To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5947
18 messages

For Resonator Guitar Wizards

05 Aug 98 - 04:25 AM (#34128)
Subject: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

I saw a second-hand Samick resonator guitar (Dobroid?) in a pawn shop window. They are asking the equivalent of 250 US dollars. I could probably get them down to below 200, but if it is a worthless piece of junk I don't want it. I have barely enough room to walk around in this room as it is :-(

Thanks,

Murray


05 Aug 98 - 05:33 AM (#34135)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

I forgot to ask the question! Does anyone know about the instrument?

Murray


05 Aug 98 - 11:06 AM (#34151)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Earl

Murray, I've had never heard of Samick but I found their homepage: Samick

They are a Korean company that's been around for about 40 years. I couldn't find a resonator guitar in their current catalog though.

In general, I would say if the guitar is playable, and you like the sound, and it seems to be in good condition then $200 seems like a pretty good price for a resonator guitar. Have I hedged enough?


05 Aug 98 - 11:12 AM (#34153)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Jon W.

I was about to say the same thing. I've seen them for twice as much that I would want to have, but if the neck is straight, the strings don't buzz, and it's not going to fall apart on you, and above all, the sound is acceptable, go for it.


05 Aug 98 - 08:34 PM (#34181)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Gene E

Heck Jon,

If the neck's bowed it's a better buy for a bottleneck guitar! :}

Murray, these guys are right the price is low enough to make it a good risk, especially if it seems undamaged and still resonates without odd noises that you don't make with a slide. I believe that Samick builds nearly half of all the guitars sold in the world each year. They make many of the Epiphones, Fender Squires and if it says mad in Korea on it, it's Samick . That particular guitar may have been discontinued under the Samick brand but most assuredly is available today as a Regal and I think a Washburn Bluegrass instrument.

Go ahead . . resonate, it's good for the sole!

Gene


05 Aug 98 - 08:52 PM (#34185)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Gene E

Murray,

It looks like the Epipnone Spider is a lay in your lap bluegrass style guitar. the Biscuit is a wood body, 14 frets to the body joint, f holes and a national style biscuit bridge and resonator. I'm sure both are Korean, although I haven't seen either of them yet, but you can bet they were made by Samick for Epiphone. They will sell new for $600.00 plus.

Gene


05 Aug 98 - 09:10 PM (#34189)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From:

Thanks for the answers. I was luke-warm about it, but now I am getting more interested.

The thing working in favor of finances is that I hurt my finger recently and I can't try it out for another week or so. By then it will either have been sold, or the guy will be sufficiently softened up to accept a lower offer ;-}.

Murray


06 Aug 98 - 12:35 AM (#34213)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

There seems to be a number of Resonator guitars available these days. Perhaps we can get up a list of them. I know of:

National Resophonic models: There is a website for them at http://hmi.homewood.net/national/guitars.htm

Gibson/Epiphone Spider and Bisquit and Gibson Dobro: There is a website for them at: http://www.gibson.com/products

There Seems to be a Johnson Resonator of which I know nothing.

Then there is the Samick I saw. A site for Samick is given by Earl in this thread a few posts ago; but there doesn't seem to be a resonator listed there.

Then there is the Regal. This might be another incarnation of my Samick as might be the Epiphone bisquit.

I think JonW mentioned an even cheaper resonator in a thread about either delta blues or bottleneck blues; but I can't find the posting. Do you recall Jon?

More?

Murray


06 Aug 98 - 10:57 AM (#34253)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Jon W.

The one I mentioned was sold by Lark in the Morning and I believe someone else wrote to say he thought it was probably the Johnson. They (Lark) sell two models, one a National style F-hole for $295, another the Dobro style for $285. Both are wood bodied. I have no idea what the quality is.

I was hanging around a drugstore waiting for a prescription last night, picked up a magazine called Guitar Buyer, and found a Samick Resonator guitar (the only resonator in the whole magazine). It was wood bodied, Dobro style (spider bridge, round soundholes with screens). The price was "to be announced."

I picked up a Regal in a music store a couple of years ago and promptly put it right back down. I was totally unimpressed by it. The neck had an actual kink in it where it joined the body. It seemed like a piece of junk to me and they wanted about $400 for it.

I still hold out hope that some day, some how, I'll get time to build myself a National style or two (one wood, one metal?) I'm building a kitchen table right now, how different could that be from a guitar(_^-^_)?


06 Aug 98 - 09:49 PM (#34304)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Chet W.

Check those Saga-made Regals again. I've had mine for about 5 years, paid a little less than 400 dollars for it in a retail store (new) and I love it. I think it sounds as good as new similar model Dobro brand guitars I have heard lately, and it sure cost a lot less. Sure, if you can spring for a Dobro or National or even Regal from the 30's, go for that, but it was out of my price range. This one that I have is very well put-together as well. Could be that they're inconsistent but well worth taking a few looks at.

Chet W.


06 Aug 98 - 09:55 PM (#34307)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

Actually Jon, building a table that doesn't rock might be more difficult than building a guitar. Many years ago my wife and I put together a Clavichord kit. There were no hitches and it plays beautifully still (I think it is about 28 years old now.); but neither of us can hang a door so it doesn't squeak or bind.

If you do get good at building guitars, remember your friends.

One thing that worries me about buying a Korean made resonator. They do seem to have less quality control than US and European manufacturers. When I looked at ordinary guitars, I noticed some Asian made ones had struts that didn't manage to get glued in properly and several things like that. As far as I can tell, you can't look inside a dobro-type guitar. Is that true, or can you remove the resonator (without a can opener!) and look inside?

Murray


06 Aug 98 - 11:01 PM (#34311)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Gene E

Howdy all reso-minded Mudcatters,

That Johnson brand name guitar is built in China and you can see the hamer dents in the metal body, Chorme is bad and quality is farily poor. I played one and think it was kind of thunky, not much resonatin' goin' on there I can tell ya.

There are lots of small manufacturers but most of them are expensive pretty much custom instruments. For a low end guitar, I like the Epiphone becasue it goes through Gibson Quality control in Nashville before distribution. In the mid-price range are the various Dobro models, wood and metal then on the top end are the Nationals. All the rest is just variations on the theme, some of them are darned fine pieces.

The key to it is if a $200.00 guitar sounds right to you, it's the right one . . buy it. On the other hand if you buy an expensive one because it's supposed to be good you could be dissapointed. OR you could have the mental disorder I have and just want 'em ALL!!!!

Gene


07 Aug 98 - 01:27 AM (#34324)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

I don't want them all Gene, but I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't add "at one time" to that phrase. They are fascinating creatures!

I have been lurking/participating in rec.music.music.makers.acoustic lately and there was a German who posted that he had a Johnson which he thought sounded good; but he had heard they use child labor and was a little unhappy about using it.

Which reminds me. I gave your name in vain at rmma, Gene Somebody was asking about slide guitar and I told them to go to King's and your sites.

Murray


07 Aug 98 - 11:52 PM (#34420)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Gene E

Howdy Murray,

I heard the same thing about the Johnson resonator. If it's true about the child labor, it's a shame and I think I would be unhappy about it too if I owned one.

Gene


08 Aug 98 - 02:22 AM (#34422)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

It certainly makes me less anxious to get one, but from your description of them that is no loss.

Murray


08 Aug 98 - 06:01 PM (#34455)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: BSeed

I'm not too impressed with Gibson's quality controls over their Epiphone line. I have an Epiphone guitar I thought played pretty well until I got it home and found the action pretty bad. I had too different repairment work on it before getting it to where I liked it.
Also, I've played a number of Epiphone banjos in various stores and thouoght they all were poorly set up and didn't sound all that good. I built a Saga kit banjo which sounded better but didn't play very well until I had Larry Cohea ("High Country" and other groups) work on it, and while it was still ugly as hell, I thought it sounded as good and played better than most of the new Mastertones in the stores.
I don't know a thing about resonator guitars. I'd love to play one, but it would end up as another instrument I'm not too good at. There's a guy in Berkeley (i can't remember his name) who makes Hawaiian guitars: slide guitars with a wooden face with a round hole. I don't know how much they sell for. If anyone is interested, I'll go by his store/shop. As for me, I guess I'll stick with my Wildwood banjo (I sold the Saga) and my harmonicas. ---seed


08 Aug 98 - 07:50 PM (#34461)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

I think Hawaiian guitars are made to be played on your lap and hence don't have the right kind of neck to be hand-held. So-called square-necked resonators are cheaper here--at least second-hand ones.

As for Epiphones--from what I glean from this and other threads, they are made by the same factory that makes Samicks. However I bought a second-hand Epi that I like very much. While I was looking I did see a number of ones with defects that should make them factory seconds at best.

Does anyone know if the low-end Washburns are made by the Samick factory too? Either I saw a better sample, or they have better quality control than the Epis.

Murray


15 Feb 00 - 02:06 PM (#178852)
Subject: RE: For Resonator Guitar Wizards
From: Froodo

Thanks all