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Jan 23, 2020 - 6:56:42 AM
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12 posts since 1/19/2020

I am looking to buy my first squareneck resonator. Been reading a ton online, but don't know which brands are the best for around $1000 and which to stay away from. I don't want to buy a $200 thing online. Is there anything I should look for or stay away from?

The only instrument I play is the violin. I can't wait to start learning the resonator.

Jan 23, 2020 - 7:47:54 AM
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83 posts since 11/28/2010

With a budget of around $1000, I 'd contact Beard Resonator and consider
a GOLDTONE, buying direct from Beard that has been set up at the facility.
Get one that has gone through Beards setup instead of one from a big box
supplier. If budget a little higher, I'd look for an Appalachian made by Tom
Warner....new or used.

Jan 23, 2020 - 9:21:32 AM

1143 posts since 1/14/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Kansaspicker

I 'd contact Beard Resonator and consider a GOLDTONE, buying direct from Beard that has been set up at the facility.


Agreed, but unfortunately none in stock at Beard. https://www.beardguitars.com/imports-in-stock

There's one for sale here for $800 on the RH: https://www.resohangout.com/classified/10864. You could afford to send it to Paul for his magic setup.

Suzysue, here's the demo that Mike Witcher did with the Gold Tone PBS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIuaqBjyyn8

Another very good option is the Recording King Phil Leadbetter model: https://tinyurl.com/u857cmq

Here's a demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g8vJi4t8Ek??

Jan 23, 2020 - 9:49:48 AM

1274 posts since 8/4/2008

The Phil Leadbetter model Recording King resonator guitar would be a top choice in that price range.

Jan 23, 2020 - 11:56:08 AM
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2BUCKS

USA

153 posts since 4/27/2015

Suzysue, welcome to the Hangout. I'll send you a PM about a possible sale for a Tom Warner built Reso.

Jan 23, 2020 - 12:19:58 PM

Suzysue

USA

12 posts since 1/19/2020

Thank you all! This helps a ton.

Jan 23, 2020 - 1:37:25 PM

LukeF

USA

39 posts since 9/28/2019

Suzy:

I sent you a PM.

regards
Luke

Jan 23, 2020 - 2:09:01 PM
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3149 posts since 7/27/2008

All fine suggestions, but were it me and I had a budget of a  thousand bucks, I'd stretch it a bit and go for a Tom Warner guitar. 

Tom is a member here, and he is the founder of Appalachian guitars. A few years ago he sold the brand to another fellow but he is still building some guitars under his own name: Tom Warner Resos 

He's going for a niche that currently exists from very few, if even any builders: a hand made in the USA guitar, often in the $1000-$1500 price range depending on the wood and appointments. 

Suzysue, if you posted at the outset that the most you can justify spending is ballpark $700-$750, I would say look real hard at the Recording King Leadbetter or the Gold Tone/Beard. But that isn't the case.  

Tom sent me this photo fairly recently. Check out the quilted maple on this beauty. Wish I were in the market, but I'm currently in the midst of  a "Guitar Buying Moratorium." crying

Click on the photo to enlarge:


 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 01/23/2020 14:13:01

Jan 23, 2020 - 5:41:42 PM

Suzysue

USA

12 posts since 1/19/2020

I think I have it narrowed down to a Tom Warner or a 1975 Dobro D-60 that I am going to look at on Saturday. Any think I should check or ask about the Dobro?

Jan 23, 2020 - 6:53:41 PM
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3149 posts since 7/27/2008

Different sound from the '75 Dobro, can be a good guitar and can also be quite mediocre. 

IMO the Warner would leave it on the dust. No contest.

Jan 23, 2020 - 7:53:47 PM
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437 posts since 1/29/2013

Choose between an Appalachian and a D-60? I can't imagine a D-60 coming close.

i guess the Appalachian's are now called Tom Warner Resos?

Edited by - BrianMac on 01/23/2020 19:57:28

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:39:12 PM

1143 posts since 1/14/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Suzysue

I think I have it narrowed down to a Tom Warner or a 1975 Dobro D-60 that I am going to look at on Saturday.


If you want an old-fashioned sound without the depth and volume of a modern instrument, then maybe the Dobro might work for you, but you might be sorry after a few months that you didn't buy a modern reso.

Not sure why you are not considering the Recording King. I am sure that it will be so much better than an old Dobro.

quote:
Originally posted by Suzysue

 Any think I should check or ask about the Dobro?


There's no answer to this question really. If you already played, then you might have some perspective, but since you're brand new, you will have no idea whether you are buying an instrument with cone problems, tuner problems, cruddy setup, etc., depending on how it was treated and stored...the seller will not tell you anything to hurt the sale, I'm sure...

quote:
Originally posted by BrianMac

i guess the Appalachian's are now called Tom Warner Resos?


Check out MarkinSonoma's post above yours.

Edited by - Oboe Cadobro on 01/23/2020 22:40:54

Jan 24, 2020 - 5:51:03 AM

LukeL

USA

76 posts since 5/11/2018

In that price range I wouldn't hesitate to consider the Beard Deco-phonic 27 as well. Might be a few hundred more but you will be able to keep it for many years.

(It blows away any Gold Tone Beard model. Those don't even come close.)

Jan 24, 2020 - 7:30:48 AM
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Players Union Member

otbreso

USA

1611 posts since 4/27/2009
Online Now

I played a Deco-Phonic when I was in Denver a couple of weeks ago and it was a really nice instrument, and LOUD.
I got a Koa reso from Tom Warner a few months ago and it is a wonderful instrument. wonderful tone and again, quite loud. Very, very reasonable pricing. Can't go wrong with a Tom Warner.

Jan 24, 2020 - 8:50:58 AM

badger

USA

360 posts since 8/10/2008

I started with a 70's (OMI) Dobro and put serious $$ into a full setup. Even so, it was pretty underwhelming. YMMV.

Jan 24, 2020 - 8:52:51 AM

badger

USA

360 posts since 8/10/2008

What about that DeNeve in the classifieds?

Jan 24, 2020 - 9:16:07 AM

badger

USA

360 posts since 8/10/2008

Not the best-known reso, but solid wood, built by one of the best. Junior Barber's builder of choice, which says a lot. It's been languishing in the classifieds for six months - time to make a deal and get it a new home!

Jan 24, 2020 - 9:23:29 AM

Suzysue

USA

12 posts since 1/19/2020

One thing (of many) that I am puzzled about is ... how do you test before you buy? I'm coming from the violin world where I can rent a violin and when I was ready to buy I could get an in home trial first.

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:38:37 AM

Dobby

Canada

106 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by LukeL

In that price range I wouldn't hesitate to consider the Beard Deco-phonic 27 as well. Might be a few hundred more but you will be able to keep it for many years.

(It blows away any Gold Tone Beard model. Those don't even come close.)


LukeL I recently tried both of those, and bought the PBS-D I did a review on this site about my experience on the deco 27 and it failed for me. It wasn't even close to the PBS-D  or other Beards. the PBS was louder, more powerful, more responsive, and very similar to the beard. the deco 27 lacked power at all. maybe it wasn't set up correctly, but it took me all of 5 minuts to decide on the pbs d over that. I LOVE LOVE my PBS-D i tried 4 reso's  a beard over 4k. a national Scheerhorn Rob Ickes,  the deco, and the pbs d 

 pbs d was superior. not even close. looks nicer too!

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:45:30 AM

LukeL

USA

76 posts since 5/11/2018

 quote:
Originally posted by Dobby
quote:
Originally posted by LukeL

In that price range I wouldn't hesitate to consider the Beard Deco-phonic 27 as well. Might be a few hundred more but you will be able to keep it for many years.

(It blows away any Gold Tone Beard model. Those don't even come close.)


LukeL I recently tried both of those, and bought the PBS-D I did a review on this site about my experience on the deco 27 and it failed for me. It wasn't even close to the PBS-D  or other Beards. the PBS was louder, more powerful, more responsive, and very similar to the beard. the deco 27 lacked power at all. maybe it wasn't set up correctly, but it took me all of 5 minuts to decide on the pbs d over that. I LOVE LOVE my PBS-D i tried 4 reso's  a beard over 4k. a national Scheerhorn Rob Ickes,  the deco, and the pbs d 

 pbs d was superior. not even close. looks nicer too!


That is very interesting. I played all of them at IBMA and found the 27 better sounding, with maybe a slight bit less bass, but overall set up better.

I personally play the deco 57, which blows away the 27 as well.

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:45:57 AM

Dobby

Canada

106 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Suzysue

One thing (of many) that I am puzzled about is ... how do you test before you buy? I'm coming from the violin world where I can rent a violin and when I was ready to buy I could get an in home trial first.


Suzysue  at this stage,  if I was in your shoes, i would go with a well known maker like Beard or Tom. 

At this stage of playing for you, your ear has not yet developed the ability to recognize the subtle differences in sound between higher end instruments, and take it from, me, listening on youtube means nothing. they all sounded different to me when I played them in person, than on youtube. you ear "palette" does develop as you gain experience, as you probably know. remember what you liked about a fiddle, back when you first started might be different from what you would choose now.  same on Reso. 

best of luck!

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:47:56 AM
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1143 posts since 1/14/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Suzysue

One thing (of many) that I am puzzled about is ... how do you test before you buy? I'm coming from the violin world where I can rent a violin and when I was ready to buy I could get an in home trial first.


The only way is to meet face-to-face and try the instrument. Otherwise, you are stuck buying strictly on reputation and recommendation. If we knew where you live, then we might be able to recommend a local expert player who could try the instrument for you.

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:49:40 AM

Dobby

Canada

106 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by LukeL
 quote:
Originally posted by Dobby
quote:
Originally posted by LukeL

In that price range I wouldn't hesitate to consider the Beard Deco-phonic 27 as well. Might be a few hundred more but you will be able to keep it for many years.

(It blows away any Gold Tone Beard model. Those don't even come close.)


LukeL I recently tried both of those, and bought the PBS-D I did a review on this site about my experience on the deco 27 and it failed for me. It wasn't even close to the PBS-D  or other Beards. the PBS was louder, more powerful, more responsive, and very similar to the beard. the deco 27 lacked power at all. maybe it wasn't set up correctly, but it took me all of 5 minuts to decide on the pbs d over that. I LOVE LOVE my PBS-D i tried 4 reso's  a beard over 4k. a national Scheerhorn Rob Ickes,  the deco, and the pbs d 

 pbs d was superior. not even close. looks nicer too!


That is very interesting. I played all of them at IBMA and found the 27 better sounding, with maybe a slight bit less bass, but overall set up better.

I personally play the deco 57, which blows away the 27 as well.


LukeL  its possible it wasn't set up. but man...my pbs d is a monster...i will likely buy another beard again but not a deco model. but i think play what sounds good to you. the beard i played (i think an R body) was only slightly better than my pbs d. it has the legend, so thats my next upgrade.

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:55:48 AM

Dobby

Canada

106 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Oboe Cadobro
quote:
Originally posted by Suzysue

One thing (of many) that I am puzzled about is ... how do you test before you buy? I'm coming from the violin world where I can rent a violin and when I was ready to buy I could get an in home trial first.


The only way is to meet face-to-face and try the instrument. Otherwise, you are stuck buying strictly on reputation and recommendation. If we knew where you live, then we might be able to recommend a local expert player who could try the instrument for you.


Oboe Cadobro  I learned that lesson, so I agree on that!

find a couple dobbys to try in person. 

Jan 24, 2020 - 11:01:57 AM

jmike

USA

93 posts since 7/25/2016

Hi Suz. I know some of the folks here will disagree, but that RD52 Black Lightning Regal that Ed Kelly has in the classifieds would make you a great first instrument. About 30 yrs. playing mid grad instruments, I think it's a good value, has good grade components, plays and sounds very nice.
I traded the one I owned for a Wechter Scheerhorn but wished I had not. The RD52 holds it's own with many mid grade instruments IMO.

You could save some money, play this one for a while until you decide you need to upgrade. Perhaps by then, you'd have a better idea of what you want in a better grade instrument.

I played an 80s OMI Dobro 60 DS for about 15 yrs. and I can say the RD52 is a better sounding instrument that that one. JMO.

Jan 24, 2020 - 11:14:27 AM

LukeL

USA

76 posts since 5/11/2018

My first instrument was one of those black Lightnings. It was alright but not close to the E body beard Deco 57... but that’s not the point of this thread.

Yes, the RD-52 is a good starter guitar, although mine needed a lot of setup work.

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