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acoustic or resonator guitar?

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GUEST,joseacsilva 26 Nov 04 - 03:19 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,joseacsilva@sercomtel.com.br 26 Nov 04 - 07:46 PM
Leadfingers 26 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 08:56 PM
PoppaGator 26 Nov 04 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Bobert 26 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM
Guy Wolff 26 Nov 04 - 10:37 PM
number 6 27 Nov 04 - 01:07 AM
mooman 27 Nov 04 - 05:42 AM
wysiwyg 27 Nov 04 - 09:28 AM
PoppaGator 27 Nov 04 - 09:51 AM
mooman 27 Nov 04 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,reggie miles 27 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM
PoppaGator 27 Nov 04 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,joseacsilva@sercomtel.com.br 27 Nov 04 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Dennis 27 Nov 04 - 08:55 PM
PoppaGator 28 Nov 04 - 12:27 AM
PoppaGator 28 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM
Grab 29 Nov 04 - 05:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Nov 04 - 06:42 AM
Roger the Skiffler 29 Nov 04 - 09:25 AM
PoppaGator 29 Nov 04 - 07:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Nov 04 - 10:36 PM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Nov 04 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker.. 30 Nov 04 - 08:42 AM
mooman 01 Dec 04 - 06:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 04 - 06:40 AM
wysiwyg 01 Dec 04 - 08:06 AM
Bobert 01 Dec 04 - 06:01 PM
PoppaGator 01 Dec 04 - 06:37 PM
Bobert 01 Dec 04 - 07:01 PM
Terry Allan Hall 01 Dec 04 - 07:15 PM
Steve-o 02 Dec 04 - 07:14 PM
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Subject: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,joseacsilva
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 03:19 PM

Hi,
it may sound a little vague, but I intend to Buying a new guitar and as Id like to play blues style with bottle neck , I d appreciate some suggestions between acoustic X resonator guitar ,and which model should be better?
    thanks
          Joe


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM

If you're only going to own one guitar for the foreseeable future, I'd say go for the regular acoustic rather than the more exotic resonator. It's just more versatile, and as you continue playing and learning you may not want to be limited to that resonator sound.

You say "I'd like to play blues style with bottle neck..." -- that's "I'd" meaning "I would." That why I'm assuming that you're a more-or-less beginner.

Any blues number you can play, you can play it on a regular wooden guitar. The sound may not be quite as characteristically "bluesy" as on a reso, but *most* of your success in creating a convincing blues sound will grow out of your playing, not your instrument.

I'm primarily interested in the blues, myself, and always have been. I've owned one guitar since 1969, when I got the best regular wooden acoustic guitar I could afford. I knew then that I wouldn't be buying another for quite some time, and resisted the urge to get the National Steel of my dreams. I'm glad I did -- I've played plenty of music over the years that would not have sounded nearly as good on one of those Nationals as it has on my Martin.

The only person I've personally met who owned a metal-body resonator as his *only* guitar was a true blues guy, the late Babe Stovall, a black man from Mississippi who lived in New Orleans in the 60s-70s and sang on the street. Every other reso I've every touched belonged to a "collector," someone with at least one other guitar if not several. They are beautiful and they produce an otherworldly sound, but they really don't allow you to explore much variety in guitar styles and sounds.

Keep in mind that the resonator was developed simply to provide greater volume to players who had no access to electricity for amplifiction. A wooden acoustic equipped with some kind of pickup can serve the same purpose, and has more potential versatility. You can play it with our without electronic enhacement, and when you do plug in, you should be able to acheive a variety of different "sounds" by adjusting controls on your amp and perhaps at the pickup itself as well.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,joseacsilva@sercomtel.com.br
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:46 PM

I agree with you in the aspect that an acoustic is much more versatile.
I have played guitar for more than 25 years, but I m dealing more with blues and folk style lately in the last years.As a self taught guitar player , Ive learned slide watching and hearing a lot(by the way I got a home page at www.guitarjoe.cjb.net ), and a friend of mine has got a simple wooden dobro(Breckler) ,but I didnt like the sound (maybe too low, I guess).Ive played fingerstyle and slide in another guitar (Takamine) and it sounded great most of the time. Now I play in a Taylor guitar ,that I love,and have been looking for a second guitar. Thatts why I have doubts about which instrument would suit me better.

Joe


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM

If you already have a Taylor , another wooden acoustic is not going to be SO different . For a second guitar ,and for Bluesy stuff a good
resonator guitar seems the right choice to me . For a first (only) axe
a resonator is indeed too limiting !


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 08:56 PM

Jose, since you've aleady got a nice regular acoustic guitar, and *especially* since you're interested in branching out into the blues after many years of playing a variety of styles, that resonator might be your best bet after all.

If you're gonna have two guitars, the more different the better!

Since you were unimpressed by your friend's wood-bodied dobro, what you really want is probably a metal-body job, the type of instrument used in so many great old blues recordings.

There have been a few Mudcat discussions about resonator guitars during the past year or so. When resonator guitars first appeared, Dobro and National were copeting manufactuers, the former specializing in wood-body guitars with metal resonators and the latter making metal-body instrument. Later, the two companies merged under the Dobro name, so while "dobro" may once have clearly meant one type of reso guitar, the distinction is no longer as obvious.

There's a fairly new brand name for National-type metal resonators that some members have recommended. If I get a chance to search out the pertinent old threads and copy a link or two, I'll be back with the info.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 09:53 PM

Links, as promised:

"Help Me Find A Slide-Blues Guitar"

"Stainless Steel Guitar -- Oooh!"

I'd recommend reading through both the above threads. Each includes further links to more info.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM

If yer gonna play blues and yer gonna play slide then forget the flst topped acoustics and think about a reso....

Don't get a steel bodied... Get like an Oscar Shmidt, er a Washburn an' switch out the cone first thing... You can replace it woith a National cone ot just do some Google and find a better cone...

Now you are indeed ready to do some serious bottleneckin'....

Ain't no compromise flat top acoustic round sound holer gonna get the job done.... Like none....

But truth be told, keep whatever acoustic you have and switch between the two...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:37 PM

Lots of different "voices " to talk about here. If I just take one instroment for slide say on a plane ... I usually cary out a newer LOO Gibson "blues_king "that has a lot of high end . National resoniphonic has put out a great batch of metal and wood boded resonated boxes. I got one of my son's a wooden bodied guitar from them that is very very versatile .. For certain styles of slide i use an archtop KAY Professional from the late 1930's that just cant be beat.It has a very upfront presence .. i also use a Kallamazoo that uses lighter strings but just dose anything .THe harder you attack it the more it gives. Majic... On stage I use a diolian national steel from the ealy 30's and that has a wonderful baraatone voice. I often say it has the sound of a 1949 doge powerwagon ! Sorry different voices for different attacks. I guess i would start with the National Wooden REsonaphonic . great guitar and very resaleable if it dose not fit.. By the way different tunings do better on each of the above . All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: number 6
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 01:07 AM

I recently became interested in a resonator guitar (wood body rather than steel). Not specifically for blues, but to explore the different sounds that it makes. Rather than drop a months salary on a Gibson Hound Dog or National I bought a pre driven cheap Johnson. I immediately replaced the tuners with some Grovers, replaced the beer can cone with a Quatermann, adjusted the action. It now sounds superb. I'm becoming quite attached to the resonator and might consider upgrading down the road. BTW, I also own a Taylor. That is one sweet guitar.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: mooman
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 05:42 AM

As both an acoustic and reso player I would tend to favour a metal bodied resonator for blues slide, especially as you already have a decent acoustic. There are a number available from the reasonable to the pricey as discussed in the threads linked above. I am more than impressed with the Regal National copy that I have (mine is a Czech-made one) which I primarily use for blues.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 09:28 AM

I'm sure you're all good and that you know what you're talking about, but I have HEARD Bobert and seen him play, seen and heard how he switches between a variety of guitars... he'll start you right, for sure, and he's a GREAT mentoring sort of dude.

Go for it! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 09:51 AM

I *haven't* heard Bobert play, but I know enough about his accomplishments and general reputation to respect his opinion highly. (I also really enjoy his message-writing style, but that's a whole 'nother story.) So, "Amen" to what Susan just said.

I've got to say, however, that I was just a little surprised to see Bobert endorsing the wooden-body resonator in preference to the metal. The wood-based Dobro has long been more closely associated with the country idiom, and is more often played lap-style than the metal-box National type instrument, which is more generally seen as a blues instrument. I realize that this is more a matter of image and custom than anything related to the respective *sounds* of these intruments, which are really quite similar. However, I would have been less surprised at a comment like "you can go either way" that at an expression of *preference* for the wood-body alternative.

Bobert, can you offer any further thoughts on why you're telling us "Don't get a steel bodied..."?


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: mooman
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 09:58 AM

Agree with PoppaGator on this with the greatest respect Susan. Quite a few of us here are into playing blues!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 11:19 AM

As much as I love that characteristic sound of an all metal bodied guitar, I couldn't recommend any particular resonator without first giving it a once over and a good listen. There are many makers out there today and I have tried as many as I've seen hanging around the music stores and at various booths at festivals. The only thing I can say for certain is that there is a great deal of inconsistency in the playability of these instruments. More often than not they are not set up properly to get the most out of them. So, just buying what may appear to be the right guitar or brand name may not actually give you what you hope for. I would advise first finding someone, (a local repair person or guitar tech) who has some experience with setting these bad boys up properly and seek advice from them about which choices might be your best options. The right guy may be able to make any one of them wail.

PoppaGator mentioned already and you may know that National styled resonators have long been associated with blues players just as Dobros have been associated with country players. There are wooden, brass and steel bodied Nationals. There was even a National with steel back and sides and a wooden face. Weird huh? That's the model I loosely fashioned my homemade job after and it has never failed to turn ears.

happy hunting


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 05:49 PM

Here's an interesting discussion on this from another forum (Acoustic Guitar Magazine's):

http://www.guitarseminars.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002036.html

Still waiting to hear more from Bobert; I'm truly curious to learn more about his preferences. I suppose he's on the road home to Wes Ginny after spending Turkey Day in the Carolinas.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,joseacsilva@sercomtel.com.br
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:52 PM

Thanks to all of you folks.Ive learned a lot with this thread.
Just would like to know the difference between single and tricone resonator guitar(difference of sound?)
         Joe


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,Dennis
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 08:55 PM

Joe ~ [Good thread by the way] ~ TRY as many different resonator instruments as you can. As with choosing your acoustic(s). Take a friend--better yet a slide player--and do the blind test if there are several from which to choose. I had the pleasure of stringing up a National for a friend who had NO idea what a treasure it is. It was a painted one, in that funky greenish-yellow or yellowish green, with the original little warranty slip and some stings in glassine envelopes wound to about about an inch and a quarter diameter coil. Seems Bob's daughter was after a guitar, and Grandpa said "Doesn't Bob have that old tin guitar in the attic?" Seems it had been given to Dr. Jim by the widow of its owner in the 40s and it had been in the attic since the 50s. Using the Dobro Bible at the music store, I traced the rendering of the logo to '30 or '31.

Sure was sweet. I wiped all the drool off before I gave it back :)

Dennis

http://www.mts.net/~oakacorn


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 12:27 AM

The best explanation I could find of the tricone (which came first) and single resonators is in this "History of National Reso-Phonic, Part 1":

Scroll halfway down page to "THE TRICONE IS BORN."

Or read the whole thing from the top.

(I found this through a link found in the Acoustic Guitar Mag Forum discussion referenced above.)


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM

refresh: Gotta keep this visible 'til Bobert sees it.

"Don't get a steel bodied..." ~ still wondering: Why not?


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Grab
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:40 AM

Regal metal-bodies are pretty good. Not as nice as Nationals (ddw's National is a thing of beauty, with a sound to die for!), but worth a look. I didn't like the Johnson I test-drove.

In any case, wooden guitars will sound just as bluesy if you get a nice one. They just won't have the same shimmery sound that a reso has.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:42 AM

The guitar I use for slide, I have lots of people complimenting me on the sound of it, is a guitar I got from Purplemusic.com for less 100 including post and packing, and I got a tuner, spare set of strings, Ritter gig bag, plectrums, string winder thrown in. Its called an earthfire. And i got it when I heard that Kevin Brown used a gauge 17 on his first string. Mind you Kevin plays a special ovation tuned two and a half tones down. I was thinking well if the neck snaps off I can hardly say I've been diddled at that price. Luckilly it hasn't!

this year I decided to crack bottleneck - something which I'd never done before. I got a new guitar because I knew I couldn't be arsed to keep retuning. I would recommend Kevin's one day course in Bath that he does twice a year, and Michael Messers DVD. Scott Anslie's video on Robert Johnson is a real eye opener too

The most important thing I learned on Kevin's course is that the guitar and the slide is largely irrelevant. The guest player was playing a straight Martin and that sounded as great as any resonator Its the touch between the two things - strings and slide you have to concentrate on.

When you have the touch right, its just a case of experimenting with different slides and strings to see what texture suits you. Most slide players are real guitar nerds and love to discourse on what they personally have discovered - because it really is a personal thing - all down to your touch. So ask around....

all the best
al


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:25 AM

I didn't know whether to post this to the 12-string thread or this one, but listening to Michael Messer's "King Guitar" CD I notice that on the insert he is shown in one picture playing a wooden 12-string with a slide. My duff old ears don't detect one on the actual CD and the "instrument used" information is sparse. Is it unusual to play a 12-string with slide? I've heard banjos played that way (Papa Charlie Jackson, Gus Cannon, even, I believe, Pete Seeger)but never a 12-string.
Enlighten me, "sliders".
RtS


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 07:13 PM

The best reason I can think of for NOT sliding on a 12-string is that the damn things are so hard to retune, and slide guitar usually involves use of at least two open tunings, Vastapol (down to open-D or up to open-E) and Spanish (G or, rarely, A).

I once posted a message observing that 12-string guitars are not just twice as hard to tune as sixes, but four times as hard. I was corrected by a 12-string owner, who notified us all that twelves are 144 times as hard to tune as sixes.

There is such a thing as a 12-string resonator -- National makes 'em, if no one else, and shows them on their website. Of course, resonators can be played without a slide in standard tuning, but I think most buyers get them because of the sound they make with the slide.

Oh yeah, one other thing. Some people "convert" twelve string guitars to sixes simply by installing only six strings. Could that be what you're seeing in that picture? The twelve tuning machines on the headstock are highly visible, of course, but you may not even be able to see whether all 12 strings are there or not


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:36 PM

As I remember Dave Snaker Ray's classic Fixin' to Die is slide on 12-string.

Best of luck with whatever you choose. You have to be a bit obsessive to get it going, but its terrific fun.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 04:00 AM

I wondered about that (converted to 6), Tom, but it looks as if all 12 are strung and Michael is wearing a slide in the photo.

RtS


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker..
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 08:42 AM

..dont always trust the accuracy and truth of album sleeve
and PR phots..

they're either embarrassingly trite poses
imposed on artists by design 'gurus'

or all too often a fun opportunity for artists
and photographers to conspire on subverively daft
visual in-jokes..

though everybody ought to try electric 12 string bottle neck
through delay and wah wah pedals at least once in life..

ps.. i've tried some lower end fender & epiphone
budget wooden reso guitars..

and they definitely had a different and interesting tone..
but the resonaters were perhaps more of a cosmetic decoration
than a truly effective volume/tone amplifier
..so maybe resonater guitars are the one instance
where extra cost really does guarrantee a better sound..

i've got a solid body electric with built in resonater..
but am still undecided as to how effective or 'authentic' it works and sounds..
so i'm looking into replacement reso dish in case mine was wrecked
by previous owner..


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: mooman
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 06:10 AM

I believe Regal also do a 12-string reso but can find a link at the moment.

I'd also agree that it's important to try out the different resos before opting for one type (as with any guitar). I was planning to buy a Regal (good quality to price balance) Tricone model but actually preferred the sound of the cheaper Regal Duolian model when I tried them side-by-side (and preferred both to the various wooden bodied models). To answer Joe's question above, I found the Tricone had a slightly sweeter sound but lacked the characteristic "bite" of the Duolian single cone type. At the end of the day I think it's down to personal preferences as with all instruments.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 06:40 AM

the proper ones nationals etc really are the business, when you listen to them. you don't have to be amplified. they sound shit hot, but your looking at nearly 2 and half grand last time I looked.

I simply haven't got that much to say with a slide.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 08:06 AM

PG, better PM Bobert to come see and post further. He was outta town and I fear on his return he may be lost down in the bottom where the BS dwells.

~S~


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 06:01 PM

Just stepped out in the backyard for a pee...Sorry...

Okay, some folks wonder why I recommened a wood bodied reso over the steel bodied and it has more to do with ediquette, 'er whatever that word is... You know, like being a sensitive member of a jam session...

Now I play both, plus an flat top acoustic as well as a mean little tenro resonator...

Now, the steel bodied, when you get into a jam with folks playing other instruments tends to overpower the other folks and fir anyone who has ever been completely drowned out by the guy next to you in a jam it ain't no gun. It's a lot harder to tone the steel bodied reso down.

Even if you never jam, I'd still recomment the wood bodied because it is a tap more versitle than the steel bodied. The steel bodied, IMO, gives you one particular hard Delta sound and not much else...

I have learned this the hardway at the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation (see acousticblues.com) where most of the folks play reso's.

Now, what I like to do when I perform is use 3 guitars: steel bodied Regal, 30's Dobro made tenor and my old Martin D-18. They each work well with various songs. I usually keep the Regal in open D, the tenor in G and the Martin goes from standard tuning to double-dropped D and then onto open G.

These are my observations and.... sorry for loosing this thread...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 06:37 PM

Thanks, Bobert. Very reasonable and very informative.

As long as I'm just daydreaming about owning an additional "blues" guitar in addition to *my* old D-18, though, I'll continue to dream of that vintage National steel single-resonator job. (Something I'll probly never buy, of course, lessen' I hit the lottery.)


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 07:01 PM

Talk about dreamin'. P-Gator...

'Bout a year ago I stopped into my favorite guatar shop in the world, Picker's Supply in Fredricksburg, Va. I try to get down there a couple two or 3 times a year 'cuase the owner, Bran Dillard' always seems tro have some interesting vintage instument that he drags outta his office to show me...

So this time he spies me coming thru the door and walks back to his office and brings out a custom made canvas guitar bag, unzips it anfd inside is a like new hardshell case... Well, if I'm liein' Iz diein' cause inside that case was a '32 National tricone S-Style tenor... Ouch!!!! So I played it fir about 15 minutes 'er so and asked him, "How much?". He said he'd tale $4000 for it and I thought that was alot of money, which I still thinks is a lot of money... But I got to thinkin' about the guitar more and more over the next couple of weeks and I guess 'bout a month later I was so eat up over it I figured I'd just go borrow me $4000 and buy it if he still had it so I called and found that he had sold it on ebay...

Grrrrrrrrr....

BTW, if ya' go over to acousticblues.com and click on some of the pics you'll get a feel fir what folks are playin'... Go to the "Potter House" gig pics and you'll even find a pic of the Bobert (playin' my steel)... My main man is N.J. Warren who I call dad and who plays some fine down home southern blues...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 07:15 PM

RE: 12-string slide work...lots of Delta and country bluesmen used 12-strings for slide work...Bar-B-Q Bob, Blind Willie McTell, Leadbelly for just 3 examples.

Modern guys who also do are Paul Geremia (sp?), Bob Brozman, Guy Davis and Wallace Higgins.


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Subject: RE: acoustic or resonator guitar?
From: Steve-o
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 07:14 PM

And Spider John Koerner.


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