaiian Koa that was air dried, rather than kiln dried, which he used for nearly all his weissenborn builds. This era was known as the best sounding Lap Steels that he has produced, and it also gives credit to this finish process, before he switched to Lacquer. This is a similar method used by Stradivarius on his violins, which today sell for upwards of a million dollars, and many credit the sound to the Shellac and Oil combination he used. The thin layer of shellac/oil enhance the soundboard and brings out the natural tone and complexities of the Koa. This Guitar sounds beautiful and rich with deep complex tones with an almost infinite Resonance. This Koa is a very superior tonewood with a beautifully crisp even range and large volume output.
Binding: African Padauk – back, top and around the headstock
Rosettes: 1 large and 2 small Soundholes surrounded by African Padauk and Inlayed Lanikai Beach Sand.
Fretboard: Ebony with Koa Fretmarkers & Lanikai Beach Sand Inlay Position Markers with Koa Hawaiian Island Chain Inlay. Bound with matching Padauk.
Bridge: Handcarved Ebony and Padauk Bridge
Tuners: Grover 18:1 Sta-tite Tuners. Open Gear.
Bracing: is an X- pattern bracing made of Sitka Spruce. Bracing pattern has thicker braces, larger bridge plate, and is very structually sound creating a larger volume soundboard.
Headstock: Handcarved from Mahogany.
Upper Bout: 10.3”
Lower Bout: 15.5”