i built my first resonator using a spun aluminum cone and was happy with the sound and tone however I didn’t have the right size screws to mount the steel cover at first. Once I did get the cover on it seemed the volume and maybe the tone had been reduced. The cone just sits on the top and without the cover is held there by the tension from the saddle the same as in a normal guitar. The cover screws go through the lip of the cone and so hold it tight to the top. I am going to take the top off and make sure I can hear the difference. If so I will either leave it off, make a small bridge of sheet metal over the bridge to rest my hand on or maybe build a lip or sound cone to support the cone the same as a full size guitar.  My question is has anyone else found using traditional setup of the cone to help with volume and resonance compared to attaching the cone with screws or bolts to the top? Just opinions welcomed also  thanks

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I personally wouldn't use the type of cone that screws to the top. The whole point of a reso cone is that it floats on the lip of a tone ring (or sound well). Not being connected - screwed or glued to anything - allows the cone to do what the name implies . . . resonate.

A tone ring is very easy to build out of baltic birch plywood, and easy to install. Here's a link with far more info than you could ever want. Though aimed at traditional guitars, the same principle applies to putting a reso cone in a cigar box.


Some years back when people started making them, I did experiment with one of those cones that screws to the top. Was not impressed. The tone and volume level is night day between those and a traditional cone/installation

Hi Robert, yes to what Blind Doughboy has said. I also place the cone in position, push down on the centre (bridge position) so simulate string pressure, then with the other hand I tap around the cone where it contacts the top using a finger, so as to highlite any areas of none contact.



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