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Jan 9, 2024 - 7:08:20 AM
1098 posts since 6/13/2012

Very often when I am playing whether in the studio or on stage, I hear so many variations of sounds from lug cones versus spun cones. For example, the other night in the studio, I have five different resos ranging in age from the mid thirties to the present day. The earlier ones have a very distinctive sound that must be attributed to the lug cones whose metal is thicker than the newer spun cones on my other guitars. My resos with spun cones emit a more modern sound and miking them in the studio presents an opportunity for placement near the cones. I know every human ear is different and many factors contribute to the final sound you here. How many of you our there have experienced this difference in lug versus spun cones. Let' hear from you on this subject.

Jan 11, 2024 - 5:58:38 AM
Players Union Member



812 posts since 9/2/2008

It's not just the thickness of the lug cone material. Lug cones are made from a softer alloy than new cones. Lug cones are stamped, where new cones are spun, creating a different level of work hardening. The lug cone surface is more conical, the newer cones tend to be bowl shaped. With so many differences in the sound producing components, it's no surprise that resos with old lug cones sound so different than resos with new cones. I relate lug cones with a softer, smoother, less sustain sound; new spun cones tend to be brighter, zingier (technical term), more sustain. I'd go so far to say that a new cone in an old reso makes it sound more "modern". YMMV.

Jan 11, 2024 - 8:33:57 AM



1481 posts since 9/28/2010

Are the new lug cones spun or stamped? I picked up a 30s Regal tenor reso with a lug cone. It was pretty dented up so I ordered a new Quarterman lugged cone. The action was too high, but my Appalachian was due for a new cone so I put the lugged cone in that, but with the regular spider. I do like the sound, but can't say how much is from the cone. (I had reverse engineered' a '29 Dobro I couldn't afford and Tom built what was essentially a copy, so it has that old sound in general.)

Jan 11, 2024 - 10:04:08 AM

1194 posts since 9/29/2009

There were stamped cones without lugs, and the Quarterman cone that Wayne ordered is actually spun and then the lugs embossed.

Jan 11, 2024 - 10:56:41 AM

1194 posts since 9/29/2009

See the cone without lugs with stretch marks from the stamping process, and the circular spinning marks on the Quarterman lug cone.

Jan 11, 2024 - 11:18:49 AM

4692 posts since 7/27/2008

The "new" lug cones, which were spun as written by Sam,  may have already come and gone since they were introduced 7-8 years ago. 

Link below to an old listing explaining the cone's details on Reverb from Blue Note Woodworks in Oregon who had been one of the main distributors of Quarterman cones. 

The modern lug cones  are no longer listed on the Saga Music website which had been a Quarterman  distributor (the Regal guitar and clown barf  thumbpick company, along with dozens if not hundreds of other products). 

As far as Blue Note Woodworks in Oregon, there are no Quarterman spider bridge cones of any kind on the site. I am going to see if I can get a hold of  Rob the owner to find out what's going on.

Until proven otherwise, there's a good chance that Quarterman cones might be history.



Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 01/11/2024 11:20:30

Jan 12, 2024 - 8:48:02 AM
likes this



1481 posts since 9/28/2010

And this justifies having several instruments very nicely.

Jan 12, 2024 - 11:11:42 AM

4692 posts since 7/27/2008

As far as Tom's original question, I have a circa 1933 California-built Model 37 with the original lug cone and slotted headstock, and a circa 1936 Regal-built in Chicago Model 37 with a solid headstock and slightly deeper body and a Quarterman cone. The 1936 is similar to what Mike Auldridge played prior to moving on to modern guitars. 

The guitar with the lug cone has a sweet sound, more of an Oswald old timey vibe, but it's not very loud and the notes decay faster.

The '36 Regal-built with the Quarterman cone has strong volume - not as loud as my Clinesmith or some other large body modern reso, but it can hold its own. It also has very good sustain. 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 01/12/2024 11:12:05

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