Very cool. I've never seen one of these before, and i thought i've seen almost everything!
The idea of an electrified resonator guitar is particularly interesting to me because i play an instrument called a sarangi, which has a very resonant tone, it's made out of wood with a goat skin resonating head, akin to the mechanics of a banjo. And I've always wanted to build a metal sarangi, ideally an electrified one. I have typical acoustic sarangis outfitted with contact transducers, but i know a metal resonating body with guitar type pickups would be very cool.
Congrats on your newest acquisition! I imagine it sounds great both unplugged and electrified.
Thanks yes, it does sound good and very different to my normal electrics and acoustic. The acoustic tone is great for playing banjo-ish parts, as expected. The electric tone is more hollow-body electric with a bit of the res coming through. I've been having fun with a slightly dirty amp doing rockabilly with it. But I will figure out how to more directly capture that resonator tone and mix it - and I'm thinking either a piezo or a small mic built in.
Some thoughts: did you ease off the strings for transit? Also- ensured that the strings cannot bump on the case innards? Such impacts are not conducive to cone health! My cone measures 8 thou' in thickness.
Internal mics on resos can be very boomy and piezos don't really capture the reso *tone*. Well a Highlander gets part way there but I don't think you'll be aiming for one of those. Check out Sixtus pickups. I have a DPA installed inside mine and I confess it's a work in progress. If you do go the internal mic route like I have done, It'll work far better above the cone just beneath the cover plate. Try playing notes and putting your thumb over the "F" hole circles- you'll soon get why an external mic is the way to go.
In my admittedly very limited experience, the best way to amplify a resonator is with a good ole SM57 and the skill to know how to "work" the mic.
I'd be interested to know whether it has a neck stick and requisite "mushroom" supports. Also whether the cone is spun or stamped. The break angle over the biscuit can be fairly critical to driving the cone or choking it. In that light, "understringing" on the tailpiece should be avoided if only by mistake ... As well, disturbing the cone should be avoided which means restringing one at a time. If all strings have to come off when you want to go inside, gradually release the tension on the strings equally. Same when stringing up again. Sorry if this is teaching you to suck eggs.
If it sounds as good as it looks you're onto a winner. When I first got my reso I think I barely played anything else for a couple of years. They can be very beguiling. Enjoy it John- they're a lot of fun.
I did slacken off a few semitones for the flight. Seems ok.
I've not yet gotten my head all the way around how a resonator really works. But ill definately try it just with a simple external mic (I have a nice Rode M1) And then maybe a small external lapel mic fixed to the cover above the bridge.