Resonator guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by fish78, Feb 16, 2009.


  1. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    Tell me all about them...
     
  2. airwarrior

    airwarrior Member

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    They sound really good when they are played well.
     
  3. Hound Dog61

    Hound Dog61 Member

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    I love mine, it is a cheapie, but it always draws compliments about how nice it looks and it also sounds too cool.
     
  4. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Here's mine: A Vintage Steel Tricone with a standard (not square) neck.

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    Tone somewhere between acoustic and electric, but not really...

    You can play any kind of music on a good one.

    Tricones sustain a bit better and respond to a light touch a bit better while single cones holler more and respond to a firm touch a bit better.

    National rules!

    Try nickel strings on one...


    dc
     
  5. Hound Dog61

    Hound Dog61 Member

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  6. blueshawk1

    blueshawk1 Member

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    I have a Brownsville round neck acoustic/electric I really like, it's reall cool sounding plugged in;

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  7. Ransome

    Ransome Supporting Member

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    I love mine enough to get it put under my skin...

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    I have a few Republic resos and can't speak highly enough of Frank and his guitars! My main relic is starting to to sink in well, they start to sound fuller after a while.

    Ran$ome
     
  8. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    Typical weight? Do the smaller bodied instruments project like the larger bodied instruments? i have noticed a huge range in pricing...forgetting SPECIAL cosmetics...what justifies a higher price?
     
  9. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    I heard they were imports.....not true?
     
  10. SLBlues

    SLBlues Member

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    Mine is Regal branded built by Amistar in the Czech Republic. Could be for sale if biz does not pick up pretty soon. It's a round neck w/biscuit pup.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Dude that looks like a Transformer!

    GAD
     
  12. drolling

    drolling Member

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    The offshore reso are getting better & better, but I still wouldn't buy one online, as the QC's not there yet and you could end up with a dog.

    On the strength of a fantastic wood-bodied MIK Regal (Saga) I've owned for years, I ordered their RC-51, an MIC tricone & got a guitar that just couldn't be improved, no matter how much I tweaked it.. On the other hand, I recently played another example of the same model that was great in every way - So, I'd shop around & try before buying if going that route.

    These imports are going for stupid cheap money; real bell brass, nickel plating, the whole works.. but if they ain't put together right, you can re-cone 'em, change the bridge, etc. and still end up with a lousy guitar - that looks fantastic on the wall.

    Thing is, the National are getting better & better too. The guy that owns the company has a real passion for resos - and it shows in the product.

    For hand-made guitars built right here in North America, IMO, they're a real steal - and in spite of what many players'll tell ya, there's really no comparing them to Johnsons, Regals, or even the Goldtones that are set up by Beard in the USA.

    My first metal-bodied reso was a brass Dobro, built in '93, just after Gibson took over. They've gutted the line & almost killed off the company since. I'd steer clear, myself.

    Thought I wanted a brass body, like the famous style '0' with the palm trees, but it turns out that all the old time music I love was played on "budget" guitars made of steel. A less complex tone, but LOUD; 'More holler for the dollar" as they say. The current production model "Delphi" is the one I'd recommend. It's a no-frills Duolian design, but they can't call it that because Gibson owns the name!

    They've just come out with a Triolian, tho'. A bit cheaper, made of a lighter gauge steel, with stamped instead of rolled 'f' holes. I'm digging around the studio looking for stuff to sell so I can buy one! Someone posted a picture from NAMM in the acoustic forum; a funky brownish/yellow 'burst & drop-dead gorgeous in a depression-era way.

    Finally got a Reso-lectric last year & they're amazing too. Flame maple on mahogany with a piezo under the bridge & a custom Lollar P-90 in the neck position.. mother-of-toilet-seat pickguard & chicken-head knobs. Sounds great unplugged, too.

    Used to think my desert island guitar would be an old tele I've had for almost 30 years, but I've changed my mind & will be taking a resophonic instead!!
     
  13. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    I love that 1920's machine age esthetic...

    Big Fritz Lang fan..


    [​IMG]


    dc
     
  14. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    thanks!


    dc
     
  15. bynt

    bynt Member

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    Way cool post; super informative. Thanks!!!
     
  16. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

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    Used Nationals can be had quite affordably (used plain wood-bodies like the original Estralita can be had for under $1000), and in my experience, are worth the premium over imports. Resonators sound like nothing else. I am finding it a bit difficult to play them as well as I'd like--picking is different than I'm used to, and I find the tone helps when you use bridge cables for strings; my National is currently sporting strings where the high E is an 18. I also like the sound of tuning down to open D or even C (as does the great Catfish Keith), which makes the giant gauge a little more bearable.

    The single cones tend to be more percussive (think Bukka White), the Tricones smoother and richer. If I had to do it over again, I'd have gotten a tricone polychrome (the steel-bodied tricone equivalent of a Delphi), but I got an Estralita because it's my only acoustic and it does a passable job of sounding like a regular acoustic, but also does the resonator thing reasonably well.
     
  17. Quarter

    Quarter Member

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    As drolling pointed out, there are some fantastic builders turning out some incredible instruments these days.
    One of my favorites is Todd Clinesmith. He does some sweet reso's, Weissenborn style hollow necks, and reproduction Bigsby steel guitars.
     
  18. Mackerusa

    Mackerusa Supporting Member

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    I have a National Style O. I have had it for about 7-8 years. I really went back and fourth between models when buying one. Bob Brozeman has an awesome site for figuring out which model might appeal to you.
    http://www.bobbrozman.com/national.html
    I narrowed it down to either the Style O or a Tricone. I think that the Tricone sustains longer and is more refined sounding, but in the end, it was that brash, raw, and nasty sound of the Style O that sold me. I have 12 guitars and the reso is ALWAYS the guitar that people want to hear. They are blown away initally by the looks, then the sound hits them over the head. It is so loud! I have my action set that I can play it normally, but it absolutely steals the show when you lay a slide to it. As you can tell I am a huge fan of the National resonators.
     
  19. Lammy

    Lammy Member

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    I have a Beard Vintage R that is really great ( its a square neck). So much fun to play.
     
  20. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    How much do they typically weigh? What about the parlor sized models?

    This guy makes some really pretty looking models, but he doesn't list any prices...I am guessing off the chart...anybody know?
    http://metalgitar.com/models.html
     

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