Gretsch G5700 Lap Steel review

A newly refreshed lap steel from Gretsch, with bags of style

Gretsch G5700 Lap Stee
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

It might be basic, but it captures a pretty throaty single-coil sound that suits pseudo pedal-steel cleans, especially with outboard compression and reverb, and a volume pedal to add the swells.


  • +

    Perfectly good retro-style lap steel.

  • +

    Voicing suits both clean and dirty slide styles.


  • -

    The string spacing is slightly cramped.

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Back in the 1930s, the ‘electric Hawaiian’ guitar pretty much beat the ‘electric Spanish’ instrument to market. Post-war, the Spanish style began its ascendency and the lap steel became more niche.

It differs from the later pedal steel in numerous ways, not least that it doesn’t have any pedals. As its name suggests, it’s simply played on your lap (table or keyboard stand), and while console steels – one or more necks in different tunings with legs – had their day, the lap steel remains devilishly simple for today’s musician. 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.