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Fender FR-55 Resonator Purchase


RevDavidLee

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Found this baby on the internet for $300 with free shipping so couldn't pass it up. Bought a hard case for it direct from Fender for an additional $119. The last time I owned a resonator was several years ago and I had a Regal brand one that I sold because I just didn't play it that much and it was because it didn't sound all that good. I have decided I wanted to do more old style blues and slide work so I have been looking for one of these Fender metal ones for awhile now. It's stunningly gorgeous but... the action is so low that putting my fingers on the neck had every string touching against the frets all the way up the neck. Got out the truss rod tool and went to work on it. Got the strings up off the neck to where I can play it okay now but I sure don't like the look of the shape of the neck looking down it because, well, I'm not comfortable with a neck bowed like that just so it can be played well. And I'm sure over time leaving it like that will not be healthy for the guitar's longevity either.

 

I went to Fender's website and searched through their product support pages and forums trying to get some technical advice on setting these up and of course there's nothing there. I believe this model is discontinued even though they still can be found for sale at other online stores for up to $649 with no case. I have adjusted and intonated and set the string height and action on a lot of guitars over the years but this one and the way they're set up has me stymied. Any advice from you resonator pros would be much appreciated. I did send Fender an email requesting help and information but it usually takes them a few days to respond and I kind of wanted to tear this one up over the weekend. Thanks for your time everyone!

 

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Your options are to either get a new nut made, a tall one (squareneck dobros generally have Very tall nuts, for slide playing) or get an extension nut, which just slides over the current one and raises the action without having to adjust the truss rod until the neck bows.

 

Here's one:

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Nuts,_saddles/Resonator_nuts,_saddles/Slide_Guitar_Extension_Nut.html

 

-Ryan

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I have the opposite problem with my round neck Dobro, the action is too high and while that is great for slide it is not conducive to throw in a few picked notes or a bass line here and there.

 

Like Farns says new bridge an perhaps new nut or extension nut.

 

It really depends on how you are going to play it.

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Good advice so far... [thumbup]

 

I had a wooden equivalent to this guitar a few years ago...eventually gave it away due to what I judged to be irrevocable high action, as well as general dissatisfaction... :blink:

 

IMO not Fender at their best...a cheap Oriental faux reso...

 

Good luck...there are rare specialists lurking in the undergrowth who set up reso's to a pro standard...

 

This is why people pay big money for the real thing...

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Thanks everyone for your excellent suggestions! I know it's not Fender at their best - in fact in my opinion pretty much ALL Fender acoustics are not up to standard in many ways (my Gibson Songwriter Deluxe is my main go to acoustic) - but until I improve my slide playing skills I really didn't want to lay out for a higher dollar resonator. A local store carries some Dobros but they are strictly set up for slide only and I'm not ready for that yet. [blush]

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Can you not adjust the tail end some? bridge adjustment?

 

I have been staring at that tailpiece trying to figure out how to adjust it. It appears to be pretty well in place and does not seem to have any adjustment to it. That's why I emailed Fender and am here asking you guys. [biggrin]

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Your options are to either get a new nut made, a tall one (squareneck dobros generally have Very tall nuts, for slide playing) or get an extension nut, which just slides over the current one and raises the action without having to adjust the truss rod until the neck bows.

 

Here's one:

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Nuts,_saddles/Resonator_nuts,_saddles/Slide_Guitar_Extension_Nut.html

 

-Ryan

 

Ordered! THANK YOU!!!! [thumbup]

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Guest Farnsbarns

I have the opposite problem with my round neck Dobro, the action is too high and while that is great for slide it is not conducive to throw in a few picked notes or a bass line here and there.

 

Like Farns says new bridge an perhaps new nut or extension nut.

 

It really depends on how you are going to play it.

 

Same with my round neck Dobro. Had to take the bridge out and sand a bit off the bottom. When doing that I also found the spider wasn't properly leveled so I got some wet and dry and a machine flat surface and leveled the spokes, then I found the bottom of the cone well wasn't very flat and sanded that too. A good instrument after I'd done what should have already been done at the factory. For the price of these, now coming out of China, I'm not really surprised.

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