Resonator and Dobro guitars are central to many country blues and roots music genres. The metal cones on these resophonic guitars help to “resonate” the instrument’s tone instead of a typical wooden top (soundboard) found on most acoustic guitars. Dobros are typically played horizontally (like a lap steel) and with a slide, often while standing up (with a guitar strap). Resonators were originally used instead of acoustic guitars in the early days to allow them be better heard along with horns and drums before amplification was invented. Today they live on in blues and bluegrass music. The following directory of resophonic/resonator and dobro guitars have been hand-picked for your browsing.
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Allen Guitars makes some of the finest resonator guitars on the market. The guitars come in bronze, gold and nickel and even hand engraved for that custom look. Allen often uses exotic tone woods like koa and German spruce. These are super high-end resonator guitars. Allen also makes mandolins and acoustic guitars.
The resonator guitars built by Mike Auldridge come in six and eight string versions, and are quite beautiful. These resonator guitars offer a big and warm low end, sweet and bell-like top end, an overall balanced tone and amazing sustain.
Beard offers high quality resonator guitars with coverplates available in traditional fan pattern, but with a higher palm rest to make them easier to play (and clear the strings). Lyre and poinsettia patterns are available for aesthetic appeal. Resonator guitarists can choose between chrome and gold hardware to further refine the appearance of their Beard resonator.
Philippe Dubreuille, founder, handcrafts these artistic resonator guitars for musicians (and celebrities) around the world. Phillipe coined the term “PHILGOOD” for his resonator guitars and ensures a modern, redesigned appearance that will help guitarists stand out on stage. If you are looking for a resonator electric guitar you should definitely check out the Philgood range. You may see similar resonator guitar designs from Tanglewood Guitar company, who apparently copied Philippe’s resonator design.
Fine Resophonic Guitars manufactures some very unique resonator guitars like the one shown to the left. Their lineo of resonators include: resolectrics (resonator guitars with pickups), custom resonators, triplate resonators, single cone resonators and even resophonic mandolins.
Fluger Resophonic Guitars builds a wide array of resonators for all sorts of styles. Quarterman cones are used in all guitars along with Nuber 14 spiders. The fretboards are made of ebony, the finish is glossy for long-term protection and the coverplates are made in America. All Fluger guitars come with a hard case.
Gibson dobros and resonator guitars are what history is made of. They offer a range of limited edition models inspired by the world’s greatest dobro and resonator musicians. All Gibson dobros and resonators are made with either square or round necks, depending on your style.
Sven Gonstead, founder, starts his guitar designs with his imagination. He listens to customer feedback in order to create resonator guitars that perfectly match the guitarist’s needs. This approach helps distinguish Gonstead guitars from mass-produced counterparts. Gonstead resonators feature custom inlay designs and guitarist-chosen tone woods to create a resonator that dreams are made of.
Russ Mattsen, founder of Mattsen Guitars, builds only a few resonator guitars every year. He hand-bends the brass with a hammer and solders all of the parts together one at a time with full attention. He spins his own cones and hand-carves the neck to ensure incredible feel when playing these resonator guitars. These are truly find instruments.
Gregg McKenna, founder of McKenna guitars, builds wooden-bodied squareneck resonator guitars out of Connecticut. They are built with the utmost professional quality from the headstock down through the body. Much of his attention to detail is spent on the sound box in order to create a very resonant guitar. These resonators from are very close to the original prewar resonators that were made many years ago.
Morgan Monroe offers two models of Resophonic Guitars: The Rocky Top and the Bell Brass. The Rocky Top Resonator guitars come with aluminum-spun 10.5 inch cones, cast metal spiders and that traditional resonator sound that has become so integral to the blues and bluegrass genres. These guitars also feature open-pore satin finish to allow the most volume and maximize the tone created by the spruce soundboard.
National Resophonic-Guitars is arguably the most well-known resonator guitar builder on the market. They specialize in creating unique hand-crafted resonators made with steel, brass and tone woods. Many of these resonator guitars come with pickups for unique amplified guitar tones. All Naiontal resonators come with hand-spun aluminum cones for amplifying the guitar’s sound. These care classic, baby. Made in California in their own factory.
Rayco Resophonics builds high-end and hand-built resonator guitars that are surprisingly affordable. Their resonators’ deep wood grains (shown in the image to the left) are truly stunning. Every resonator made by Rayco Resophonics include solid-wood tops, sides and backs, a tone ring made from Baltic birch, four cone-supporting soundposts, ebony fingerboards, neck joints using dovetail techniques, quarterman cones, Schaller tuners and even a hard case. Truly wonderful resonator guitars.
Charles Shifflett, founder of Shifflett Guitars, builds square-neck dobro guitars for bluegrass music. These dobros feature flamed-maple exteriors on some models, Indian Rosewood on some models and solid woods on all dobro models (no plywood here). Shifflett likes to use the Quarterman cones due to their incredible tone and amplification properties.
Founder Chris Siegmund builds some very unique resonator guitars as can be seen in this resonator shown on the left. Many of his resonator guitars come with pickups (which he calls “resoletrics”) and are great for blues rock bands. All Siegmund resonator guitars are built by hand with incredible tone woods that Chris selects on his own. If you want to step out of the norm and into the world of unique resonators, check out Siegmund.
Tyler Mountain offers a variety of different Resphonic Guitars with traditional appearances. Their prices range from $400-$700 so they are an affordable option for guitarists looking to experiment with resonator guitar music.
Founded by Joseph Yanuziello, a student of sculpture and painting, Yanuziello String Instruments actually got its start as a fine furniture builder. With their first guitar (built in the late 1970s), the rest is history. Joseph builds these resonators and dobros one (or two) at a time through relationships with customers. This allows for full customization to be “built” into the process of creating these resonators.