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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: In the market for a new tonebar


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.resohangout.com/archive/54882

Auver - Posted - 03/07/2021:  15:29:22


As the title says I'm looking to buy a new tonebar. I contacted daddyslide after trying one but unfortunately he doesn't make them anymore. What are the top contender these days? And how is the difference in tone in stainless vs. chromed? I've never tried a stainless steel.

Thanks.

cc7 - Posted - 03/07/2021:  17:14:03


I’m kind of new so not the preferred advisor. Though I like my Stevens, I just got a Dunlop Long Dog and it is much more comfortable.

SlimPickins - Posted - 03/07/2021:  17:24:57


I wasn’t aware that the DaddySlides were no longer made. As far as a recommendation, it really depends on what you are looking for in a bar. Tipton, Scheerhorn, Charlie’s Slide Pro, and Bradley seem to be the most typical suggestions for the more high-end bars. Charlie’s and Scheerhorn are stainless steel only, and the Tipton and Bradleys are chrome plated only at this point. My personal favorite is the Bradley because it sounds and feels great and fits in my hand the best. As far as chrome plated vs. stainless steel, many folks agree that there is a tone difference between the two, chrome being a little warmer and steel being a brighter option. For me, there is more difference in feel than there is a difference in tone. Chrome plated bars tend to glide across the strings much more easily where steel feels like it drags on the strings. A well polished steel bar will get the same effect as the chrome, but it’s tough to find bars done to that level sometimes.



All that being said, those bars are on the expensive side. Shubb makes all of their bars out of steel these days and they offer a large variety of sizes and shapes.


Edited by - SlimPickins on 03/07/2021 17:25:46

Three_Eyed_Willy - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:06:45


This may sound silly, but I find that the tone bar that fits my hand the best is the Shubb GS, with the wooden "handle" on the top. I've got a shoebox full of tone bars, but this is the one I keep coming back to.

SlimPickins - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:23:22


I had the Shubb GS once upon a time. They are indeed very comfortable, it was just way too light for me personally. I prefer a heavy bar.

rickahull - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:27:14


quote:

Originally posted by Three_Eyed_Willy

This may sound silly, but I find that the tone bar that fits my hand the best is the Shubb GS, with the wooden "handle" on the top. I've got a shoebox full of tone bars, but this is the one I keep coming back to.






That's the bar I've been using for several years, too. I can grip it better. I would like to try some of the high end stainless bars, though. I would like a little heavier bar if I can grip it well.

Three_Eyed_Willy - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:31:01


Watch out for the ones that have "teeth" machined into the grip. You may have to go over them with a file or some emery cloth to keep them from digging into your fingers. I picked up a couple of the "Charlie" bars. They were a bit too heavy for me, but they were almost comfortable.

rickahull - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:34:43


Are Charlie's bars slick where you grip them with your fingers or are they roughed up a little?

SlimPickins - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:38:11


Hi Rick,

The Charlie’s bars are not roughed up on the sides, but they are not polished like the playing surface. I have never had a problem with any slippage on my Charlie’s bars, but it could happen.

rickahull - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:41:12


I'll try one sometime when I get a chance, I don't want to buy one and find out I don't like it. I do use one of Charlie's capos and I love it.

2BUCKS - Posted - 03/07/2021:  18:49:16


I have, and still use, a couple of custom GS2 (Gary Swallows) steels that carry about the same weight as some of the custom bars out there. GS2's are similar in design as the Schubb GS but have an angled cut on one end and bullet on the other. The wood handle is encasing a brass filling that the stainless steel tone bar is attached to. I don't know if Garry is still making them, but he would customize the materials and handle design to your specs. For those of you who didn't know, Gary Swallows invented/designed the Schubb GS.


Edited by - 2BUCKS on 03/07/2021 18:52:25

LukeL - Posted - 03/07/2021:  19:26:59


Surprised nobody’s mentioned the Beard 20/10. That’s my favorite and I’ve tried a bunch of different ones in different price ranges.


Edited by - LukeL on 03/07/2021 19:27:15

SlimPickins - Posted - 03/07/2021:  19:29:27


To be honest, I completely forgot about those, Luke. I liked the one I had as well, but it just didn’t fit in my hand as well as some others. I k is Paul introduced a few new variations of the 20/10 bar. I’d really like to give some of those a try.

Auver - Posted - 03/08/2021:  03:11:47


Thanks everyone! I'm thinking either Charlie or Scheerhorn at this point. I'm leaning towards Charlie's as the mass would produce better tone I guess, but I'm a little worried about the weight for fast playing?

I don't think I'll be buying a Beard, I have one (probably an older model) and I actually prefer the tone of the lap dawg and it isn't very good for pull-offs either.

toddborger - Posted - 03/08/2021:  04:50:28


quote:

Originally posted by Auver

Thanks everyone! I'm thinking either Charlie or Scheerhorn at this point. I'm leaning towards Charlie's as the mass would produce better tone I guess, but I'm a little worried about the weight for fast playing?

 






I have not used the Scheerhorn. Charlie's is my second and at this point final slide.



As far as speed, I never thought about the weight of the slide being a limitation. I don't think that it could be a limitation, however, since the best players use heavy slides (I think--I may be wrong).



My limitation on speed has more to do with a general lack of ability. 

mesmithut - Posted - 03/08/2021:  06:54:53


I've used and own both the Charlie's bar and the Scheerhorn and I think they're both excellent quality, but they certainly are not the same. The Charlie's bar has a more traditional shape of the grip and seems to have more to hold onto. The Scheerhorn has big radius curves on top and sometimes seems harder to grip. It just sort of disappears in my hand. I've gotten to where I really like that about the Scheerhorn, but some folks seem to really hate it and want more bar to grip.

Auver - Posted - 03/08/2021:  14:51:06


Thank you both very much for your input! Sounds like the Charlie is for me then, as one of the things I dislike with my beard is that as you say disappears in the hand.

Thank you all.

badger - Posted - 03/08/2021:  15:48:11


E.G. Smith. Cast stainless, perfect design for pulloffs, roughened sides and top to keep the thing under control (a little coating of rosin helps too), tone for days. Greg Boyd's still got them.

Sure they're expensive, but it's a lifetime investment. I went through six or seven top-shelf bars before coming across the Smith (thanks, Ivan Rosenberg). Never looked back-nothing else feels right.

Just my $.02 - YMMV

LukeL - Posted - 03/09/2021:  13:34:01


What about the Beard bar doesn’t lend itself to pull offs for you? I'm curious because I feel like my hard stainless Beard bar makes a way sharper and cleaner pull off than a brass bar.


Edited by - LukeL on 03/09/2021 13:34:28

Oboe Cadobro - Posted - 03/10/2021:  09:30:01


quote:

Originally posted by Auver

Thanks everyone! I'm thinking either Charlie or Scheerhorn at this point. I'm leaning towards Charlie's as the mass would produce better tone I guess, but I'm a little worried about the weight for fast playing?






I have a custom size Charlie's tone bar that is 1/4 inch longer than standard. It fits my hand perfectly and the weight doesn't bother me. 



quote:

Originally posted by Auver

I don't think I'll be buying a Beard, I have one (probably an older model) and I actually prefer the tone of the lap dawg and it isn't very good for pull-offs either.






I used to have a Beard 2010 and it had sharp edges that made excellent pull-offs.



quote:

Originally posted by SlimPickins

Chrome plated bars tend to glide across the strings much more easily where steel feels like it drags on the strings. A well polished steel bar will get the same effect as the chrome, but it’s tough to find bars done to that level sometimes.






With very little effort, you can do what I did: find a local jeweler who can polish the business side of the tone bar to a mirror finish...the Charlie's bar slides well with little noise and the finish doesn't wear off like chrome.


Edited by - Oboe Cadobro on 03/10/2021 09:35:32

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 03/10/2021:  15:43:16


Hey - a new bar thread! If Resohangout were a "Classic Rock" radio station - bar threads are like Foreigner and REO Speedwagon songs - they come around on a fairly regular basis on the playlist. 



I've got a drawer full of bars and though they have different features and benefits, I tend to go mostly with the Scheerhorn stainless. I feel like I can get up and down the neck with this one better than the others. If I imagine the index finger on my bar hand as being a piece of steel, the 'horn bar sort of fits that description the best with my hand. 



I'll grab whatever is near - in front of me on the desk is the Scheerhorn and an E.G. Smith.  Badger hosted an Ivan Rosenberg workshop a bunch of years ago and that's where we first bought the Smiths. Ivan providing the bars was sort of  like the guy on the street with watches for sale stashed in his overcoat. wink



One bar that I use more for 6 string and sometimes 8 string lap steel is the chrome plated Asher. I can't find it on Bill's website - maybe it's gone away forever, or he's waiting for a new batch? Works pretty well for dobro, but the reason I like it when I go electric is the slickness and it's a little heavier than the Scheerhorn. It's on the beefier side, like Charlie's bar. And on lap steel unless you're really emulating a lot of dobro licks you're playing less notes in general. From the Jerry Douglas school of philosophy:  "the dobro is like a a handsaw whereas the lap steel is more like a chainsaw."



Bars to me are a lot like shoes. The same brand doesn't work for all feet. Take running/athletic shoes. Mrs. inSonoma and I were shopping a shoe sale at Big 5 Sporting Goods a few years ago. She's a big Saucony fan and I've been a New Balance guy for a bunch of years. She sold me on the idea of a pair of Sauconys that day to give them a shot, and though they have been okay, even after breaking them in - they just never felt  quite dialed in.  So  when I bought some new shoes last year it was back to New Balance. 

P2gee - Posted - 03/10/2021:  16:32:27


quote:

Originally posted by badger

E.G. Smith. Cast stainless, perfect design for pulloffs, roughened sides and top to keep the thing under control (a little coating of rosin helps too), tone for days. Greg Boyd's still got them.



Sure they're expensive, but it's a lifetime investment. I went through six or seven top-shelf bars before coming across the Smith (thanks, Ivan Rosenberg). Never looked back-nothing else feels right.



Just my $.02 - YMMV




 



Me too exactly.   I have the EG Smith Bluegrass and Standard bars. Both work very well for me though I tend to use the Bluegrass more.







 


Edited by - P2gee on 03/10/2021 16:34:23

Tom Jr. - Posted - 03/12/2021:  15:44:18


I've been using the EG Smith bar for a decade or better now. It is great for pulloffs and has the "teeth" on the top and roughened sides that really help with the grip.

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