Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Resonator Guitar Lovers Online

Jun 11, 2024 - 8:31:52 PM
14 posts since 7/24/2023

Has anyone played a reso without a cone? Of course, it would necessitate having a spider bridge. If so, how did it affect the tone and volume?

Jun 11, 2024 - 9:37:35 PM
likes this

797 posts since 1/18/2012
Online Now

It sounds like one hand clapping.

Jun 11, 2024 - 10:04:05 PM

14 posts since 7/24/2023

The reason I asked this question was not as a joke, but because I had converted my large body Ovation guitar to a slide guitar, and when played like a square neck, it is louder and has a much fuller tone than even my Wolf reso, which is naturally very loud.

Last year, I bought another Wolf reso that needed some work to make it visually acceptable, and I just had a thought regarding the possibility of playing it without the cone, like the Ovation.

BTW, "one hand clapping" makes no sound at all, so the simile doesn't logically follow.

Edited by - Slapstick_inc on 06/11/2024 22:08:06

Jun 11, 2024 - 11:32:27 PM

1215 posts since 9/29/2009

What would the spider bridge rest on without a cone?

Jun 12, 2024 - 5:40:34 AM

14 posts since 7/24/2023

Oh, I forgot that the spider bridge doesn't go all the way across. But if it did, what would that do to the sound?

Jun 12, 2024 - 7:21:58 AM

797 posts since 1/18/2012
Online Now

Like a saxophone without a reed.

Jun 13, 2024 - 12:15:36 PM

4768 posts since 7/27/2008

Originally posted by Slapstick_inc

Oh, I forgot that the spider bridge doesn't go all the way across. But if it did, what would that do to the sound?

I guess you'll have to rig up something to make it work and let us know. Since as Sam wrote, there is nothing for the spider legs to rest on - it's never occurred to me to make the attempt. wink

Jun 16, 2024 - 11:55:14 AM



10 posts since 1/2/2011


How do we get to hear a resonator or standard guitar in the first place?

The principle is that the surface of a string alone isn't anywhere enough for "grabbing" enough air to produce airwaves that can be heard.

In a "standard"guitar, the strings are run across a bridge that is connected to the flexible (!) wooden (spruce) top of the guitar, This whole top is a large soundboard, big and flexible enough for stirring enough air thus making the sound heard.

In a resonator, the bridge is coupled through the spider ( and very important, the small screw in the middle) to the cone, the resonator's soundboard. In order to make the cone vibrate to the max, it is nescesary to rest the outside on a solid edge. That's why a resonator's top is not spruce but the same (hard) wood as sides and bottom.

Imagine leaving out the cone and attaching the spider to this hard top. The top ( contrary to the spruce one on a standard guitar) will hardly flex, hence no airwaves will be generated: You won't hear much more than you'd get from the strings alone.....

Jun 16, 2024 - 12:44:15 PM

4768 posts since 7/27/2008

Good take on the topic Bruno,  a fine explanation. But I guess we would need to have someone modify the cone ledge so that the spider "feet"  would rest on the ledge to actually hear what it does. Probably not going to happen...

Not to go too far out on a tangent, but in regards to spruce tops, there have been plenty of lap style resos built with that material. But the  top is typically thicker and more stiff than that of a flattop guitar with a spruce top. So it of course doesn't significantly vibrate or flex to the same degree as a flattop - the old "speaker cabinet" analogy. And obviously with the size of the hole cut out to accommodate the cone, it's a much smaller surface. 

Reso luthiers seem to have different opinions on how much the top wood effects tone. I can recall Tim Scheerhorn saying the top has some effect on overall tone.  And I have read that Kent Schoonover believes it has almost no effect on tone. 

Apparently it comes down to design. Schoonover resos have unique bracing system under the top. 

I played a Scheerhorn a number of years ago with a cedar top and mahogany back and sides. Cedar often imparts a "mellow" tone on a flattop, and this guitar definitely had that vibe. If it were all mahogany I believe it would have sounded quite different. 


Jun 16, 2024 - 12:55:18 PM



10 posts since 1/2/2011

Being a banjo player in the first place, my feeling is that the neck wood is most responsible for tone, outside the resonator hardware and the physical design.

But my advice also would be to never trust an banjo player's opinion.....

Long time ago:

A little less long ago (indeed, that's my RB-1):

Edited by - RB-1 on 06/16/2024 12:58:24

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Reso Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories