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electrauke
02-28-2013, 06:35 PM
Hey everyone, got a quick question: What is the best resonator ukulele? I know lots of people will say personal preference but in YOUR opinion what is the best?

river_driver
03-01-2013, 03:20 AM
Hope this generates some discussion... I am jonesing for a reso & would appreciate people's opinions!

(FWIW, I want a National, but I don't think I'll be hitting the lotto anytime soon. I'd be interested in opinions on the Kala-Recording King-Gold Tone price range).

FiL
03-01-2013, 03:38 AM
Are you looking for a metal body or a wood body?

What size are you looking for?

What kind of stuff to you want to play with it?

I have a wood-bodied Kala tenor resonator, strung with Southcoast low-G classical metal strings. I think it sounds great for fingerpicked stuff (check out my YouTube channel), but I would also say it sounds more like a little guitar than a uke (which is fine with me). A concert with reentrant tuning would be better for getting a more traditional strummed sound.

Wood bodies are a bit mellower. Metal bodies have more "bark".

I'm sure a Mya-Moe is going to sound better than my Kala, but they are well out of my price range.

- FiL

Patrick Madsen
03-01-2013, 06:13 AM
I've played a few of John Mortons resonators. All handmade, one at a time.http://www.jmorton.us/pages/AboutJohnMorton.html

Cornfield
03-01-2013, 07:04 AM
I have one of the cheap metal body Regals. I bought it from a local shop that did a nice setup. I had a number of upgrades done to it, Waverly tuners, Worth Clear Low G strings, a custom bridge and biscuit and a pickup. I love playing around with it. It's loud and shiny. It's name is "Frankenreso". People that are not Ukunistas always say ooooo when I take it out of the case. For what it is, its great. Intonation up the fret board improved when I had all the upgrades done. All the upgrades cost more than the uke itself. If I were to start over, I probably would have began with a Mya-Moe for a wood body reso or R.E. Phillips. if I wanted a metal body.

electrauke
03-01-2013, 07:24 AM
Are you looking for a metal body or a wood body?

What size are you looking for?

What kind of stuff to you want to play with it?

I have a wood-bodied Kala tenor resonator, strung with Southcoast low-G classical metal strings. I think it sounds great for fingerpicked stuff (check out my YouTube channel), but I would also say it sounds more like a little guitar than a uke (which is fine with me). A concert with reentrant tuning would be better for getting a more traditional strummed sound.

Wood bodies are a bit mellower. Metal bodies have more "bark".

I'm sure a Mya-Moe is going to sound better than my Kala, but they are well out of my price range.

- FiL
I would like a wood bodied one, size Tenor, and I want to play everything with it. Are the Kala's any good and are the National resos better?

Cornfield
03-01-2013, 07:32 AM
I would like a wood bodied one, size Tenor, and I want to play everything with it. Are the Kala's any good and are the National resos better?

This guy, Lil Rev, owned a National wood body and switched to MYa-Moe. Here is a link to his blog:

http://fountainofuke.blogspot.com/

and here is a video of hime playing his Mya-Moe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxt07PvAGlI

PedalFreak
03-01-2013, 08:02 AM
Nationals. Best sound out of any Reso Uke I've ever played. Nothing has come close.

Stackabones
03-01-2013, 08:03 AM
Best one would be a free one!

Cornfield
03-01-2013, 08:33 AM
Best one would be a free one!

Book Worthy comment :smileybounce:

Spoutnik
03-01-2013, 09:50 AM
I received a Kala KA-R-T-SB resonator for my birthday. Very nice instrument! Fun to play. The sound is loud! For the price, it's a good choice.

ichadwick
03-06-2013, 12:48 AM
Thing about tenors is that they really need tension on the cone to get the best sound. I've had a Republic reso and played with several others including National, Goldtone and Kala. My own opinion is that the best/loudest sound comes from a tenor in great part because it has the greatest string tension. A reso should almost have a banjo-like tone.

I have a metal-body tenor guitar with metal strings. It doesn't have the same punch as a six-string because the strings have just that much less tension. I've considered some options, including changing the saddle from the traditional ebony to a Tusq piece.

I've been hemming and hawing over a Kala myself, but find the nylon strings just a bit too mild for a reso sound. I believe metal strings can be substituted, which might really pick up the punch.

Strummin simon
03-06-2013, 01:45 AM
i have a kala concert reso. its good for the money.
i had a ashbury/johnson/recording king before. not as good as the kala. but they are cheaper

if you really want a reso, save up and buy a national. they are the best sounding

FiL
03-06-2013, 02:53 AM
I've been hemming and hawing over a Kala myself, but find the nylon strings just a bit too mild for a reso sound. I believe metal strings can be substituted, which might really pick up the punch.

Try Southcoast's classical metal strings. I wouldn't use any other metal strings on a uke--they're not built for standard steel string tensions.

- FiL

PhilUSAFRet
06-11-2013, 03:39 AM
Thing about tenors is that they really need tension on the cone to get the best sound. I've had a Republic reso and played with several others including National, Goldtone and Kala. My own opinion is that the best/loudest sound comes from a tenor in great part because it has the greatest string tension. A reso should almost have a banjo-like tone.

I have a metal-body tenor guitar with metal strings. It doesn't have the same punch as a six-string because the strings have just that much less tension. I've considered some options, including changing the saddle from the traditional ebony to a Tusq piece.

I've been hemming and hawing over a Kala myself, but find the nylon strings just a bit too mild for a reso sound. I believe metal strings can be substituted, which might really pick up the punch.

Can't help wondering how Guadalupe fiber cores would work. Good ebony nearly as hard as bone anyway. Doubt changing nut/saddle would be worth it, but, on the other hand, couldn't hurt either.

fernandogardinali
06-11-2013, 03:47 AM
I have a Republic and I like it, but I'm looking to upgrade. I love the looks of the Big Rusty ukuleles, does anyone have any experience with those?

Ambient Doughnut
06-11-2013, 04:09 AM
Try Southcoast's classical metal strings. I wouldn't use any other metal strings on a uke--they're not built for standard steel string tensions.

- FiL

Those DO sound good (checked out some of your vids). Tempted but would like a reentrant set myself. Guess they could knock me one up with two A strings instead...

Skozar
06-11-2013, 07:09 AM
I bought a Kala Concert Reso after trying 1 National, 2 Gretsch, and the 2 Kala's one after another again and again and playing the same chord progressions mixed up with some banjo-like finger rolls. I really did not care which brand I bought just wanted one with the best punch and a distinct sound. The National had great playing action and the fit and finish was top knotch but the sound was muffled and dull in my opinion compared to the Gretsch and Kala instruments (note all instrument had wood bodies). The Gretsch's had slightly better finish but the Kala natural satin finish concert blew all comers (including another Kala Tenor) away. The necks on the Kala's are a little thicker than the other instrument and do take some getting used to but the playability with either Aquila or Kala Pearl strings is awesome. Even the instrument sale person agreed with my choice as he was listening to me plinking on all his instruments from across the sales floor. I guess I just got lucky and found the "right one." And I saved a boat-load of money---always a good thing!!!!

Another reason to try instuments in person rather than making an opinon and purchase based on a sound bite over the internet.

uker62
06-11-2013, 08:50 AM
I use a Mya Moe tenor. Looked at the National. Same cone, but just too cone forward in sound for me. The Mya Moe sounds like a jazz instrument.

ichadwick
06-11-2013, 12:57 PM
Resos don't depend on the wood for their sound nearly as much as standard ukes. The cone and biscuit have more to do with the output than the wood. It's been argued that laminates are better for resonator instruments than solid woods because they reflect more sound and don't age (mellow) like solid woods.

You cant to change the sound? Start with the biscuit/saddle. Try materials for the saddle that are denser, pass more energy to the wooden biscuit. Bone, Tusq, glass and even brass will give you a different sound.

Metal bodied resos have the advantage of having high internal reflectivity, which gives them some additional harmonic complexity, but to really work well, they need holes for the sound to escape.

ukeeku
06-11-2013, 01:43 PM
Beard guitars reso uke, hands down my favorite I have ever played
http://www.beardguitars.com/Uke-index.html

fumanshu
06-11-2013, 04:32 PM
Beard guitars reso uke, hands down my favorite I have ever played
http://www.beardguitars.com/Uke-index.html

Woahh...that's cool, I didn't even know that Beard is building reso ukes!!! I'm sure that they sound good if they are welll set up.


https://soundcloud.com/baouke/lady-standby-by-lotus-notes

ichadwick
06-12-2013, 01:06 AM
Try Southcoast's classical metal strings. I wouldn't use any other metal strings on a uke--they're not built for standard steel string tensions. - FiL
Actually that's not true. Most resos are heavily buttressed inside to hold the cone and cover. They anchor the strings on a tailpiece or (as in the Republic) through the cover plate. The tension doesn't pull on the top like a standard uke. As long as the tailpiece is solidly installed, it should hold.

I was told by luthiers at the Twelfth Fret in Toronto that they had successfully put steel strings on a Kala reso. They didn't tell me which strings they used, but I would assume a light gauge.

I would also change the saddle to a piece of ebony.

ukeeku
06-12-2013, 01:29 AM
Woahh...that's cool, I didn't even know that Beard is building reso ukes!!! I'm sure that they sound good if they are welll set up.


https://soundcloud.com/baouke/lady-standby-by-lotus-notes

I have one straight from them and they are setup perfectly.
They are hand made in Maryland, so there are no worries on setup

Liam Ryan
06-12-2013, 09:47 AM
National cones are in my opinion the best cones out there. The cone is the heart and soul of a resonator instrument. Obviously national use a national resonator cone, as do I and I believe maya-moe as well.

The tone I go for in a resonator is certainly not banjo like. I'm a big fan of banjo music, that's why I build banjo ukes. I don't want my reso ukes to sound like them though. I want my resonator ukes to be smooth and responsive when fingerpicked and to dig in with a loud bark when strummed or picked hard.

Bozz
06-12-2013, 12:29 PM
Gretsch now has a wood body resonator Uke that I thought was impressive for the dollars. I bought a metal bodied resonator some time ago from Johnson. Made in China so I ended up replacing the resonator cone with a National and a good set of grover tuners so it would hold it's tune. I use a low G on it so I can quickly put it into an open tuning and use a glass slide. It's perfect for that slide blues sound when needed. ;-)>
Boz