First off, I'm not making this to sell, I'm making myself a 3 string to keep and play, I was deciding on about 3 different ways to go, but finally settled on a Resonator Build. So anybody and everybody who has one, built one or just knowledgeable, please chime in your .02 cents worth, I need some help with this build, so hopefully my many questions don't wear you out, especially if they've been answered before, I did do some research.

I'm using my homemade 8"x14"x2" oak box 3/16" thick. Nice grain, box joints, strong and fairly light so far. I'm purchasing a 7" Atkinson copper resonator, plan on making the neck and biscuit from the same oak. Possibly adding a fixed wood truss(even if overkill for a 3 string) Not sure on the fretboard, either rosewood or maple, leaning towards the maple, I plan on using 1/8" Birch plywood for the soundboard and back, "F" holes on or screened grommets on top, some nice closed 18-1 closed tuners, quality strings, open "G" tuning. I want a quality Git when I'm done.

That being said....

1) What kind of pickup, was thinking the 3 pole pigsquealer, but I have several 6pole single pups and a couple humbuckers and plenty of Piezo's. I know it should have decent volume and ring with a 7" Res, but want good quality sound electrically as well.

2) What kind of bracing support for the 1/8" soundboard, since I'm using a Res, I'm assuming bracing shouldn't kill off too much sound.

3) I plan on using a Zero Fret instead of a nut, What kind of angle/break would you apply to the neck to give plenty of strum area.

4) What size frets, I currently have some small 2mm sets.

5) Pots, volume only, volume and tone

6) Reverb Spring, good, bad, don't need it

7) Scale, was thinking 25.5"

Probably more questions to follow during the build, thanks in advance.


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I can give you my opinion on 1,5,6 .1 Neck Humbucker pickup .  5 No volume or tone pots,  From my experience the muddy the sound . 6 No reverb spring . The resonator cone is what I would want to hear . I am assuming you are building a guitar that is to be played acoustically , but has the option of being plugged in.

No volume or tone, wired straight and just use the amp for adjustments?

The only humbuckers I have are double humbucker 6poles, use or find someone making a 3 pole?

And thanks for the reply

Yup use your amp or pedals for tone and color adjustments . I use mini humbuckers neck position, 6 pole would be fine.

you assume correctly

do these humbucker pickup covers affect sound?

No, The gap between your strings and pickup is the major factor .

And so it begins, just ordered the 7" copper resonator from Atkinson, have most everything else I need, time to start working on the neck.

pic of oak 8x14" box so far

just came back from camping a couple days and found another neat bottle opener in their gift shop, only instead of using this one as a tailpiece, it becomes the saddle for one of my next'll see

hopefully a few more good days for camping before the weather gets too cold for tenting

Cut my oak neck pieces, and cut and glued my headstock scarf joint, trying to figure out what wood to use for my fixed wood truss rod, don't have a lot on hand, oak, poplar, pine. Buying some maple for the fingerboard, wood love to find a piece of Mahogany somewhere.

Just say no to the pine... I love Maple and Mahogany...

A mag pickup under the strings won't pick up much of the effect of a resonator, but a piezo on the underside of the resonator will, or a mag pickup set a millimeter or three under the center of the resonator will.

I'm really after the acoustic resonator sound, but also like the different tone when a mag pickup is used, what about both a mag and a piezo on the cone, with a 3 way switch, that will give me the res sound unplugged, a piezo plugged in res sound, and a mag sound? thoughts? I've seen multiple pickups on other git builds similar to that.

Maybe even a 5 way switch and have a mag piezo combined sound for an additional different sound...

Scarf joint set, now gluing some sides to the headstock to give me a creative palette....fancy way of saying I have no idea what I'm doing lol, really though, not sure what design I want, I've got a 3"x6" piece to work with.


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