I’M NOT A SLIDE PLAYER, BUT WHEN I
do play slide, I play lap-style. Something
about it makes it easier for me to play in
tune, I like the ability to do bar slants, and
it certainly is in keeping with my neverending
quest to be more like Rob Ickes.
I dug the look and the vibe of the Peavey
Power Slide the first second I saw it—a lapsteel
that you don’t have to play on your
lap. This slick slide machine can also be
played standing up—either vertically or
horizontally—with the included Y-strap.
With a body that reminds me a little of
the awesome Guild X-79 (Rossington-Collins,
baby!), the Power Slide is built for
rock as much as any other style. The body’s
swooping lines are echoed in the neck and
peghead cosmetics as well. The big slug pole
pieces in the single humbucker are almost
the same size as the dot inlays, adding up
to a cool look.
I tuned the Power Slide to Dobro G (G,
B, D, G, B, D low to high), plugged it into an
Electroplex Rocket 22, and got my slide on.
To cut right to the chase, this thing is a blast
to play and it sounds great. The pickup has a
great blend of throaty power and jangly definition. At full volume I was able to get everything
from “In My Time of Dying” crying to
“Bad Motor Scooter” roar. At first I thought
the single pickup might limit my tonal options,
but then I discovered Peavey’s “coil-cut tone
pot with treble bleed circuit.” This is a beautifully
voiced control that lets you go from
humbucker to single-coil, or anywhere in
between. Where some humbuckers can get
thin sounding when split, this one sounds
sweet and round. Between the Volume knob
and this coil-cut feature, I could easily get a
big range of tones out of this thing.
In the recording studio, it’s hard to
describe how much vibe this instrument
brings to a song. Again, because my slide
chops are somewhat lacking, I can’t carry an
entire tune with it. But as an overdubbing
secret weapon, I absolutely love it. Spooky
glisses, delay-soaked ascensions, trippy vibratoed
chords—it’s hard not to use it on every
track. Admittedly, these are things you can
do on pretty much any lap-steel, but those
other laps don’t have the Power Slide’s tone.
What you can’t do with most lap-steels
is walk around on stage with them. With
the proprietary strap, the Power Slide
becomes a cool live tool. It balances well and
the design keeps most of the playing surface
to the left, where you need it. I found
most of the real estate past the 12th fret
marker to be difficult to access, however,
and I couldn’t really do bar slants in that
register. I wish the neck was even further
out to the left, although sliding around in
the first octave is great.
Some of us remember the Melobar, which
blazed a similar trail many decades ago. But
the Power Slide brings the concept of a lap-less
lap-steel to the masses. At this price, I can’t
see guitarists who are looking for inspiring
new sounds not adding one of these to their
CONTACT Peavey; peavey.com
MODEL Power Slide
PRICE $399 retail/$199 street
NUT WIDTH 2 1/8"
TUNERS Kluson-style vintage tuners
BRIDGE Chrome-plated steel
PICKUPS Single high-output splittable humbucker with ceramic bar magnet
CONTROLS Volume, Tone with coil-cut and treble-bleed circuit
FACTORY STRINGS Peavey .013-.053
WEIGHT 5.56 lbs
BUILT (country of origin) China
KUDOS Versatile design. Great tones. Unbelievable price.
CONCERNS Difficult to access entire playing range when standing.