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Thread: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

  1. #1
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    Default Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Received the T49 in the mail Friday and can't put it down. Nice fit and finish. Sweet tone in original CGDA tuning. Sounds a bit banjo-like when picking individual notes, but not in an offensive way. It's loud, so playing dynamically is critical. Sounds good with my husband's Gibson J-45. Setup nicely for either conventional fretting or playing some notes with a slide. (I think slide is next in line on the learning curve.) Intonation bang on out of the box. A bit heavy-it's built like a banjo with a 2X2 stick that goes right through the body) So a good padded guitar strap is next on the shopping list.

    Pleasantly surprised how good the NR-2 Schatten passive pickup sounds through my Genz Benz acoustic amp. (good volume without going through a DI) Excellent realistic acoustic tone, no feedback issues so far, but have not yet tried it at a jam with drums and electric guitar. Frank did an excellent job installing before the pickup prior to shipping. Frank's customer service is beyond reproach.

    Non-radiused fretboard, appears to have an adjustable truss rod. Neck seems slightly wider than my Blueridge BR-60 tenor, but easy to finger and extra width not a problem. Impressed with the finishing detail-back of the neck and fretboard feels nice and smooth as you move your hand up and down and fret edges have been smoothed, no sharp edges. Compared to the a Johnson resonator mandolin, seems that a bit more attention to finishing detail was given.

    I had considered changing to GDAE tuning. Tried it with the original strings (10,16 24w,36w) but found the tone a bit lacking and the strings a bit floppy. Frank suggested some other gauges to try GDAE tuning, but having fun in the original tuning for now.

    Two thumbs up!

  2. #2
    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    That sounds awesome Annie. I have been very curious about these since they appear to the be the only (entry-level priced) mass-production resonator tenors being made right now– any chance of putting up a taste on YouTube? I need another tenor like a hole in the head, but this one is weirdly tempting.

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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Hi, sorry, I'm using an older Mac and don't have a camera or the techno-knowledge to put up a sample on YouTube. I may be mistaken but I thought I saw something on Republic Guitar's site, maybe under Testimonials, that may have had a sound bite. The more I play it, the more I am enjoying the tone and seeing possibilities for adding a bit different tone from mandolin or regular tenor to songs we've been working on. I'll check with some friends and see if anyone here could help with putting something up on YouTube.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Annie, congrats on your new 'reso tenor', I think you will enjoy it greatly as you get to know the instrument. I would love to see one of these in the steel, if I get flush I might just have to buy one. Thanks for the review.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Thanks guys. Though I am slow transposing chords needed for CGDA tuning from GDAE mandolin tuning, (I occasionally feel like there is smoke coming out the ears directly related to clutch slippage in my brain) it has definitely helped my mandolin playing. Finding I have longer reach, especially with my pinky, and I can easily find pentatonic scales to pick melody and other than position changes related to different tuning, this seems to translate back quite easily to mandolin. Can anyone suggest some basic beginner slide techniques? I have a very cool little 'swivel slide' that allows me to flip it away for pinky fretting, or flip it back to allow slide playing. So far, I have been able to play some slide pentatonic scales, just staying in CGDA tuning, but not really sure how to apply the slide to the fretboard. Any help related to slide techniques would be appreciated.

    Check out these great little slides: http://www/swivelslide.com and on You Tube "a short swivel slide demo"; "swivel slide avi": "the amazing swivel slide"; and the inventor, "Jaycoda Walker"
    Last edited by mandoannie; Nov-05-2010 at 2:22am. Reason: additional info

  6. #6
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Annie, I don't have any tips on techniques but you might try tuning the 'C' string up to a 'D' to get an open tuning. I have fooled with it in the past and can be quite fun.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Frank Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Anyone who has one of these Republic Tenors, does it take ball end or loop end strings? I've got one on the way, and I want to get some bigger guage strings to tune GDAE. Thanks, Frank
    FJ Russell


    Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. E. Zapata

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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Hi Frank
    Mine came with ball end strings, though I think you might be able to use loop end in a pinch as well. The string gauges as shipped in CGDA tuning were GHS phosphor bronze 10 plain; 16 plain; 24W; 36W ball end.

    For GDAE tuning, recommended 13 plain; 19 plain; 29w; 45w

    have fun with it! hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

  9. #9
    Registered User Frank Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    I've had mine for about a week now, and I have to say it's the best money I've spent on a stringed instrument in a very long time. I upped the string guages to a mid-point between what came on it and the heaviest recommendations on Ry Cooder's website, and it really sounds and plays super. Loud, but not brassy when played with a pick. I got this to play like a regular tenor, not for slide, and it's exactly what I was looking for. Very pleased, I like it more every day. Frank
    FJ Russell


    Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. E. Zapata

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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Russell View Post
    I've had mine for about a week now, and I have to say it's the best money I've spent on a stringed instrument in a very long time. I upped the string guages to a mid-point between what came on it and the heaviest recommendations on Ry Cooder's website, and it really sounds and plays super. Loud, but not brassy when played with a pick. I got this to play like a regular tenor, not for slide, and it's exactly what I was looking for. Very pleased, I like it more every day. Frank
    Are you playing in CGDA or GDAE tuning and just for info sake, what string gauges worked for you? Did you go with Phosphor Bronze? I tried nickel wound strings on a Johnson reso-mandolin and found they toned it down a bit. I was considering trying nickel wound on the Republic next string change. I have left the Republic in CGDA tuning.

  11. #11
    Registered User Frank Russell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    I'm using phosphor bronze right now. If memory serves, I ended up using some ball-end guitar strings, somewhere in the neighborhood of 12, 17, 27, 42. Go to www.rycooder.nl/pages/tenor_gauges.htm to see the recommendations, which are what Frank sent me as well. I've had it tuned to GDAE since the minute I unpacked it, and it was fine even with the light strings, but really sings now. Stays in tune better as well, although that may just be a function of me stringing it a bit better than it arrived. Frank was exceptional to deal with, and got this unit to me in record time, in a very well-packed state. Complete satisfaction on my end. Frank Russell
    FJ Russell


    Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. E. Zapata

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    Congratulations on a great acquisition - right scale length, bell brass construction and a cut away to boot. This looks like a fun instrument to torment banjo players with ...

    Frank did a good number with this one ... to the point he sold out the first batch already. I'll get in on the second batch for sure ... re strings in GDAe - a cheap bet is to get a set of Octave mandolin strings from Elderly or your personal favorite octave mandolin string dealer. Technically, two sets for the price of one. The scale length would predicate a set leaning to the heavier side. On my 21 inch scale Octave, I went to .52, .35. .22 and a plain .14. Generally I tune my tenors in CGDa but am thinking about trying a G tuning on one of them.

    For longevity in string life - I mixed and matched a set of Elixers and these things actually sound better the older they get (up to a point). Ultimately, due to the long string life, this has proven to be the cheapest way to go, even at the high initial expense. One question, can you also get a hard shell case for it or - do you need to just shop around and find something which fits? That heavy an axe in a gig bag scares me.
    Mandola fever is permanent.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Republic T49 tenor resonator guitar

    The gig bag that came with the T49 is well made and quite heavily padded. It has 'backpack' straps and seems to work fine. As far as a hardshell case, perhaps the case made by Saga for the Blueridge Tenor guitar might work. The T49 fits ok, not a real sung fit, but you could stuff a couple microfiber or soft cotton polishing cloths in around the body to make a more snug fit.

    I have left my T49 in CGDA tuning, but did find when I changed the Blueridge T60 to GDAE tuning, using 80/20 bronze strings in gauges .049w; .034w; .022w; .012plain that the .049w did not sound balanced to the other strings and intonation seemed off when played up the neck. I just changed it out last night to .046w and it sounds more balanced to the other strings and intonates much better up the neck. But that's on the BR T-60. I wonder about using .052 for the G on the T49, may be a bit heavy.

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