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Feb 28, 2024 - 4:17:34 PM
3 posts since 2/28/2024

Hello all!

Just purchased my first reso guitar! (See photo) I paid $200 for it and he threw in a Shubb slide. I play acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin and always wanted a dobro… so this seemed like a good deal. The guy works for Gibson and had it “relic’d”… where they give it a “distressed” finish, so it’ kind of unique looking.

Now need to know where to start. Looks like the parts need polishing. I ordered some new D’Addario strings (16-56). Questions:

Should I take it apart and polish everything?
The guy said it will play ok now, but that it needed a “taller post”? What does that mean?
I heard that replacing the cone would give it better tone. Assuming I should play it a little bit first to get used to it before doing any parts replacing, correct?

Any first-timer advice you may have for me would be great!



Edited by - stevenpcharles on 02/28/2024 16:18:37

Feb 28, 2024 - 5:13:46 PM
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513 posts since 11/27/2014

Play it. You can polish the accessible surfaces if you want with some guitar polish, flitz or car detailer, without taking it apart. Don't take it apart until you have had time to play it and discover what, if any, improvements, solutions or objectives you might be trying to accomplish. It might be just fine for you, at this point, the way it is. You may want to upgrade the guts, or you might love playing so much that you decide to go to the next level guitar and decide not to put any money into this one. In any case, after some playing time you can decide.

Feb 28, 2024 - 6:28:13 PM
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4692 posts since 7/27/2008

I'm guessing this is a roundneck guitar? Looks like a metal nut riser to raise the strings so it can be played lap style. 

And if it is in fact a round neck, then the guy flipped the tuning machines to  point toward the ceiling while playing lap style for more convenient tuning. . 

"Taller post" might refer to putting on a higher nut. An actual bone nut for lap style is typically from the fretboard 3/8" to 1/2" in height.

I'm with Eric - just play and start learning for the time being. Aside from strings (which you ordered) I wouldn't throw any additional money at the guitar right now. 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 02/28/2024 18:29:15

Feb 29, 2024 - 1:12:56 AM

3 posts since 2/28/2024

It’s a square neck. The “post” he was talking about is under the bridge. He said I may want to get a taller one (?), but that it will play just fine without it. And the tuning pegs came like this originally.

Edited by - stevenpcharles on 02/29/2024 01:14:28

Feb 29, 2024 - 1:46:13 PM

4692 posts since 7/27/2008

Okay, so it is a squareneck. I can't blow up the photo enough on my lap top to get a clear look a the nut, but was I correct in thinking it's a metal nut riser? If that's the case, then the actual nut underneath must be really low for a squarenck gutar. Nut risers are typically used on roundneck guitars if one wants to convert it to play lap style. One small mod that wouldn't cost much would be to get a replacement slotted nut at Beard Guitars Resophonic Outfitters. Resophonic guitars can play kind of "soft" if the nut is too low and it can cost you some volume.

If you don't mind spending the dough for this budget guitar, you can also get a high end cone from Beard. The estimates vary, but pro reso luthiers will tell you that the cone is likely responsible for at minimum 50% of the guitar's sound. But now we're opening up a can of worms - new cone, #14 spider bridge, new nut and bridge inserts - you'll be spending more than you paid for the guitar. And if you decide to upgrade to a better guitar at some point and want to sell this one,  just be prepared that you're not going to get the money out of it that you invested in the improvements. So as Eric and I posted earlier - I would just play the thing as is and get comfortable with the techniques.

I keep thinking about this "post" business the seller told you about, but for the life of me, this mention of it being under the bridge - I haven't a clue what he's talking about. We could speculate and come up with a half dozen guesses what the fellow means - and every one of them could be wrong. 

Can you still contact him and get more of an explanation?

The only time I can think of when we typically use the word "post" in relation to dobros is that some guitars are constructed with dowel-like soundposts glued to different parts of the top and bottom of the guitar interior in the wood areas. But that has zero to do with something referred to as a "post" that is under the spider bridge, and that it might not be tall enough. 

Here is the link for a replacement nut if it seems like a good idea, though it currently shows as being out of stock. Gabby Ekmark runs the Parts ordering department at Beard, she might know when they will be available again:

Feb 29, 2024 - 3:32:40 PM

3 posts since 2/28/2024

Posted some additional photos. It’s a regular dobro nut. I think?

Feb 29, 2024 - 6:19:22 PM
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4692 posts since 7/27/2008

Originally posted by stevenpcharles

Posted some additional photos. It’s a regular dobro nut. I think?

Yes it is. As I wrote earlier - couldn't make the original photo large enough on my computer.  And in expanding it on my iPhone it  became blurry. 

Feb 29, 2024 - 6:39:36 PM
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2518 posts since 8/3/2008

Put little or no money into the guitar. It doesn't need to be "polished".

Take whatever resources you have and put it towards lessons, lesson materials, etc.


Mar 17, 2024 - 2:34:17 PM



14 posts since 12/14/2022

I agree with hlpdobro and others: just play it. See what happens next. You may be smitten, like a lot of us here, or you may decide it isn't your thing. Invest in yourself first. Welcome to our world!

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