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Resonator Guitar Lovers Online


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Apr 6, 2024 - 9:55:08 PM
16 posts since 4/6/2024

Hello everyone. I would like to buy and learn Resonator Guitar with Square neck - good. It should cost something like $700. Since I have a Recording Kings RK-R35 banjo and am still very happy with it, I looked first at the Recording King RR-75PL-SN Phil Leadbetter and the Recording King RR-60VS Squareneck. There are good reviews on them for their price and with a little improvement from Beard they sound good, but I'm a little afraid of the narrower neck, whether it will be a problem for a beginner.
I was also looking at the cheap Harley Benton Delta Blues Resonator Bluegrass series.
but I didn't find any reviews there. ( I wanted to put a link to the Thoman seller's page, but as a new user I was not allowed to do so).

So far, I have been most interested in guitars fy. Recording King.
I live in Europe and will be buying from fy. Thomann

Thanks for your tips and experience.

Edited by - Favor on 04/06/2024 21:55:57

Apr 7, 2024 - 10:59:23 AM

1200 posts since 9/29/2009

The Phil Leadbetter model RR-75PL does have an unusually narrow nut at 1 3/4". The RR-60VS, however had a more typical nut at 1 15/16". The internal structure is different, the Phil Leadbetter having sound posts, while the RR-60VS has a parallelogram soundwell.

Apr 8, 2024 - 2:44:46 AM

Posterboy

Ireland

8 posts since 2/7/2024

I bought the Phil Leadbetter model last month as a beginner.
It's a decent guitar. My picking hand doesn't mind the narrower distance between the strings (I've been learning pedal steel as well so used to that sort of distance between strings)

What I think might be more of a thing to be aware of is the higher angle needed on the bar when playing individual 'fretted' notes to get out of the way of the lower neighbouring string.

Not exactly a problem just an adjustment I guess.

I do find my high D string seems a little tinnier and less round in tone than listening to other players on youtube, it might be my technique or it might be the guitar, I'm not qualified to say.

Anyway I'm having a good time learning on it

Apr 8, 2024 - 8:11:36 AM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

Thank you for your experience and opinions.
I looked at the Thoman seller and in the description of the instruments it says the same size for both instruments Recording King Nut width 44.45 mm. If the size of the Recording King RR-60VS was standard, I would buy this instrument. These tools have my trust. However, the width of the neck discourages me from learning the instrument.. Another alternative is to save up for a Gold Tone PBS but that is almost twice the price of a laminate instrument..

Apr 8, 2024 - 12:10:27 PM

1200 posts since 9/29/2009

Maybe Thomann made a mistake. See the links to the Recording King web site.

https://www.recordingking.com/rr75plsn

https://www.recordingking.com/rr60vs

Apr 8, 2024 - 6:03:38 PM

4723 posts since 7/27/2008

I would contact Recording King directly for information. They are located here in California in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

I played two of the Leadbetters in stores in the first couple of years they came out and to me they sounded as good or better than the entry level Gold Tone/ Beard PBS (laminate mahogany) which nowadays  as new here in the U.S. sells for several hundred dollars more. 

I would have to play the Leadbetter again and concentrate more on the nut width and string spacing to see if it actually bothers me. 

I purchased a nice prewar circa 1936 Regal built Dobro Model 37 in December from Dobro collector and author Steve Toth who lives near San Diego. The nut is a hair wider that 1 3/4" and it's definitely noticeable compared to a modern guitar with a wider nut like my Clinesmith, but I quickly got used to it.

My main guitar for many years which I still have (going back to the 1970s) was a 1933 California built Dobro Model 37, it also has a narrower nut, but since it was mostly what I  played for a long time I guess I never really thought about the nut width, but with that guitar what always bothered me is the nut is too low, which is not unusual with many vintage Dobros. 

I have also played the other two Recording King squarenecks and I think they are very good guitars for the money, but Phil's model has something extra going on because of its interior soundpost design. 

Apr 8, 2024 - 7:53:33 PM

RezBluez

Canada

268 posts since 1/24/2015

You can always get a nut normal dobro spacing and flare it down to blend in with the neck nice. I had to do it on a regal I had once, because it had a really narrow nut, it wasn’t to hard to do. Good luck with the search regardless. Cheers!

Apr 9, 2024 - 6:38:47 AM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

Converting units to mm gives 1-15/16" Nut Width to 49mm which is really wider than the nut on Phil Leadbetter's RR-75PL-SN. In the end I'll stick with Recording King instruments. They have an excellent price/quality ratio. So far my favorite RR-60VS. In time I will probably do a Beards cone + spider upgrade on it. This type is not in stock yet, so I will wait a while.
Thank you all for trying to help I really appreciate it.

Apr 9, 2024 - 11:47:20 AM

Tim M

USA

11 posts since 11/15/2023

I started on a RR-36S-VS (the entry level RK, aka "Maxwell") and recently upgraded to a PBS-M. Personally, I think the PBS-M sounds a lot better. The RK doesn't sound bad, it's just that the PBS sounds richer with more harmonics present in each note, and the low strings are noticeably louder. However, the playability of the Maxwell was good, and I don't feel that it held me back at all. The tuning machines aren't the best, but they have to cut cost somewhere. I have not played the Phil Leadbetter model to compare.

Other than the tuning machines and fretboard material, I don't see much difference between the RR-36S-VS and the RR-60-VS. They seem to have the same internals. Has anyone played both?

If you go with an RK, I would be interested to hear how it sounds before and after the cone and spider upgrade. If I ever upgrade the legend cone in my PBS I'll probably swap its current BC-1 cone into the RK to see if it improves anything.

Apr 9, 2024 - 12:12:47 PM

4723 posts since 7/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Tim M

I started on a RR-36S-VS (the entry level RK, aka "Maxwell") and recently upgraded to a PBS-M. Personally, I think the PBS-M sounds a lot better. The RK doesn't sound bad, it's just that the PBS sounds richer with more harmonics present in each note, and the low strings are noticeably louder. However, the playability of the Maxwell was good, and I don't feel that it held me back at all. 


I would certainly hope the PBS-M sounds a lot better, being the solid mahogany top of the line model. Out of curiosity I compared prices at Sweetwater - the Gold Tone sells for over three times the price of  the Maxwell, $1650 vs. $500. 

Apr 9, 2024 - 12:20:04 PM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

Thanks for the additional valuable information. Yes, PBS-M is definitely a better quality item, but its price is more than double that of the RR-60VS. Here I am sending you a comparison of the RR-60VS with the RK cone and the second one of the same good with the upgraded Quarterman Resonator Cones with Spider #14.

youtube.com/watch?v=U7dTJ1-s02s&t=107s

One of the best dobro players in our country.

Apr 9, 2024 - 12:34:44 PM

Tim M

USA

11 posts since 11/15/2023

quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma
quote:
Originally posted by Tim M

I started on a RR-36S-VS (the entry level RK, aka "Maxwell") and recently upgraded to a PBS-M. Personally, I think the PBS-M sounds a lot better. The RK doesn't sound bad, it's just that the PBS sounds richer with more harmonics present in each note, and the low strings are noticeably louder. However, the playability of the Maxwell was good, and I don't feel that it held me back at all. 


I would certainly hope the PBS-M sounds a lot better, being the solid mahogany top of the line model. Out of curiosity I compared prices at Sweetwater - the Gold Tone sells for over three times the price of  the Maxwell, $1650 vs. $500. 


Haha, yeah at over 3x the price it ought to sound better! I guess my point was just to confirm that it was a big upgrade in tone my ears, and acknowledge the RK as a serviceable entry level instrument.

Apr 9, 2024 - 12:46:55 PM

Tim M

USA

11 posts since 11/15/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Favor

Thanks for the additional valuable information. Yes, PBS-M is definitely a better quality item, but its price is more than double that of the RR-60VS. Here I am sending you a comparison of the RR-60VS with the RK cone and the second one of the same good with the upgraded Quarterman Resonator Cones with Spider #14.

youtube.com/watch?v=U7dTJ1-s02s&t=107s

One of the best dobro players in our country.


Interesting, thanks. The difference was pretty subtle to me. They both sounded good.

Apr 9, 2024 - 2:24:32 PM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

I agree that it is always better to learn the best instrument, but I don't want to invest so much money in the beginning of learning for a good one. I think the RR-60VS will be a good compromise in terms of price. I have loved RK ever since I bought the RK-R35-BR banjo. In this price category, it is always something extra from them for the price you pay.

I would say that the upgrade difference from Quarterman Resonator Cones with Spider #14 is there after all. The instrument is louder and more detailed. I would definitely like to upgrade this in time. I just don't know if I can get Quarterman Resonator Cones here. At Thoman, only Beard Guitars have the Legend Cone.

Apr 9, 2024 - 3:39:16 PM

4723 posts since 7/27/2008

Don't hold your breath waiting for a Quarterman cone unless you can find someone willing to sell you one from their private stash, which is pretty  unlikely here in  the U.S., and a lot less likely in Europe.

Rob at Blue Note Woodworks on the west cost in Oregon has been one of the main distributors for Quarterman. They haven't been available for some time. 

This is from the Blue Note website:

Quarterman Resonator Guitar Cones & Parts 

Many of you have heard and known, we have been challenged by needing to find a replacement old school spinning lathe, and now if that was not enough, we are now challenged again by finding out that our supply of special aluminum resonator cone material is not available at this time, with no eta.

We will try our best to secure our next supply of the special aluminum as soon as possible in order to continue our Quarterman Resonator Cone Manufacturing. 

John & I thank you for all your business and concerns.


Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 04/09/2024 15:43:27

Apr 9, 2024 - 3:42:58 PM

4723 posts since 7/27/2008

I have no idea how the cocobolo National Scheerhorn photo got into the post above, but I can't figure out how to delete it. When I try to edit, there is no sign of the photo in the post - at least not on my iPhone.  

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 04/09/2024 15:44:03

Apr 9, 2024 - 5:49:39 PM

RezBluez

Canada

268 posts since 1/24/2015

Mark,
Did you make sure your in rich text, maybe something to do with it. I’m just guessing though.

Apr 9, 2024 - 10:15:32 PM

4723 posts since 7/27/2008

Yeah, I was in Rich Text. But in copying and pasting the paragraph from Blue Note Woodworks, somehow that photo attached. 

It's above my pay grade and beyond my level of understanding...

Apr 10, 2024 - 9:08:25 AM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

Don't hold your breath waiting for a Quarterman cone unless you can find someone willing to sell you one from their private stash, which is pretty  unlikely here in  the U.S., and a lot less likely in Europe.

Rob at Blue Note Woodworks on the west cost in Oregon has been one of the main distributors for Quarterman. They haven't been available for some time. 

This is from the Blue Note website:

Quarterman Resonator Guitar Cones & Parts 

Many of you have heard and known, we have been challenged by needing to find a replacement old school spinning lathe, and now if that was not enough, we are now challenged again by finding out that our supply of special aluminum resonator cone material is not available at this time, with no eta.

We will try our best to secure our next supply of the special aluminum as soon as possible in order to continue our Quarterman Resonator Cone Manufacturing. 

John & I thank you for all your business and concerns.


Of course, it's not that important to me. The Beard Guitars Legend Cone is sure to please. The most important thing is that I already own the instrument and learn to control it. :-)

Apr 11, 2024 - 5:51:01 AM

529 posts since 1/14/2012

Those Gold Tones have really gotten expensive, haven’t they?surprise

Apr 15, 2024 - 5:37:10 PM

17 posts since 2/14/2024

People I trust say that the Gretsch Boxcar is a great value for $450.
Never touched one, but there it is.

For me, not a fan of imports that lose value and all the same, I would buy an Adams birch laminate for $800. There are two right now, waiting. Nothing beats a real craftsman.

These will never happen again.

I do own an Adams  (8 str) and it is so amazing!

BJ

Edited by - Bj8 on 04/15/2024 17:52:55

Apr 17, 2024 - 11:10:01 AM

Petros

USA

64 posts since 9/7/2023

if it helps I have played the RK Leadbetter and it sounded great but I decided to not buy it due to the nut. There is no way to really properly change it because the neck itself is slim. Too bad wow it sounded way better than the GT Paul Beard IMO.

But I can vouch for the Regals I have what might be the equivalent of the RD60 it a RD65 ROYC from the '90's early 2's it's a 3.75 body depth and a wider lower bout you can see by the cover plate there's alot more room at the sides than a RD40

I have 2 of them and got a 3rd but sent it back it did not play as well. I put a Beard cone #14 and shockwave inserts on one and it sounds great better than the GD PB and as good as the RK Leadbetter. I even opened one of them up so it's an open soundwell ala the late and so great Frank Harlow and has that modern type sound and volume.

Apr 17, 2024 - 4:04:20 PM

1200 posts since 9/29/2009

If you get the RR-60VS, and are looking into cone/ spider replacements, you might check into Karel Zacal's reso parts. Do you have easier access to parts from the Czech Republic than from the US? Can't speak from experience, but Zacal has a good reputation.

https://www.zacal.net/kategorie-produktu/dobro_parts/?lang=en

https://www.zacal.net/references/?lang=en

Apr 18, 2024 - 7:05:52 AM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

quote:
Originally posted by Petros

if it helps I have played the RK Leadbetter and it sounded great but I decided to not buy it due to the nut. There is no way to really properly change it because the neck itself is slim. Too bad wow it sounded way better than the GT Paul Beard IMO.

But I can vouch for the Regals I have what might be the equivalent of the RD60 it a RD65 ROYC from the '90's early 2's it's a 3.75 body depth and a wider lower bout you can see by the cover plate there's alot more room at the sides than a RD40

I have 2 of them and got a 3rd but sent it back it did not play as well. I put a Beard cone #14 and shockwave inserts on one and it sounds great better than the GD PB and as good as the RK Leadbetter. I even opened one of them up so it's an open soundwell ala the late and so great Frank Harlow and has that modern type sound and volume.


Thanks for the experience and tip. For now I'm decided on the RR-60VS. I mean a good price-performance ratio. Getting Regal dobro in the Czech Republic and Germany is a problem. Did you mean to recommend the dobro regal RD-65 type?

Apr 18, 2024 - 7:35:56 AM

Petros

USA

64 posts since 9/7/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Favor
quote:
Originally posted by Petros

if it helps I have played the RK Leadbetter and it sounded great but I decided to not buy it due to the nut. There is no way to really properly change it because the neck itself is slim. Too bad wow it sounded way better than the GT Paul Beard IMO.

But I can vouch for the Regals I have what might be the equivalent of the RD60 it a RD65 ROYC from the '90's early 2's it's a 3.75 body depth and a wider lower bout you can see by the cover plate there's alot more room at the sides than a RD40

I have 2 of them and got a 3rd but sent it back it did not play as well. I put a Beard cone #14 and shockwave inserts on one and it sounds great better than the GD PB and as good as the RK Leadbetter. I even opened one of them up so it's an open soundwell ala the late and so great Frank Harlow and has that modern type sound and volume.


Thanks for the experience and tip. For now I'm decided on the RR-60VS. I mean a good price-performance ratio. Getting Regal dobro in the Czech Republic and Germany is a problem. Did you mean to recommend the dobro regal RD-65 type?


I do recommend the RD65 but they are not made anymore they were Korean probably between 1990-2000 I have never seen an RD60 but if it has a 3.75" deep body it's the same body size at the 65 which is why these (RD65) sound so good. One thing to note the RD40VS has the "Power Reflect Chamber" so you should check to see if the 60VS has that also. I mentioned I have an RD40VS that's maybe 1998-ish and I took the PRC out and made it an open body sound post. But my RD65 has the soundwell which sounds very good. Also the RD65 came with a hard case and had a faux #14 import spider and a Quaterman cone so that made a nice sound but you can always replace the cone and spider with Beard parts. I'd be pretty sure the 60VS will be good if it's 3.75" deep body... 

Edited by - Petros on 04/18/2024 07:37:20

Apr 18, 2024 - 7:44:03 AM

16 posts since 4/6/2024

I don't have any information about his cones, but he puts Beard brand parts into some of the better models. When the RK is stocked at fy. Thoman so I will contact him. They make amazing instruments.
Thanks for trying to help.

Edited by - Favor on 04/18/2024 07:54:12

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