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Royall Triolian '29 Long Scale Tenor resonator guitar review

Feb 19, 2023 - 6:48:25 PM
5 posts since 2/1/2023

Hi all,
Thank you for the great forums, and the replies to my previous post. I bought one of these, and highly recommend it.

As background, my first instrument was five-string banjo, followed by tenor guitar which came fairly naturally because of the four strings tuned similar (DGBE "Chicago" tuning vs gDGBD
open G" for the banjo}. I play Chicago tuning because the friend who taught me plays this way, and it goes with the old time gospel music played around these parts. I am probably somewhere between beginner and intermediate player.

Anyway, after seeing resonator guitar videos, I loved the blues sound with slide, and bought a six-string reso (actually two, RK and Gretsch, tried them both out). Made some progress on six strings, but only in open tunings, and had no interest in standard tuning.

But the tenor was more versatile for me, and I thought, "Wonder if someone makes a wood body tenor reso?" Royall Resonators does! The scale length was longer than I was used to with tenor guitar, 25" vs. 23", and the string spacing was wider, 1-11/16" nut vs. 1-1/4" for tenor, but after some research and questions to Royall, I bought it. Royall's policy is "if you don't love it, you can't keep it" and return for a full refund. I knew within a few hours that I would be keeping mine.

Beautiful reso sound (more mellow than the Gretsch Alligator, a little more ring than the RK Rattlesnake), easy transition from tenor - the neck feels a little smaller than the specs would indicate -great case and strap included, and a very responsive and friendly company to deal with. I bought the mahogany body version, they also make a maple body. From DGBE tuning it is a simple shift to several open tunings like DF#AD, CGCE, and DGBD to play slide. Royall sets it up to your specs before they ship it, based on your style of play, and mine came just right, kind of a medium high good for a mix of fingerstyle, pick, and slide. The guitar is both visually and musically beautiful, had it out twice in public and got lots of comments on both. The tuners are precise and the slotted headstock is easier to restring than a standard headstock, I already changed out the D and G strings for easier chording, it comes with mediums 13-17-26-36 which sound great on slide, but were harder for me to make a solid chord on the fly with the two heavy wound strings. Still sounds great on slide with 13-17-24-32.

If you are looking for a tenor resonator, this one is really nice and a very natural shift from standard acoustic tenor guitar.

Final note: even my wife approves

Feb 19, 2023 - 6:55:56 PM

5 posts since 2/1/2023

P.S. If you are considering a six-string reso from Royall, I would still recommend trying them. These tenors are not their bread and butter, so the sixes must be at least as good. I'm no reso expert, but this one has sounded the best to me of the three that I have owned, and has had the best action for a mix of playing styles.

Jan 18, 2024 - 8:02:05 AM



1482 posts since 9/28/2010

Here's another thumbs up for reso tenor. I stumbled upon a 30s Regal wood body reso tenor a couple years ago, and have been pleased with the sound and tone. It also really shines when backing up my wife's mandolin for fiddle tunes. The one down side is less volume; it gets drowned out in larger jam circles. But skip those and it's great.

Tuning not?- I go with CGDA (like a mandola or cello).

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