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Resonator Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jbancroft45, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. jbancroft45


    Apr 11, 2014
    I'm new as a member, but have used TB a good deal in the past. I've looked through different threads about specific resonator basses, but not much in the way of comparison.

    I'm looking at the Regal RD-05:


    As well as the Ozark 3516:


    I like the styling of both, as well as the price. I'm just indecisive, both have their own special qualities. I like the fact that the Ozark is acoustic/electric and fully metal. I like the Regal's more classic style and spruce top. I'm leaning more towards the Ozark currently.

    I guess my main question is: has anyone dealt with either of the basses, and if so, what did you think of it?
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I have a short scale Regal and added a lipstick PU. Sounds fine but doesn't play in tune up the neck. Plus, short scale is just too small for me.

    Of the two listed I'd try the Ozark, although I've never played one.
  3. tekhedd

    tekhedd Tone chaser Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    Owner/operator of BYTE HEAVEN
    Also, in the link you post the Ozark is biscuit bridge, where the RD-05 is a spider. That's going to be significantly different and a matter of personal preference.

    (Otherwise, I have no direct experience with these particular instruments. However, I did recently research pickups and there are some interesting options for biscuit bridge that I wanted to try but couldn't with a spider bridge...)
  4. jbancroft45


    Apr 11, 2014
    Thanks tekhedd, I hadn't given the bridges a thought. That's very helpful, thank you both
  5. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I haven't tried one in person, but I love reso guitars--and have tried reso ukes.

    A bass woudl be cool.

    I tend to prefer wood bodies ones--but not always.
    And I do prefer biscuit cones or tri cones.

    But I've played spider cone ones I like as well.
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Up until this thread, I have never heard a single kind word for these instruments here.

    The previous received knowledge on TB is that they were some gimmick that Fender cooked up based on their atrocious FR50 guitar (later copies came from other companies) and are virtually useless.

    Mucho hate for the concept here, as of a couple of years ago.
  7. If you do buy the Regal, the only way you'll get it to play in tune is to buy an "off-set" spider bridge that sets on top of the cone. I bought my first from JAnet Davis Music, but they don't handle them anymore; Elderly Music in Lansing MI seems to be the only supplier anymore. You'll also get a automatic tutorial on how testy resonator instruments are. If you don't want to work on the set-up (seemingly constantly- until you get your axe "dialed-in") buy a stand-up and a van.
    I love mine, and am setting up a second "cheap find" as a backup. I am however normally a short-scale player anyway, if you're a 34" scale person, Beard and others make them in that scale, but they're more$. I don't know if they're any easier to get to work right, my guess would be not.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
    tekhedd likes this.
  8. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Dean also makes/made resonator basses. I just have never seen the point to them. But, as in anything, I am sure it can be a "fun" thing for those who find it to be fun.
  9. tekhedd

    tekhedd Tone chaser Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    Owner/operator of BYTE HEAVEN
    Yes, I'm pretty sure it's an Elderly Music offset spider that I put on my cheapo chinese-made ebay resonator. It seems like a good bridge. After setting it up and shaping the bridgepiece to give me a little more length, it plays very nearly in tune! I think it would intonate properly if I could lower the action just a bit more. But I like the volume I can play at so I've left it. The tone is good with the very cheap reso cone it came with--I think a "really good" cone might actually be a detriment with a bass resonator, as we're interested in creating harmonics exactly an octave down from guitar.

    Still experimenting with pickups. I consider a magnetic/contact blend to be essential.

    I still want to try modding one of these crappy "acoustic" basses they sell, but I have way too many projects in the works already, and the right one hasn't turned up. (Right as in dying in exactly the right way to be cheap, yet still playable after extensive surgery.)