View Full Version : Whats the point of a Resonator?

11-10-2011, 01:20 PM
i mean does it give you a better sound or what?

mr moonlight
11-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Not better sound, just different.

11-10-2011, 01:51 PM
They're LOUD. The resonator was designed to play in front of a crowd w/o the benefit of amplifiers and such (cuz they hadn't been invented yet). Over the years people have grown fond of that unique sound and its linked to certain genres, blues for instance. So an artist now, although he has access to amps and speakers, will pick up a resonator because it sounds like the blues instruments of the past.

11-10-2011, 01:51 PM
At one time, it certainly had a point, in that it was a way to passively amplify an instrument that was quickly buried by other instruments. Of course now we can simply amplify for relatively little cost, but the sound of one can serve to authenticate a "period" piece, not unlike a banjo ukulele. Both are probably unnecessary with amplification, but both add quite a bit to the tonal palette, especially if you like the Hot Jazz stuff that was being played on the mainland in the 20's and 30's.

11-11-2011, 01:12 AM
I made a resonator of sorts for my Banjo uke, but for a different reason really. I found that banjo ukes while I play them and hold them against my body, it muffles the sound because my body is completley covering the back. It may be due specifically to my size, but i just seemed to muffle the sound. So, I made a mahogany back for it that stands off from the back of the uke so when I play it, the sound has a way out. That remedied the muffled sound because it holds it off my body when I play it.

11-11-2011, 02:41 AM
^ well thats only really the case for open-back banjo ukes.
Closed back banjo ukes don't get muffled like that at all..

11-11-2011, 12:33 PM
The sound kills Vampires...

11-11-2011, 02:15 PM
I used to work as a sound technician and I'm a big fan of avoiding unnecessary electrical amplification whenever possible (better soundscape that way). So I really like that resos and banjo-ukes sound loud by themselves and don't need any extra help to be heard in a medium-sized room.

They're also very pretty and I like their old-fashioned and distinct sounds.

It's a pity that affordable resos don't come in a wider variety of sizes though. The bigger the size the nicer they sound IMO, yet most models are only sold in soprano size. I'd love to hear more baritone resos for instance, they sound fantastic. Unfortunately there aren't so many of them and the ones that are available are very expensive. We had a thread about it at UU and concluded that the reason for this was that the market for bigger reso ukes isn't big enough or hasn't been explored enough yet.