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Thread: Bell Brand Brass Reso

  1. #1
    Registered Person neal's Avatar
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    Default Bell Brand Brass Reso

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1920s-Ukule...wAAOSwOZNc0I2y

    who was the pro that reconned that nut and bridge....

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  3. #2
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Well, there is a thread on cross tuning each string. This would make it easier. Obviously someone doesn't play mandolin.

    Even better - it appears to be a Maybell made Cathedranola faux resonator. New owner is definitely going to be surprised.
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  5. #3

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    I think it is wonderful. Sure, needs a nut and bridge recut, but not sure I get the hate....

    I'm actually a fan of faux resonators and own several -- and for some reason, yes, they DO sound like resonators. I think they get hate from people who have never played one, I'm guessing.

  6. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Well, it does have a Bell Brand tailpiece.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #5

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Quote Originally Posted by neal View Post
    who was the pro that reconned that nut and bridge....
    For posterity, zoomed-in views of the string spacing...

    Bridge:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nut:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I'm actually a fan of faux resonators and own several -- and for some reason, yes, they DO sound like resonators.
    I'm curious, what does the bridge actually sit on? Is there a regular single-layer wooden top underneath the metal faux resonator, or is it something like a banjo head underneath there, or ??

    I'm also wondering about the top thickness, if it's a wooden top... do these faux-resonator instruments have a thinner-than-normal top, due to maybe getting a tiny bit of extra structural strength from the metal plate on top (to counteract lengthwise tension from the strings), thus maybe the builders could make the (presumed) wooden top a little thinner and thus (maybe) brighter sounding than usual? I have no idea, just guessing...

  8. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    If it's a normal faux resonator it's just a wood bridge on a wood top. I wonder if that was tuned to an open chord and played with a steel? There's no way you could play it by fingering chords or picking out notes.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    If it's a normal faux resonator it's just a wood bridge on a wood top.
    Thanks Mike.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I wonder if that was tuned to an open chord and played with a steel?
    Aha! Cool idea. Bet it might sound pretty nice played that way.

  11. #8

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Yep, like Mike says just a wooden bridge sitting on a wood top, but still sounds very metallic, due to the cover plate. These were made for a price to cash in on the resonator thing. I'm surprised the cover plates are so nice. But, there ain't no "guts" under there.

    What I object to is that in almost every discussion of these, somebody presents a "gotcha" moment revealing that it is FAUX and in the same breath implies it is bad -- when in fact they have never even held one in their hands. I worked at a vintage shop and they are great for $200-300........tune it to an open chord and play some slide -- great stuff! NO, they are not a $3000 National, but neither is a 30's Dobro, it is its "own thing" and a good one at that. Buncha different names, but they are all similar -- Stella, Del Oro, Mellophonic, etc......if you can find one that is still hanging together, you have a "real" 30's solid wood instrument, albeit a cheapo, but one that looks and sounds cool, IMHO.

  12. #9

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Another option, which I've seen done with the faux guitars, is to buy some "innards" from StewMac and convert a faux into a real reso. Takes a little work to build the cone support, but can be done and then you have a convincing looking and sounding 30's instrument.

    A friend of mine had a Danelectro U2 reissue (electric guitar) and we converted it into a resonator electric on my kitchen table one evening from a picture he saw in a magazine. Again, ordered a StewMac cone, biscuit, tailpiece and cover plate. Turned out pretty great, too!

  13. #10
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Yep, like Mike says just a wooden bridge sitting on a wood top, but still sounds very metallic, due to the cover plate. These were made for a price to cash in on the resonator thing. I'm surprised the cover plates are so nice. But, there ain't no "guts" under there.

    What I object to is that in almost every discussion of these, somebody presents a "gotcha" moment revealing that it is FAUX and in the same breath implies it is bad -- when in fact they have never even held one in their hands. I worked at a vintage shop and they are great for $200-300........tune it to an open chord and play some slide -- great stuff! NO, they are not a $3000 National, but neither is a 30's Dobro, it is its "own thing" and a good one at that. Buncha different names, but they are all similar -- Stella, Del Oro, Mellophonic, etc......if you can find one that is still hanging together, you have a "real" 30's solid wood instrument, albeit a cheapo, but one that looks and sounds cool, IMHO.
    Okay. I'm very sorry I mentioned that it was not a true resonator. I was concerned about the string spacing at the nut. Also appears that is another subject we can't talk about.

    Bye folks. It was fun while it lasted.
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  14. #11
    Registered Person neal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Well, no hate here for it, the OP had only hate for the nut and bridge, and even “strong dislike” is a better choice of words. Plus the owner thought it was a uke.

  15. #12

    Default Re: Bell Brand Brass Reso

    Quote Originally Posted by neal View Post
    Plus the owner thought it was a uke.
    Well, with all those nut slots you can string it as a 4-string, 8-string or a uke!

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