First Resonator

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First Resonator

Postby johnPulp » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:39 am

I'm interested in buying a resonator for me but I never had one before.
I'm in doubt about the material, like wood, brass or steel. And if I get a single cone or a tricone; I"m looking for playing Delta Blues with slide.
Thank you.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby The Breeze » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:20 pm

I have ended up with biscuit bridge, steel bodied, single cone and a tricone. I prefer the tricone for everyday playing.
But, you'll end up with more than one anyway so why worry? :lol:
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Re: First Resonator

Postby Jakeblues » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:38 am

I think you'll really need to try a couple to decide. Different instruments will respond differently to your style and touch. My first was a Chinese made Hound dog deluxe (wood body spider bridge). I now have a steel bodies tricone and a wood bodied spider bridge square neck. I prefer the tricone for a round neck, but you really need to get your hands on a couple (which can be hard to do if you don't have a local store that has some in stock.)
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Re: First Resonator

Postby johnPulp » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:11 am

You know, that's my problem Jakeblues. I don't have a good local store :/
I've already tried some resos but I couldn't get my hands on one like National or a Republic one to feel it, so I'm trying to find out what I should I be looking for when I get to a good store.
The only time I've played one, I've decided to get a brass or steel single cone, but maybe I'm wrong.. I don't know :)
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Re: First Resonator

Postby ricbleu » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:24 am

I settled on a steel body biscuit bridge from Republic. I keep it tuned to open E with light (12s) strings. It's blues to the bone. Here's the body with the gungy green paint stripped off. :D Peace
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Re: First Resonator

Postby Jakeblues » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:53 am

I'm fortunate that I have a couple of good local shops, including one that carrys National, Smith and Young, Beard and Beard/Gold Tone. Earlier this year, I had the funds for a fancy reso, and thought for certain, I'd come home with a brass single cone. They look so cool and I've heard so many sound so great. I figured a Style O was for me. Then I compared it to a Style 1 tricone, and that was a game changer. I almost walked out the door with it (I was going to pay for it.) On a whim, I tried an antique brass tricone and I was thrilled with the warmth of the tone. It wasn't until after I bought it that I realized it was a steel body with an antique brass finish. The tone works for my style and touch. Now, I also don't gig, so the warm tone could be a liability if you're trying to cut through a bunch of other instruments, but I'm very partial to the tone.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby JakeFirebirdV » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:53 am

If you stick to a resonator forever, you'll ultimately end up with a National. There's not many stores to find these babies but, a planned trip to a dealer might be fun. Also, National will send you a free CD of sound samples of all of their models if asked.
I had one custom made for me in 2004. It truly is an investment where you begin reaping the rewards immediately 8)
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Re: First Resonator

Postby johnPulp » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:42 pm

Thank you guys for the help, I think in the end of the year I'll go to CA and take a visit to Vintage Nationals.
But I still have one last question, what do you think about buying a new reso or a vintage one?
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Re: First Resonator

Postby JakeFirebirdV » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:22 pm

johnPulp wrote:Thank you guys for the help, I think in the end of the year I'll go to CA and take a visit to Vintage Nationals.
But I still have one last question, what do you think about buying a new reso or a vintage one?


Buy whatever fits! HOWEVER .... if you're gonna play a lot, my opinion is to buy a quality new one - treat yourself to the way these things break themselves in with constant playing ... it's like raising a child properly. Your ears and soul will thank you!
Buy yourself a 'vintage' if it will hang on the wall more than it is played. It'll make for a great a conversation piece and satisfy your in-house soul.
Again ... just my opinion based on being a performer for over 40 years.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby Jakeblues » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:18 pm

I wouldn't rule out new (or recent). Older is not always better and there are a lot more new(er) ones around. Particularly with the metal bodies, it doesn't age like wood.

I've never played a Republic, but many on here have. I've heard lots of recordings, and I couldn't say that I could tell the difference in tone between that and a National. Considering the difference in price, I'd say looking into one for a first reso would be a good start. If you've got the $$ for a National, Beard or Smith and Young, I highly doubt you'd be disappointed, but you may develop strong preferences to the subtle differences after you've played a reso for a while.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby michaelm » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:43 am

You don't have to spend a fortune on a vintage instrument to get a good sound. Gold Tone, Recording King and Republic all offer some very nice resos for under $1000. I would start with one of those which you can be playing while you have an eye out for a good deal on an older instrument and are saving up for it. Just my $0.02 8)
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Re: First Resonator

Postby ricbleu » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:00 am

Well I'm going to stick my head over the parapet here. I do not think that you need a top shelf instrument when you start playing. It might give you satisfaction that you've got the best sounding instrument but it won't make you play better. Of course a very poorly made instrument can make things difficult but there are lots of options in between that you can trust to give good sound and reliable quality for reasonable cost. By following discussions on this forum, I decided to trust Republic and have since bought two directly from Frank. They are both fine instruments, the steel body, as I said in my previous posting, is blues to the bone. Would a National have a superior tone? Probably, but my humble Republic in no way prevents me expressing my blues to the best of my ability. So to sum up, buy the best you can afford but don't think you need to buy the best to play the blues. :D Peace.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby Jakeblues » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Very well said, Rich. The post is titled "First resonator". If it was going to be your last, maybe I'd make different suggestions.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby bottleneck » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:35 pm

i have heard two examples of the $200 rogue triolian that sound better than any reso short of a national.

this will not be a popular answer.but,there it is.my opinion for a first res,rogue triolian

as far as vintage VS. new,i do three shows a week with a '38 duolian.i think the new nationals sound almost as good.it is possible that they have a better neck.but i like mine.

disclaimer:play what you can get your hands on.

http://www.shakeylee.com
Last edited by bottleneck on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Resonator

Postby peterr89 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:06 am

You know, that's my problem Jakeblues. I don't have a good local store :/
I've already tried some resos but I couldn't get my hands on one like National or a Republic one to feel it, so I'm trying to find out what I should I be looking for when I get to a good store..
http://www.centplay.com/affiliate/id_139/
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