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Thread: Resonators

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers


    I've been selling unused outdoor gear and stashing away the money for another Uke, the ones that interest me the most are National Resonators and Martin K2's--both classics in their own right,,,,,,I've though about a Risa Les Paul but a National Resonator I don't have to plug in to be loud.......

    Willies American Guitars has a couple of Nationals and at least one Martin K2 in stock. I aught to head down there and check them out. One Steel resonator and one Koa resonator.....Could be fun albeit expensive afternoon.....
    Last edited by mjh42; 04-17-2018 at 04:02 PM. Reason: added more information

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by ukulelekarcsi View Post
    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.
    Those and, also, they're quite heavy. I picked one up and it feels like lifting a ton.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018


    I own a Kala Resonator and think its pretty darn cool.
    They only retail for $300, which is fairly inexpensive.

    5 reasons I hang on to it:

    1) ITS Loud!! Like 20% louder than most ukes. Its a great uke to take to the beach or festivals or any place one might expect there is going to be alot of noise etc...

    2). It's fun playing blues or bluegrass or funk style

    3). Chords really sound TIGHT

    4) they look really cool

    5). It's Nice to have a radically different tone sometime from the usual beautiful chime of a normal uke

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    New York


    I have a Radio King that's all chrome and looks great but I don't play it much.
    I also have a homemade resonator (that's my profile picture).
    I only play it when I'm playing with an acoustic guitar.
    I think they look so much cooler then they sound.
    Rob Uker
    RIGuitars & Ukuleles
    One of a kind handmade instruments

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Santa Barbara, CA


    I just last week got a 2005 National Reso-Phonic "Vintage Steel" model concert ukulele. It has an all-steel body, and an ebony fretboard on a mahogany neck with 15 frets to the body. It's really nicely finished and plays great.

    I noticed on YouTube that both Del Ray and Bob Brozman tuned their resonator ukes up to D instead of C. After checking with the folks at National to make sure it wouldn't damage the cone, I tried it and that really makes it ring! I've been playing it with fingerpicks and it is super loud, with great tone. Or, you can lighten up and get a very pretty sound. It has a really wide dynamic range. It's my new favorite!
    Tim Mullins

    Soprano: 20s Martin Style 1
    Concert: Kamaka HF-2L+
    Tenor: 40s Martin 1T

    Give your ukulele truly hands-free support
    -- with no modification to your instrument.
    Mobius Strap: A Ukulele Strap with a New Twist

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    Currently I am fortunate to have 3 reso's
    Recording King concert plated brass. Nice for fingerpicking. Swapped out the tuners to Gotoh UPT's
    Beltona Songster Tenor, fingerpick and strum, but unless you are really in control, it's loud! Came with Gotoh UPT's
    Mya Moe, fingerpick and strum. Swapped out the tuners to Gotoh UPT's
    Mya Moe is my go to of the three though!

    According to Del Rey, D makes her reso sing, it's a bit dead in normal tuning.


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    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.

    Attachment 108201
    I see that's still for sale, a month later. I just saw Lil' Rev perform over the weekend, using two Mya Moe resonators. I converted an Enya tenor to a res, and I bought a Gold Tone resonator. I like the sound and the looks.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Western WA


    I love my Beltona. Personally, I quite prefer the reso sound over a banjo uke. Lil Rev is a great place to start to hear some reso uke sounds. Del Ray is another option as well.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013


    Every so often I'm interested in one, and would probably consider a baritone-sized resonator, but as far as I know there are no factory models in this size, just customs.

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