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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Beard round neck choice


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/55690

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  06:32:22


I’m trying to decide if I want to spend the money on a model R or just a decophonic for my first resonator. Any advice?

wlgiii - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:14:02


They'll both sound really good, and look really good. Do you have the opportunity to play them first? I'd go with whatever neck feels best; that's what I really notice on round necks.

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:31:59


This is on line. I don’t have a good shop where I live. Good point about the feel of it. The photos and videos of the model R are enticing but $4,000 is a lot for your first resonator.


Edited by - Cattywampus on 09/02/2021 07:32:51

FrederickPatterson - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:38:16


I would call Folk Music Store in Chattanooga/Red Bank and see what they have. Likely worth the trip for that much money.

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:41:24


Maybe you’re right to play before buying. Although I was going to buy direct through Beard. I’ll google that store thanks!

LukeL - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:41:31


Or Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. They had a really impressive selection of Beard models when I went last year.

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:44:44


I checked Gruhn. They just have one left handed vintage R

hlpdobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:48:32


quote:

Originally posted by wlgiii

They'll both sound really good, and look really good. Do you have the opportunity to play them first? I'd go with whatever neck feels best; that's what I really notice on round necks.






Both good..but different:



The 27/37 Deco is dimensionally the same as a pre-war guitar. The Mahogany R is slightly deeper with different internals. I believe the neck profiles are the same.



This often results with the Deco described  as  "funky/bluesy/traditional  and the R as slightly more "mellow". But, these are only common descriptors and might not be the way you might describe the differences.



To complicate matters a tad, Beard will also has a "Vintage R" . Sort of a cross between the two models being discussed.



Might be worth a road trip to Gruhn in Nashville...if they happen to have one or the other available.



Good luck.



 



h



 


Edited by - hlpdobro on 09/02/2021 07:51:10

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  07:53:04


Thanks! Great description. I own Martins and my mahogany/spruce 000-18 is my favorite so I do like a warmer deeper tone. I may have to get to a shop somewhere

hlpdobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  08:22:15


I believe the Deco 57 s also available as a round neck. Uses Beard "E" body profile. There is no direct pre-war descendant, unlike the 27/37 and is also priced along the Deco lines.

I'd certainly call the Beard shop. They'd be all too happy to answer questions. They're in the "happy customer" business.

h

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  08:36:30


I see a gold tone PBR-deluxe for much less money and other gold tones on reverb but you don’t see many Beards.

hlpdobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  09:29:33


You won't as Beard is a small shop building hand crafted guitars, typically sold through boutique dealers.

Goldtones are factory built guitars sold mass market.

Great value though.

h

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 09/02/2021:  10:43:23


Over the years I've managed to play several examples  of the Beard R Mahogany  model - but almost all squareneck. I recall Gryphon in the Bay Area having a roundneck a bunch of years ago.



Never played one that I thought  was a dog, really nice guitars. And sharp looking as well. 



And they were a good value. Sold for around $2700 for years and crept up to a little over $3K. It was a model to get into the higher end of the Beard line at a decent price. 



I was checking out Guitar Center/Musician's Friend and they list the R Mahogany these days @ $4200. That puts this model in the neighborhood of the various  E models. A little shocked to see such a massive price increase. 



There were numerous opportunities to buy one used in clean condition at a great price but the timing was never right for me. Well I guess that ship has sailed...


Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 09/02/2021 10:46:48

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  10:50:13


I have been emailing with the sales tech at beard. I could have an R model custom made in mahogany tobacco sunburst with Celtic knot cover plate for $4,400 by next summer. Being a Martin player and not having ever tried a resonator I wanted to talk to some of you. I’m being extra careful with this amount of money at stake

Oboe Cadobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  12:05:07


quote:

Originally posted by Cattywampus

Being a Martin player and not having ever tried a resonator I wanted to talk to some of you.






Just curious...if you've never tried a resonator, are you sure that you want to buy one? I suggest that you find the closest shop with any brand round neck resonators (metal and wood) and spend a session deciding whether you even like the sound. If so and you prefer wood to metal, then it might even be worth the 7-hour trip to visit the Beard shop in Maryland.


Edited by - Oboe Cadobro on 09/02/2021 12:09:36

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 09/02/2021:  12:09:18


One thing to know about this forum Stephen, is though we discuss all kind of resonator guitars here, the vast majority of the members in the 13 years of its existence a primarily lap style dobro players.



Speaking of Martin, I have a really nice dreadnought that was a limited run model from their Custom Shop that I acquired 10 years ago (it blows me away that it's been 10 years last month!). Adirondack Spruce over Madagascar rosewood.



It's a great guitar and gets better sounding as time marches on. It gets played on average about four days a week even if sometimes it's only for five to ten minutes. 



When it comes to resonators since I'm one of the members here who is all about lap style, unless I won a decent lottery I'm not sure I could justify $4400 for a roundneck. I don't know if it would find a place in the household instrument lineup to where I'd be playing it three or four times a week, or better yet, have it become my main acoustic guitar for standard/Spanish style playing.



This reminds me a bit of a story about a very unusual lap steel guitar. I have a beautiful Asher 6 string lap steel. Bill Asher is a great luthier.  A few years ago I was in a local music store and the owner brought out a custom built 12 string Asher lap steel. The strings were in pairs like a a standard 12 string guitar - I'd never seen anything like it. I think Asher has made exactly two of these 12 stringers. It was a cool instrument and if I could just whip out the old credit card on a whim I might have gone for it -  he offered it to me for around $1700. What happened is a guy ordered it from Asher through this shop, but for whatever reason  he didn't follow through and the store was stuck with it. 



Being such an unusual take on a lap steel, I decided to  my gut on that one - how often was it going to come out of the case and actually get played? It was a steel guitar for "the man who has everything."

Oboe Cadobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  12:11:35


quote:

Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

the owner brought out a custom built 12 string Asher lap steel. The strings were in pairs like a a standard 12 string guitar






That sounds wicked cool, but how TF do you play it?

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  12:40:41


This is exactly the kid of advice I was looking for on here! Someone to talk some sense into me. I called a local shop that has a Gretsch bobtail and a metal bodied biscuit cone I can't remember the brand. I'm going to go try them. quote:

Originally posted by Cattywampus

I have been emailing with the sales tech at beard. I could have an R model custom made in mahogany tobacco sunburst with Celtic knot cover plate for $4,400 by next summer. Being a Martin player and not having ever tried a resonator I wanted to talk to some of you. I’m being extra careful with this amount of money at stake






 

Iceman6937 - Posted - 09/02/2021:  13:18:23


I like it when cooler heads prevail. Get a good starter reso and then...see what happens.  Enjoy the journey.

Cattywampus - Posted - 09/02/2021:  13:23:43


I’ll go try a few. I don’t like the v neck that the Gretsch has though. I could still possibly get a deco phonic for half the price or the model R. Anyone like National?

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 09/02/2021:  14:23:19


I love National. Still don't own one but I have played a bunch of them. I have a couple friends who between them own several modern Nationals.  Different breed of cat, because unless you were to get a National Scheerhorn roundneck with a spider bridge, they are mostly biscuit bridge resonators along with tricones. 



A few years ago I got a nice one-on-one tour of National here in California, really enjoyed it. They take a lot of pride in their work. 



A National or Beard - either one would be great. 



I don't know if this applies to an actual made in Maryland Beard, but if you buy an imported Gold Tone/Beard directly from Beard in Maryland, and it obviously has to be kept in very good condition, Paul offers a trade in program that you can send him the Gold Tone and he will take it back and apply your original purchase price to a "real" Beard.  



If the money is burning a hole in your pocket and your jonesin' for a new guitar - maybe you should just pull the trigger on a Deco Phonic and be done with it. 



But since you did bring up National, it would be a good idea to research different guitars in both spider bridge and biscuit bridge configurations. 



Frederick posted earlier about The Folk Music store in the Chattanooga area.  The owner is a member here but he doesn't post very often. He's built a good reputation and carries some nice instruments.  I would give them a call - it might be worth the drive down there to check it out.  One of our members, Janet Newsom lives in the area. She might be able to shed some additional light on The Folk Music Store.

psikes - Posted - 09/02/2021:  14:36:33


Check out the Guitar Sanctuary for round necks too. Not sure what all they have in stock but they had the only Beard that I was after that was available in the US at the moment. A great company to deal with in my humble opinion.

Phil

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 09/02/2021:  14:46:27


I'll do a temporary thread hijack to answer Dane's question regarding the Asher 12 string lap steel.



The strings are in pairs, and if memory serves, the bottom 4 strings were tuned in octaves, and the top two strings in unison like a typical 12 string guitar. It has a single Lindy Fralin P-90 "no hum" pickup (my Asher Electro Hawaiian custom has a pair of the same pickup). The body is red oak with an Indian rosewood fretboard. 



Again, a steel guitar for "the man who has everything" You could play a cool slidey version of Mr. Tambourine Man like Roger McGuinn did on his 12 string Rickenbacker with The Byrds.  



But that wasn't enough to get me to buy the guitar...



 



 

Oboe Cadobro - Posted - 09/02/2021:  14:51:13


quote:

Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

I'll do a temporary thread hijack to answer Dane's question regarding the Asher 12 string lap steel.






I was really asking "how do you pick two strings at once with finger picks?" and do it cleanly, because that's what I imagine you'd have to do to play it. I guess you could use a flat pick...


Edited by - Oboe Cadobro on 09/02/2021 14:55:18

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 09/02/2021:  15:44:05


I don't recall the details -  again -  it was at least three years ago and I think I gave it about a 10 minute test drive. 



I do remember you could get that "chimey" chorus-like vibe similar to a standard 12 string guitar. 



When the shop owner brought it out for me to sample, having never seen anything like this in my life I wasn't real sure what to make of it. Uncharted waters.



 Maybe Bill Asher wasn't either since he has made exactly two of these guitars.  



Tut Taylor recorded a 12 string Dobro album around 1964. But Tut was of course "The Flat Pickin' Dobro Man."

 


Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 09/02/2021 15:51:54

badger - Posted - 09/02/2021:  16:57:35


Fingerpicks work just fine on a 12-string. Ask Leo Kottke.

Biggfoot44 - Posted - 09/16/2021:  08:36:52


Nobody said it yet ;

Since this is all uncharted territory for you , get a " starter " Resonator on the order of a Gold Tone first . Good enough for you to get an idea if this tickles your musical itch you had in mind .

Love it a lot , for $4k worth ? Your starter will hold you over while waiting for the dream guitar to be built , and afterwards be a backup , travel , play in rough & tumble venue instrument .

Like it somewhat , but not $4k worth ? More of an occasional change of pace instead of your #1 Primary Instrument ? Gold Tone level should handle that .

badger - Posted - 09/16/2021:  09:19:59


If you're anything like me, the tone and playability of a good instrument relegates previous instruments to closet queen status and they never get played. My preference has been to find good used instruments where someone else is taking the financial hit and learn along the way, moving them along as others take their place ("catch and release" as Mark Eaton puts it) and honing my ear. I owned about a zillion different squarenecks before having my "forever" axe built. I love it dearly, but it isn't the instrument that I would have chosen when I started out. My technique and the sound I was searching for both evolved over the years, and I thoroughly enjoyed both the journey and the years of horse-trading.

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