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What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso Guitar?

Marco 20 Oct 03 - 04:22 AM
bigchuck 20 Oct 03 - 08:21 AM
RangerSteve 20 Oct 03 - 10:06 AM
Willie-O 20 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM
CraigS 20 Oct 03 - 03:07 PM
Roger in Baltimore 20 Oct 03 - 05:12 PM
Marco 22 Oct 03 - 04:04 AM
songs2play 22 Oct 03 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,reggie miles 22 Oct 03 - 01:42 PM
Amos 22 Oct 03 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 22 Oct 03 - 01:52 PM
Willie-O 22 Oct 03 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 22 Oct 03 - 07:41 PM
Marco 23 Oct 03 - 03:29 AM
Grab 23 Oct 03 - 08:53 AM
reggie miles 23 Oct 03 - 09:29 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Oct 03 - 10:00 AM
reggie miles 24 Oct 03 - 09:47 AM
Marco 03 Nov 03 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Paulinho 26 Sep 09 - 12:24 AM
Fortunato 26 Sep 09 - 06:12 AM
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Subject: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Marco
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 04:22 AM

Hi, Mudcatters!

I could get a Regal RC-2 duolian Reso guitar for around $ 600 (I live in Europe and the shop owner said he has to pay more than USA price, where you can find it for around $430, for import and taxes...).
What do you think about this guitar? (I can't buy a National; is too expensive!!!).

Thanks for help!


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: bigchuck
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 08:21 AM

The one we have in the store is real strong in the sound department. Be aware, however that Saga's (Regal's distributor) quality control is notoriously slack. Check it over carefully before buying. Good luck.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: RangerSteve
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 10:06 AM

I'm happy with mine. I read a review where someone said that his came apart almost immediately after buying it, but the company replaced it right away, no questions asked. But every other review I read was favorable.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Willie-O
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM

I had an old Regal dobro. It was great. I foolishly traded it for an amp and the amp got stolen off my porch. Bad deal. That's why I ain't rich. Too much talent for turning pearls into swine and losing the swine.

The price sounds reasonable, especially if it's solidly warrantied. Go for it!

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: CraigS
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:07 PM

I've been looking for a cheap resonator guitar lately, and tried lots. I'd advise you not to buy before you try with most of them, as variations are large. The only consistently good ones are (Korean) Fenders; I've seen three, and they were all good, priced about £400. I've found two cheaper ones that sounded as good, priced around £260 - £280, but the necks were like tree trunks. I've seen two new Regals lately and was not impressed, but I've got to say that Regal resonators I've played in the past were much better.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 05:12 PM

Yeah, Willie-O, if it had been a dobro on your porch it could have stayed there 'til Hell freezes over and not been stolen! LOL

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Marco
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:04 AM

Thanks, guys!

Someone suggested me to buy a cheap reso and change the cone with a "Quarterman Cone".
Is it hard to change it?
Could I can change it without help?


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: songs2play
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:31 AM

Marco,
Your best contact is Tweed- his web site is at http://tweedsblues.net/ and is also a 'Catter and can be pm'd on this site. Tweed changed the cone for one of the Monolator cones, and has given good reviews.

I have had one of the "far eastern" resonators for over a year now and (touch wood) have had no problems at all. I have changed the bridge for a home made hickory one to suit the action I wanted - my own choice, as I was told maple or cherry was the better alternative, but I tried a few and Hickory works for me.

I am a finger picker and couldn't use a slide if my life depended on it.
Changing the cone I would guess is quite easy, I take mine out to clean about every couple of months as the dust does build up. I also use car polish on the metal body one a month and window cleaner to wipe off the fingerprints.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 01:42 PM

I had a couple old, bottom of the line Regals from the 30s or 40s, the kind with the four, instead of eight, legged spiders (bridges). I picked 'em up cheaply, (about $35. each) because the bodies were trashed. Fortunately the cover plates, cones, and bridges were still in functional condition. I put the works from each into one of those new, (factory seconds), Regal/Saga bodies, that I also acquired inexpensively, (about $35. each). The new bodies gave the old parts a new lease on life. They sounded and played great, as sweet as pie. I used them to play all of my purdy songs. I ended up trading one of them off with some other stuff I had collected to buy a '65 Newport ragtop, (my midlife Chrysler) which now clings to life, after years of faithful service, beneath several layers of blue plastic tarp, badly in need of just about every kind of repair. Some low life scum not fit to walk the earth stole the other one.

To answer your question, first remove the strings. Then all you need to do to change cones is unscrew the screws holding down your cover plate. There's about 10-12 of these along the outside edge of that big shiny hubcap looking item on the front of the guitar. That will expose your cone. You'll want to mark where the bridge is positioned under the cover plate before you remove it from the body. Use a pencil and make light marks on the edge of the sound well, (the big hole where the resonator fits into body) so you can re-align the legs of the spider upon reassembly. The cone and bridge, (or spider), are attached to each other by a single screw in the center.

NOTE: If there are, (this is not the rule but sometimes there are) other miscellaneous screws, staples, nails or tacks holding the bridge and cone in place get them out of the way. You can throw them away as you don't need them. They hinder the vibration and were probably used for quick assembly by some factory cog under pressure to make a quota.

To continue, unscrew the center screw. That will separate the bridge from the resonator cone and replace the old cone with your new Quarterman. The new cone will not be an exact match to your old one but very close. Therefore, it may take more or less turns to properly adjust the tension needed to attach the bridge to your new cone. Keep in mind that the tension created by this screw is the key to getting the best sound from your resonator. It also affects the playing action along the neck as it lowers or raises the string height. When you reassemble the bridge and cone simply snug the screw into place. You won't need a lot of tension on it. A turn or so after it brings the two pieces into contact with each other ought to do the trick. Set the joined bridge/resonator back into the body and align it with the marks along the edge of the sound well. Screw the cover plate back into position and restring and tune your guitar. The final adjustment will have to be made after you have everything put back together with the strings attached and tuned.

You'll need a narrow bladed screw driver that can fit into that little hole in the center of your coverplate's cross member. You will probably notice that the tension of the tuned strings pressing down on the bridge has caused the resonator screw tension to loosen. This may cause the bridge to vibrate against the cone with an unwanted buzzing sound. Slowly tighten the screw until the buzz disappears. Then add another 1/2 to 3/4 turn to hold it snug. This tension causes the resonator and bridge to vibrate as one. Too much tension on this screw will lower your action on your neck and decrease the resonator's volume. Too little tension will cause the pieces to buzz against each other.

There is a balance that must be achieved here between these two extremes. There is a fine line between too loose and too tight. To gain optimum resophonic output some experimentation may be necessary. I've set what I thought was enough tension only to have the darn thing loosen up in the middle of a performance and sound terrible. I guess a little more tension might be preferable to too little.

At this point I should mention that any future changes in string gauges or tunings can alter this tension and adjustments may become necessary to maintain optimal performance. So, keep your little screwdriver at the ready. I always carry one with my guitar.

In conclusion, as long winded as my explanation above might seem, keep in mind that this isn't rocket science. It doesn't take a trained professional to turn a few screws. And if I, an untrained pre-fessional can do this, anybody can.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Amos
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 01:49 PM

Reggie:

Ever work as a tech writer? You've got the talent for it! :>)


A


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 01:52 PM

Gosh Amos, I'll do just about anything if there's a paycheck in it. Where do I sign up?


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Willie-O
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 02:14 PM

Hey, I just _graduated_ as a tech writer. Where the heck are the JOBS?

Willie-O
wouldn't be on the Cat now if I had one.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 07:41 PM

Well, I guess that knocks a holes in that plan. Better put some more paper in the bottom of my shoes. Let's see what other failed attempts at a career I can dream up....double knot spy, street car conductor, substitute teacher, endangered white tiger handler, potatoe chip maker, pallet factory employee....

Feel free to jump in here and put me outta my misery at any time.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Marco
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 03:29 AM

Many thanks, Reggie!

You could write a "Resophonic tutor"!

Probably I'll buy the Regal next week, then I'll order a Quarterman (or a Monolator... what is the best?).
Have I to buy also a new bridge or the "biscuit" of the Regal could be already a good bridge?

Another question (the Regal will be my first reso): what kind of strings have I to use on it (material/gauge)?
For my wood acoustic I use "D'addario bronze - light".
Strings for the reso are the same for wood acoustic, just a little bit "heavy"?

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Grab
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 08:53 AM

If you're using a lowered tuning (open-G/open-D) then you'll want heavier strings - 13s are about right. The brand of strings is a religious argument, so best to just find a cheap online string supplier (eg. Strings Direct) and order a bunch of them. I've still not found the perfect strings for my Regal. Since a reso is a bit plinky anyway, you might want to not use "bright" strings like Country Golds though as it gets a bit tinny.

On my Regal, the bridge on the biscuit warped badly within a year of getting it. For some reason the bridge was made in two pieces, with a thin bit of hardwood on top to stop the strings digging in, and then some POS softwood under that, and then the softwood sitting on biscuit. I'd got it from Elderly, so I asked them about it and they sent me a new biscuit free-of-charge, which was good of them. If you get a new biscuit though, you'll have to do a bit of trimming and filing of the bridge to get it to fit through the coverplate hole and to get the action right. This is a tiresome procedure, because you have to string it up, let it settle so the cone compresses, then work out how much to take off, destring, file the bridge down, file new string notches, rinse and repeat. Recommended from my experience - don't cut the bridge to fit the coverplate hole until the very end after you've got the action right, because otherwise the top and bottom string notches will be close to the edges of the bridge and that weakens the sides of bridge, so it can split while you're filing it.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 09:29 AM

Quarterman claims his cones are made of a better alloy. He also charges a little more $. I'm not a metallurgist, so I can't actually debate the issue. I use a Quarterman cone in my Nobro, and it has served me well low these past eight plus years.

Oops! I'm unaware of what style cone is in your Regal, a National style (with a biscuit type bridge) or a Dobro style (with a spider type bridge). My previous description was based on the assumption that the Regal in question had a Dobro style resonator within. National style resonators are much easier to change. Just yank the strings and cover plate off and swap out your old one for your new one.

The bridges supplied are adequate for the guitar. It is not necessary to purchase a new bridge but if, in the future, you wish to experiment with this go for it. Anything you do to alter the design or quality of this or any guitar will ultimately alter it's response for better or worse. Preferences have to be made by you and your individual style, approach and ability with your instrument(s). No one choice is necessarily the best or the right choice for everyone.

The light gauge strings are fine. Ask if the seller knows what weight might already be on the guitar. They are probably light gauge. Any material that suits your playing style is adequate, bronze, brass, nickel.... Whatever you use on your wooden body acoustic.

The following is merely for your information if you should choose to alter string gauges. I've experimented quite a bit with various open tunings. The higher the strings are tuned, the more tension and pressure is placed on the resonator. Use lighter gauge strings at higher tension levels. Lower tunings cause a light string to vibrate poorly and feel like rubberbands. Use a heavier gauge to compensate for this lack of action.

If the slots in the bridge's saddle and nut (the grooves where the strings ride) are cut for light gauge strings and you try a medium or heavy gauge sometime in the future you'll have to do some alteration to theses grooves so that the strings ride properly. Too fat a string in too thin a slot will make the string want to pop out. Conversely, If you should alter the slots to accept larger gauge strings and wish to revert to a lighter gauge you must also get a new nut and saddle cut for your new preference. Too thin a string in too wide a slot will create undo and annoying buzzing of the string and hinder the transfer of the vibration to your resonator.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 10:00 AM

Here are some comments on resonator guitars from Papa George (George Papageorgiou) from his website:
Last year I played the Dobrofest, in Slovakia, as a solo artist. There I met and jammed with steel guitarist Bob Brozman, another great player. I was honoured to represent the UK at The Dobro Gala performance. It went out live on satellite TV.

I met John Dopyera Jr., son of the inventor of Resonator guitars (originally from Slovakia). John Dopyera Snr. moved to the States in the 20s and started off National guitars, which were mechanically amplified. I also met John and Patricia of Resound, (UK distributors for Amistar guitars.) They dug my style and have commissioned a "Resounder" (reso-electric) made to my own specifications: silver-plated; engraved with an art deco design. It's being made now in the Czech Republic. I will receive it very soon.

Back in Finland in 2000, I had talked to Matti Nevalainen about my developing interest in resonator guitars, suggesting that he might like to make his first Flying Finn Reso. He has now made me a Papa George model. Last April, he brought over the prototype. I gave it an outing at a recent London Resonator Centre Slide Show in the Union Chapel. It picks really good. I used it in regular tuning. Normally, when I use resonator guitars I use D and G tunings. Matti has improved on this model and made a second one for me, called 'The Black Beauty'. I'm looking forward to receiving it.


RtS
(he was playing the Resounder on a couple of numbers at Jagz this week- sounded good to this tin-ear)


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 09:47 AM

Wow! Having custom built gitters made to your own specs has got to be a real treat. There's not much of a chance that I'll be able to enjoy that opportunity unless I make 'em myself. I'm embroiled in creating my next monstrosity even now. It has a wengee face, a very dark wood, like a cross between ebony and rosewood, and brass back and sides, mostly because of the cost and ease of availability of brass. The neck is an old beauty I found years ago made of mahogany with an ebony fingerboard, a rosewood overlay on the headstock and nickel silver frets. It has twelve frets to the body and a slotted head, like all of my favorite guitars of the past. I'm getting the body finished in an electric blue color so that the etching planned for the back will stand out as brass colored. I think my older brother will like it when it's finished. I think my next one will be another just like it but for me.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Marco
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 06:19 AM

Many thanks to everybody!

I'll take the Regal, then - soon - I'll try to upgrade it like Reggie wrote.
I think I'll buy the Quarterman cone (I have not yet decided where, but I'll search on the net).

See you soon!


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: GUEST,Paulinho
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 12:24 AM

I'm from Brazil and I recently bought a Duolian Regal RC-2 and is the best guitar i ever played. But you have to check the regulation before buy because it is just barely.


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Subject: RE: What about a Regal RC-2 Duolian Reso
From: Fortunato
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 06:12 AM

Paulinho, what is the regulation you speak of? ¿Cuál es de regla?
Que é regulamentar?


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