NRD (new resonator day) and question

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by gregulator450, May 12, 2021.

  1. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I was fortunate to pick up this little bad boy a few days ago. The square-neck thing is new to me and super fun to play. I could see myself getting lost in the lap-style guitar rabbit-hole for a while.

    This little guy has a tele-style (in appearance) neck pickup, but due to the high action that is required for lap style playing, the strings are a long way from the pickup. The pickup sounds quite nice, but I can't really hear much of anything coming from it unless I really crank up an amp; then I tend to get a lot of noise coming with the sounds..

    Do any of you all know much about acoustic-electric resonators, and whether there's a better pickup I can put in with more output but without losing the tone of a lower output pickup? Are there taller pickups that would put the magnetic field closer to the strings? Would something like a single-coil sized humbucker boost the output signal? (Thinking along the lines of a lil '59 or something)

    All in all, it has been one of the most fun new guitar days I've ever had.




    Dobro front.jpg Dobro side shot.jpg
     
  2. Suproman

    Suproman Tele-Holic

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    I would be tempted to take it out and install it on the surface, if there is room between the top and the strings. That would get it closer to the strings.
     
  3. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That is an option. I am trying to figure out how I'd do that without making it look like a homemade fix. I also have considered installing something like the Fishman Nashville bridge and wiring it to the control pots and output, although I haven't looked into the details of doing that. If I did, I might do something like change the tone pot to a pickup selector/blend pot like some J-basses have.
     
  4. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a metal body tricone that I recently added a pickup to. It's a roundneck though, so string clearance from the body was a problem in the opposite direction (too close). I installed a National surface mount pickup (National Slimline) - it sounds great (a cross between a resonator and a real nice older Gibson humbucker hollowbody) though the amp but it did cost an arm and a leg.

    A quick solution I can think of for your guitar is to add a pickup surround (they make them for singles) with adjustment screws, allowing you to get that single a bit closer to the strings. The other option is just to use a real clean signal boost in your chain to bring up the faint signal.
     
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  5. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the world's worst photo, but I forgot to document the final product.

    Here is step one of a customer's dobro with a Lace sensor. Mounted on the body, the signal was weak and horrible. I built a base out of cork to elevate, which allowed me to shave the bass/treble sides for optimal distance from the strings. The nice thing about a squareneck is that the strings don't get pushed down like fingering a roundneck, so pickup height is consistent.

    The final product looked a lot nicer. The cork base is glued with Titebond on a strip of carpenter's tape in case we ever want to remove it. The pickup itself is on double-adhesive foam tape, supplemented with 3M Super 77 spray glue. The "tower" is rock-solid, wrapped in shiny electrical tape (that actually looks convincing) and the pickup sounded really good afterward.

    Word to the wise: magnetic pickups don't always love traditional Dobro strings, so you might need to switch to nickel if the output is weak.
     

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  6. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    Last edited: May 12, 2021
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  7. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG_8648.jpeg Final product. I knew I had a shot!
     
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  8. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I recently bought a 1986 Dobro squareneck with a humbucker and volume control. it sits up closer to the strings.
     

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  9. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Weber resonator guitar with a Lollar gold foil pickup, shimmed up to be close enough to the strings. It sounds somewhat resonatory, but more like an electrified archtop. I have to mic it in addition to the pickup to hear that resonator resonate.
     
  10. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all this good info!
     
  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is great! Thanks for this info!
     
  12. Warren Pederson

    Warren Pederson Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Some great ideas so far. You could run it through a preamp, I have a cheap behringer eq pedal that has a level control that actually boosts the signal substantially
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You have a nice spider bridge resonator. The problem with map pups like you have is that they end up loosing a lot of the cone sound. Beard sells a Fishman spider bridge piezo pickup which I think is what Jerry Douglas was using. There are also some internal mics inside the body that sound very realistic. I follow Bob Brozman's advice and point a SM57 at the sound holes and just be done with it.
     
  14. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup. That’s the one in the Goldtone. It’s okay...much better than a traditional polepiece magnet pickup.
     
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