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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.

Charlie's: Tone Bar

Submitted by captacoustic (see all reviews from this person) on 3/25/2019

Where Purchased: From Charlie's site

Overall Comments

I came to Charlie's bar because I lost my Beard Shorty during a move. I had been aware of the talk about Charlie's capo but when I examined the stats for his bar I was afraid it would be too high and big for my less than Douglas/Ickes hand size. I contacted him and he was willing to make some adjustments to it but in the end we agreed I should just try the bar as he makes it and then decide.

When the bar arrived, I picked it up and felt the obvious weight. I put it in my left hand and played my Beard Auldridge. Voila! My new favorite bar. The tone is great and despite the height and size, it just feels right. One cool thing is that he has overlapped the top of the bar so that your thumb snags it and lifts it without having to grip. Just a great bar and if I found out he was going to stop making them I'd buy one as a backup. Love it!

Overall Rating: 10

Chief's Leather Works dobro Straps: Chief's Dobro Strap

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

Where Purchased: Chief's Leather Works

Overall Comments

I have ordered three dobro straps made this year and all three are exactly as ordered, high quality leather.  The tooling was perfect.  Pricing is very fair and favorable.  Should the need arise, I will order another strap from this talented craftsman.

Overall Rating: 10

Charlies sliding capo : Charlies sliding capo

Submitted by Oldpiper73 (see all reviews from this person) on 3/13/2017

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

Not an expert on capos, but this is a great sounding capo. Put in on my Lazy River Weissenborn and it sounds bright and very accurate.

Overall Rating: 10

Acri: All brass heavy gauge adjustable thumbpick

Submitted by MarkHawkins (see all reviews from this person) on 1/24/2017

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Overall Comments

Pick is one piece of solid brass. Grip completely encircles thumb and adjusts for a comfortable fit. Pick blade is angled and beveled to give a more parallel attack to the string and for easy play. Extremely comfortable and want to like this pick however due to the angle of the blade it's attack on the strings is lessened resulting in a softened tone which requires more effort to get equal volume to a 'standard' pick.

Overall Rating: 7

Acri: Brass fingerpicks

Submitted by MarkHawkins (see all reviews from this person) on 1/24/2017

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Overall Comments

Hand buffed and polished brass fingerpicks with a slightly cupped pick surface. Wide finger band is contoured to prevent pick creeping off your finger or tearing your cuticles. Sold in pairs. Love, love, love these picks! Could wear them all day, no more wrapping my finger tips with tape.

Overall Rating: 10

SADDLE picks: SADDLE mpicks

Submitted by Richard McVicker (see all reviews from this person) on 11/7/2016

Where Purchased: On line

Overall Comments

Pro:

I could not find a review on RESO Hangout so I will start the location. I am the inventor of the SADDLE thumb picks with the thumb picks being on the market for 3 years and the finger picks 1 year.  I invented them because I got tired of the conventional picks hurting and constituently needing adjustments. The thumb picks are infinitely adjustable sizing and are plastic. The finger picks, .20 gauge, are quite different from the conventional, in that they are not retained on the finger like other picks, but stay on your fingers  the same way your wedding ring stays on your finger. without hurting or falling off. The video at the site shows how unique they are.

Con

They never wear out or break, so no one reorders, unless they loose them.

Overall Rating: 9

Beard: Tricone set

Submitted by Delta Ross (see all reviews from this person) on 10/26/2016

Where Purchased: resophonicoutfitters.com

Overall Comments

The Beard tricone set has improved the sound of my Republic tricone: more overtones and a better balance across the strings compared to the stock Continental cones. The Beard cones needed some "playing in" to sound their best.

Overall Rating: 10

Charlies sliding capo : Charlies sliding capo

Submitted by vlawson (see all reviews from this person) on 1/16/2016

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

This has got to be the best capo on the market for square neck resonator guitar. The tone is extremely good. An effortless to put on and off.

Overall Rating: 10

Chief's Leather Works dobro Straps: The "Russ"

Submitted by Dobro66S (see all reviews from this person) on 9/12/2015

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

Just purchased what is now the "Russ" model strap,
This Im told, by Ken is from an overwhelming response to a strap made for Russ Hooper.

The transaction between buyer and seller was very professional ! Ken goes the extra mile to make sure the customer has a strap totally built to his Specs, No second guessing ! Ken called me at least 3 times after our initial phone call,A couple of 3 e-mails with buckle choice as well.And a final E-mail after delivery,shipped USPS with an tracking #.

Although I choose the "Russ" it still can be tweaked to your personal tastes,,I added the "D" ring.This kind of Customer care and follow-up that reminds you of the Good Ole days when there was Service during and after the sale!

Getting to the "Strap",,,,,,

Ken,s straps are flawless,from the leather to stitching,lettering, cutting and riveting This is no back yard strap ! This is Quality and Style at its finest !,Ken is truly a craftsmen in his trade. My decision to go with Ken was based on this and the fact that Ken offers a strap to fit any style and  pocketbook.  Ken also offers a refund or exchange policy.

I,m am totally satisfied with my strap that after our last contact I told Ken this is just my first strap and not by any means my last to purchase from,,            Ken Harper
                    Chief's Leather Works

Keep up the great work Ken and many thanks,

Michael ..

Overall Rating: 10

Lakota Leathers Strap: Buffalo Strap

Submitted by CoE15NJV (see all reviews from this person) on 7/17/2015

Where Purchased: Lakota Leathers website

Overall Comments

I got the 3-inch strap for my Republic tricone (which is quite heavy), and this strap is VERY comfortable and secure. I've had this strap for almost 4 months...no complaints...love it!

Overall Rating: 10

Chief's Leather Works dobro Straps: lined strap

Submitted by roostrdude (see all reviews from this person) on 5/4/2015

Where Purchased: Ken Harper

Overall Comments

Ken Harper makes a great strap.  I ordered a black one for my large body Guernsey and it looks and feels great.

Overall Rating: 10

Bar: GS-1

Submitted by majorjer (see all reviews from this person) on 3/5/2015

Where Purchased: amazon.com

Overall Comments

Folks, while most of us have experimented with different bars as if they were baseball cards, I just found one that fits the bill for those of us having small grips or trouble with holding firmly to the slide. Yup, GS-1 IS the answer. Hardwood  combined with sharp angle stainless steel makes this baby much easier to hold and effect snappy bluegrass pulloffs... at least for my hands. What a difference 1 less ounce can make as well. at a shade over 4 ounces, its one slide i will use without fear of dropping on the nitro. kudos to shubb  for a gr8 product from a parts leader in the industry..

Overall Rating: 10

Beard: set up on a Beard Gold Tone

Submitted by JimW (see all reviews from this person) on 3/1/2015

Where Purchased: Frank Harlow Guitars

Overall Comments

I recently hired Frank Harlow to work on my PBSD. The guitar has never been right for having a clear sound. Mr. Harlow has a knowledge of this instrument and was able to work wonders. I highly recommend him to work on or completely build your next resonator.

Overall Rating: 10

Martin Gross: Strap

Submitted by the mick (see all reviews from this person) on 1/21/2015

Where Purchased: Martin Gross website

Overall Comments

Very happy with this strap.  Martin was great to work with, he customized the color and measurement to fit my short arms.

The strap looks great, fits great, works great.

Overall Rating: 10

John Ellington's Sterling Silver picks: Finger picks

Submitted by farmerscorner (see all reviews from this person) on 11/1/2014

Where Purchased: Direct from maker

Overall Comments

 
 

Best I've ever used!

 

I recently (a couple of months ago) purchased a pair of John Ellington's custom finger picks. http://www.ellingtonsilverpicks.com/index.html

 

They are not cheap, but 'a good workman needs good tools'. These fingerpicks replaced a set of brass Acri picks that I have been using for a few years. I had chosen Acri picks for their comfort, as well as their decent tone. I was impressed with AradoReso's review of Ellington picks, especially by his comment that they reduced the pick noise when attacking the strings. While pick noise is mainly a technique issue, I agree that the silver picks really help in noise reduction, while still yielding superior tone.

 

As far as comfort goes, these are definitely the best I have used. The bands fit higher on my finger (like the Acri but without the bulk) and don't interfere with cuticles or hangnails like the National and Dunlop types will. The textured finish on the inner surface holds on to your finger without having to be tight, a definite effort is required when removing them from your fingers...they will not come off while playing. The fitting video on John's website is very helpful for tweaking the blade angle to exactly your personal preference. John Ellington is a professional goldsmith (as well as a banjo and dobro player) and his picks are examples of fine craftsmanship. He is great to work with, prompt, and offered custom engraving as part of my package.

 

I am very happy that I have these great custom tools to works with. Thanks John.

 

Brian

 

Overall Rating: 10

D'Addario: NS Micro Tuner

Submitted by The Offshore Accounts (see all reviews from this person) on 10/1/2014

Where Purchased: Music China Show in Shanghai

Overall Comments

Here's a great little tuner to affix on your headstock. It's chromatic and response time is fairly fast. It can also be callibrated for other than 440hz tunings. 

Easy to see/read but more or less invisible to your audience. 

http://www.daddario.com/pwNSMicrotuner.Page?sid=55c333a3-9292-49a5-8ba9-efbe074ba370

Overall Rating: 9

K&K Biscuit Bridge Pickup: K&K PureReso BB

Submitted by jazzrambler (see all reviews from this person) on 9/1/2014

Where Purchased: From Manufacturer

Overall Comments

I put this in my 1936 National Triolian. I love it. I do use a SansAmp Acoustic D/I. I've played everything from small gigs to big outdoor festivals to recording sessions with it. 

Overall Rating: 10

Dobro 10 string model D: Dobro 10 string

Submitted by resotom (see all reviews from this person) on 6/12/2014

Where Purchased: Ralph Hanzel Music Store

Overall Comments

This guitar was built for me by Mr. Doperya in California in 1982. It is a model D and the serial # is 1597. It is a 10 string resonator guitar that can be easily converted to a 8 or 6 string if one wished to do so. It has a slotted peg head with the Grover tuners turned upright. The cone is a stamped aluminum one which was typical for this type of guitar in those days. It comes equipped with a build in microphone type pickup as well. It is finished in black with white trim around the body and the wood is mahagony I believe. Being a 10 stringed instrument, it is quite heavy and is very well built. All parts are chrome. I have used it in recording sessions and on stage since 1982. It is one of five resonator guitars I use and has a very distinctive tone. Currently I have DR Lights strings on it and they hold up very well. I have also equipped it with a Lace Ultra Slim pick-up for use with other enhancers in the studio such as a Boss digital reverb, and a Boss Chorus.before that, I use a Fishman Aura Nashville pedal (Jerry Douglas model). and I alternate this guitar with the other four I have. This is a very versatile guitar in that having 10 strings to work with, many alternate tunings can be used for different applications.There is additional info on this reso on my home page. Just scroll down to " 10 string reso" to learn more.

Overall Rating: 9

Audio Technica: Crafters of Tennessee

Submitted by resotom (see all reviews from this person) on 6/12/2014

Where Purchased: Nashville Tennessee

Overall Comments

I had this specially built resonator guitar by Mark Taylor, son of Tut Taylor for me in 2012. It is a very exact copy of a Dobro model 27 which was the one used by many artists back in the day. The serial # is 108, and is made entirely of Hondouran Mahagony. The cone is specially spun using the old techniques which are the same as a Quarterman cone. The sound well is made with parallelogram holes like the original. It has a solid peghead with 'butter bean' tuners. I have equipped it with a Lace Ultra Slim pickup which goes into a Fishman Aura Jerry Douglas pedal which in turn can be used with an assortment of sound modifiers or enhancements if needed in the studio. It has a fan type cover plate and chrome hardware. It took many weeks to build but the tone is very unique.It is one of four guitars that I use on stage, or in the studio.It is dark brown with a sunburst finish. I use a Levys strap while performing along with Ron Tipton bars, Zookies thumb picks and Propiks finger picks.

Overall Rating: 10

Regal/Dobro: Regal/Dobro

Submitted by resotom (see all reviews from this person) on 6/11/2014

Where Purchased: A pawn shop

Overall Comments

This is a mid-thirties model 40 Regal/Dobro which I purchased in 1953 for $20.00 in a pawn shop in Milwaukee Wisconsin . Serial # is 1089...it has a solid peghead stock with open tuners. The cone is stamped aluminum typical of the cones made in that period. It has a fan type coverplate and the only modification to it is a Nick Maniloff extended metal nut. It was made of plywood and a mahagony neck with a blonde top and dark brown body and sides. It still has that 'back porchy' sound after all these years and I was playing it on the Opry shows in the mid '60's. It has been on stage,radio,movies,Television, and in many recording sessions in that time. I still use it for these purposes to this day and is one of four resonators I currently use. At times, I will use a D'Armond 'monkey on a stick' pick-up on it along with some other sound enhancers such as a Goodrich Match-Bro simulator,a Graphic equalizer,a Boss digital reverb and a Boss chorus effect. I also use strap locks and a Levy Strap on stage. It is all original except for the metal nut and is a square neck resonator. I have been playing it for 63 years.

Overall Rating: 9

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