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Nov 25, 2023 - 8:20:52 AM
3 posts since 11/25/2023

I just bought a Phil Leadbetter signature squareneck, and I'm looking to do the Beard legend upgrades. Can anybody verify that a Beard Legend cone (SKU: Legend) and spider (SKU: DSB-118) will fit? What other upgrades would make this budget resonator shine?

I'm new to the square neck world, so I saw on Beards website where they have rounded saddles and square saddles. Is there an advantage to one or the other?

Thanks fellas

Nov 25, 2023 - 10:22:54 AM
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2505 posts since 8/3/2008
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In the reso world you have to assume that parts replacements will require fitting. If you're lucky, it'll drop in. No guarantee

"Rounded saddles", etc....?

The "RN" refers to a round neck guitar. Not applicable in your situation.

Frankly, it's a decent guitar as is. I'd put a lot of hours into it before you sink any money into "upgrades".

Just play it.


Edited by - hlpdobro on 11/25/2023 10:24:41

Nov 25, 2023 - 6:17:27 PM
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4660 posts since 7/27/2008

Welcome Tom. I have a question for you - is this your first go at lap style dobro? If that's the case I'm inclined to agree with Howard and just get going on playing and working on your chops. The RK Leadbetter IMO is a very good guitar for the money as stock before any modifications. The first couple I played in shops some time ago really impressed me as excellent values. The guitar came out in 2018 and of course Phil was still with us. Inflation has hit everything and I recall when the model was first released the street price was around $600, I believe they are more like $800 now.

If the money is burning a hole in your pocket then I guess have at it to do some "hot rodding" to the guitar. This is exactly what Phil Leadbetter did. He took a prototype to one of the handful of known dobro setup wizards, Bobby Wright in North Carolina. Bobby installed a #14 spider, Beard Legend cone, a Beard ShockWave insert and Beard bone nut. According to Phil that took the guitar up to another level. 

As far as the question re the rounded saddles, are you referring to the ones that taper on the edge and aren't straight across? If that's the case - don't bother with them, just go with the ShockWave. Everyone seems to love it. 

Resohangout was founded over 15 years ago and there are a bazillion threads and posts in the archives. On the left side of your screen is a magnifying glass icon - that's the Search function. Link below to a thread from 2018 when the guitar first hit the market with some posts from our dear departed Phil. A lot of good info on his signature model there.


Nov 25, 2023 - 6:51:09 PM
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4660 posts since 7/27/2008

I guess my link to the thread in the archives didn't work in the earlier post. I'll give it another shot:

Okay, this time it worked.

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 11/25/2023 18:51:48

Nov 25, 2023 - 6:56:39 PM

3 posts since 11/25/2023

Thanks Markin, Yes this is my first shot at lap style. Those rounded bridge inserts I was looking at would essentially give an arch to the strings kind of like a fiddle has. I'm going to take y'all's advice and leave it be for a little while until I know what I want, then maybe try some upgrades if it needs them.

Nov 26, 2023 - 6:47:24 AM
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195 posts since 11/9/2018

Tom, I believe the "arch" you are talking about is referred to as radius. On a lap style guitar you don't want radius; best just flat across like the fretboard and the nut.

Nov 26, 2023 - 6:57:43 AM

3 posts since 11/25/2023

Thanks Iceman, if I have to get a bridge insert, I'll just go with a flat one.

Nov 27, 2023 - 7:41:21 AM



59 posts since 11/27/2019

I think the spider bridge and ebony/maple bridge inserts that come in the RK are good.

I think the Legend Cone is worth spending the money on. Usually improves the sound dramatically. I don't know if it will just drop in to the RK Leadbetter; I think it comes with a Continental cone, which is slightly smaller than a Beard cone.

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