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Roundneck for bluegrass?

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(@hobbypicker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
Topic starter  

Just got a Johnson tricone roundneck, and am very pleased with it, considering the price, it seems to be a nice instrument. I've been considering to buy some kind of a resonator a long time, and settled with a tricone roundneck for many reasons, a roundneck is versatile, in that it can be played both fretted and with a slide, and also lap style with an extension nut. This brings me to my question, will my roundneck tricone stand to be tuned to "dobro" tuning (high G; GBDGBD), and what string gauge can be used?


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

It has a very strong neck, and it probably would take tuning up to that. Whether it would hold up to it for a life of playing, I don't know. The makers probably wouldn't recommend it. I had mine for a long time strung with .017-.070" strings for playing in Open D and Open G (in the vicinity of 210 lbs total string tension), and a bozo tuned it up to standard tuning after I'd expressly told him not to attempt it (and that standard tuned down a full step would be OK.) Nothing broke. Nowadys, though, I keep it strung with .021-.054" nickel electric strings. It sounds better with those than anything else I've tried. Very heavy strings overload the cones and are not tonally beneficial.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@hobbypicker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
Topic starter  

Thanks for your reply, just the input I needed, I also got the impression that the neck is very strong with it's chunky rounded v-profile.
I keep it strung with .021-.054" nickel electric strings. It sounds better with those than anything else I've tried.

If this is correct, I bet you buy single strings, but .021" as first string sounds extreme?!!!???


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Typo. Standard .012-.054" electric set.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@hobbypicker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
Topic starter  

Had Bottleneck John on visit, he played a concert here and stayed at my place, we compared my Johnson to his Amistar tricone (with National cones), and concluded that it's got a nicer neck than the Amistar, and perhaps also more of a vintage sound, thoug the Amistar sounds a little fatter. I got a set of 15-58 nickel wound strings which he uses, and I think it feels and sounds better with those heavier strings, than with the 12-54 PB strings I'd put on it.


   
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