Resonator Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Herrick, Apr 14, 2014.


  1. Herrick

    Herrick

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Munchkin Land
    I've been looking into these and did a little reading of some older threads. I was considering buying one until I saw this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0s2mFyQfT8

    This is really not the kind of sound I'm into.

    Then I grew more hopeful when I saw this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F8rDztviOY

    That's pretty good volume for that noisy environment, methinks and it sounds more thumpy than the other video.

    So is the difference in sound due mostly to string choice & finger vs pick playing? Can these things get a more BASS-like sound with the right strings and still retain the volume?
     
  2. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    California
    I've never heard a kind word for these monstrosities here.

    There was a major hate thread on these gimmick instruments a couple of years ago.
     
  3. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

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    Personally, I think they sound awful unless you love a really tinny, trebly sound. If you search "les claypool resonator" on YouTube you'll find any interview where he plays one. I don't know anything about that particular bass, but I'm assuming he can afford the best. It's gotta be a good one.
     
  4. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

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    They both sound like a$$ in my opinion. Makes no sense on any level to me. Do you want one just 'cause, or are you looking for a particular sound? Any type of sound you seek will likely be more obtainable through anything but a resonator bass. And this is coming from someone who loves resonator guitar tone.
     
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  6. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

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    As someone who busks with an ABG, a resonator bass seems pretty appealing.
     
  7. Herrick

    Herrick

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    Yeah I'm not a fan of bass twang. If that's all a resonator bass can do then I'm not interested. I went to the Goldtone website and they had a video there and it was all twang. Ah well :meh:
     
  8. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    My understanding is that FMIC dreamed this nonsense up as a concept instrument and video prop for some awful Garth Brooks Dr. Pepper TV commercial some ten years ago, based on their truly horrible FR50 guitar.

    Distinguished origins, huh? :rolleyes:

    Since then, a number of others put these abortions on the market. Occasionally, someone buys one and generally regrets it. If you don't think there's a more doomed proposition than a regular ABG, these will prove you wrong.

    I don't want to buy any more cute instruments that don't work in this lifetime, thanks. :rollno:
     
  9. zontar

    zontar

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    Another thread so soon?
     
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    Ozark make one that I find great.
    It has a horrible design flaw : the piece of soft wood used as a bridge under the cover. It needs to be replaced ASAP by a proper piece of ebony.

    The rest is simply great. Short scale that favors mids and works well with the resonator to get you heard.
    Single coil pickup that works wonders if you decide to plug.
    Very comfy neck and body.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Herrick

    Herrick

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    Have you played one?

    Yeah I see there was one made only a few days ago. Whoops.

    Is it twangy?
     
  12. LowB-ing

    LowB-ing

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    Aug 3, 2005
    Nope. Bassplayer mag reviewed a resonator bass way back in the 90ies. Don't remember the brand, but I think it was from Dobro. I think that one had been around for a few years by then too.

    Then there's the upright resonator bass from the 30ies. It wasn't very successful, and I'm not defending the concept here. I'm just saying that FMIC didn't invent the resonator bass.

     
  13. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    Well, that's one piece of marketing lunacy we can't blame on them for a change.

    At least not entirely. ;)

    Their resonator bass was short-lived and broadly reviled, though.
     
  14. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    About three notes on one of the Fenders years ago. It sounded like a dreadful accident.
     
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    That would describe it well, yes. Note the lipstick pickup, which helps toward this goal.
    It doesn't sound too harsh if you use real strings instead of bronze horrors and really responds well to playing.
     
  16. jeffbonny

    jeffbonny Gold Supporting Member

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    I kinda like what this guy's doing with it.
     
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    It is very representative of the tone of this instrument. A lot of overtones but not agressive.
    Great playing from this guy, too.
     
  18. Herrick

    Herrick

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    Thanks for the help, everyone. I've decided not to buy one.
     
  19. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Not sure if it may guide you in your quest but after years of looking for convincing acoustic basses, I gave up and bought a mandocello, which allows me to play bass parts and get heard, along with many other things.
     
  20. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline Supporting Member

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    So eloquently put... down. Stating "monstrosities" and "gimmick" is really quite helpful in perpetuating the bad rep these instruments get and goes so well towards turning this thread into another bash-fest. Bravo, you tried one and didn't like it.

    After trying many of these reso-basses I find they're not my cup-of-tone, but I don't feel the need to denigrate them and in so doing also desparaging those who do like them.

    I've heard some that sounded okay and others that were too twangy for my tastes. String choice (as already noted in the thread) and playing technique have a huge impact on how they sound. What I haven't heard is how one of the old upright-sized ones sound like – That I would like to hear.

    [​IMG]
     
    zontar likes this.
  21. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

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    Now that is just cool.
     

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