Any resonator guitar players around?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, May 21, 2016.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I've wanted a steel body single cone 12 fret National reso for many years. It would be a side thing for me - but it's something I've always wanted and I ain't getting no younger.

    I've tried three or four less expensive imported resos over the years and have always ended up returning them within a few days - they just don't sound like a National to me. I like the rawness of the steel National Delphi and the look of the painted/baked textured finishes over the polished steel or smooth painted models. I do like brass tricones too, but really want a steel single to learn slide on.

    I ran across a used 1994 Delphi this week which set me off - we had a guitar show this weekend, and a Delphi was the one thing I was looking for but no luck. The one I played in the store sounded great but was a color that I didn't care for. Luckily Delphis are about the cheapest National Resophonics out there and can be found.

    Does anyone here play a Delphi or other reso?
  2. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    I don't partake at all, not yet anyway. But if you want some good info. try . Bob's a thoroughly involved character. There's a lot of detail on his site. It wouldn't load for me just now - may be down - I don't know, but it's been a good source of info for all things reso, over the years. Newer resos are better apparently - tech has brought them forward, fresher cones etc. - and while he's a National dealer these days, he's still a man of high integrity and loves to share his wisdom. Worth a visit if you're exploring all the options. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
    HeavyDuty likes this.
  3. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    Sadly, Bob Brozman's no longer with us. That's a real blow. I'm stunned. He was such a bubbly, lively figure.

    This is the page - National Guitars: American Tradition - that came to mind for you, where he lays it all out. :thumbsup:
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Not a player, but almost. There was a four string reso on CL a while back and i really wanted to check it out, but i've got other more pressing needs ATM. I've decided its past time to try a double bass on for size so i'm not taking on anything else until i find me a good upright and give it a fair get to know you period.

    My brother plays guitar and he's got an old national metal body set up just for slide. I became a big John Campbell fan after hearing my brother play it when he first got it.
    HeavyDuty likes this.
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I taught myself to play dobro (reso) a couple years back. I lucked into a great instrument right away - a squareneck Beard Vintage R. Now every other reso I play sounds like crap. I really wanted the Epiphone with the Fishman Nashville pickup in it so I could play live in a band setting without getting feedback. But the Epiphone feels like a toy compared to the Beard. I couldn't see cutting into the Beard to install a pickup so I'm still on the hunt.

    Apparently the Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature reso is quite good. Lots of good reviews from the reso crowd.
    HeavyDuty likes this.
  6. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    I play resonator but unfortunately not a National. I have a JHS Vintage (model number escapes me) that supposedly has a National cone in it but it sounds nothing like any National I have heard.

    My favourite to play however is a half scale Spanish that I saved from being broken up for firewood. It has a solid spruce (?) top, carbon fibre reinforced neck and piezo bridge. It of course sounds nothing like a National but has a hint of old Gibson about it and is great fun to play and sounds way bigger than it's size suggests.

    When I first got into playing slide I only had the Vintage and ended up getting tennis elbow from playing it incessantly. The half sized doesn't affect me so I almost always play that, especially at the blues night I attend because it is far easier to plug it in than to try and mic my Vintage (and is lighter and quite a talking point being so small).
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  7. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    I saw Jeff Lang at the Opera House with one of these fellas.

    Here's Jeff Lang, and John Butler, pulling out the stops in the Concert Hall, so you get a better idea of what can be achieved. I think that may be a Dobro he's playing and there's more goodies under the hood, maybe a Shure SM-11 but I really don't know. Don't quote me on that :) He's no doubt blending the two sources, outboard.

    Last edited: May 23, 2016
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  8. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011

    Love me some John Butler Trio​
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  9. Skeptismo


    Sep 5, 2011
    My first was a Regal. I love the sound of a resonator for slide, and other fingerstyle playing. I usually play in open G or D, but there are a few in DADGAD that I like to play.
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