View Full Version : Johnson Resonator Uke

04-25-2011, 01:20 PM
Hey guys, I am a long time guitar player, but haven't ever played ukulele until my friend gave me his Johnson Resonator Uke that he never played. I'm pretty lost as to tuning and stringing this thing. I'm guessing putting guitar strings would be a bad idea? The link below shows what the bridge looks like.




04-25-2011, 01:46 PM
It is made for nylon strings. Most ukuleles the strings are attached to the bridge and the tension of steel strings can pull the bridge off.
With the reso design that won't be an issue, but steel strings have more tension and may damage the neck.
I would stick with nylons.

04-25-2011, 01:57 PM
Awesome gift there- yeah, we can sort this out for you.
First- welcome to the Underground.
Now strings- there are lot's of them. I can cut through all the debate there and tell you in my estimation that Nylon is going to sound a lot better on it than Nylgut (Aquila), mostly because you want the pluckiest strings you can find for it. I would go with Worth Clears (or Browns)- both at Elderly, and your uke is a concert length. You can go Aquila if you like the feel of them, but I think (having Aquila on all mine but two) that the tone of them may be lost in the resonator). Guadalupe makes wound strings for them too (all wound) and I bet they sound rad, but I have not played a set yet.
Next- string it up and tune it to gCea, if those are the strings you purchase. You could also go with GCea and get a linear sound out of it, like a guitar played with a capo on the fifth, and the two bass strings busted. Either one is a matter of taste- if you want a Uke sound that is more traditional, go with the high G set.
DO NOT PUT GUITAR STRINGS ON IT- No truss rod in there- will not handle the tension.
OK- what else- I have read these are not set-up particularly well out of the box, but that is pretty basic if you ahve a set of magic files laying around and have done a guitar or two. I have also heard they do really well with a better cone and bridge, but that is down the road.
Last bit- I have heard these may be a little rough on the cover plate where the strings pass through- I ahve also heard that the little rubber bit they make for a dremel will make that problem go away-
Hope that all helps- Enjoy