resonator guitars

OM Flyer

Supporting Member
Messages
5,484
If you want a "bigger sound", I can vouch for the El Trovador. I think they're one of the most versatile of the Nationals
+1 on this. I played an El Trovador at Austin Vintage Guitars and had to leave quickly out of fear that I would buy it. The bass response and overall richness was jaw-dropping.
 
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bloozeman1

Supporting Member
Messages
1,826
OP here. I decided to go with a national and placed my order for a National wooden body reso rocket. Should be available in about 4 months as it is a custom build. I went way overboard on my budget of $1500 :dunno
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,681
I like the cutaway, IMO very useful if you play slide. :) I did a quick check, that one has a wood soundwell, not pressed metal
 

Pyritez

Member
Messages
218
Recording King makes some sweet ones for reasonable prices without going the route of the OP.
For actually playing. Not for just looking at and polishing, lol.
 

Crazyquilt

Guitar Dad
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,493
Great looking guitar. I didn't know pickups were a thing on reso's.
Hot Plates have been out for about ten years now, and more recently, National has been mounting pickups between the resonator and the fretboard. Mule also mounts pickups to the body. I've had a Hot Plate for ever, and it's kind of a mixed bag, to be honest. The main problem is intrinsic to resonators: They resonate, which makes them feedback monsters. Also, you're generally limited to nickel strings else the string balance is off. I use Martin Retro strings which are monel; they're more magnetically responsive than bronze, but less than nickel. But it's also really useful and I wouldn't trade it for anything (tho' I've rewired mine several times to get the pickup/cap value I want.)
 
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fjblair

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,089
Hot Plates have been out for about ten years now, and more recently, National has been mounting them between the resonator and the fretboard. Mule also mounts pickups to the body. I've had a Hot Plate for ever, and it's kind of a mixed bag, to be honest. The main problem is intrinsic to resonators: They resonate, which makes them feedback monsters. Also, you're generally limited to nickel strings else the string balance is off. I use Martin Retro strings which are monel; they're more magnetically responsive than bronze, but less than nickel. But it's also really useful and I wouldn't trade it for anything (tho' I've rewired mine several times to get the pickup/cap value I want.)
Thanks for the explanation, very interesting.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,803
Thakns, I'm looking for one that has that swampy mississippi delta sound, that has that "feel" if you know what I mean. I'm sure there are different models that would give me that. I'm assuming a tricone would have more of a bigger sound?
single cone, steel body for the swamp, imo. maybe even s-c with an old wood-body, ie: used.

tricone is smooth, beautiful..... does not usually punch like a cranky croc down in the swamp.
ymmv.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,803
Nope. Not gonna do that! If, and that's a big if, I get another National, which I need like another hole in my head, it's going to be wood. There are times when you just don't want to deal with a 9 or 10 lb guitar. Am I right Les Paul players?! :p
pretty sure my old steel duolian weighs more than 10lbs!
now i'm gonna check.
 

darkwave

Member
Messages
227
Wow - that was pretty monstrous (in the most complimentary way).

I have a budget Rogue brass body single cone that I've dissected and tweaked for several years now. I liked the tone options it initially gave me, but the workmanship was atrocious when I got it. I also wasn't interested in playing primarily bottleneck blues with it, I just wanted the unique tone.

I re-carved the neck into something comfortable, radiused and re-fretted the fretboard, made a compensated biscuit for better intonation and action, and replaced the tailpiece with a rigid string anchor to stop an obnoxious resonance. Recently I swapped to a National cone and added a felt gasket for better bass. It's been a long-term endeavor.

I've tried a few different pickup systems on this, mostly hack experiments. I'm pretty happy with my current system that mixes a Fishman Neo-D humbucker with a body mounted transducer near the lower F-hole. I use it with phosphor bronze strings which the Fishman balances well with - the Fishman provides feedback-free fundamentals while the transducer can be blended in to get a bit of the cloudy body honk and resonance. It is a very workable tone as-is, but can be improved a touch if EQ or an Aura pedal are available. So far I'm happy enough without the added hassle. I'm going for a relatively realistic acoustic sound, not anything gritty or electric in nature.

They are odd beasts to try and conquer.

-Douglas C.


Yes. Yes, they do.

 




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