Resonator guitars, also known as resophonic guitars, are classic guitars that produce their sound by carrying the string vibrations to spun metal cones called resonators which are mounted under the bridge. The resonator guitar was invented by a renowned performer during the early 20th century known as George Beauchamp who noticed acoustic guitars struggled to be heard over the other instruments in the orchestra. With the help of a violin maker, George got to work and came up with the Tri-Cone guitar which he patented before starting a company to manufacture the world’s first resonator guitars.
The result was a success as resonators had a distinctive loud sound that cut through most performances and mixes far more easily than regular guitars. Resonators quickly gained popularity amongst musicians from different genres due to their ability to add an authentic vintage tone to any modern recording. The following are some of the pros and cons of using a resonator guitar.
Resonator guitars have a very distinctive sound that you won’t find in any other type of guitar. Certain types of music just sound better on a resonator guitar particularly vintage blues. Once you get used to the louder sound of a resonator, get ready to have fun playing for hours as they can be quite addictive.
Resonator guitars were invented purposely to be louder than regular acoustic guitars. At that time, electric guitars were a myth, and the regular guitars were not loud enough for some performers. Their design that used spun metal cones as opposed to soundboards produces a louder sound that can be heard over any other instruments.
Anyone who owns a resonator guitar will confess that one of the main things that attracted them to the guitar is the beauty. Resonators are made of beautiful, shiny metals that can be custom designed to suit the needs of the buyer. Its distinctive styling has made it a favorite in guitar posters and numerous classic album covers.
Since it has many metallic parts, the resonator guitar is much heavier than regular guitars. Some models which are made entirely of metal are impossible to carry around especially to performances that require the player to stand. Using the resonator can result in back problems in the long run.
If you are not used to a resonator guitar, tuning it can be a daunting task. Due to its unique tonal flavor, finding the right sound can take some time to master. Also, you have to adjust the intonation every time you change the strings.