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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!

263 reviews in the archive.

Appalachian Resonator Reviews

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

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

Submitted by mhump (see all reviews from this person) on 7/12/2013

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

sounds great

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

very nice work

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

it is built to last

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

have not had to use .I think tom would back it up no problem.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by wlgiii (see all reviews from this person) on 3/27/2012

Where Purchased: Direct From Factory

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Solid overall sound, from bright bluegrass to deeper blues. I went with a small body, open inside- no soundwell or baffles

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I wanted to salvage the Quartermain cone and other parts from my hod-rodded Asian reso, and Tom was nice enough to comply. He shipped it with a loose nut so I could cut it and set it up myself. He also made the neck with my requested 2" nut

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Body- birch plywood, with a chocolate stain, to match one I liked one Tom's website
Binding- ivory triple binding; I had requested white, but Tom emailed me to say he thought ivory might look better, and it does
Neck- Beanwood, like the old Dobros; he even left off the 15th fret dot per my request, like the early Dobros.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It stays in tune even when outdoors, sounds great, and feels solid

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Tom was ever so friendly; we discussed each component and dimension, and he was happy to comply with all my requests. He even offered to do a non-standard slotted headstock; I prefer that but stayed with his so folks can tell by its shape it's an Appalachian. It did take a little longer to build than estimated; I was in no hurry, and it is after all custom instrument and well worth the wait.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Though not as fancy in appearance, the plywood works just as well as wood.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I essentially had Tom match a ca. 1928 Dobro I'd tried but couldn't afford, and he was happy to do so. Everyone who's played it wants one

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Bruce (see all reviews from this person) on 9/24/2010

Where Purchased: Tom Warner

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

this guitar has it all. the responce is realy something. you can get the deep base , mids and trebs out of this thing . and the volume will hold a banjo at bay. tom set it up but there is still more room at the bridge to get more onto the cone

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

setup was good

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

this guitar can be seen on Toms web site. or if you catch the No One You Know Band. you can see and hear it in person. I only wish I had this guitar when we recorded The Calm Before The Storm CD

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Tom will go the extra mile and when you get to hold and play that guitar you will be very happy

Customer Service: 10

Components

Large body sound post and baffle

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have played them all. scheerhorn , beard JD and this guitar is up there with the best on the market for 1/4 of the price. You will not go wrong getting one of toms guitars. he just wants people to be able to afford a realy nice dobro guitar. It will be the best money you ever spent

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Alan Rausch (see all reviews from this person) on 7/21/2010

Where Purchased: Tom Warner

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Deep modern sounding like a post and baffle should be. Even tone up the neck, with good volume. Sounds great played soft to get that smooth tone. Can be played bright and loud, it responds well to right hand movement.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

I ordered with Scheerhorn cone and Schoonover bridge/spider set up. Ebonex/maple inserts. Tom contacted Kent Schoonover and they measured it up. It came with no adjustments needed. I usually like ej42 strings, but on this one the Scheerhorn cryogenics sound best.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

I custom ordered the finish, olive green opaque with black sunburst over it. It looks almost black in dark room, but outside it looks green. Birch is a great overall tonewood. All the other parts came from Beard, so high quality and finish.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

I have never used a back up. I still have my other reso, but might sell it. I don't need more than this one. I expect it will last as long as any other out there. I have played it outdoor summer gigs without any problems.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Tom did everything I wanted at a great price, if there was ever a problem he would make it right.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Visual: Color and high quality hardware.
Sound: Large open body with Scheerhorn cone and Schoonover spider/inserts.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Why spend more than you have to get a quality custom American made reso. Call or email Tom and let him build a great instrument.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by ryusachi (see all reviews from this person) on 7/17/2010

Where Purchased: From Tom

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Rich and Full Biggest sound!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

By myself, I set it up in my preference.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Splendid wood is used.
I was worried about only one point, but it was not a so big problem. If the detailed fixtures become perfect, Dobro which he makes will become best of the best!

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

He thinks about a problem seriously and copes.

Customer Service: 10

Components

With my favorite part, I had him make it.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The sound is splendid first of all. In various Dobro which I played until now, it is the best sound.
It is the reasonable price that it can hardly compare with the other makers. I play it my main Dobro now.
I think that I want one another him to make it in the near future.
I played,Dobro,MGK,Roger Cain,R.Q Jones,Liberty,Rayco,Clinesmith,Meredith...........

Overall Rating: 10

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