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Got A New Budget Reso!

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dogbite
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I play a spider bridge square neck resonator. I think it sounds fine for the blues.
congrats on the new guitar.
y'know, I never have heard you play.
it's about time.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
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I'll get around to recording and posting something eventually.
Ricochet, I'll be waiting for that post! :D

It seems it is a very nice guitar. In the way you described it, it seems all the components are good and also it has a great sound. Currently I am thinking if there are very "myths" in guitars...

BTW, a question, is the .013 an usual gauge for resonators? My acoustic came with it and I had to change to .011 but I don't play slide or similar and I was not able to get a good sound.

Congratulations and enjoy! :D


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Congrats on the new acquisition Ric!

Y'know, I really must investigate resos one of these days - I know so little about them. Didn't even know some were made with wood, I thought they were all metal! I don't even think I've ever seen a real one in a guitar shop around here - I'm sure I'd have noticed if there was one!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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DennisF6
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(Picture from Musicians Friend website)
I jumped on that Stupid Deal of the Day too. (That SDOTD is sure costing me a lot of money!).
Got mine last night.
I knew nothing about reso's - except I like hearing bluesmen play them.
I'm learning a bit - probably should have got a biscuit cone for blues. Apparently spiders are more commonly used for bluegrass, which is not my thing. However, as another poster mentioned - spiders can be played for blues too.
Reso's also apparently use higher gauge strings. If you go to MF and search for resonator strings, the ONLY gauge listed is 16's. (Richocet, are you sure you have 13's?)
The construction on mine is nearly flawless (there is a small nick on the neck where it is joined to the body - nothing that bothers me.). I think it sounds GREAT too! Mine came with high action that probably reflects the fact that these are often used with a slide. Between the action and the high gauge strings, my fingers are SORE this morning!

I want to play guitar very badly -
and I do!


   
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Ricochet
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Yep, I measured the strings with my electronic calipers. .013-.056". That, BTW, is the standard string set National Resophonic ships their resos with.

Martin's Bluegrass Resonator Guitar strings (which I like) come in a .016-.056" gauge meant for playing in "High Bass G" (GBDGBD) tuning on squarenecks. They work very well for playing in "standard" Open G (DGDGBD) and Open D (DADF#AD), as do regular acoustic medium .013-.056" strings. A heavier first string makes it easier sliding when you're learning bottleneck, but isn't essential. You learn to stop the slide in the right position by "muscle memory" without relying on the tension of the string to catch it. I have .012-.054" nickel electric strings on most of my guitars. Vic always uses 9s. Really there's nothing special about either guitars or strings for bottleneck sliding, or anything special about resos so far as playing, they just have their own sounds. There's nothing to stop anyone from tuning up into standard and playing whatever you're used to, you don't have to slide on them. (Unless you have a squareneck.) I saw Béla Fleck play a whole set of Spanish classical guitar on a National Resophonic Style 1 Tricone. And there's definitely nothing about spiders to tie them to bluegrass and country, except that Bashful Brother Oswald kept using a Hawaiian Dobro when everyone else had forgotten about resos and moved on, and nothing to keep them out of blues except that apparently historically National had a better dealer connection in the Mississippi Delta in the '30s than Dobro did. Blues is about what you play, not what you play it on. Always has been.

DB, a week and a half ago I did post a video of myself playing and singing a version of "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" on YouTube. Look for OldSlidePicker. Got to do something with the spider, that one was with my Johnson Tricone.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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DennisF6
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Richocet,
thanks a lot for the education on reso strings - I would have bought the 16's thinking I HAD too.
It's great to know I can use whatever strings I like (I'm used to 12's on my other acoustics).
This comment was especially educational:
Really there's nothing special about either guitars or strings for bottleneck sliding, or anything special about resos so far as playing, they just have their own sounds.
Thanks again!

I want to play guitar very badly -
and I do!


   
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Ricochet
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You're welcome. Have fun!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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UrbanCowgirl
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Pics or it didn't happen. :wink:

I know what you mean about the quality and price of Chinese made guitars.
I own a Savant, which is an inexpensive, Chinese made, beginner acoustic guitar made for Gibson. It cost me $79.00 at Meijer and while I don't have Gibson or Epiphone to compare it to, the quality is great. Very well made, perfect finish and it sounds fantastic. Only complaint I have is that the action is too high. I can get that fixed but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet and it will probably cost more than the guitar did.

All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.


   
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Ricochet
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About that high reso action: Mine's got the strings about 1/8" over the 12th fret, which I think is perfect. I've got it at about 5/32" on my tricone, which is also fine. I think that's the range I'd suggest. But there's a critical setup adjustment on spiders that many don't know about: In the center of the spider there's a screw, accessed through a hole in the handguard. On some it's turned by a tiny straight blade screwdriver, it might require a Philips screwdriver or Allen wrench. The screw is between the two half saddles, you just poke the driver in there with everything set up (and I wouldn't detune the strings to do this.) You must carefully count fractions of a turn to know where you are, a little adjustment makes a LOT of difference! The screw goes from the center of the bridge to the center of the cone. When tightened, it pulls the spider down on the cone, preloading it. If you loosen that screw, feeling the turning effort and carefully counting 1/8 turns as you go, you'll feel a point where the screw suddenly gets easier to turn as the preload goes away. Retightening from that point, the range suggested on Stew-Mac's site is between 1/4 turn and 1 full turn tight. Somewhere in there you'll find a sweet spot. As you tighten the screw, the spider-cone system gets stiffer. When it's loose, the string push the "softer" cone in, so the action goes lower. You can feel the bridge move around as you pull on the strings, giving it a sloppy feel. It may buzz. As it gets tighter, the spider-cone complex stiffens, making the strings rise and feel "snappier." The tone gets brighter. You lose some bass. Tighten it too much, and the screw may strip, the spider may bend or break, and the cone may crush or be indented by the legs.

UCG, with an acoustic all you'll probably need to do to lower the action is to VERY CAREFULLY sand off the bottom of the saddle a little bit at a time with sandpaper on a perfectly flat surface, putting it back together, tuning up and rechecking frequently after you do a little bit. You can't put it back on if you sand too much off, but you can easily get a new saddle. Or put a shim under a too-low one. Check that the nut isn't too high while you're at it. That'll mess up your intonation.

BTW, intonation on a reso is adjusted by loosening the strings and moving the saddle and cone(s) around in the soundwell. Single cones can rotate freely, so they will end up slanted about the same as the saddle on an acoustic. There's a slight bit of longitudinal movement allowed as well. When you get it right, change one string at a time so it doesn't move.
I haven't even checked to see where mine is on the new spider, but it sounds and feels just right!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Rahul
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Congrats on the new reso !

Guess that gives you more inspiration for whalin' 'way witda boyellneck' :note1:


   
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Ricochet
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That I've been doing. :mrgreen:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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KR2
 KR2
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I was on vacation when you posted that.
I found it.

Doc, you have a really, really nice voice. In tune and nice . . . . what? . . . baritone?
I'm surprised no one has inducted you into the compilations going on here!
KR2

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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Ricochet
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Thanks, Ken!

I was on vacation, too. The Atlantic Ocean was outside the door behind me.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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KR2
 KR2
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That's funny.
We went from the beach to the mountains of Tennessee (and then Darlingtion, SC).
You went from Tennessee to the beach.

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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Ricochet
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Isn't that how it goes? We passed by Darlington going and coming.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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