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What Resonator Guitar?

GUEST,Warwick Slade 23 Jul 07 - 02:32 PM
Ebbie 23 Jul 07 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 23 Jul 07 - 03:12 PM
Darowyn 23 Jul 07 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 23 Jul 07 - 03:28 PM
Leadfingers 23 Jul 07 - 03:32 PM
Mark H. 23 Jul 07 - 03:57 PM
pdq 23 Jul 07 - 04:12 PM
Grab 23 Jul 07 - 06:24 PM
Ned Ludd 24 Jul 07 - 04:06 AM
redsnapper 24 Jul 07 - 04:47 AM
Bobert 27 Jul 07 - 04:53 PM
wilco 28 Jul 07 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 29 Jul 07 - 05:54 AM
Tim theTwangler 29 Jul 07 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,zebloos 29 Jul 07 - 10:05 AM
Bobert 29 Jul 07 - 10:33 AM
Rusty Dobro 29 Jul 07 - 12:04 PM
redsnapper 29 Jul 07 - 12:21 PM
Tim theTwangler 29 Jul 07 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 07 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 29 Jul 07 - 01:39 PM
Tim theTwangler 29 Jul 07 - 03:26 PM
Bobert 29 Jul 07 - 06:55 PM
Tim theTwangler 30 Jul 07 - 01:08 AM
Grab 30 Jul 07 - 06:53 AM
Tim theTwangler 30 Jul 07 - 09:48 AM
Striper 30 Jul 07 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 30 Jul 07 - 02:11 PM
Grab 31 Jul 07 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,MrCrump 31 Jul 07 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 08 Aug 07 - 04:13 PM
wilco 09 Aug 07 - 03:30 PM
mattkeen 16 Aug 07 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,PeteZTrucker 18 Aug 07 - 06:17 AM
Bobert 18 Aug 07 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,PeteZTrucker 19 Aug 07 - 05:36 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 07 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Aug 07 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 02:32 PM

I am thinking of getting a resonator guitar and have a go at bottleneck. I can't afford an old National or Dobro so any recommendations from the crop of copies and which is the better, single or tri-cone.
If the advice is good I'll come and play at your club, if bad I'll come and play every week!


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 02:50 PM

lol


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 03:12 PM

Not heard of lol Ebbie


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Darowyn
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 03:20 PM

I play electric non-pedal steel, and I have been toying with the idea of getting a reso for acoustic things, so I've tried a few and they are odd instruments.
Some of them sound utterly horrible, but it's very much a matter of taste, because no two players agree which of them the horrible ones are.
I liked:-
The Ozark single cone biscuit bridge one
The Vintage Tri-cone- the chromed Brass bodied one
I hated:-
The Fender
One that claimed to be a Gretch.
In the meantime I play my Fender Newporter with a pickup, using the Ben's Reso setting on my Korg Pandora FX unit.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 03:28 PM

Thanks Dave, I've thought about the Vitage tri-cone but not tried it.
Also the Johnson tri-cone looks good.
I tried a Dean but not too keen


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 03:32 PM

I dont play reso guitar myself , but have dabbled in some of the local shops - They vary SO much , its a case of 'Suck it and see' - Try all the ones you can afford , and see what grabs you !


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Mark H.
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 03:57 PM

The wooden Gretsch was the sweetest I ever heard, and the most versatile. Much better in every way than the wooden Dobro.
The Vintage tricone is just fine for the money. The single cone is OK, and cheap to upgrade later with a nice cone.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 04:12 PM

If you look on eBay (US edition) you can find new and used Regal resonator guitars for $250-400 US dollars. Some sound quite good, and the money is not so much that you cannot recover from a mistake.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Grab
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 06:24 PM

It's always single-cones for me - tricones just don't do it for me. I got a Regal steel-body single-cone from the States. Checking it against the Dean and Johnson equivalents, it beat the crap out of both of them. A friend has an Ozark steel-body which is also an OK instrument. Neither can compare to a *real* National, of course, but they're maybe a fifth the cost for half the quality, which ain't a bad deal. :-) Apparently, buying a Quarterman cone to replace the cone it comes with gets you much better sound, but I've yet to try that experiment.

Also check whether it's a steel-body (National) or wood-body (Dobro) sound you're after - they're distinctly different. I agree with Dave that the Fender reso is crap.

If you can get there, there's the London Resonator Centre in Denmark Street. If you know you want a resonator, might as well go somewhere with a decent range of them, instead of your typical local shop that maybe has two at most.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 04:06 AM

I have a vintage tricone that does the job ok. Ozark resonator in my local shop is cheap and has on board pick up, which can be useful as reso's can be a pig to mike up.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: redsnapper
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 04:47 AM

I play a Regal National Duolian copy (steel body single cone like Grab's above) and am very pleased indeed with the sound. It is certainly superior to the Johnsons, Ozarks, Deans and Vintages that I tried. I also preferred the sound to the Regal Tricone copy model that I was initially drawn to in the shop. It only required minor tweaking and final setting up when I got it (the shop would have done that for free but I prefer to set my own instruments up). I have also fitted a K&K hotdot on the biscuit and it goes through my PA with a better sound than a friend's resonator with the full Fishman kit.

RS


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 04:53 PM

If you want a decent metal bodied reso, I suggest the Regal which can be bought for less tham $500 on ebay... They are a tad "muddy" but can be sharpened up with a Quarterman (sp) cone...

If you want a wood bodied, run like heck from anything with Fender on it... I've got both an Oscar-Schmith and the Washburn ES10... The Washburn (which BTW is made my Oscar-Schmidt, or vice versa) but the Washburn plays and sounds like a million bucks and is also less than $500...

Either way, if yer gonna slide: No Elexiers Nano strings and use heavy (.013 to .056) strings...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: wilco
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 03:15 PM

I have an acoustci music store in east tennesee USA, Mountain Music. I stock about thirty resonator guitars. I've been told that all of the asian stuff, regardless of name, comes out of a Samick factory. This includes Reagl, Johnson, Fender, etc. Many of the companies are not well managed or honor warrenties. Some like SAGA, are horrible.

    Your best bet is a Goldtone, which is also Asian. The compnay is great, warrenties are great, and the product is the best on the market.

Steve
Mountain Music of Tennessee


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 05:54 AM

Thank you all for your comments and keep them coming. I have a lot to go on but I'd still love a National Tri-cone!!


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 08:01 AM

I was thinking that I might try one of these but not for slide.
I was wondering if I could play one finger style and take advantage of the extra volume in not so quite pubs.
I have been playing about four years and still hate plugging in.
Also I cannot get the hang of playing with finger picks.
A resonator bass also seems a good idea for the same reasons.
Probably a stupid idea what do the experts say?


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,zebloos
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 10:05 AM

I tried them all over the last 10 years. Here is my unequivocal opinion :
If you cannot afford a National or a Dobro, the best, by far and with very little competition in the $500-750 US range, is the Beard Goldtone.
Johnsons vary among themselves from average/rarely good to disaster. I owned a pretty good one, but they just don't compare to National or Beard Goldtone.

The previous writer is correct that almost all the others are made by Samick and almost all suck horribly. If you go to the store and try dozens, you will always find one that's "reasonably" OK, but they are rarely "good" and certainly don't hold the value and all are a bad investment.

I now own a National El Trovador and a Goldtone Weissenborn. The Goldtone is as good as any Weissenborn out there--no matter what the price.Solid mahogany and nicely made, sweet sounding.

Beard Goldtones, of any variety, are really wonderful, well-made and great sounding. They come in round neck and square neck. I would buy any of the Beard Goldtones without hesitation.Beard himself assured that the Asian manufacture is spot on to his excellent standard. I also encourage people not ever to estimate the craftsmanship of Asian instrument makers. The problem is in the quality of the company--and Samick just does not understand the instruments they are copying.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 10:33 AM

Well, yeah, National Tricones are great instrumenhts but very pricey...

BTW, I kinda let a cool reso get away from me a few years ago... I was at Picker's Supple in Fredricksburg, Va. and the owner, Bran Dillard, always has something special back in his office... So on this occasion ha walked back, brough out a very well made canvas carring case, inzipped it in inside was a mint 30's hardshell case in inside the case was a perfect 30's National plectum (tenor) tricone...

Ouch!!!

So he let me play it while my wife was down the street shoppin' and I fell in love with it but I had just bought the Regal steel bodied, which BTW, ain't as bad as Steve says, and therefore had no dough left in my G.A.S. account but I knew he'd take $3500 for it and it messed and messed with me so...

...'bout a month later I got up the courage to ask the P-Vine (my wife) if I could borrow the dough and buy it an' after putting me thru the ringer, which she dows every time before I buy a new geetar, she said "yes"...

Well, I couldn't get to the phone fast enough and called Picker's only to find...

it had been sold...

Sniff...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 12:04 PM

I bought a Dean SP on impulse a couple of years ago, and have never regretted it for a moment. I mostly play fingerstyle country blues in an acoustic setting, sometimes using a pick when the background noise intrudes, and also into a mic with an occasional electric band. I very rarely play without somebody coming up to me afterwards to compliment me on the sound. I don't care what it will be worth on the second-hand market, because this one's a keeper, and I hope it will be with me as long as I'm playing. I would have to admit, though, that I haven't played many others to compare it with.

Oh, and the London Resonator Centre seems to have gone out of business.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: redsnapper
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 12:21 PM

Steve and zebloos of course have their experiences of other brands and such things are always very subjective. But, like Bobert, my experience of Regal has been good. I believe mine was an early model and was made in the Czech Republic (as was the Regal Tricone model also in the same shop) but all now are made in South-East Asia. I had heard about the Quarterman replacement cones and thought about it but I can't find anything particularly wrong with the one that's in the guitar presently. I used to use my Regal regularly for gigs.

To answer Tim the Twanger, I find that fingerstyle works well on mine (I don't use fingerpicks but keep my nails just long enough to contact the strings but not long enough to break) as does styles other than blues although the guitar excels at the latter.

RS


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 12:52 PM

To redsnapper.
Thank you for that mate all advice gratefull recieved


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 01:03 PM

couple of years ago.. i took another risk on ebay,


winning a new 'Blueridge'wood bodied resonator for about 100 quid..


it sems a reasonably well made instrument.. sounds ok enough to me..

but is a bit of a mystery

as i can find absolutely no links anywhere in google

to confirm that Blueridge ever sold any resos under its own 'brand name'..

however, it does look identical to some regal models i've seen photos of on the net..

which makes me wonder if i was lucky enough to get a regal 'minor blemished 2nds'

imported into uk with a dodgy headstock decal...??????


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 01:39 PM

I bought a cheap Johnson spider-reso from Thomann for £111 (cheapest I could find from UK), dropped in a Quarterman cone from Resound ( c£45) & have a VERY loud, fine-sounding reso; the Quarterman cone is way thinner than the stock ( .016" compared to .025"), has a lovely rich bass & singing trebles - I do also own an old (1930) roundneck National Tricone, & while the Johnson doesn't have the rich complex tone of the National, it has way more bass, & is a very acceptable alternative...I did have to rout out the top a little, to fit the Quarterman in there, but it was easy enough - I've also had good results from dropping National cones into cheap biscuit-type resos; 75% of the sound for 15 - 20% of the cost..
    Please remember to put a consistent poster name in the "from" box when you post a message. Anonymous messages risk deletion.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 03:26 PM

Another stupid question but could you fit a cone into a preexisting cheap accoustic guitar?
Or dont it work like that.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 06:55 PM

Ummmm, kinda... Resos are braced differently so when you go cutting a big hole in yer acoustic yer gonna have to rebrace it... Really not worthe trouble but...

if you go to tweedsblues.net and ask around there is another way to turn yer acoustic into "kinda" a reso with a coffee can... Just ask them an' they'll tell ya' how to do it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 01:08 AM

OK matey thanks fer that


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Grab
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 06:53 AM

LRC gone? Arse. Kept promising myself a trip down there to scout for new lust items, but it seems I'll be too late.

Mind you, I'm currently on warning from Emma, given that I've spent a fair bit on PA gear recently, plan on getting a van for transporting gear, still need some decent mics, and would like a bass and a better electric too! When your wife says "we do need to be thinking about the deposit for our next house", it's time to plan your next sentence *very* carefully! ;-)

Re making a resonator or adapting other instruments, check out the MIMF site. There's more info on there about making and modifying musical instruments than you'll find in any hundred textbooks.

And one other element to throw into the mix, if you're prepared to work outside the usual. I just recently got round to doing a test-run on a Variax electric - modelling guitar which pretends to be any number of different guitars. Since this is 100% electric, it's obviously no good for round-the-room sessions, but it'd be a dream for stage work. OK, really they're designed for modelling electrics, but they have some other good stuff on there too, and the real bonus from the POV of this thread is some reso models on there which are pretty damn fine indeed. I blew through "Romeo and Juliet", "Fishing blues" and some other stuff, and the National model on the Variax sounds significantly better than my Regal. Plus of course it's on an electric body with lighter strings, so playing is a whole lot easier (although slide needs a light touch on an electric). The other bonus of the Variax is that it can change your tuning electronically, so that although the strings might be in EADGBE, flick a switch and the guitar tweaks the pitches for what comes out the amp to open-G, open-D or whatever tuning you program in, which would be an absolute godsend. Obviously acoustic instruments are significantly nicer to look at, and they talk to you when you're playing them in a way that electrics can't, but if you're going to be doing a bit of stage work then the Variax might be worth considering.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:48 AM

All my instruments talk to me
They shout "gettoffme"
or was that the audience?
LOL


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Striper
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 12:33 PM

Iv'e got a vintage single cone and a vintage tri-cone which I use in two separate tuning for bottleneck, the single is slightly louder, but the tri-cone has a nicer sound 'Once you set em up crrectly'.
My tri-cone did rattle a bit at first, but I used masking tape on the rims on the cones & put a blob of PVA adhesive on the ends of the 'T Bridge' and it sounds superb.
The chioce of single or tri cones is down to personal taste. I like the sound of both, but then again each does have its own sound characteristices. Hope this helps.

Regards Striper.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 02:11 PM

Saw one on e-bay yesterday (Ozark) and put in a bid. With 1 sec to go it was mine but someone brinked me by £5 in ONE SECOND. If they are reading this-A pox on your house!!!!


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Grab
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 05:27 AM

Oh yes, resonator rattles. Cursese!

The coverplate on mine rattled pretty severely. My solution was to run a thin (very thin!) layer of mastic sealant around the rim of the coverplate, and leave it until it was completely dry. That gave a nice rubber seal which stopped all rattles. Note that just running a bead around will leave you with too much mastic - I used masking tape on the back to make sure it didn't go onto the "pressed" section, and masked the front as well for good measure, and then I smeared the mastic round the exposed plate rim with my finger to get a thin, even layer over the whole rim. It's vital to leave the mastic until it's completely dry - otherwise: (a) some will squeeze out of the edge; (b) the coverplate will now be stuck to the top, making it difficult to get off; (c) if you ever do need to remove the coverplate, you'll have to repeat this exercise; and (d) if you ever do need to remove the coverplate, you'll have the horrible job of scraping off dead mastic, whilst also trying not to scratch your instrument.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,MrCrump
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 03:31 PM

Re; cone rattles - a friend who owns a Beltona tricone (a high-quality instrument) was recommended by the maker to use a thin layer of Pritt-stick adhesive under the cones; it's a low-tack adhesive, & easy to remove later on, if necessary - unlike the cretin who used silicon sealant on the cones of my own 1930 National, thus making it impossible to remove them without terminally damaging them...oh, how we laughed..


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 04:13 PM

Thank you all for your input. I have just bought a Ozark 3515B fron e-bay (as reviewed by Michael Messer in Acousic Magazine). So far so good. It looks the part and sounds ok


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: wilco
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 03:30 PM

I'll give a "heads-up" on these resonator guitars. With exception to Goldtone and Wechter, all of the Asian stuff are not set-up at all.

I routinely have to adjust the tension on the cone, and I have to re-cut the notches on the saddle. Often, I'll replace the two little wood saddles.

Many of the very cheap ones (Regal or Johnson or Flinthill etc.) won't even have an adjustment screw. These screws are accessed throught he hole in the middle of the metal bridge. It is usually a phillips head screw, and you need to tighten it all the way down. Then, back it off til you get the best sound. Usually, it's about a 1/4 or 1/2 turn. Lots of time, if they have these adjustment screws, you can tighten them up, and the sound improves manytimes over.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: mattkeen
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 03:26 PM

My mate bought a National tri cone recently, and he was HUGELY disappointed


There are mnay as good


ps he didn't buy a 30's one!


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,PeteZTrucker
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 06:17 AM

I found this thread as I'm also looking for a good quality reso without being able to afford a top-end model. The general consensus on here is that a Beard Goldtone is a good model?
There is a manufacturer in the Czech Republic, can't remember the name found it last week, is that any good? And a store in Amsterdam called www.palmguitars.nl, seems to have a lot of stuff. Perhaps a er fact-finding trip to Amsterdam is in order.


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Aug 07 - 08:07 PM

Well, the Beard is a good geeter... I've been to his shop in Maryland and played the Goldtone... I would have bought it but all he had was a 12 fretter... Now that might not bother some folks but if you play in either G or E tuning you might want to think twice if you use a capo on the 2nd fret to qhickly move your tuning's up... A 12 fretter jus' won't get the job done as now yer 12th fret is a literal pain to get to...

The Washburn that I ended up buying plays as well at5 the Beard, sounds as good and has a 14 fret neck...

Something to think about...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,PeteZTrucker
Date: 19 Aug 07 - 05:36 AM

Indeed. I play a lot of tunes in Open G and variations thereupon, capo on 2 for tunes in A, and the reso I buy has to have a cutaway or be a 14-fret model. I discovered Eric Sardinas while researching recently, his signature model Washburn seems to be ideal, affordable too, but it's unobtainable in Europe, as are the other Washburn models. Any US shop owners/dealers reading this then get in touch!


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 08:21 PM

anybody got any ideas about rattles?


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Subject: RE: What Resonator Guitar?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 08:51 PM

now i remember..

about 4 or 5 years ago i treated myself to a cheapish Tanglewood
solid body electric reso

..the big one like a gibson 335 copy..

except its not semi hollow like a proper 335...

nice p90 at the neck and a contact pickup of some sort on the reso bridge..

[complicated blender pickup/tone controls]


trouble is the cone distorts like a an old 60's fuzz pedal..


one solution i found on a website

[must get round to trying it one day..]

is to dismantle everything..

place the spider on a solid dead flat surface..

and then see if any of the feet are higher than the others
andnot making contact with teh surface..

then its supposed to be a simple matter of bending the spider legs
until all of 'em are in true alignment...


..oh well..


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