resonator guitars

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
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1,826
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.
This national would kill a recording king. And trust me it's not for looking at and polishing. You're being kind of presumptuous and presumptive aren't you?
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,672
Just a comment for those for those interested in electrification. I did this fully reversible conversion on my early National:





The pickup is a plastic bobbin strat single coil under the coverplate, with the alnico slugs pushed up to make firm contact with the plate. On top of the plate are four RE buttons that act as a bridge between the pickups and the string. The socket is an endpin type mounted on a plate, and held in place with double-sided tape and the tailpiece. I used it for a long while for gigging, it had a good acoustic tone.
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
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1,826
what guage and brand strings do you guys use to play your resonator and what material for slide? Glass? Porcelain? Brass? My new national resonator strings run 12 to 52 and I beleive im going to have to get a heavier guage for slide playing and also not sure which type of slide would be best suited for that swampy Mississippi delta feel and vibe
 

Tony Done

Member
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5,672
I use Ernie Ball 13-56 nickel plated steel, because the resos have magnetic pickups. I buy a 7-string 10-56 set, and use the light six (10-46) on some electrics, and the heavy six (13-56) on the resos. This usually leaves me with some spare 56s, so I then buy 10-46 sets and use the heavy five from those with the spare 56s when necessary. It's a compromise that avoids ordering by mail.

I use genuine (home-made) bottlenecks with light strings and/or a low action and heavy brass with heavy strings and a high action. I've found that brass isn't as scratchy as harder materials like chrome plate. I use glass to avoid damaging the frets by hammering the strings into them.
 

Crazyquilt

Guitar Dad
Silver Supporting Member
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4,493
Go to 13s. You can even put a .015 or .016 as a top string. Slide materials are personal, but, as a general rule, more mass = more sustain, and a smoother surface=more sustain and clearer voice. My personal favorite is a Latch Lake Acoustiglide, which are heavy tapered brass, but there are no right or wrong answers. For strings, I really like Martin Retros; the Tony Rice set is a nice medium-light that sits well between 12s & 13s. I do have John Pearse phosphor bronze on a guitar or two, but I can't do that with the guitars with magnetic pickups. I've also used GHS White Bronze with the Hot Plate, which are brighter and more magnetically reactive than monel. I really like monel on woodbodies.
 
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OM Flyer

Supporting Member
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5,476
I use both .013s and .012s. I haven't heard a huge difference in volume or tone, but the lighter gauge is more comfortable for fingerstyle, while the heavier gauge supports the slide better and seems to sustain longer (I think).

I've got all manner of slides, from glass to brass to ceramic. Each has its appeal. My current favorite is this bullet-tip brass slide, from Rock Slides. Love the finger contour:

BTRS-SMP-MB.jpg
 

Tommy Biggs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,113
I'm good with 12s on my National. I like the Brass tapered Acoustiglide slide best, Ceramic second best.
I've never tried any of the 'plastic' slides, and I saw somebody has an Ebony one out. I like them not too slippery. I do have a really heavy chrome that I like too.
I like glass -but I hate breaking them. I have an OLD coricidin bottle that was my go to for a long time, but I don't really use it any more.
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
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1,826
Thanks for the advice guys. I will try the 13 set. I've seen alot of people online recommend the ddadario ej17s on their resonator. I'll check out a few mentioned.
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
Messages
1,826
Go to 13s. You can even put a .015 or .016 as a top string. Slide materials are personal, but, as a general rule, more mass = more sustain, and a smoother surface=more sustain and clearer voice. My personal favorite is a Latch Lake Acoustiglide, which are heavy tapered brass, but there are no right or wrong answers. For strings, I really like Martin Retros; the Tony Rice set is a nice medium-light that sits well between 12s & 13s. I do have John Pearse phosphor bronze on a guitar or two, but I can't do that with the guitars with magnetic pickups. I've also used GHS White Bronze with the Hot Plate, which are brighter and more magnetically reactive than monel. I really like monel on woodbodies.
I have a wood body national reso rockett. So maybe the Martin monel tony rice setmay be what I'm looking for
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
Messages
1,826
Go to 13s. You can even put a .015 or .016 as a top string. Slide materials are personal, but, as a general rule, more mass = more sustain, and a smoother surface=more sustain and clearer voice. My personal favorite is a Latch Lake Acoustiglide, which are heavy tapered brass, but there are no right or wrong answers. For strings, I really like Martin Retros; the Tony Rice set is a nice medium-light that sits well between 12s & 13s. I do have John Pearse phosphor bronze on a guitar or two, but I can't do that with the guitars with magnetic pickups. I've also used GHS White Bronze with the Hot Plate, which are brighter and more magnetically reactive than monel. I really like monel on woodbodies.
Come to find out I have john pearse 13s on my national reso rockett. But im having a slight issue with the low E string staying in tune. Its a little flat and I find myself getting frustrated by having to tune it up then strumming an.open E chord and its out a little. Is this common on new resonators? Could it be that the guitar is so new that the strings haven't stretched fully out yet? I have a 6k national with tuning issues and im not happy with that at all. So.much so that I asked to return it to the factory to have them take a look at it again which they said to send it back and they would go over it
 

OM Flyer

Supporting Member
Messages
5,476
im having a slight issue with the low E string staying in tune. Its a little flat and I find myself getting frustrated by having to tune it up then strumming an.open E chord and its out a little. Is this common on new resonators? Could it be that the guitar is so new that the strings haven't stretched fully out yet?
I don't know of any specific issues regarding keeping strings in tune on a resonator; mechanically, it's no different than any other guitar, really. Sometimes intonation up the neck can be tricky, because the saddle isn't compensated. I'd probably let the strings break in a bit more, and if it persists try another brand. That said, I love Pearse PBs, and find them to be very consistent.
 

Crazyquilt

Guitar Dad
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,493
That sounds like string-stretching to me as well. It's hard for me to imagine a tuner being that bad on pretty much any guitar except the very lowest quality, and I don't think I've ever gotten a dud Pearse string. If the strings were loosened for travel, that can exacerbate the problem.
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
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1,826
That sounds like string-stretching to me as well. It's hard for me to imagine a tuner being that bad on pretty much any guitar except the very lowest quality, and I don't think I've ever gotten a dud Pearse string. If the strings were loosened for travel, that can exacerbate the problem.
When the resonator was delivered, it had the strings extremely loose on the fretboard and tissue paper was placed between the strings and fretboard. So I beleive it's just a string stretching issue, I now have the guitar tuned to open G and it plays and sounds great
 

rockabilly69

Supporting Member
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1,772
As for slides I like a glass (thicker the better) and brass (med heavy). The more polished the better, as I don't like drag from the slides. I can't really recommend any one brand string because I'm always switching it up. I do like heavy John Pearce phosphor bronze strings on my National Western D spider cone though. When I'm recording and using the instrument acoustically I use Phosphor Bronze Strings, when I'm playing on stage I like Nickel for the magnetic pickups I use in my biscuit and tricone resonator resonators.
 

bloozeman1

Supporting Member
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1,826
As for slides I like a glass (thicker the better) and brass (med heavy). The more polished the better, as I don't like drag from the slides. I can't really recommend any one brand string because I'm always switching it up. I do like heavy John Pearce phosphor bronze strings on my National Western D spider cone though. When I'm recording and using the instrument acoustically I use Phosphor Bronze Strings, when I'm playing on stage I like Nickel for the magnetic pickups I use in my biscuit and tricone resonator resonators.
how would you descibe the differences tonally from the phosphor bronze to the nickel for the resonator?
 

rockabilly69

Supporting Member
Messages
1,772
how would you descibe the differences tonally from the phosphor bronze to the nickel for the resonator?
To my ears, nickel strings have a warmer rounder sound, and they have better string balance with my particular pickups (Flatbucker and Krivo).
 
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