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Project pondering - reso-tele

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by bchrismer, Nov 22, 2020 at 12:15 PM.

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  1. bchrismer

    bchrismer TDPRI Member

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    I've spent a lot of time digging through the search results on reso-tele's and the various other searches to try and dig up as much info as I can. Figured I'd throw out a thread for suggestions and direction.

    For those who missed my "intro" thread, I am not a good player, basically a "cowboy chord basement player" who has taken about a 5 year hiatus from even picking up a guitar. To say I play guitar is an overstatement and a more accurate description is "I play with guitars".

    I've got 4 variations of Chinese import teles with various mods done to them. I'm considering buying 1 more to convert to a biscuit bridge reso-tele, and am in the process of researching the stuff to make it a reality. While there are some currently on E-bay, the price after shipping is about the same ball park as my estimated cost to build one, however, I wouldn't get the benefit of the "learning" in the process.

    For those who have walked down this road before, I have the following questions:

    1. How did you calculate the appropriate depth to recess the cone to achieve the desired bridge height. The current height on my tele's seems to be about 3/8", and I would like to end up with a bridge height that I can still fret.

    2. Have any of you wired the neck pickup, a piezo bridge, a volume and tone control? From what I am reading, I need to have a pre-amp involved and I am trying to find a decent wiring diagram. The preference would be to have dual concentric pots to handle volume and tone separately, and the ability to blend the two via the dual concentric volume pot.

    3. Cone venting. I have seen a few different setups with sound holes in the back of the body to allow air movement behind the cone. Is a single 1 7/8" (typical size) sound hole enough to do the job?

    4. Tail Pieces - I've seen some guys saying that the common tail piece is too long and doesn't provide adequate pressure on the bridge. Has anyone tried a short trapeze style with any success?

    Thanks, in advance, for helping steer me in the right direction.
     
  2. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Meister

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    You want to get at least kind-of-close, but, setting this up could very well involve a neck shim anyway, which means you have quite a bit of latitude.
     
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  3. bchrismer

    bchrismer TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I have been looking at the Replogle cones, bridges, and compensated saddles. It appears that combined I am looking at approx 1.85" total height. If I subtract out the "current" bridge height of approx 0.375", that leaves me with a needed depth of about 1.46875" for the bore.

    But then there is the unknown of how tall the dome of the cover plate is and where the tailpiece sets that could require the bridge to be higher than the above guestimate. Until I have all the parts in hand, there's really no sense in worrying about it.

    The electronics question is really the only thing that I can research before I have parts in hand, I guess.
     
  4. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm no help on this point, but I hope for your sake that fellow member @Sollophonic chimes in here.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I have never built a solid body electric resonators but I have built one tricone and I own two other resonators (a spider bridge and a biscuit). Some things to think about.

    First make some decisions about how you will string and play the instrument. Resonators tend to have wide flat fret boards which are optimized for slide playing - you'll have to decide how important that is for what you want to do with it.

    Resonators tend to intonate terribly - think about the string gauges and tunings you will be using. For slide it doesn't matter, you've got the worlds best intonator on your pinky but for fretted play up the neck you will need to think about how you build your saddle.

    Get your cone, biscuit, tailpiece and coverplate. Lay out your neck geometry such that you will get the action you want (which comes back to how you are going to play it). You have very little vertical adjustment at the saddle - you will make shallow notches for the strings but most of setting the action is done with the neck angle. On an acoustic resonator the most common cone well depth is 1 inch but that will vary depending on your neck angle and overstand.

    As I said, I build and play acoustic resonators so I don't know anything about venting the conewell into the body or electronics. You can buy biscuits with piezo pickups imbedded in them, you can buy little contact pickups that attach to the cone or you can put some sort of magnetic pickup in it. That will be your call.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the insides of my metal body biscuit bridge acoustic. Cone well and neck stick

    IMG_1005.JPG

    Cones. Cheap cones are pressed, good ones are spun. The NRP cone on the right has reinforcing ribs. Maple and carbon fiber biscuits

    IMG_1006.JPG

    Basic geometry for a compromise slide/fretted playing style

    IMG_1008.JPG

    Cone, biscuit, tailpiece in situ without the coverplate. You can see that you don't have much room for shaping the top of the saddle for intonation and if you try to rotate the cone it makes one side better but the other worse. Calculate your compensation before you build it.

    IMG_1009.JPG

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help with
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Thought I would throw in one picture of my tricone - the cone well is a different shape but you have the same issues

    IMG_2435.JPG

    The neck angle is such that the fret plane just touches the top of the tee bridge (without the saddle inserted in it) that gives me a nice reasonable playing action that works for both fretted and slide. Also in the tricone I moved the saddle 1/16 from the scale length on the 1st string and 2/16 on the 6th, that is a reasonable compromise for intonation and still play with the slide
     
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