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Resonators (dobro/national)


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Now that I've finished my acoustic Les Paul, I'm thinking about a new project.

A resonator sounds like a good idea as they're a bit off the wall uncommon type of things.......

SO, never having ever spent enough time near one to pull it apart.......

I'm under the impression that the body & top can be ANYTHING, steel, brass, plywood, even MDF without any reall appreciable affect on tone as this all comes from the bridge & cone(s).

It that right?

If so, is the cone system just a stack inside the soundwell?

well - cone - spider - bridge - coverplate

or

well,- cone - biscuit bridge - coverplate.......

or have I missed the point completely?

Ta!!

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Go to the freeinfo section at www.stewmac.com and there's a pdf set of instructions for assembling a resonator kit. You may want to print it out ... I don't think they make the kit anymore so it may not be on there forever.

The kits are now sold by Beard Guitars as he is the one that provided them to Stewmac.

http://www.beardguitars.com/index.html

another gd site for Dobro info is at http://www.folkofthewood.com/

Hope this helps.

Mike

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How my resonator building buddy does it:

Top

Ring (to support coverplate)

Soundwell (glued to ring)

Ring on bottom of soundwell (That the cone sits on)

Cone has a biscuit and bridge

There's also a couple of wedged supports to brace the top

I think that the debate is open, soundwise, as to what you can use for the top and bottom. Some people say that it alters the tone, others say that they should be acousticly dead. Personally, I'll sit on the fence with this one.

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I was thinking of making an "electric Resonator Guitar" but without the electric. A solidbody resonator guitar, do you guys think it would work or will the sound be bad? Anyways I would go with Cone then Biscuit then Overplate.

Can you explain what the "spider" is?

EDIT

Actually it's gonna be a Resonator Solidbody Ukulele. Tell me if its a good or bad idea.

Edited by Resodude
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My basic understanding of resonators is much like yours, yes; the key seems to be building a stiff, non-vibrating body/frame to mount the cone(s) in/on; 1/8" ply is a very common mateiral for the top, because it ain't at all toneful. It's not an acoustic guitar in the traditional sense.

I reccomend also checking out the MIMF.com library for some reso disucussions.

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Beltona makes their ukulele bodies out of fiberglass. I don't think the material is too critical. The body volume is probably more important. Resonators are like speakers: resonator cones = speaker cones, body = cabinet.

A solid body reso-uke probably wouldn't be as loud or have as much bass as an acoustic reso-uke. That wouldn't make it bad, just a little different. I wonder if a solid body reso-uke would be louder than a conventional uke.

So, where are you going to get a cone for a uke?

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So, where are you going to get a cone for a uke?

I'm gonna try and make one out of a lid or something.

Do you have any suggestions how to attach the strings by the resonator?

Like this: http://www.elderly.com/images/new_instrume..._body-front.jpg ?

Do you just tie a knot and pull them till theyre stuck or how does this work?

Edited by Resodude
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It looks like those holes are slotted, for top loading. The strings on my classical guitar have little beads on the ends of the strings. A knot in the string keeps it from sliding through. I'd guess it's something like that.

I wonder if you can use a cone out of a tri-cone reso guitar for a uke.

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Scale length is between the nut and the bridge, so I'd say no.

You want to make sure that you have a relatively decent break angle over the bridge though.

Resodude - Where abouts in Sweden are you? I was born in Varnamo but haven't been back since we moved. Be nice to have someone that can pronounce my name around ;-)

Kaj

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More like the top one. We've been fiddling with the design so that the tail piece holding the strings sits a bit lower on the cover plate. We wanted to pull the strings a bit tighter over the bridge and put the cone under a bit more pressure.

I'm originally from Gislaved in Jonkoping. Hoping to make my first visit back (since I was about 3) sometime over the next few years. Be nice to have someone around that can pronounce my name :D

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Who are you working with?

and

How important is the slope of the coverplate? I mean is it possible to make with a flat coveplate?

And

Is the distance (the width) on the bridge(?) and nut important (the width) ? Do the string-holder-slots have to be even with the bridge or?

Edited by Resodude
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I'm working with this guy: www.deltaresonatorguitars.co.uk

I'd like to point out that he is the expert. I've been doing drawings for him and offering technical advise. He is very much the guitar man. Basically, what I mean is don't take my answers to be 100% correct. I wouldn't like to be responsible for throwing you off track. Luckily though, the new resonators that we've been designing will start to be built soon (hopefully by next month I should have a one). So I'll know much better how they're put together. Also, I know John (the main man) uses some special process to build his. Although this site is about sharing information, I'm sure you will understand that there will be the odd thing that I can't give away. He knows I hang around here and I'm under oath :D -maybe he's watching now - spooky :D )

Flat top plate - I suppose you could do, with the type that John builds you'd end up with the bridge sticking out of the flat plate by a long way. I think it'd look ugly. I've been looking for a link to a supplier of top plates and cones, but I can't find it. As soon as I do then I'll post it.

The width at the nut and bridge - To be honest I couldn't give you an answer on this. I don't know if resonator string spaces are bigger then most. Have a google around and see if you can find it for dobros and nationals. I'll ask John what his string spacing is.

Are you going for a resonator or a reso-uke?

Also, over at mimf there are a few resonator builds documented. I'd have a look and a read through, most of them are very interesting.

Well, feel free to ask me anything else. The more you ask, the more I ask John, the more we learn. Good all round recently.

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The link to the parts:

http://www.resound.uk.com/Accessories/index.html

You may also like to have at: http://www.diamondbottlenecks.com/index.html

I've bumped into Ian (the gaffer) a few times and he's a top bloke. I'm going to be getting one of these for my reso. Also, when the plans for my super reso start to come to fruition, I'm going to try and convince him to custom make one for me.

If you have a look at the news section and look at the photo's. That's Ian (of the bottle necks) playing what looks like something you want to build and John (the luthier) with a couple of his guitars. They grey one on the right, is my absolute favorite, but someone bought it :D (not that I could afford it). It's the cheepest he does, but has a MASSIVE boomy sound.

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Hi guys ,new here .just putting in my two cents.have made several resonator steel body guiters.start with a sheet of 20 gauge steel cut and weld. so far i use stewart/macdonald cones and biscutes. make my own cover plates.but an acr to them ,flat just don`t look right.have been using an acoustic neck i find and making it work.try and keep the distance from nut to 12th fret them same as 12th fret to the bridge.having trouble posting pics ,thanks for the great forum. steel is real!!

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Hi Bill,

Nice of you to chip in. As it looks we well and truley hijacked this thread (sorry Martin), I might as well as you how you weld them together. What method?

I want to weld mine, but with my welding skills being (at very best) average, I'm worried about buckling. Saying that, I'm not too bad at TIG welding (something to do with being able to play the drums I think).

If you're having picture trouble, open a photobucket account (www.photobucket.com) and link to them.

Welcome to the forums :D

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thanks for the offer.no lip just butt weld the seems it is a pain the butt.lot of grinding . mig ain`t that bad ..like any thing eles practice. on to the pics the one on the harley blanket is first too heavy with a store bought cover ,second has very rough hand made cover ,the other are under construction..thanks will send shortly ps sorry if i hijacked this thread ....but i am from new york bill

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