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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Budget cone or Beard/Replogle etc...?

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brimcfarland - Posted - 11/01/2020:  06:12:01

Greetings, and thanks for having me here.

I recently built myself a single cone biscuit resonator out of some OLD reclaimed barnwood (see my profile pic).

I’m a pretty loyal StewMac shopper, so to start with, I opted for the basic no frills budget cone and one piece black painted biscuit/saddle assembly.

I’m really happy with the sound so far. Far and away louder, "barkier" and more sustain than my cheapo Recording King Rattlesnake. Not as clean and refined as my Republic Tricone.

My question to you all, is

How much difference would I get with a better quality cone? Something like a Beard or a Replgle? I'm already thinking I'll change out that single piece black painted biscuit and saddle assembly, as much for ease of trimming the bottom as anything else. Looking at the Replogle split saddles, half Ebony/half Koa.  The cost of a new cone wouldn’t break the bank, but is it negligible to a relatively new slide player like me? I play a combination of fretted fingerstyle with some slide mixed in. Predominantly Open D Blues and Country Blues. 

I apologize this is like the quintessential "What kind of strings" question on this forum. I tried a Search first but didn’t come up with many results that helped.

Thanks again


Edited by - brimcfarland on 11/01/2020 06:17:44

badger - Posted - 11/02/2020:  06:39:55

I don't have experience with biscuit bridge cones, but, on spider-bridge instruments, I'd anticipate a night/day difference.

daver - Posted - 11/02/2020:  20:31:23

A top grade cone will likely be an improvement (subjective), but may not be the limiting factor in ultimate tone. However, cones aren't terribly expensive (a top grade cone costs only twice as much as top grade thumb picks, as much as a top grade bar, and less than half as miuch as a top grade strap), so go for it. Keep the budget cone for other future projects, sounds like you'd be inclined to do a few.

Different saddle and biscuit materials may offer a tonality change, but IMO not as much as a cone. That said, improper setup of a bridge can kill tone. Plain maple saddles set up well will sound better than any exotic wood saddles set up poorly.

A single cone guitar will sound different than a tricone just due to the nature of the beasts, Your description of single cone bark and tricone clean and refined are consistent with my perception. It sounds like your handbuilt singlecone exceeds the performance of your Reording King single cone. Sounds like success to me!

wlgiii - Posted - 11/04/2020:  11:50:09

I put a national cone in a Regal import metal body biscuit, and the sound difference was indeed night/day.

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 11/04/2020:  12:35:40

A biscuit cone authority I'm not, but regarding spider bridge cones I have heard professional reso luthiers say that the cone is responsible for at mnimum 50% of the sound of a guitar and some believe  the percentage is higher than that. 

Wayne thinks the National cone difference is night and day on his Regal. 

If it were me I'd just order the high end cone and find out for myself. 

brimcfarland - Posted - 11/04/2020:  15:29:57

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I’m gonna go ahead and try it myself and see, thanks again.

I’ll report back

wlgiii - Posted - 11/06/2020:  07:38:13

One more note- The National cone was a little taller than the one in the Regal, so be prepared for a possible change in action. Those biscuits are trickier to modify than a spider bridge insert.

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