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Old 03-26-2012, 10:01 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Default Need Help with a Liberty Resophonic

I picked up a Liberty MAH-100 from a friend of mine in a trade. It is all mahogany round-neck with a spider bridge. I've never owned a resonator before and have always wanted one. This one seems to be in great condition with only a very light spotting on the metal. The action is decent - just a bit higher than I would normally go but perfect for slide.

How are these supposed to be setup? I adjusted the truss rod for about .010 of relief and it plays great - no buzzes and the tone is decent.

One thing I am a bit puzzled about is the saddle. It is made of wood and looks like maple or basswood. It is not compensated and is in two pieces. It is split in the middle (between the D and G strings) with about a 1/4" gap and sits in a slot in the bridge.

So I have a few questions:

1) Would a bone or Tusq saddle sound better than the wood one or is the wood saddle material important for the tone because of the metal spider bridge?

2) If I made a new bone saddle, must it be split in two halves with a gap in the middle or can it be one piece like on a conventional acoustic bridge?

3) What type of strings do most people use on these spider resonator guitars? I figure that I will try a set of DR PB Rares in light gauge just to see how it sounds.

4) Are there any other adjustments that are unique to this type of instrument?

I've done a bit of research. There is not a tremendous amount of info out there but I've found some.

Any additional insight into Liberty specifically or resonators in general would be a huge help. Thanks in advance...

Last edited by dbf909; 03-26-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:53 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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No one at all has any experience with these ???
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:25 PM
blue blue is offline
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Don't know that brand at all. Check out the saddle material on the best of the best. That should answer your question about a bone saddle. Maple been used from the beginning. They did their R&D.

As to strings, again check what the best of the best are shipped with. Slide and lights generally don't tend to go together very well.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:59 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Thanks for the response blue. Coincidently, these guitars were assembled by a guy named Bill Blue in FL...

Do you know anything about the two piece saddle? Do any of the best of the best do something like that?
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:04 PM
blue blue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
Thanks for the response blue. Coincidently, these guitars were assembled by a guy named Bill Blue in FL...

Do you know anything about the two piece saddle? Do any of the best of the best do something like that?
Oh yeah. In the Spider family. If you are interested you can probably find demos of everything from Bone to even a carbon fiber one piece biscuit and saddle thing. I've never seen but have heard of adjustable individual string saddles on a biscuit style. Resonators can sound harsh. And the softer maple evens that out. I've heard ebony capped saddles that sounded too harsh. If yo wanted to do anything material wise that's the most I would go for. But again, I didn't like it. I think the idea came from the Ebony Nuts that were used on some lower end models back in the day. But that was for cost savings. Not because it was a good idea. Some love that for authenticity.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:20 PM
slimey slimey is offline
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Don't know the Liberty brand but most resonators use maple sadles, can't tell you why but with nearly a 100 years developing these guitars I'm sure there's a reason.
John Pearse Strings makes a very nice string serial # 790NR Phos Bronze spanish neck resophonic they go from a .013 to .056. very nice sounding string with very good life.
Can't help with the split saddle I'm afraid.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:55 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Thanks for the additional info. I am thinking of just making a new maple one-piece saddle for it. Any idea where I might find a blank?
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:37 PM
ohiopicker ohiopicker is offline
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Default Reso Saddle

Stew Mac sells the two piece ones. I imagine you could actually get home depot to cut you a one piece from maple.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:41 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Good idea. I'll check at StewMac. I figured I could cut one out of a piece of maple from THD or Lowes. There are a couple of lumberyards around that have some nice furniture-grade hardwoods too. Maybe I can get a scrap of hard maple from one of them...
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:43 AM
mattdaddy mattdaddy is offline
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here are my answers to your questions.

1) Maple saddles are the standard and are hard to beat for the sound produced, however ebony tipped maple saddles are fast becoming the rage. Most players still prefer maples saddles though.

2) Becuase your guitar is of the Spider type and not a Biscuit type, it should have two halves, as the spider itself has two halves to hold the two saddles.

3) This is tough to asnwer and is more personal perference, but anywhere between .013 and .017s for the low E, depends primarily on what type of style you will play, fingerpicking or slide or both.

4) the saddle hieght should be as high as it can be with regards to the cover plate. nut string height is based on playing style as well.

Check out Littlebortherblues.com for more infor regarding all types of resonator guitars.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:32 AM
nogin007 nogin007 is offline
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Not sure about the Liberty, but the saddle is in 2 pieces because ther is an adjustment screw in the space between the 2 pieces. I think it's to adjust the tension of the cone.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:19 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I didn't see an adjustment screw down between the saddles but I have not removed the saddle cover yet so I can't see straight into it.

I haven't had a chance to do any work on it in the last week or so. I've played a bit though. Maybe this week...
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:46 PM
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Hi dbf -

If you haven't done so already, then this site might be worth a look: http://www.resohangout.com/

Hope this is helpful to you!

Will ~
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:29 PM
dbf909 dbf909 is offline
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Thanks, the site looks interesting. I'll have to poke around there when I get a chance.
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