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The resonator guitar reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

255 reviews in the archive.

Fender Roosevelt CE Electric Resonator Guitar: Roosevelt CE

Submitted by ghost (see all reviews from this person) on 5/27/2018

Where Purchased: Fender online

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This is a Fender Roosevelt CE electric resonator guitar. I use it to play open-g, mostly chords and picking, some slide. I play it through a Digitech RP360XP multi-effect pedal. The sound is bright, with a great resonator sound. I like the guitar now, but it required some modifications to get it to sound well.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

This guitar sounded fine until I plugged it in, after which it assaulted me with a high pitch wail through the speakers. I found the problem was due to the piezo pickup not being attached properly at the bottom of the cone. The pickup has to have proper contact with the cone, and that is done by adjusting a small nut on the tension adjustment screw beneath the cone. For some reason, the nut was too loose thus causing improper contact between the piezo pickup and the cone. Also, the maple-ebony saddle height was too low on the treble side.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

This is a beautiful guitar, with dark maple highlights and a sunburst finish. The wood is laminate, the fingerboard is rosewood. There were no flaws in its appearance.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I'm not sure how long laminate guitars keep their appearance, but I've had the guitar over a year and it still looks great. I think it is a sturdy and reliable guitar.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I did call Fender for help soon after I received the guitar. I don't think the person I spoke with knew much about resonator guitars though. I'm not sure about the guitar's warranty, but I've never had to take it in for repair.

Customer Service: 6

Components

I think the standout components are the piezo and magnetic pickups. I hated that the piezo pickup was attached to the tension adjustment screw beneath the cone, but I moved the pickup elsewhere within the guitar body so that solved that issue. I also had to replace the saddle, as it was too low on the treble side. The laminate body is a turn off, but it doesn't seem to detract from the guitar's sound.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is a beautiful, bright-sounding guitar. The body and cone seem to amplify and enhance each other well. It took a lot of work to get the piezo pickup issue resolved though, and I also spent quite a bit of time and money getting the saddle right. The piezo pickup makes it impossible to tighten or loosen the tension adjustment screw without getting underneath the cone because the nut holding the pickup to the bottom of the cone needs to be adjusted every time the tension adjustment screw needs to be turned. If the piezo pickup retaining nut is too loose, it will result in horribly loud feedback noise in the speakers. 

Overall Rating: 7

Eastwood Resonator 27 inch Baritone: Eastwood Resonator Baritone

Submitted by ghost (see all reviews from this person) on 5/26/2018

Where Purchased: Eastwood Online

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: $599 ($US)

Sound

This is an Eastwood Delta-6, 27 inch electric resonator 6-string baritone guitar. Tuned to ADADF#A, it allows me to play open-g chords, plus plenty of low notes available. Use three amps (Egnater Tweaker, Fender Accoustasonic 40, Peavey Rage) with Digitech RP360XP inline. Sound is beautiful and adjustable, with loudness completely optional due to combination of P-90 magnetic and piezo below the saddle pickups. The electrics are mostly missing the typical clicks and pops that plague piezo pickups (due to finger or pick contact with the strings and guitar body). Eastwood baritone resonator adds a deep delta sound, but somewhat inhibited as it is not a hollow guitar so resonator sound is somewhat dulled. Can play regular guitar, or as in my case open-g chords, with some notes an octave lower, which adds a nice rich lower tone. Variety is what you want to make of it, play regular rhythm and lead, delta blues, slide, add some bass, all optional and to a great extent depending on your strings. I really like this guitar, and as much as I like my strat and Fender reso, it may become my main "go-to" guitar due to its wide range of options.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

It came tuned to BEADF#B which is a perfect fourth or five semitones below EADGBE. I tuned to ADADF#A which allows open-g chords. Action is perfect, and highly resistant to changes in tension due to heavier strings and alternate tuning. I recommend lighter to medium baritone strings, or for ADADF#A an individual string setup such as what I am using (14-17-26w-36-48-64). I use regular John Pearse electric nickel wound strings, which are longer than the usual guitar string, so they fit my 27 inch baritone without problems. The existing tuner holes do not allow anything larger than a 70 gauge string, so you can't play serious bass with this guitar. The piezo pickup and one-piece saddle make on-the-fly tension screw spider-cone adjustments impossible, so I tightened the tension screw 1/2 turn beyond spider-cone contact and that seems to have worked out well for the strings that I am using.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

This 27 inch Eastwood Delta-6 baritone is beautiful, with a laminated maple sunburst black appearance. It is hollowed out enough to allow the resonator cone, but is otherwise not a hollow guitar in spite of its appearance. The neck is maple with rosewood dot markers. No blemishes were noted, although the trapeze tail bridge mounting hole was stripped, requiring a larger screw replacement.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware appears solid and reliable, and looks like it will last. The finish appears sturdy and tough. It should be reliable for gigs, without a backup being required. By its nature, it fills a niche somewhere between a regular scale-length guitar and a bass guitar, although it cannot function as a full-on bass.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I am not aware of any particular warranty for this guitar. Eastwood does have a customer service available, but I found their information and advice regarding the resonator somewhat lacking.

Customer Service: 5

Components

The guitar itself appears all-around solid. The resonator cone seems a little cheap, and is screwed into the guitar body. The body is hollowed out just enough to allow the cone to sit inside thus adversely affecting the full potential of the resonator, and in no way would this guitar qualify as an acoustic resonator. Without amplification, it is nowhere as loud as an acoustic resonator guitar.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

With its magnetic and piezo pickups and its resonator, it goes beyond what a standard electric baritone guitar can provide. I enjoy mixing open-g chords with the deep notes that this guitar can provide. 

Overall Rating: 9

Gretsch: G9230 Squareneck Bobtail

Submitted by retrobanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 2/14/2018

Where Purchased: Thomann

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: 625 (EUR) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound Rating: 1

Setup

Setup Rating: 1

Appearance

Appearance Rating: 1

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 1

Customer Service

Customer Service: 1

Components

Components Rating: 1

Overall Comments

I just bought my first dobro squareneck in my life, so I dont have much to compare with, but the sound is excellent, no flaws, I am very satisfied. For the moment I have not tried to play through cable/combo, only accoustic. I am very happy to have it, I am starting practicing. I play banjo, so I hope that will help me.

Overall Rating: 9

Mosco String Works: Cowee Large Body NO. 038

Submitted by SMenasco (see all reviews from this person) on 2/4/2018

Where Purchased: From Builder Peter Mosco

Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: Under $3000 ($US)

Sound

I play mostly old country. I used a Myers pickup with a small Beherinson amp. The guitar is loud, has a great tone and long sustain. I am completely satisfied.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The guitar was set up by Peter Mosco and is very satisfactory. I have not made any set up changes.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The guitar is a highly flamed solid maple with an ebony fretboard. The glossy black finish is flawless with a black on black burst around the sides, sanded in the middle of the top and back to accent the grain of the wood. It has Mother of Pearl binding around the top, both sides of the neck and around the peghead. The inlaid fret markers and frets are Mother of Pearl. The F holes were designed by Peter Mosco with MOP dots on either side of the F holes. The cover plate and tailpiece is a carbon fiber-looking gray color. It has a Beard Legend cone, No. 14 spider and Planet Wave locking tuning machines.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware is top[ of the line, finish is excellent and I look forward to many years of playing this instrument without any problems.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Peter Mosco is probably one of the most underrated luthiers around. He is very agreeable and easy to work with. He builds a top notch guitar at a reasonable price, considering the amount of work and care he puts into the product.

Customer Service: 10

Components

There are absolutely no inferior parts in this guitar. It is made with the best products available.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

If you're looking for a high quality resophonic guitar built with great skill and care at a reasonable price, you're home.

Overall Rating: 9

Beard Guitars: Jerry Douglas Blackbeard

Submitted by jjgreene1 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/4/2017

Where Purchased: Beard Guitars

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I checked out several before getting the blackbeard.to me it has the sound i was looking for.I was using the goldtone pbsm with the fishman pickup and the jd pedal and was happy,but after getting the black beard what a big difference! the sound of the black beard is AMAZING !! I had the hipshot double shot installed so i do'nt have to carry 2 of them to every gig . THIS THING IS WORTH EVERY PENNY

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup is perfect,I ca'nt believe how much easyer it is to play than the goldtone. I dont no why but seems i change strings alot less than i did on the goldtone. I had to change strings for every gig with goldtone and with the beard i can get two or three gigs

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Wasnt sure i like the looks of it when i first saw them on beards web page,but it really grows on you.the finish and appearane could not be better and the red bubinga fretboard really stands out.Every gig we play i get so many compliments on appearents and sound

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I think this will last me the rest of my life because its a Beard. They take pride in there craftsmanship!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Beard Guitars is the best people to deal with, they take the time to explain every question and beleive me i had lots LOL

Customer Service: 10

Components

Every thing on the black beard is top notch

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments


I wish i would have bought this sooner than i did, the best word to describe is WOW!! I love the doubleshot hipshot it stays in tune perfectly.the tone and appearance is amazing

Overall Rating: 10

Beard Guitars: Vintage R

Submitted by dwood1611 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2017

Where Purchased: Individual

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 1750 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Great sound in every way.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful instrument. Beard quality is second to none.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

I wouldn't change a thing.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Macon Stringed Instruments Co.: Macon Maple Large Body

Submitted by SMenasco (see all reviews from this person) on 4/2/2017

Where Purchased: Macon Stringed Instruments

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 2000+ ($US)

Sound

The sound is exactly what I was expecting; very loud, or subdued should it be played in that manner. The tone is rich, clean and bell-like. The sustain is very good and the notes played above the twelveth fret are clean. I am very pleased with the results of the construction and the outcome of the endeavor.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was done extremely well. There is no foreign noise, vibration or rattling.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The guitar is solid maple, highly figured with the grain showing very well. The finish is a high gloss beautiful red orange, is very bright and perfectly done. The ebony fret board has inlaid frets and exotic fret markers, all mother of pearl, that glistens when the light hits it. In my opinion, the inlaid mother of pearl sets this guitar off in a league of its own. It has a darker very slight burst around the top, sides and back. The whole guitar exhibits a "wet" look. I am totally pleased with the end result. It is on par with other high quality guitars, like my Ida Red, Red Line Peabody.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

All the hardwear is high quality, with none expected to fail. The finish appears to be of the caliber to last for a very long time. All main parts are high quality domestic, such as the Legend cone, poinsettia cover plate and Red Line Resophonics aluminum alloy spider.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Peter is very cordial to work with and tries very hard to please. Every request prior to starting the build was agreed to in a very professional manner. A specific warranty was not discussed. However, should the guitar develop a problem, I have no doubt Peter would favorably address the issue quickly.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I know of no weak or cheap parts were used in this construction. The most significant thing about this guitar is the look of the dark ebony fret board and mother of pearl inlaid frets and inlaid fret markers against the bright red orange finish. It is just spectacular!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This Macon guitar is outstanding in every way.  The bright red orange finish was applied in a superb manner without runs or blemishes and has no flaws.  It can be very loud and has great sustain.  The tone is true all the way up the neck.  The mother of pearl inlays were the absolute best choice.  I have no negative comments.  I would certainly buy this guitar again.  Peter Mosco did a superb job building this guitar for me.  I just do not think it could have turned out any better!  

Overall Rating: 10

Gretsch: G9240 Alligator Roundneck

Submitted by Winged Words (see all reviews from this person) on 6/21/2016

Where Purchased: Wunjo London

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

My first resonator after nearly 50 years of guitars. I tried most of the resos in stock, wood and metal, from a National Escalita down including a Washburn and several Gretschs and was very happy to stay within my budget and take the Alligator. Playing finger style (no slide) it's warm and with plenty of controllable volume. Easy to find a wide range of tones.
Edit: a month on now- getting more into slide and it sounds so good I don't want to stop

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

It suits my style of playing. I've started playing some slide and Wunjo suggested going up from 12 - 53 to 13 - 56 (gave me the strings too) and would raise the action later if I wanted. As it is it seems an Ok compromise. I'll try the 13's but leave the action for now.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

The sunburst semi matt finish is OK, not my favourite. Some pretty gritty patches and I may go over it with polishing compound, but it's a budget guitar so no gripes.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

It's a solidly built guitar. Hard to judge the resonator side since it's my first, but it seems sound enough. I like the matt chrome finish to the cover plate. Grover Sta-tite tuners work smoothly with no probs.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

I went to Wunjo at a quiet time. I've had less than welcoming times in Denmark St in the past, but they were very pleasant and helpful. 2 years of servicing available.

Customer Service: 9

Components

All well for a budget guitar.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I played it 8 hours straight yesterday. Love it. All ratings reflect its bargain price and for a budget intro to this funny reso world it's absolutely fine. I wish budget guitars as good as this had been around when I started. It's plain with no frills, but plays really well and sounds lovely. Although now I'm wondering if I should go back and get that koa Escalita while it's still there...

Overall Rating: 8

Beard Guitars: E

Submitted by tired mule (see all reviews from this person) on 1/30/2016

Where Purchased: private seller

Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Maple 2003 E model - amazing tone and sustain, plays sweet or snarls, soft or loud - have played an exceptional old National tricone for years and never thought I would fine a single cone with half as sweet a tone...but this one has it and just as much sustain..plus warmth and more life to the bass notes...away from the bridge beautiful round sound a la tricone or more modern resos..closer to the bridge you can pull more old school tones a la Oz

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

One owner who purchased it from Beard, setup still seems perfect

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Golden finish with a hint of orange/brown, believe this was called orange burst, very warm but not garish, screened covers..absolutely top grade AAA -AAAA curly maple face, back and sides...dark rosewood,ebony,or other peg head veneer

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Schaller tuners very smooth, for 13 years not slightest issue with finish on wood or metal components

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

What an amazing instrument that is truly beautiful, but sounds even better...may predate the Legend cone / spider...but I couldn't care less...it sounds that good. So glad I waited to be able to afford and find a Beard...truly fine example of American Craftsmanship at its best. A top notch instrument that literally has me playing till it hurts...and then some more

 

Overall Rating: 10

Adams: acoutic slide

Submitted by mhump (see all reviews from this person) on 11/22/2015

Where Purchased: from the builder

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

rich full sound

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

spruce and sapele mahogany with ebony fret board

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

it is very solid well built.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

havent used .but i am sure he backs what he sells

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

he builds a very nice guitar for the price. look good last long time. sounds great.

Overall Rating: 10

Wechter Scheerhorn: 6510-F

Submitted by Dobro Fanatic (see all reviews from this person) on 10/23/2015

Where Purchased: Marks Music Store

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 200 ($US)

Sound

Well, I haven't really played a lot of resos, but this one has a very nice, bright sound to it. Not quite as rich of tone as a Beard style, but I don't think Scheerhorns are meant to be like that. It has a lot more projection than the Regal I did have. No, I do not use any effects or amps, it is all the guitars work.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

As I bought it directly from a music store which does adjustments, it was set up very well. I haven't needed to do anything to it, but I'd imagine it wouldn't be that hard.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I have played a custom built reso which was beautiful, so no, it doesn't compare to that. However, this reso has a nice, red color which has an understated look. Also, the F-style sound holes bring the look together.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I suppose there are better, but it seems very nice to me. It has covered Grover tuners which work very well, and the finish work elsewhere is very nice as well.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Well, i have never contacted Wechter personally, but the actual music shop is great. They are very freindly, and helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I would have to say the tuners. My Regal Black Lightning had open geared tuners, which worked well. These however, are nice covered ones which work very well too.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I traded my Regal Black Lightning in along with the extra cash, but I would have to say it was a great deal. Wechter has been out of the business of making resos for a while, and this was one of the few still for sale. I really like it a lot. The sound is great, it looks great, and it plays great. What more can you ask for?

Overall Rating: 10

Beard Guitars: Vintage R

Submitted by rick b (see all reviews from this person) on 10/9/2015

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 2550 ($US)

Sound

My first impression was that it is quite loud for an R body. The tone is very pleasing and even across the entire fretboard. I've been told by at least one top player that it has the classic Beard tone. To my ears it is a bright, nasally sound in a very desirable way, if that makes any sense. Great clarity from the lowest to highest notes.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup seems exceptional. It is very easy to play. Intonation is great and there are no buzzes at all.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The work all around seems flawless. The color scheme and hardware are very appealing in my opinion. Red sunburst with no body trim with a high gloss finish and a combination of black and resolution black hardware. The sunburst fades quickly from red to black with solid black finish all around the edges of the body. It looks great, but I wonder how it would look with a more gradual and natural fade. The grain in the birch veneer is vivid and visually appealing. The gloss finish looks very tastefully done unlike some other instruments where the laquer is unevenly applied and too thick.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Hardware all seems top quality. The tuners turn very smoothly. The finish looks like it will wear very well.
It seems very dependable.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I haven't needed customer service, but I did have some questions and they were helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I am very pleased with this instrument. I was looking to replace an instrument that was stolen. I was hoping to find an R body that was loud enough and had a tone that was, to my ears, versatile. I was also hoping to find a red sunburst and of course this fit the bill. The black hardware is a nice touch and is quite "bad ass" according to my son :-)

I don't think you can go wrong with a Beard. The build and finish on my instrument seems to be flawless. Beard seems to consistently put out very high quality instruments across their entire line.

Overall Rating: 10

Gretsch: Bobtail Steel G9231 Square Neck Resonator Guitar

Submitted by genesis1-1 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/20/2015

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: (Dollars) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This guitar is beautiful with the brushed metal. Has the unique steel tone. Has a banjo like sound. I play with it dry acoustically for blues, and bluegrass mainly.
It's definitely loud and clear on the top.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

It's pretty decent. The strings that came with it were really light, but that's normal from stock.
So I put new strings DAddario EJ42 PB Resophonic String 16-56 very thick and they ring lou.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

This was a blowout special at GC as blemished but I could not find one blemish.
The instrument is a beautiful brushed metal vintage look and always catches attention.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The body is Built like a tank, the neck and fingerboard looks a bit cheap (Made in China) but that's just purely looks. The frets are a bit edgy (not a perfect round smooth texture but for square necks you never touch the frets, neck, or fretboard so it's just purely cosmetic.

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

Gretsch has a strong name and warranties everything.
And this instrument is a great quality practice and entry level instrument.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The included pickup is obviously crap, out of the box it sounds like plastic. But I prefer mic' up anyway. I bought the guitar because I needed that steel blues/ trash can sound to play delta.

Components Rating: 5

Overall Comments

The instrument shines as a stand alone acoustic. The included pickup should just be ignored.

Strong body, great tone, and as a square neck, it does the job.  I'm very happy about the price too!

Overall Rating: 8

National Resophonic Guitars: Polychrome Tricone

Submitted by genesis1-1 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/20/2015

Where Purchased: Second Hand

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: 1500 ($US)

Sound

Love this instrument. The quality is amazing. I use it for blues, Hawaiian, blue grass.
It's beautiful bright, clean and loud but not too loud.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

No it was set up for low action regular finger style. I had this modified for slide playing. Currently experimenting with Open G and open D tunings. I also like to play this lapstyle too because it's so comfortable!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful color has the tricone steel sound. Very unique sound of the polychrome model. As you can hear on YouTube. Everything is perfect on this guitar as far as the build. It's smooth all around. The details of National workmanship is absolutely amazing. This guitar makes all my other guitars seem like a toy.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

This guitar looks and feels bulletproof. It's stands up to the National brand.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

N/a

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The cones ring for days. The neck is so comfortable. Feels like silk.the body is like a race car.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

All American high quality instrument that sounds brilliant and loud.  My first national, and this makes me feel like I only want nationals.

 

Overall Rating: 10

Lapsteel: Peavey

Submitted by genesis1-1 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/13/2015

Where Purchased: Guitar Center

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 229 ($US)

Sound

Works great with blues/rock type. I got this for practicing lap style and dobro. I've been playing Spanish style standard tuning for over 25 years. So this is my first lap style guitar.
It's fun but dull sounding . I'm using it plugged directly clean through my channel mixer going into my DAW.

Sound Rating: 4

Setup

Came in G Tuning. These units are mass produced in China. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect. There are buzzes and the bridge and but are definitely not set up properly.
I'd like to modify this if there are any mods available please let me know.
Basically you get what you pay for.

Setup Rating: 2

Appearance

The finger board is a little distracting. Almost like a shiny plastic rain boot material.
It's definitely a cheap unit.

Appearance Rating: 4

Reliability

It feels pretty strong, but the neck is somewhat toy like.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

The strap broke right split down the middle of the sewed on button.
Glad I was sitting down when this happened. Obviously QC can't make them perfect at this price.

Customer Service: 5

Components

Strings are very thin and dinky. I'll have to upgrade them. Hopefully it won't destroy the guitar.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Good for practice use or to jam and record some quick parts in your song.

Overall Rating: 4

Regal: RD40 S

Submitted by wlgiii (see all reviews from this person) on 11/5/2014

Where Purchased: Guitar Center (online)

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: 203 (w/ tax & ship) ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

The sound is old school Uncle Josh style, which is what I was after. It lacks some oomph, as expected for a budget import.

Sound Rating: 5

Setup

It played well right out of the box (after I tuned up). However, it may have been set up by the store or former owner, so no comment on original factory set up.

The soundwell opening was cut a bit tight, with no room for finely adjusting the cone positioning. This one had no issues with buzzing, etc., but others may.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

The appearance is Old School- smaller California body, butterbean tuners, even flathead screws on the coverplate. Given a choice I would not have selected the bright cherry finish, but that was what was offered. I also didn't need the headstock inlay, but don't mind it being there.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Everything seems to be working well, but we'll see how it does in the long run. My Regal tricone needed a little work. This should do fine, as I purchased it for camping, alternate tuning, etc. (My Appalachian is my workhorse.)

Reliability Rating: 6

Customer Service

N/A; I haven't dealt with Regal (Saga, whomever)

As for the Guitar Center- it was very well packed and arrived safe and sound. They did, however loosen all the strings; this is fine for normal guitars but nothing was holding the cone down and it could have slipped. (No issue for me as I was already planning on a cone swap.)

Customer Service: 7

Components

It will really benefit from a cone and spider upgrade; I planned on that all along and had the parts ready.

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

You get what you pay for; this is not a Beard or Appalachian. However, it sounds and plays just fine for the money. It's fine for learning, jamming, and probably even gigging.  It does have that old school sound. It's nice for country & bluegrass, though probably not the right one for newgrass. 

I may report back after playing it for a bit. One good sign is that my dog hasn't asked to be let out when I've played this one. (There's a thread on this somewhere in the Hangout)

 

Overall Rating: 8

Regal: RC-51

Submitted by wlgiii (see all reviews from this person) on 10/27/2014

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 400 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

This guitar has that classic brassy tricone sound, with good volume, and good sustain. I played it next to a National at a local music store and it sounded almost as good.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Though pre-owned, the guitar needed some steup work: dressing of fret ends, action adjustment, and regluing of an interior wood support post. The work was easily done by a local luthier and just a minor headache, but be prepared for a guiatr that may not be 100% ready out of the box.

Setup Rating: 3

Appearance

A shiny chrome tricone is certainly an attention grabber. At first I thought the (faux?) mother of pearl over the entire headstock was a bit much, but have since seen photographs of actual period instruments with this, and have come to appreciate it.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

This does require some tender loving care & maintenance, and does not take temperature extremes well, but these may be factors common to any metal bodied resophonic. It does generally stay in tune, and the hardware (tuners, etc.) have functioned well.

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

N/A; I have not dealt with the company.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The body is solid. The stock cones sound quite good; I've considered upgrading, but haven't yet felt the need. The neck isn't as comfortable and playable as I'd like, but I've found that to be a general issue of lesser instruments.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Overall, this is a fine guitar for the money, and plays above its cost. If you want a tricone as a secondary guitar, or can't afford a National, et al, this will serve you quite well.  It's great with a slide & open tuning, or standard.  And when playing on stage, the "wow" factor of a tricone is tough for any other guitar to match.

Overall Rating: 8

Gretsch Boxcar: Boxcar

Submitted by CoE15NJV (see all reviews from this person) on 10/9/2014

Where Purchased: Mundt Music

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: $359 ($US)

Sound

This guitar sounds great to me. It's loud enough, and it seems well-balanced from high to low. Can really growl or be real sweet.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Well setup when purchased...no changes needed.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

For the most part, a good looking instrument. That said, there are some minor finish flaws...but this is a $350 instrument, not one costing over a grand.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

The coverplate is somewhat lightly built...but it does keep the overall weight of the guitar pretty light and very easy to handle. The guitar will out-live me, i'm sure.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Can't say anything about Gretsch's customer service...I didn't deal directly with them so no rating here.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The resonator cone seems to be top-notch, and the v-neck is real nice and comfortable. The Grover tuners are smooth and accurate. Gretsch didn't scrimp on these parts.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Minor finish flaws aside, this is a very well-built guitar. All the joints are tight, everything's screwed down well, all the seams are smooth and tight, and the frets are dressed evenly. I love the sound...it does what I want it to do. It appears that Gretsch has done a good job in making great sounding, good-looking (for the most part) resonator guitars at prices not the least bit intimidating.

Overall Rating: 9

Appalachian Resonator: LARGE BODY LAMINATED BIRCH

Submitted by catfish7 (see all reviews from this person) on 6/18/2014

Where Purchased: TOM WARNER WEST VIRGINIA

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

BEARD HARDWARE- LEGEND CONE- ADJUSTABLE SPIDER- NASHVILLE PICKUP- J.D AURA- AURA DI - RICH FULL SOUND-I PLAY BLUEGRASS AND BLUES-JOE MORRELL NICKEL WOUND .016-.058- GREAT BOTTOM END I PLAY THROUGH PA OR ROLAND KEYBOARD AMP.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Tom Takes his time does excellent work great communication on the phone and email. Tom built Number 182 exactly to my specs.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

TOM builds these instruments to the buyer specs i personnally do not care what it looks like. i care about how sturdy the instrument is - hardware- setup- playability. PERFECT 10

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

BEARD AND FISHMAN I DO NOT HAVE A BACKUP INSTRUMENT FOR STAGE. PERSONALLY I THINK YOU SHOULD IF IT IS A PAYING GIG.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

TOM TAKES CARE OF HIS INSTRUMENTS AND HIS CUSTOMERS

Customer Service: 10

Components

BEARD LEGEND CONE- ADJUSTABLE 14 SPIDER -COVERPLATE-TAILPIECE- FISHMAN NASVILLE PICKUP -LARGE BODY-SOUND POSTS AND BAFFLES-SQUARENECK

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

IF YOU WANT A GREAT INSTRUMENT CALL OR EMAIL TOM WARNER APPALACHIAN RESONATOR   FAYETTEVILLE WEST VIRGINIA.MY INSTRUMENT IS #182

Overall Rating: 10

Appalachian Resonator: #31 Curly maple

Submitted by resotom (see all reviews from this person) on 6/5/2014

Where Purchased: From the builder direct

Year Purchased: 2014
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

A cross between a Meredith maple body,a Beard R maple body and a Guernsey maple body. The sound changes as you move from the bridge down to the lip of the cone where I usually pick from. The brand of strings will also have an effect on the sound.So too,the bar and picks which I use. This guitar is a cannon !

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

This guitar was set up,with a Beard a Legend cone and all the latest tricks by the builder.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Curly maple finish in a amber color with a poinsettia cover plate...

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Many positive comments on the fit and finish on this guitar with a serial number 48. It is fitted with a Lace Ultra Slim pick-up going through a JD Aura pedal.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The builder ,Tom Warner has assured me that if there ever comes a problem, he will stand behind his work...parts and labor !

Customer Service: 10

Components

Every part that went into this guitar is certified to by top quality.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I can only speak for myself, having played resonator guitars for over. 63 years on stage doing Opry shows, television, radio, and recording sessions. I currently use four different guitars,one is a mid thirties Regal/Dobro, a 1982 10 string Dobro, a 2012 Tut Taylor Tennessean and now an Applachian resonator.  I can say that the new one stacks up as well or better than the others. Depending on the situation, I will use the Appalachian as much as possible in the studio And comments regarding thi with the TTT next in line,followed by the Regal/Dobro, then the 10 string Dobro. I would very highly recommend Tom Warner to build a prospective buyer  their next resonator guitar. I use the Appy in the studio miked with a Shure SM-81 Mike. The mid 30's Regal is used sparingly in the studio using the same mike.  The TTT is played on stage with the Lace Ultra Slim pick-up  going through the board and the JD Aura pedal. The 10 string Dobro is used in my studio tuned to the D tuning and played on stage with the JD Aura pedal and Lace Ultra Slim pick-up either through the board or at home through a Music Man amp with JBL D-130 speaker and two Peavey Session 400 amps with Black Widow speakers. Settings on the amps are pretty much dry with some reverb going through a Roland SE-70 effects box, which has a total of 143 settings. Any comments regarding this set-up is welcome and very much appreciated ! The newest addition to my reso collection is reviewed on my homepage ( resotom) and is a SlideKing Resonator  custom built by Jackson Steel Guitar Company in Nashville Tennessee which features a string pitch changer lever with roller nut and saddle as well as a K&K Pure Sound mike placed at the bottom of the cone powered by a K&K XLR Pure Sound pre-amp..The body is rosewood with a spruce top and an ebony fretboard. You can read the entire review of this newest addition on my home page..OR...go to my post in the hangout entitled SlideKing resos. There are two pages of information on this thread under 'product reviews and shopping advice'..

Overall Rating: 10

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