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  #1  
Old 07-25-2017, 05:36 PM
wooster wooster is offline
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Default Choice of resonators

Hi folks

I'm looking to buy my first resonator. I want this exclusively for delta blues Son House type stuff. I'm going for round neck, metal body, single cone, biscuit model. I'm in the UK but in a rural area which makes testing a little difficult, involving quite a bit of travelling ( though not impossible ). Models readily available here seem to be:

Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper which seems reasonable though some doubts have been expressed online about the cones caving in

Regal RC-2 Again seems reasonable but some people are not sure about the neck joint being durable?

Recording King RM 998 D which I know nothing about

Ashbury AR 46 which are a British company outsourcing to Vietnam and China.

Vintage AMG 1. Seems to be good value and solidly built?

I don't know if there's much to pick and choose between them for build quality as I assume they'll be pretty much the same. I'm drawn mostly to the Gretsch and would buy from Andertons who I know would stand behind the item,but I'd welcome any advice on which of these people would recommend.

Thank you for your help

Last edited by wooster; 07-25-2017 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:22 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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The Gretschs are pretty good. I'd get one of them. I've had a National and would say they are monster machines though they may be over kill. You can replace parts on steel guitars. They are little like electric guitars in that way.
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Old 07-26-2017, 12:46 PM
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Gretsch has a very narrow thin neck compared to a "traditional" resonator. If that's your preference in neck, it's a great choice.

First choice where you are would be a michael messer if you want a tradtional feeling neck. I frankly wouldn't get anything else in the UK until I had exhausted all avenues, new and used, with a messer.
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:00 PM
Eldergreene Eldergreene is offline
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In the UK, Michael Messer resos are rated head & shoulders above other budget models - check out his website..
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:25 PM
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I just bought a Gretsch Boxcar Friday. I am astonished over the quality of sound. Build is good as well. It has a spider type resonator and just sings.
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Old 07-26-2017, 02:08 PM
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I've got a Honey Dipper and had used it on a bunch of pro recordings. And yes, the cone collapsed but that was a $60 fix. I've written up a general guide to resos combined with my experience with and review of the Boxcar, HERE. There is a sound clip on that page and more are over HERE.



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Old 07-26-2017, 05:29 PM
wooster wooster is offline
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Thank you all for your help. Good to know Gretsch is a good bet and also that the cone is easily replaced. You will gather I'm a novice at resonators. I don't know how the neck would suit me but I know I can try one of these fairly easily.

Good call re the Messer guitars. Thanks for this. I'm really interested in these and will definitely follow up with the company.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:25 AM
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I have a National now but when I was looking for a "budget" reso I did a lot of online research and got to try a bunch - I was living in the US at the time so managed to get to play a range of resonators. Republic was a top contender, but a Regal was definitely up there, although I found with all brands that the quality was mixed, even among the same models . I actually end up getting a HotRod tricone. This was before the boxcar and alligators were out - since then out of curiosity, I tried the gretsch boxcar, and again one was amazingly good and the other, exact same model, literally on a stand next to it, was not very good at all. The Michael Messer guitars looked interesting from what I've seen online. I will be in the UK for a couple of months soon so am keen to see if I can find one to try.
I did notice that Republic have dealers in Liverpool and Wales(!) if you are anywhere near there! Anyway good luck and let us know what you end up with, with pictures
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:11 AM
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I owned a Honeydipper for a while and have owned a Gretsch Boxcar for about 4 years now.

The Honeydipper is very nice and has good tone. Keep in mind - these things are HEAVY. VERY HEAVY. All steel and brass bodied resos are. Loud as all get out too. Blew my wife's banjo out of the water kinda loud.

Whether you play standing or seated, you will need to play using a strap or you will have trouble controlling the neck.

I got rid of mine - just too much weight. Left an enormous dent in my thigh after 20-30 minutes.

If weight is a consideration for you at all I would look at wooden bodied reso too. They are nearly as loud and less than 1/2 the weight. Just a thought.

I haven't played a Messer, but have only heard good things about them.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:30 AM
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The necks on the nationals are much better than any of the bargin resonators. Tone can be comparable.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:36 AM
wooster wooster is offline
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I've ordered a MM Blues which should be ready in a month or so.

I'm slightly concerned re the weight issue as I'm knocking on a bit and have a little bit of tendon problem in my arm. I'm not playing professionally and will only use it for home recording and pleasure sitting down so I'm hoping it will be fine if I strap it up.

I would go for wood but I'm worried I would lose the tone.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:43 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post
I've ordered a MM Blues which should be ready in a month or so.

I'm slightly concerned re the weight issue as I'm knocking on a bit and have a little bit of tendon problem in my arm. I'm not playing professionally and will only use it for home recording and pleasure sitting down so I'm hoping it will be fine if I strap it up.

I would go for wood but I'm worried I would lose the tone.
You do, in fact, lose a lot of that metallic edge to the tone with a wooden body.

Let us know what you think of your Messer when you get it. Congrats. Cool guitar.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post
I've ordered a MM Blues which should be ready in a month or so.

I'm slightly concerned re the weight issue as I'm knocking on a bit and have a little bit of tendon problem in my arm. I'm not playing professionally and will only use it for home recording and pleasure sitting down so I'm hoping it will be fine if I strap it up.

I would go for wood but I'm worried I would lose the tone.
The weight is frankly not a big deal if you have played electrics. I have definitely played Les Pauls that were HEAVIER than my Nationals!

The issue if finding a playing position that works for you. Traditional national style guitars are basically OO sized. And not particularly deep bodied. So the challenge is finding a position where you don't have to support the neck with your fretting hand, and the guitar sits solidly in the lap.

It might take a strap for you. For me it takes a foot rest like a classical player, or if I am playing out and can't find anything I either rest my foot on the case, or I cross my right leg over my left leg like Paco De Lucia plays.

But really, don't sweat the weight. It is what it is, and it isn't the end of the world either way.

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Old 08-16-2017, 11:29 AM
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Hi,
I had 2 Honeydippers (G9201 and G9202).and liked them both. I sold them as they were heavy and I've injured my stomach muscles. I've had an MM Blues in the past and prefered it to the Gretches. It was just as heavy though

The MM guitars are set up by Dave King, one of the top resonator luthiers in the world. If you don't like it or it isn't suitable you can return it for exchange or refund.

The MM Blues 28 may be a better option, as it's much lighter.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phb2VHCc8aw

Have a look at the forum
http://michaelmesser.proboards.com/
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:20 AM
joe paul joe paul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post
I've ordered a MM Blues which should be ready in a month or so. ...
I would go for wood but I'm worried I would lose the tone.
Have you got your MM Blues? How do you like it?
I found a 14 fret one this summer after looking to get one for a while and I'm very happy with it. Hope your experience is the same.
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