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.
Where Purchased: Fender online
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Where Purchased: Eastwood Online
Year Purchased: 2018
Price Paid: $599 ($US)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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