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View Full Version : Ok, who owns a resonator uke, and who makes good one?



Eyeguy
06-03-2012, 06:00 PM
Would appreciate some honest feedback on resonator ukes from those who own one (or more). I am primarily interested in tenor resonators, but any feedback welcome.

In particular, which builders make good resonator ukes, which choice of woods make the best resonator ukes (or does that choice make as much difference in a resonator), do most have biscuit or spider type bridges, how difficult are string changes ( if any different from standard ukes), and are all other parameters basically the same - scale length, nut width, flat fingerboard, etc. - compared to standard ukes.

Thanks!

Hippie Dribble
06-03-2012, 06:10 PM
Mya Moe hands down make the best sounding resonators in my view. The National's sound OK but are a bit harsh to my ears, though their wooden models have a warmer tone. Beltona in NZ also make fairly nice ones but come with appalling string sets. I'd stay well away from the Kala, Ohana and Republics and Regals if I were you mate though again, totally a subjective assessment. String changes no prob. Most have the biscuit bridges. I noticed too that Peter Hurney (Pohaku) has started building them and I bet they sound amazing if his other models are anything to go by.

Patrick Madsen
06-03-2012, 07:45 PM
john morton puts out a reallly nice uke.http://www.jmorton.us/pages/CurrentModels/TenorUkuleles.html

jimdville
06-03-2012, 08:29 PM
Mya Moe hands down make the best sounding resonators in my view. The National's sound OK but are a bit harsh to my ears, though their wooden models have a warmer tone.
Mya Moe buy their cones from National, and as the saying goes "It's the cone!"

Hippie Dribble
06-03-2012, 08:33 PM
Mya Moe buy their cones from National, and as the saying goes "It's the cone!"

good point Jim. I still think their finished builds sound better than the National resonators though, but I've only tried a couple of N's so I'm just an armchair critic. Hey if Bob Brozman endorses National they gotta be pretty good eh

Hippie Dribble
06-03-2012, 08:54 PM
here's a National steel body:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEOzD8iQROQ&feature=related

and a mya moe, just for what it's worth :2cents::
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKlsrvoaoZw&feature=relmfu

didgeridoo2
06-03-2012, 09:58 PM
I've had both the national and mya moe resonators. The national maple reso was so well made, a bit of a tank, but a joy to play. It made me wish for a woodier tone and I sold it to purchase a mya moe. I made the right decision for me. National is tough to beat, though.

AncientMatingCalls
06-03-2012, 10:14 PM
The wood bodied Nationals are laminate, correct?

I wonder if that has to do with the difference between Mya Moe and National.

Nickie
06-04-2012, 01:32 AM
Lil' Rev plays a Mya Moe... for what it's worth... although it isn't in this video, I've seen him play it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYDPmUwZY_0&context=C41%E2%80%8Bfd2f9ADvjVQa1PpcFMqFdwy3qdaI_l %E2%80%8BbvhSJbI23lCuaflazHMY%3D

jimdville
06-04-2012, 04:46 PM
Both are great, well made instruments. It all boils down to what sound the player prefers.

ukeeku
06-04-2012, 05:08 PM
http://beardguitars.com/Uke-index.html
Fell in love with the beard reso uke. it uses a bass bqaffle. makes such a nice rich sound

Cornfield
06-06-2012, 04:01 AM
Does anyone have an opinion about the recent sound hole option added to the Mya-Moe resonators. You can now order with either the "tear drop" sound holes or the "window" holes.
The window models are supposed to be louder.

I have one on order, but can still change this aspect. Aesthetically, I would prefer an "F" hole like a violin but thats not an option.

Hippie Dribble
06-06-2012, 04:16 AM
Does anyone have an opinion about the recent sound hole option added to the Mya-Moe resonators. You can now order with either the "tear drop" sound holes or the "window" holes.
The window models are supposed to be louder.

I have one on order, but can still change this aspect. Aesthetically, I would prefer an "F" hole like a violin but thats not an option.
don't like em myself...at all. I much prefer the original design on an aesthetic level. The old design is PLENTY loud enough anyway!!!

didgeridoo2
06-06-2012, 04:55 AM
Yes, national uses laminate. I'm with Eugene on the old mm design. The new one is fine, but I prefer the look of the teardrop sound holes meself.

mo9090x
06-06-2012, 05:10 AM
I'm with you MrEWorm, I wish they offered the violin F. Otherwise my vote is towards the teardrop cutout for aesthetics.

Lori
06-06-2012, 07:31 AM
Does anyone have an opinion about the recent sound hole option added to the Mya-Moe resonators. You can now order with either the "tear drop" sound holes or the "window" holes.
The window models are supposed to be louder.

I have one on order, but can still change this aspect. Aesthetically, I would prefer an "F" hole like a violin but thats not an option.
I haven't seen any photos of the new design... can you give a link?

–Lori

Cornfield
06-06-2012, 09:29 AM
I haven't seen any photos of the new design... can you give a link?

–Lori

Tear drop: http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/uketracker.php?trackingNumber=698&submit=Track
Window: http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/uketracker.php?trackingNumber=699&submit=Track

Lori
06-06-2012, 11:16 AM
Tear drop: http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/uketracker.php?trackingNumber=698&submit=Track
Window: http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/uketracker.php?trackingNumber=699&submit=Track

Thanks for the links. I had been hearing about the new design but didn't find any photos. My first reaction is I like the teardrop better, but I am used to that. I wonder how much it affects the tone?

–Lori

peewee
06-06-2012, 01:39 PM
Semi - Hijack:
Has anyone gone hands on with the French Made (Mike Lewis) Fine Resophonics?
http://www.fineresophonic.com/ukes.htm
this guy is pretty enthusiastic about it:
http://youtu.be/OhP_5IzRdgk

Cornfield
06-07-2012, 02:31 AM
They look nice. Have you tried one?

Barbablanca
06-07-2012, 04:06 AM
I love the way he compares the browner of the two to an old gramophone and the lighter coloured one to a cathedral :o

Sounds pretty good, sort of midway between Uke and Banjo Uke - but for my taste a Resonator has to have metal strings to really hound dog :rolleyes:

peewee
06-07-2012, 04:08 AM
I have not, and they're too $$ to be a realistic goal for me, but I'm intrigued, next time I'm in Paris I'll try to investigate.

BigBoab
07-22-2013, 07:19 AM
Hi Folks for those of us in the UK one you might want to have a look at is
www.wailing-guitars.co.uk (http://www.wailing-guitars.co.uk)

Have to say I haven't tried them but at the price for a standard soprano its worth a punt

ukulelekarcsi
11-23-2016, 12:22 AM
Most resonator ukes are biscuit type, only Dobro made the spiders ones (under it's own name, but also for Regal and Montgomery Wards) and Mike Lewis does a spider cone as well.

The wood bodies types are always of a rather thick ply (laminate), because the sides and top have to reflect the sound, rather than to produce volume (the speaker cone inside does that). If you put a very thin top on a resonator uke, and it will collapse or start buzzing in an unpleasant way.

There is a vast difference between the different models and brands, reflected in the price tags but also the sound quality (and generally, those two do have a connection).

mrStones
11-23-2016, 12:28 AM
Lot of people talks good about Beltona too.

Cornfield
11-23-2016, 03:48 AM
Most resonator ukes are biscuit type, only Dobro made the spiders ones (under it's own name, but also for Regal and Montgomery Wards) and Mike Lewis does a spider cone as well.

The wood bodies types are always of a rather thick ply (laminate), because the sides and top have to reflect the sound, rather than to produce volume (the speaker cone inside does that). If you put a very thin top on a resonator uke, and it will collapse or start buzzing in an unpleasant way.

There is a vast difference between the different models and brands, reflected in the price tags but also the sound quality (and generally, those two do have a connection).


Mya-Moe made great wooden resonator ukes as did Russ Morin. These were not made with laminates.

TheCraftedCow
11-24-2016, 08:01 PM
If it is the one made in England of aluminium with f slots and no openings on the front bout, it is the lamest excuse of a resonator I have ever heard or owned, The one I had was a concert, but still had no volume and sounded like singing with one's nose plugged.

Cornfield
11-25-2016, 03:32 AM
If it is the one made in England of aluminium with f slots and no openings on the front bout, it is the lamest excuse of a resonator I have ever heard or owned, The one I had was a concert, but still had no volume and sounded like singing with one's nose plugged.

If you see a new metal resonator uke advertised for $400 or less, it is probably one of many produced in the Orient. They are pretty much crap. I think they are all made at te same factory. I had one that I paid $299 for, spent an additional $300 doing setup, installing pickup and other custom touches. It still sounded like crap.

A good resonator has a great cone. The cone is the secret. Many top line builders use National cones. A few make their own cones.

dwh
11-25-2016, 08:04 AM
Donmo
95885

Rllink
11-25-2016, 08:17 AM
I really thought that I wanted a resonator ukulele, just because I like playing the blues on the ukulele and I associate resonator guitars with the blues. Anyway, last weekend I went to a ukulele festival and actually got my hands on several resonator ukuleles and played them. There were all metal ones and wood ones with the resonator cones. I also strummed some resonator guitars, but I don't play the guitar so I didn't have any idea what I was doing with them. Anyway, I don't really want one anymore.

Cornfield
11-25-2016, 08:21 AM
Donmo
95885

That looks pretty cool. Is it yours? How does it sound?

dwh
11-25-2016, 09:10 AM
T'is mine! Sounds superb!
Crappy sound sample:
https://soundcloud.com/user-646606690-983305101/brown-sugar-donmo

TheCraftedCow
11-25-2016, 09:19 AM
I have the first DonMo Galvo to come into the USA. Of the four resonator ukes I have,it is my favorite. With all the fuss about which wood is best, here is a mate who makes great sounds from old torn down galvanised tin buildings. That puts the Land Down Under on top of the world for making resonator instruments, as far as I am concerned! My DoBro mandolin strung as a ukulele is in a class of its own. The local mandolin guru hates me for illigitamising them by stringing them as ukuleles. I believe Don Morrison makes his own cones.

Cornfield
11-26-2016, 04:11 AM
T'is mine! Sounds superb!
Crappy sound sample:
https://soundcloud.com/user-646606690-983305101/brown-sugar-donmo

It sounds OK. Much better than the Chinese mass produced ones. Does he make his own cones?

flailingfingers
11-27-2016, 03:06 PM
I really thought that I wanted a resonator ukulele, just because I like playing the blues on the ukulele and I associate resonator guitars with the blues. Anyway, last weekend I went to a ukulele festival and actually got my hands on several resonator ukuleles and played them. There were all metal ones and wood ones with the resonator cones. I also strummed some resonator guitars, but I don't play the guitar so I didn't have any idea what I was doing with them. Anyway, I don't really want one anymore.
Thanks for the insight. The idea of a resonator sounds cool but I've never heard a sound sample that made me want one. They all sound harsh and tinny. Need to hear and play one in person.

Cornfield
11-27-2016, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the insight. The idea of a resonator sounds cool but I've never heard a sound sample that made me want one. They all sound harsh and tinny. Need to hear and play one in person.
Listen to Del Rey or Lil Rev

caspet
11-28-2016, 12:44 AM
Here's a rough demo of my Donmo concert. Aquila set with wound low G. (Ignore the background noises)


https://youtu.be/Tm5JoyeEndQ

and here's a Donmo baritone. (Couldn't embed more than one vid in the post)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1mb9tsqJ20

Cornfield
11-28-2016, 04:42 AM
Here's a rough demo of my Donmo concert. Aquila set with wound low G. (Ignore the background noises)


https://youtu.be/Tm5JoyeEndQ

and here's a Donmo baritone. (Couldn't embed more than one vid in the post)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1mb9tsqJ20

I like the baritone better.

flailingfingers
11-28-2016, 06:31 AM
Listen to Del Rey or Lil Rev
Oh yeah! just listened to quite a lot of Lil' Rev with the Mya-Moe. Very nice. I also really like the sound of the baritone DOMMO just posted above.

Cornfield
11-28-2016, 07:18 AM
Oh yeah! just listened to quite a lot of Lil' Rev with the Mya-Moe. Very nice. I also really like the sound of the baritone DOMMO just posted above.

I have a similar Mya-Moe to Lil Rev's. Mine doesn't sound nearly as nice. I think it has something to do with black magic or skill or something.

Biedmatt
11-28-2016, 07:43 AM
I have a similar Mya-Moe to Lil Rev's. Mine doesn't sound nearly as nice. I think it has something to do with black magic or skill or something.

I discovered the same with my Style 2 National. Technique is everything, the cone amplifies all mistakes.

drbekken
12-03-2016, 11:52 AM
https://youtu.be/AD2rzG7o9p8

Cornfield
12-04-2016, 05:56 AM
https://youtu.be/AD2rzG7o9p8

That sounds great. How old is that National? I think all that they make now are wood body ukes.

Ukulele Eddie
12-04-2016, 09:29 AM
That sounds great. How old is that National? I think all that they make now are wood body ukes.

They still make metal bodied ones:

http://www.nationalguitars.com/npr-steel-ukulele

http://www.nationalguitars.com/triolian-ukulele

http://www.nationalguitars.com/style-o-ukulele


And this is the recent model used one I bought last year from HMS, which they added gold fret wire and then I added gold Gotoh UPT's (tuner upgrade after these pics):

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/national-concert-resonator-ukulele-mint-condition.html

Biedmatt
12-04-2016, 02:22 PM
...and the hand engraved and signed by artist Willy Rice, National Style 2.
http://www.nationalguitars.com/style-2-ukulele

mountain goat
12-04-2016, 08:39 PM
anyone mention Russ Morin (Big Rusty Ukuleles)?

this is a concert body. magnolia wood. national cone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ncFLoTEg6A

Cornfield
12-05-2016, 03:58 AM
...and the hand engraved and signed by artist Willy Rice, National Style 2.
http://www.nationalguitars.com/style-2-ukulele

Now that is great. I remember that the Nationals are small, between concert and soprano. Wish they made a tenor.

Cornfield
12-05-2016, 03:58 AM
anyone mention Russ Morin (Big Rusty Ukuleles)?

this is a concert body. magnolia wood. national cone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ncFLoTEg6A

Jon,
That sounds great and your skills are as good as ever.