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Has Epiphone ever made a resonator guitar?


andy59
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Thanks Red and Pohatu! :- Now to find one to check out. Any comments on how the Gibson Dobro, Epi Biscuit or other Epi resonators play are welcome. One thing I am wondering about is these models basically set up for slide playing (with high action) or is the string height adjustable. I have been playing for about 6 months. Not so much blues or bluegrass, but classic/blues/alternative/Country rock songs. An example of a song I would practice is "Crippled Inside" by John Lennon.

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I have played both the Biscuit model (wooden body) and the MD100 model (brass). On the Epi website, look for the page for the "Bluegrass (grrrrrr...) Collection" to find specs and pix for both. I play the same kind of material you do, presently on a vintage '73 steel Dobro and a Masterbilt AJ500RC. I also use the Dobro for fingerpicking as well as sliding, so I keep the action pretty low anyway. Gotta practice to get the "touch" to avoid the fret buzz!

I liked what I heard from the Biscuit, and certainly the price is right. I was surprised to read from Epi's own specs that the nut width is as small as they say--it didn't feel like it. This would be a red flag for me, but perhaps it still works--or even works better--for you.

I was much less impressed with the Epi metal-bodied resonator. It was awkward to hold--I prefer playing standing--as the body was extremely heavy (brass? Specs in one place say steel, in another brass. Sure feels like brass). The sound was too "pretty". Kind of round, bottom-heavy, little "cut" to it, and just dull. My own preference is for a little "edge" in the sound of a metal-bodied resonator, and this just didn't have it. Neither did the Biscuit very much, but it's wood and my expectations are different. And it's less awkward. And cheaper!

If you are specifically looking for a metal bodied model without needing to mortgage, try Regal or Gold Tone. Myself, I also don't like the Johnson or Fender models.

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Thanks for the detailed info bloozeguy! I have been strumming/fretting so lower action is better for me. The nut width is the same as the Epi LP Special II which does work for my short fingers. The scale is also the same. So the search begins!

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I have only ever owned mid-1930s Nationals so have no time with an Epi under my belt.

 

A friend of mine, however, did buy an Epi resonator and the thing just sounded dead and lifeless. We started poking around and found that the cone was attached so it was not really free to resonate. There are plenty of nice, inexpensive resonators out there so you should shop around and do some camparisons. I agree on the Gold Tones - really nice resonators for the money. Ya also might check out something like Republic Guitars.

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Thanks for the added suggestions zombywoof. More choices are always better. And for your sharing pohatu, I already have an Epi acoustic so yes I would want a resonator that sounded like one. I have only quickly tested a used Dean brass body in a local guitar store with a $450 asking price. It sounded like a resonator but did not speak to me. I feel I need to test more instruments, maybe some in a higher price range to see if that makes a difference considering my playing ability.

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  • 11 years later...

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