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Thread: Resonators

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Massachusetts, USA

    Default Resonators

    Anyone like resonator ukes? I've never played one or seen one in person. What's the attraction? Saw this Mya Moe version over on Flea Market Music, very cool looking uke. In fact, a guy is selling 4 different Mya Moe ukes over there.

    Mya Moe resonator.JPG

  2. #2


    I played one in the shop and it was very cool. I recently saw someone peform with one and he had a really bluesy tone. They are loud.
    They call me Mister Sweetie.

  3. #3


    I don't think they make sense unless you are performing or really love the tone (which I don't)

  4. #4


    Love my Myrtle Mya Moe concert resonator. Itís not right for every song but when it is, itís amazing. For the most part I donít like the banjo ukuleles. But to me I get that bango vibe from the resonator when picking. Wish I could afford the tenor resonator. And wish my picking was way better too. Check out lil Rev if you are thinking about a resonator.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Central Texas


    I love resonators! They are great for blues and can make a sound similar to banjoleles. They are also very loud. I want to say resonators were a way to be louder before amps came along. I almost bought a National resonator for my first uke. Glad I didnt because i didnt understand upkeep and how unique the sound was back then.

    Mya Moes are so gorgeous too!
    My current stable:

    (Son of Snaggletooth) Romero Creations Tiny Tenor Spruce & Rosewood
    (Coco) Hanknn Koa Concert
    (Spruce Bringsteen) Burks Spruce Soprano
    (bootleg) aNueNue pineapple Concert
    (Toothless) IZ thinbody soprano w/ pickup

    not a Ukulele but the tenor guitar DGBE is called (Mange).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Capital District, New York


    I have played TCK's MyaMoe resonator, and love it; I played Stu Fuch's old Beltone and his new Kala, and loved them both. Some that I wasn't fond of were an original Kala and a Recording King that just would never get in tune.

    I have loved every National Resophonic I've ever played - I currently have a National Triolian I got from the forum member currently known as Mountain Goat. The biscuit is cut a little too deep for me, so I will be replacing it, and I've already traded the friction tuners for Gotoh UPH tuners.

    While I don't use the reso for everything, I certainly could if I felt like it. And when a friend's autistic 7 year old wanted to strum my ukes, I let him use the National - it was the most bullet-proof instrument I have.

    {Watch This Space} * Ken Timms Soprano
    Moku MS-90S * Waterman G-I-T-D * National Triolian Reso * Bugsgear Aqualele * Donaldson Concert *
    Rosewood Vita Uke * Waverly Street #38 * Ko'Aloha Sceptre Tenor * Ohana Vita Uke * FireFly banjo uke
    Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele * Republic Concert * Fluke Tenor M22 * Kala KA-KTG-CT Cedar Top
    Cordoba 20TM * 1950's Harmony soprano *1920's era Stella banjo uke
    guitars and a 5-string banjo

    Am I done?


    My YouTube Channel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Santa Monica, CA


    The "guy" listing the four Mya Moe's for sale on FMM is Shawn, who owns Ukulele Friend. His website and The Ukulele Site are where I consume much of my "uke porn". He is a stand-up guy and knows both current and vintage ukes very well.

    I have a very unique National Resonator that I bought from HMS (it's this one: While I love it, I almost never play it. Not because it's not comfortable (it is) or doesn't work well with many types of music (it does), but I simply don't. Maybe the reason why I don't play it more is because mostly I'm focused on finger style and I think resonators really shine their best with strumming. Whenever I think I should sell it so somebody who will play it more can enjoy it, I get it out and realize how unique, fun and cool it is. Then invariably it goes back in the closet for a few more months. Rinse and repeat. ;-)

    They have a bit of unique tone and they generally have great volume, which is why the resonator system was originally developed (to compete with brass instruments of the 1920's). They are often associated with blues, bluegrass and country.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.óVoltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Massachusetts, USA


    Just the look makes me want to play slide on it, if that's even possible on non-metallic strings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    East Midlands UK


    Playing slide IS indeed possible! I do occasionally on my
    home made Lunchbox resonator. I built it, using a cone and
    cover from another uke that a pal had 'upgraded' to a better
    one,and he gave me the originals!
    I play blues and rock mainly on my reso, but with practice it
    can work on an amazing variety of styles and songs.
    There used to be a guy on youtube called 'the dirty johnson'
    who played incredible slide ukulele,don't know if he's still around!
    All power and respect to you Concert,Tenor and Baritone players, but Soprano is what does it for me every time!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010


    In short, resonators
    - are louder than a wooden ukulele, and have more sustain than a banjo ukulele.
    - have a more metally clang - depending on which system, brand, cone,... it's an acquired taste.
    - have a bit of a different string physics thing going on, with strings pressing down on the saddle rather than pulling it up - hence players often use a slightly different wrist angle and often fingerpicks.
    - have more factors that can be set up, or can go wrong - saddle height, buzzing cone... never change strings all at once, but one by one, unless you know how to set up without bending the cone.
    - absolutely have a wide quality range, from cheap with a cheap sound to expensive with an expensive sound - you can hear the price difference!
    - have different systems, aside from brands, which determine the sound: metal or wooden bodies, biscuit or spider cones, brass, steel, fiberglass or 'german silver' bodies.

    I've had a gold coloured, steel Chinese one (don't remember the brand, alas), a Beltona fiberglass one, and still have a Dobro/Regal made Montgomery Ward one. They'r every nice, but I do seem to return to wooden ones after a while.

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