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Old 06-24-2020, 10:27 PM
David Rance David Rance is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Norfolk UK
Posts: 176

The received wisdom is that you have to have tension on the resonator cones in order for them to respond and that too light a string makes them sound a bit insipid. Also that the heavier strings are better for slide and open tunings. I should say I'm not that total a resonator fan but this is what I've learnt so far. When I bought my Regal RC51 a few years back I took it to a luthier for a decent setup and that helped a lot as, like you, I had found the instrument great fun to play but heavy and a little tiring. I don't like heavy actions. A Type 1 National (which the RC51 is a Chinese knock-off of!) ships with medium (13) John Pearce PB's. My 'string journey' has been via John Pearse Resophonic Nickel wound G Tuning - just too heavy (.016 - .059) and dull, Elixir Nanoweb PB medium (13) - better/nice, Martin Monel's MTR13 (13) - nice, less brassy, not as nice as PB, Earthwood 80/20 medium light (12), dulled very quickly, Martin 80/20 Lifespan SP MSP6100 (12), nicer, flat wound Chromes (!) D'Addario ECG24, awful. Took me a long time to decide if I liked light or medium and PB or 80/20. Eventual/current fave Martin 80/20 Lifespan 2 medium (13) MA150T.

This is all personal choice of course and I found I had to research and experiment a lot. Basic stuff, and I apologise hugely if I'm teaching granny how to suck eggs but it's still worth saying. Don't take ALL the strings off a resonator at once because the mechanism will fall apart. Only string tension presses it all together and keeps in one place. You probably know that!

Hope all that helps. My experience will not be yours of course. Have fun!

Last edited by David Rance; 06-25-2020 at 03:09 AM.
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