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Thread: Resonators

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I actually saw that a few weeks ago, and seriously thought of buying it. I love oddball off the wall kind of things, and that certainly fits the bill.
    Chief. Way up North. Gibson 1917 A model with pickup. JL Smith 5 string electric. 1929 National Triolian resonator mandolin with pickup. National RM 1 with pickup. Ovation Applause. Fender FM- 60 E 5 string electric (with juiced pickups). 1950's Gibson EM-200 electric mandolin. 1954 Gibson EM-150 electric mandolin. Custom made "Jett Pink" 5 string electric- Bo Diddley slab style. Jay Roberts Tiny Moore model 5 string electric.

  2. #27
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    I tried a sample (Rigel) years ago ... It's straight thin bridge was showing why Mandolin bridges have the offsets

    a thicker piece of wood with width to make the offsets would hopefully make it note more on pitch up the neck,

    better than than It exhibited, when I tried it..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  3. #28
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    That's a pretty clean Dobrolin, Allen. But whoa, if John B thinks that neck is "playable" he's got mightier fingers than I.
    Lucky to play an octave on that without grimacing. Not sure why he wouldn't just do the neck reset and sell it for $1K instead of pretending. I might even buy it. Even with the "Hopkins Discount" that's a pig in a poke.
    Mick
    Want me to pass the info on to John B? He's got a good repair shop (did a real nice job on the Stahl mando-bass for me); might be interested doing the neck re-set if you're a likely customer...

    Not surprised the neck came forward; Dave Stutzman described the neck block on my '30's Dobro mandolin as "balsa wood." I think he exaggerated...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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  5. #29
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Want me to pass the info on to John B? He's got a good repair shop (did a real nice job on the Stahl mando-bass for me); might be interested doing the neck re-set if you're a likely customer...

    Not surprised the neck came forward; Dave Stutzman described the neck block on my '30's Dobro mandolin as "balsa wood." I think he exaggerated...
    Thanks, Allen.... Sure. Don't mean to diss John at all. I don't know him in person but we've had a few nice extended chats on the phone when I've called in orders. Seems like a totally solid, likeable fella. Look forward to meeting him one day.**

    I'm sure they've got a really good repair operation It just seemed kind of odd to advertise what looks like a pretty clean instrument with such a wonky neck.
    I realize with a resonator you might be fine staying up in first position for a lot of music but this would be pretty frustrating to play under these conditions.

    Love the balsa wood crack. I wonder if the neck block is where the problem lies here? Mando necks are so short that the kind of neck bow you see in guitars doesn't seem so common.

    I know with bowlbacks that most of the neck problems don't come from the neck itself but from the top giving way slightly and the whole neck block rotating up. Disappointing. How much are you saving by using balsa wood instead of what? maple or something harder?

    Mick

    **Was planning a trip up y'all's way and was fixing to visit Bernunzio's and give you a holler. I had sent one of my button boxes to a fella up y'all's way for some tuning. Was thinking of driving over to pick it up. Couldn't make that happen at the time. Not like we had a falling out, but I wasn't super thrilled with the tuning job and so kind of let that thread lie. Found some folks in western Connecticut who sell and work on button boxes and that do bang up work. Have been thrilled with the results. I believe Jim Garber has some connection with them, too. Small world....
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  7. #30
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    ...**Was planning a trip up y'all's way and was fixing to visit Bernunzio's and give you a holler. I had sent one of my button boxes to a fella up y'all's way for some tuning. Was thinking of driving over to pick it up. Couldn't make that happen at the time. Not like we had a falling out, but I wasn't super thrilled with the tuning job and so kind of let that thread lie. Found some folks in western Connecticut who sell and work on button boxes and that do bang up work. Have been thrilled with the results. I believe Jim Garber has some connection with them, too. Small world....
    Yeah, you realize how small it is when a stupid virus can circumnavigate it in a couple months, without benefit of legs or wings (other than ours...).

    I get all my concertinas, sales and repairs, at the Button Box in Sunderland MA, not far from Amherst. Bought three instruments there, including one of the new Morse concertinas -- really nicely made. They do accordions as well.

    If life ever has you wending near Rochester, gimme a shout. There are three dealers in Rochester worth visiting: as well as Bernunzio's, Stutzman's Guitar Center and Lehmann Stringed Instruments. No live music at all right now, of course, and everything pretty well buttoned up for the duration.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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  9. #31

    Default Re: Resonators

    Here's mine:

    It's a Beltona. Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #32

    Default Re: Resonators

    brunello97, it sounds like you walked in and played it, yes?

  12. #33
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Yeah, you realize how small it is when a stupid virus can circumnavigate it in a couple months, without benefit of legs or wings (other than ours...).

    I get all my concertinas, sales and repairs, at the Button Box in Sunderland MA, not far from Amherst. Bought three instruments there, including one of the new Morse concertinas -- really nicely made. They do accordions as well.

    If life ever has you wending near Rochester, gimme a shout. There are three dealers in Rochester worth visiting: as well as Bernunzio's, Stutzman's Guitar Center and Lehmann Stringed Instruments. No live music at all right now, of course, and everything pretty well buttoned up for the duration.

    Doh. Sorry, Allen. That is the place. I am a stereotypical myopic Texan with a regional version of the Saul Steinberg view of the US map.
    All those little NE states get me confused. Not Connecticut. Massachusetts. At least I can spell them.
    I love those folks at the Button Box. I'd love to visit them!

    Will do! We've been wanting to visit the Finger Lakes area since we've started coming El Norte to work. Rochester sounds like a muy coolioso place.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  14. #34
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by NYmando View Post
    brunello97, it sounds like you walked in and played it, yes?
    Nossir! Would enjoy doing that.

    Yours looks muy funkioso...Please tell us about how it sounds and plays!

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Reviving this thread as I have a question regarding old Dobro/Regal resonator mandolins. I found a few on the internet that have no decal. Sellers present them as Regals and indeed they do look identical to them (in two cases with f-holes rather than roundels) but there doesn't seem to be actual proof. Although I don't imagine there is such a thing as a thriving commerce in fake vintage resonator mandolins, I'm still wondering if anyone has come across these instruments without decal.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Resonators

    Long time lurker, first time poster here.

    Davey... I played a Beltonia once and thought it was a fantastic instrument, just rarely seen around my necko'the woods. (Nashville).

    NYmando & amsmichael-- there are scoundrels everywhere these days. Don't put much faith in decals either. You can buy them, you know. Post what you're interested in and these kind folks will do their best to help. Lots of assembled knowledge here (obviously). It's a terrific site.

    There are deals out there to be made for $1k and down, but you better know up front what you're getting into and have a return policy you can live with. I recently picked up a thirties National Triolin for under $600, but I knew it needed a neck reset and partial fretjob. Thing is it's otherwise a very fine example with a nice original case. It worked for me because I know these critters, but they can be money pits. I generally agree with comments on tone compared to Dobros.

    Have you played any yet? Know if it's metal or wood you want? Are you interested in chopping or riffing out? Now be kind to this concept, my brothers ;-), but if you don't know, there are outriders, which while not true resonators (cone) are more modeled on the wooden resonator banjos. I'm talking about instruments like the Beltone/Blue Comet models. I know these take flak, but they do have their place. Regardless of asked price the owners will likely be open to offers. I currently have a couple, one with the metal screens and the matching banjo model. The other one I put a brass nut and a larger bridge with a heavier bone saddle and was quite surprised at the sound. No prize for clarity or depth, but fun nonetheless. There's no way to learn what you like without jumping into the pool, so be careful. I hope you find something. you can bond with and have fun.

    You know, some folk hate the sound of Nationals... but, of course, they're all nuts. ;-)
    Last edited by METESKY; Nov-30-2020 at 6:41pm.

  17. #37
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Regarding "decal-less" Regal or Dobro mandolins, I'd go by the design. Some of the Regals I know had f-holes, rather than the "screen holes," and there could be Dobro instruments with f-holes as well, though I haven't seen one. I used to be under the impression that Regal built the wooden bodies, and Dobro furnished the resonator assembly, but I've been told that the inter-company arrangement was more complicated than that -- dunno in what way. In any case, you can find nearly identical instruments labeled "Dobro" and "Regal," and I'll bet there are unlabeled examples as well.

    Counterfeiting '30's resonator mandolins, given the limited market for such, would seem to be economically marginal. I had a '30's Regal round-neck resonator guitar, where the decal was almost completely scraped or worn off. It was fully authenticated by one of my knowledgeable and honest local dealers, and I wasn't worried that it had been faked.

    As to the Blue Comets, as far as I know they don't have resonating cones -- their "resonators" are like banjo resonators, fixed to the back of a wooden mandolin. Glad to hear that they can be reworked to get a good sound, as the ones I've played have sounded a bit muffled.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  18. #38
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Resonators

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    National Resophonic out in CA does build a number of the RM-1's, but those are $1.5K and up.
    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    And by up, we mean occasionally more than twice that figure:

    https://www.elderly.com/collections/...-mandolin-case
    I was real lucky to get one a few years ago for a very favorable trade. I have seen the price climbing up over the years. However, I sold my late 1920s vintage National style 2 after I got this one. It is remarkably loud but with wonderful tone. It is the only mandolin I have played at an old time jam and could hear myself—others could probably hear me down the street and across the river.
    Jim

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