If you look close at various model lap and pedal steel pickups you will find that the majority of them have a higher DC resistance, more turns and more sustain than a typical guitar pickup. Sho-bud, Emmon's and after market lap and steel guitar pickups have more turns to increase sustain but will have reduced high-end. The pickups are moved closer to the bridge to regain treble with increased sustain or signal sensitivity. If you would put the hotter wound pickup farther away from the bridge, you would notice the pickup was louder but all the highs were reduced.
If you put an average sounding pickup in your lap steel, I would suggest a few things to do. Have the pickup wound hotter by adding more turns to your existing pickup called tapping by using the same gauge or one gauge smaller to add more turns. If your coil is full try using one gauge smaller that will give you more space to add more turns. Using the smaller gauge magnet wire will also reduce high end in the pickup.
WRITTEN ON JUNE 12, 2015, BY