Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

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Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby tommott77 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:09 am

Been playing around on youtube a good bit lately and am starting to fall in love with the endless sustain/singing qualities of spider bridged resonators. I thought I have seen in the past that there are/were some metal bodies out with spider bridges, but have spent the better part of the afternoon searching around (including this site) for some and have come up with nothing. Are there any options out there that currently fit this bill? Not really looking to spend National type money, just looking for something to play and hear with my own hands and ears without being up to my neck in thousands of dollars in the guitar, as my local options for candidates are slim to none.

Also curious how a spider bridge might compare to a tricone? I had been thinking for a while that a tricone was the route that I wanted to go as I was looking for something that sings a little more/longer so to appreciate the sonic richness of the guitar as opposed to the in your face punch and grunt of a biscuit resonator. I recently purchased a Republic Highway 61 travel sized guitar and really don't have any issues with it, it is just as my sound palette matures for slide playing I am becoming more fond of the sound I described above. Do the spiders have more sustain and singing qualities than the tricones?
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby rustyslide » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:16 am

Dobro has made metal-bodied spiders in the past, so they do exist.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby zhyla » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:31 am

tommott77 wrote:Do the spiders have more sustain and singing qualities than the tricones?


Not quite as much sustain, but they make up for it in volume. I poked around at tricones for years but just couldn't find one that did it for me. Having a spider pretty much ended my resonator search.

Regarding metal bodies... any particular reason you want a metal bodied guitar? I know, they look cool and stuff. When I first got into resonators I had to have some shiny metal. But it turns out it's annoyingly heavy and they show fingerprints like crazy.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby blueshome » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:44 pm

A good tricone does it for sustain and sweet tone every time. The volume is very similar to single cones but may be perceived as less as its not as brash. OMI made some metal body spider guitars and of course they were made pre-war by Dobro with the folded edge construction.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby gaucho » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:23 pm

I have a biscuit (Republic Resolian), a Spider (Beard Gold Tone Deluxe) and a Tricone (Republic). I like the biscuit and the spider the best. I'd put the tricone between the biscuit in terms of tone and sustain. I find the Spider has the longest sustain. If I was only going to have one, I might choose the tricone since it does kinda fall between the 2. But since I have all 3, the tricone seems to get the least playing time. I'm actually kinda looking to trade the tricone for a square neck. One thing about the tricone that I've found is that to really get that great tone (for me) you really need to use fingerpicks. I can do fine on the biscuit and spider with out the fingerpicks (I always use a thumbpick, and do use fingerpicks at times), but for me the tricone sounds best with fingerpicks.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby tommott77 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:06 pm

Thanks for all the responses. Some of the responses, along with my discovery of Tampa Red last night after writing this post, has brought me full circle back to wanting a tricone first and foremost. What Tampa was able to do with one string on his tricone is exactly what I felt was missing with my Highway 61. I have been playing electrics my whole life and have grown accustomed to being able to push lead licks out in front of the mix at the drop of a hat. In my playing on a resonator I am trying to meld the rhythm styles of the bottleneck greats (Son House, Robert Johnson, ect, ect) with lead fills more reminiscent of contemporary 'hot' electric blues. The Highway 61 nails down the rhythm attack but falls on its face somewhat on the lead lines. So finding a reasonably priced Tricone, preferably brass, is back on top of my list. I have spoken with Len a couple times at Vintage Nationals about the Hot Rod Tricone cutaways that he has coming in soon. Might pull the trigger on one of those next week.

I still might be in the market for a spider bridge though. That way I have all the bases covered. At this point it does not necessarily 100% have to be steel, though the harsh brashness of steel I feel would somewhat differentiate the sound from a country/bluegrassy type sound. In searching around last night it appears that Dobro made some metal bodies, for some reason I always thought they were all wood. It also sounds like that some of these had biscuits while others had spiders. How can you tell which Dobros might have biscuits as opposed to spiders? Is it safe to assume that all the older metal bodied dobros would have spiders, but the newer Gibson Dobros would have a biscuit? What about something like this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWAX:IT?
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby gaucho » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:38 pm

If you look closely at the coverplate on a biscuit and a spider, the spider is considerably larger that the biscuit. The spiders typically have a fan or poinsetta pattern on the coverplate and it is close to 10" in diameter. Comes pretty much all the way to the edges of the guitar body. The biscuits are about 8" in diameter and typically have a sieve-hole or chicken foot pattern. Once you figure it out, it's pretty easy to see the difference in photos. Here's my spider cone with the fan coverplate. Compare it to some full sized buscuit cone resos (I'll post my Resolian with the chicken foot pattern but remember it's a parlor size guitar). The size difference won't be readily apparent because of the difference in the body sizes.

Spider:
Image

Biscuit (parlor sized body):
Image

The Gibson you posted off E-Bay is a Spider. I believe most Dobro brand are spiders (but I may be mistaken). National and a few others make wood bodied buscuits.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby kiwiblues » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:09 pm

I've got a Natonal Style O brass bodied biscuit and a Goldtone Beard cutaway Spider.
The brass bodied biscuits have more sustain than the steel bodied ones.
If I was to only have one reso it would be the Goldtone. The cutaway gives great access to the frets above the 12th which I miss on the Style O and has a great sustain.
They are a llitle bit more expensive than the non cutaway model but well worth it.
I got mine secondhand off Ebay.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby bottleneck » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:32 pm

i usually prefer a biscuit to a spider,but that dobro you linked to is a nice looking guitar!then you wouldn't have to say"no,it's a national"everytime somebody asks if your guitar is a dobro,haha

www.myspace.com/shakeylee
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby zhyla » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:30 pm

tommott77 wrote:Some of the responses, along with my discovery of Tampa Red last night after writing this post, has brought me full circle back to wanting a tricone first and foremost. What Tampa was able to do with one string on his tricone is exactly what I felt was missing with my Highway 61.

...


This is just my opinion, but I think if you listen to your favorite musician playing a guitar it's natural to make the mistake of thinking "I want to sound like that, I should buy that guitar". However, the problem is a good musician will make any guitar sound fantastic. You're better off playing guitars locally until you figure out what kind sounds good when you play it, then order something similar online.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby Disciple » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:24 pm

zhyla wrote:You're better off playing guitars locally until you figure out what kind sounds good when you play it, then order something similar online.


All due respect but if we go round test playing guitars in local shops but then buy online won't we soon be unable to find a shop where we can test play?

I'm all for saving a buck when I can but when it comes to something as specialized as a guitar and it's potential sound and the personal demands related to that don't most of us need the hands on possibilities.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby zhyla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:35 am

Disciple wrote:All due respect but if we go round test playing guitars in local shops but then buy online won't we soon be unable to find a shop where we can test play?

I'm all for saving a buck when I can but when it comes to something as specialized as a guitar and it's potential sound and the personal demands related to that don't most of us need the hands on possibilities.


(no need to "all due respect" - disagreeing with me straight out is fine-n-dandy)

I haven't found a shop yet that carries many low- or mid-range resos. Most of the small shops I've been to have exactly one resonator guitar. I do have access to a place that carries Nationals and a couple Republics, but the Republics they had didn't work out for whatever reason. If you find what you want locally that's great, but it hasn't been my experience for resos.

For regular electrics I usually find what I want used locally pretty easily.
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby k1w1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:48 am

It's even worse down here, you can't try many, as they just don't stock them, and when they do the only ones are Fender and SX, Johnson before they went to Recording King (haven't seen their resos here yet but a lot of their guitars) and some no name rubbish, or very rarely Nat Resophonic, but they top $7000 local. And yet Beltona are made not 3 hours from me, but boy their prices :shock:
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby kiwiblues » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:56 am

Well down here, where I live I don't get any chance to try them out.
I had to get all my info from boards like this before I bought my resos.
I found the information absolutely invaluable. :D
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Re: Spider bridged steel body guitar options?

Postby kiwiblues » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:58 am

That's pretty Karmic Kiwi.
I just got home and typed my reply at the same time as you!! :roll:
k1w1 wrote:It's even worse down here, you can't try many, as they just don't stock them, and when they do the only ones are Fender and SX, Johnson before they went to Recording King (haven't seen their resos here yet but a lot of their guitars) and some no name rubbish, or very rarely Nat Resophonic, but they top $7000 local. And yet Beltona are made not 3 hours from me, but boy their prices :shock:
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