Best bang-for-buck resonator?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by openbar, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd like to keep it under $500, but all opinions are welcome.
     
  2. RadackGuitars

    RadackGuitars Supporting Member

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    heard good things about Republic resonators.
    they have a cool looking aged tricone.
     
  3. bek

    bek Member

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    Republic is the deal. Similar prices and features to the other imports, but Frank gets the big necks and slot-heads and better quality in general, plus some models you don't find just anywhere. Just got a relic tricone and it's a killer. More like $600-ish, but worth it. His other models are cheaper, especially the non-relic single-cones. Liberty is good, too, I hear, but I would not hestitate a second to call Republic. I don't know how long he will be able to keep his prices down. http://www.republicguitars.com/
     
  4. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    Well that was easy, that Republic with the island motif is drool-worthy. Thanks guys!
     
  5. bek

    bek Member

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    This is the good stuff, and Frank will set it up with whatever action you like. He ships fast and packs well. The case is nice, too.
     
  6. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    Glad to hear it. Once my tax return comes in, he's getting a call, I'll post pix.
     
  7. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Republic is top notch and Frank is a good guy with a good product.
    Great selection at a good price too!

    I wanted a National (of course!) but now I'm going to go with Frank.
    National is great but what I can get from Frank and at the right price it's the way to go for me and I don't mind spending the money for a National either so it's not about that.

    Frank's resos play and sound great.
     
  8. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    im looking for one as well - its hard to find in uk

    whats teh best site to look at?
     
  9. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I have a Johnson Style O with a real National cone and biscuit. It is a very fine guitar with the mods. Those Republics look very good. If they were avialable when I got my Johnson, they would be in the running for sure.
     
  10. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Those Republics look like a good deal. I got a Liberty as a christmas gift, and I'm really happy with it. They're definately worth checking out as well.
     
  11. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    OK, I need an education. Other than exrtra money, what's the difference between the tricone and single cone?

    For someone who has never picked up a slide and a resonator would not be a main instrument, is the single cone a decent guitar?


    Thanks
     
  12. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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  13. bek

    bek Member

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    The single-cone is fine. I have a 1930's Regal dobro as well as the new Republic. Mine is a spider-bridge rather than a biscuit, and a wooden body rather than brass. Most single-cones for bottleneck are biscuit bridges, most for bluegrass are spider bridges. The main deal is that the classic delta blues sound is a bit sharp and choppy (I think of a Strat, sort of) and was usually made with a metal-bodied biscuit-bridge single-cone. The longer-sustain, sweeter, singing tone is generated from a wooden-bodied spider-bridge. This is more commonly used in bluegrass. I think more of an LP. My Regal sounds thicker and sweeter than the tricone, whereas the tricone has a more open, ringing tone (almost 12-string-like) which can be made more metallic with the right picking attack. Of course the Regal is 70 years old with genuine Dobro cone, etc., and the Republic is new and not Dobro, so there is a lot of difference in some ways. I expect the tricone to sound even better as it settles in a bit. I never was a big one for the quicker note and sharp decay of the biscuit bridge, but in a wooden body it would be cool. Of course this is all a matter of personal taste. I like sweet with a long singing sustain, so my guitars give me that. I will probably buy one of Frank's Miniolians one day, though. Far too cool not to. Check the links on the Republic site; Bottleneck John does a real pretty-sounding thing with a Miniolian.
     
  14. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    Yeah the tri cone and single cone are just different flavors like a strat and a tele. One isn't better than the other. The tri-cones are more traditionally associated with traditional acoustic strumming, while the single cones are more associated with bottle neck slide tones. Both styles can be played on both. The tri-cones are a little more refined (think Les Paul versus Les Paul Jr.) than the single cones.
     
  15. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting analogies----I always figured that there was a correlation 'twixt a player's electroplank of choice and the subsequent gravitational pull of a single cone v. a tricone, and I've always had a more-than-idle curiosity about the perceptions of other electric guitar players and their p'up preferences relative to what kind of reso sound they prefer; I'm a single coil guy ( all my electrics are Fender-type or Ric single coils or various P-90s) and I DEFINITELY prefer tricones, w/ a bias towards a steel body over brass (I HAD to have one of each), albeit I think the Nat'l.-Resophonic wood bodied El Trovador is the one single cone that is ALMOST as sweet and rich as the tricone (certainly more so than the that company's wood bodied Estralitas or M1). The tricones seem sweeter/richer/purer than the single cones, and capable of greater variety in tone and timbre, and the sustain and oft-commented-upon "reverbiness" of the tricone is a ver' lovely and droolsome thang...IMHO.
     
  16. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I don't know where you get the strumming thing... tricones were originally made for slide, specifically Hawaiian style playing and most of the vintage ones were made with square necks to play lap-style. They are generally sweeter and quieter with more sustain than the single cone guitars, which are louder and more raw sounding and usually used more for blues, but like you say there are no rules and you can play any style you want on either guitar.

    I prefer the sound of the steel bodied guitars rather than the plated brass which can be kind of dull sounding. A pal of mine did have a very nice Johnson tricone that he paid about $600 for, but they vary a lot, try to play one before buying if possible.
     
  17. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    The first part of the post is historically right on. But, also, Tampa Red used his tricone for a hybrid bottle-neck+ragtime picking, and Oscar Aleman distinguished himself as "the Django of Argentina" playing tricone in a swing style, using it for chop chords as well as speedy single note runs. Brozman (and the Nat'l-Reso guys) HAVE touted the tricone as having much wider applications than slide (although Brozman also claims that controlling the sustain/"reverby" quality of a tricaone can make extra demands on the player re: note articulation when fingerpicking/"ragging" at speed); I love mine for lazz (esp. chord melodies) as well as blues, rockabilly, and (inept) faux-"gypsy"/gitane shtuff.
     
  18. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got a Dean GLC Resonator and I like it for the money. All mahogany plus it has a pickup.
     
  19. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have/had Dobros, Libertys, & Johnson metal body. The best playing, sounding resonator I have is a Fender FR50CE- the cutaway one with he pickups. I do not care for the non-electric, non cutaway Fenders- they are heavy & dead sounding. The FR50CE (spider bridge) is built differently and is very light & resonant - plays great, sustains wonderfully and is loud. ($350 used/mint) Both Libertys I had had serious QC issues- some real shortcuts were taken and both required some real work to get playing decently. With a Quarterman cone upgrade the Johnson is quite good.
     
  20. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    BTW, "lazz" is lazy-ass jazz, I guess.
     

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