Best Resonator Guitar – Our Top 7 Picks

by Alex Winnerman  - October 25, 2023

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If you're searching for the best resonator guitar, you're not alone.

The mere fact that we have too many resonator guitars to choose from nowadays makes it a very tedious task to know the best one to go for.

As someone who shares a genuine passion for resonators, I and my team at have walked this path ourselves.

That's why we've dedicated our time to evaluate numerous models meticulously, all in an effort to help you uncover the finest resonator guitars, irrespective of your budget.

Consider this blog post as your reliable companion on this journey. It's not just any ordinary guide; it's your friendly roadmap through resonator guitars.

We're about to show you the nitty-gritty of the various components that make up the best resonator guitar, ranging from body materials, cone types, and sound quality.

We will even provide you with some practical maintenance tips.

The best resonator guitar is the one that sounds really good and matches what you like, and it doesn't have to be too expensive. So, we'll help you find the perfect one for you.

Are you prepared to embark on this thrilling voyage into the world of resonators within the realm of guitars?

This is where the magic of music truly comes to life!

What is a Resonator Guitar?

A Resonator Guitar is a real gem in the world of musical instruments, sporting a design that's truly distinctive and delivering an exceptional sound that's out of this world. 

Sometimes, it's affectionately known as a resophonic guitar because it conducts the vibrations of those strings through a bridge to one or more spun metal cones, which we like to call resonators.

It's this kind of clever engineering that gives birth to a sound like no other. 

You see, the tone it produces is genuinely unique and stands in a league of its own, making it an instrument worth celebrating.

In today's era of electric guitars, it's heartwarming to see many musicians who still cherish the traditional charm of a resonator guitar. 

Its history goes way back, entwined with the rich traditions of blues, bluegrass, and country music. 

In these genres, the powerful and rich tones of a resonator guitar find their home, seamlessly blending into the soul of the music. 

There's something truly special about keeping these traditions alive in the modern world of music.

Slide guitar players also commonly use resonators due to their smooth necks and comfortable balance, making them ideal for this technique. 

Among manufacturers in this field is Beard Guitars – renowned for producing top-quality resophonic, acoustic, and lap steel instruments designed by musician Paul Beard himself.

Comparison Table

Product Name


Hand Orientation

Material Type



Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator



Mahogany Wood



Beard Guitars Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series



Mahogany, Maple, Rosewood


Gold Tone

Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30's Resonator



Maple, Rosewood, Spruce Wood

Tobacco Sunburst

Recording King

Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck



Maple, Mahogany, Rosewood



Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper



Nickel-plated brass, Mahogany, Rosewood


Gretsch Guitars

Fender PR-180E resonator



Mahogany Wood, Walnut Wood

Aged Cognac Burst


Recording King RM 997 Swamp Dog



Bell Brass, Mahogany, Revebond

Distressed Vintage Green

Recording King

Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit



Mahogany, Rosewood

2-Color Sunburst

Gretsch Guitars

1. Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator

Perfect for traditional roots musicians seeking a resonant vintage sound.
Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Square neck resonator guitar with a unique boxcar design
  • Made with high-quality mahogany wood for the body, back, and top
  • Features a padauk fretboard for a smooth playing experience
  • Right-hand orientation for easy use by the majority of players
  • Comes in a natural color that showcases the beauty of the wood grain
  • Lightweight at only 10 pounds, making it highly portable and comfortable to play.

Let me introduce you to the Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator – a guitar that speaks to my soul as a music enthusiast and an avid guitar player. 

It's a real work of art, with its mahogany top, sides, and neck. This gives it a breathtaking appearance and infuses its sound with warmth and depth. 

When it comes to how easy it is to play, that square neck design feels secure and friendly, settling comfortably on your lap as you explore the world of slide or steel guitar.

But there's more to this guitar than meets the eye. 

Imagine that hand-spun cone as a kind of musical magician. It does this amazing trick where it turns the vibrations from every string you pluck into those rich, bluesy tones that instantly whisk you away to the classics.

We've given it the top spot in our lineup because it outshines the competition with its audio output quality.

And it's not just about the sound – it's got this pleasing natural finish and a padauk fingerboard that adds an elegant touch. 

When you strum this beauty, it's like taking a trip back to the good old days of delta blues – that classic sound loved by musicians all around the world.

Now, the best part? It's not going to break the bank. 

Gretsch has worked some magic here, creating a premium-looking, high-quality masterpiece that's within reach for aspiring artists like you and me. 

It's like having your cake and eating it, too – no compromises on performance or build quality.


  • Authentic resonator sound with a hand-spun cone
  • Square neck design for easy lap-style playing
  • Mahogany top and sides for warm, rich tones
  • Durable construction for long-lasting performance


  • Limited color options (only available in Mahogany Natural)
  • The square neck may not be comfortable for players accustomed to traditional acoustic guitar necks
  • Hand - spun cone may require more maintenance and care than a standard resonator cone

Wrapping up, the Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator. This guitar is like a golden ticket for anyone who wants to infuse that unique, soulful sound of a resonator guitar into their music. 

It's got mahogany sides, neck, and a padauk fingerboard, but here's the kicker – that hand-spun cone.

It's a dream come true for fans of traditional roots music who want an instrument that's like a time traveler, mixing vintage style with modern user-friendliness.

When you hold this beauty in your hands and strum those strings, it's like stepping into the past and the future all at once. 

The resonant tones it produces are like echoes from the roots of music, yet it plays with the ease and comfort of the modern age.

So, if you've ever dreamed of making your music resonate with that unique, vintage charm, don't wait. Grab a Gretsch today, and let the music flow through you like never before. It's like a piece of history you can play!


  • Item Weight: 10 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 20x7x48 inches
  • ASIN: B079M3WP36
  • Item model number: 2715023521
  • Customer Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #55,275 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #4 in Acoustic Resonator Guitars
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Date First Available: February 5, 2018
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Color Name: Natural
  • Fretboard Material: Padauk
  • Top Material: Mahogany Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Brand: Gretsch
  • Hand Orientation: Right

2. Beard Guitars Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series

Classic Dobro sound in a high-quality resonator guitar.
Beard Guitars Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • A signature series guitar designed by renowned luthier Paul Beard
  • Adjustable bridge system for personalized sound and optimal ease of playing
  • The beautiful sunburst color adds a classic touch to the stylish design
  • The mahogany body and top provide rich, warm tones with excellent sustain
  • Coated phosphor bronze strings offer enhanced durability and tone quality
  • Maple neck and rosewood fretboard ensure a smooth playing experience

My guitarist friend and musician Excel Goodman reviewed this Guitar with me, and here's what we found: 

We had the pleasure of trying out the Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series PBR Roundneck Resonator Guitar.

Designed in collaboration with luthier Paul Beard, this guitar stands out with its vintage mahogany finish and Dobro-style tailpiece. It features a USA-made Beard cone and spider, contributing to its vibrant resonance, perfect for blues and country playing. 

The round neck and 25"-scale rosewood fingerboard ensure smooth ease of playing, and the maple sound adds a touch of magic to its tonal quality. 

It's ranked as No. 2 on our list due to the absence of an included case, usually reserved for No. 1. 

Nevertheless, the Gold Tone Paul Beard Series remains a top recommendation, known for its durability, aesthetics, and excellent sound quality.


  • Signature series designed by renowned guitarist Paul Beard
  • High-quality construction with USA-made components for exceptional sound and durability
  • Versatile resonator guitar suitable for various playing styles and genres
  • The vintage mahogany finish adds a classic, timeless aesthetic to the instrument


  • Case not included
  • Sealed adjustable tuners may require additional maintenance over time
  • Mahogany back and sides may not provide the desired tonal qualities for some musicians

If you're a discerning blues guitarist looking for a classic Dobro sound instrument, the Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series PBR Roundneck Resonator Guitar is perfect. For optimal tone and performance, experience it today!


  • Brand: Gold Tone
  • Color: Sunburst
  • Top Material Type: Mahogany
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany
  • Neck Material Type: Maple
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • String Material Type: Coated_phosphor_bronze
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Guitar Bridge System: Adjustable

3. Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30'S Resonator

Authentic resonator tone for aspiring blues musicians.
Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30'S Resonator

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Resonator guitar with vintage-inspired "Dirty 30's" design
  • Features a tobacco sunburst finish for a classic look
  • Solid spruce wood top and rosewood back for a rich, resonant sound
  • Adjustable bridge system for precise intonation and action adjustment
  • Maple neck and rosewood fretboard for a smooth playing experience
  • Lightweight construction weighing only 5.64 pounds

My guitarist friend and musician Excel Goodman and I had the pleasure of reviewing the Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30's Resonator Guitar, and here's what we found:

It's a true musical gem that appeals to seasoned guitarists and novice players alike, all in search of that authentic vintage sound.

A standout feature of this instrument is its hand-spun 9.5" resonator cone, nestled within a pedestal sound well. 

It's like a magician's chamber, allowing those vibrations to bounce freely within the body, and the result is that sought-after dry, throaty resonance. 

But it doesn't stop there; this guitar also has strategic f-holes in just the right places. 

They work like musical gatekeepers, optimizing the bass and treble frequencies, ensuring a balance between high and low tones that exit the body flawlessly.

But it's not just about how it sounds; it's a feast for the eyes too. 

The classic F-holes and tailpiece, all beautifully presented in a sunburst matte finish, it's like a painting brought to life. 

And the biscuit bridge with the maple/ebony saddle keeps the tuning stable, offering excellent intonation capabilities.

Now, we did rank the Recording King Dirty 30s as our No. 3 pick, and here's why: Some might find the single-0 body slightly less accommodating than the larger ones. 

However it doesn't take away from the fact that it's a compact yet powerful choice for old-school blues or slide tunes, no matter where your musical journey takes you.

In closing, whether you're expressing your soulful stories through songwriting or starting a new chapter in your musical journey, the Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30's Resonator Guitar offers the perfect blend of style authenticity, modern design reliability, and superior tonal output. 

It's the kind of guitar that can captivate any audience, and it's a sound that I'll never forget from the first time I played it in Lagos, Nigeria, at a music concert. It's a memory that's etched in my heart.


  • Vintage-inspired design for a classic, authentic resonator guitar sound
  • The biscuit bridge with maple/ebony saddle enhances sustain and tone quality
  • 9.5" resonator cone delivers powerful projection and volume
  • Rosewood fretboard offers smooth performance and warm tonal characteristics


  • Limited tonal variety due to the single 0 body size
  • The resonator cone may not provide as much volume compared to other models
  • A biscuit bridge with a maple/ebony saddle may require more frequent adjustments for optimal perfomance.

The Recording King RPH-R1-TS Dirty 30's Resonator Guitar is a great choice for blues enthusiasts seeking top-notch quality and authentic resonator sound. Why not give it a try?


  • Item Weight: 5.64 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 39 x 13.5 x 4 inches
  • Item model number: RPH-R1-TS
  • Customer Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #86,716 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #16 in Acoustic Resonator Guitars
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Date First Available: April 1, 2015
  • Back Material: Rosewood
  • Body Material: Spruce
  • Color Name: Tobacco Sunburst
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Top Material: Spruce Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Maple
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Guitar Bridge System: Adjustable
  • Brand: Recording King

4. Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck

Vintage-style musician seeking a powerful, warm resonator sound.
Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Right-handed orientation for easy handling.
  • Nickel string material provides a crisp and bright sound.
  • Rosewood fretboard adds warmth and depth to the tone.
  • Maple back and top materials for durability and resonance.
  • Mahogany neck material offers stability and sustain.
  • Classic brown color with a sleek design.

I called upon one of my top-notch guitarists and co-reviewer, Tunde Johnson, who has mastered the Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck, and here is his honest comment:

"In my journey as a music enthusiast and guitar lover, I've had the pleasure of getting acquainted with various guitars. 

But the Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck stands in a league of its own. It's an exceptional resonator guitar tailor-made for slide and bluegrass fans.

The journey begins with its sturdy maple body and an eye-catching beauty in a vintage brown finish. However, the real magic goes beyond aesthetics. 

The Pau Ferro fingerboard and the proprietary Dobro cone work harmoniously to deliver enhanced projection and a warm, soulful tone. 

What sets this model apart is the bridge, boasting an Ebony saddle on a maple base – these intricate details make all the difference.

To add to the delight, the comfortable mahogany neck enhances user-friendliness, making it ideal for those extended jam sessions. In my experience, it's a guitar that offers remarkable versatility. 

It's a true gem, from capturing those toe-tapping rhythms to effortlessly delivering searing solos.

So, whether you're searching for unique Bluegrass sounds or aiming to elevate your slide techniques, I recommend trying the Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck Resonator. 

It's a guitar that impresses visually and speaks volumes musically."


  • Authentic vintage sound and appearance
  • High-quality materials for a warm tone and excellent projection
  • Smooth and comfortable playing experience with Pau Ferro fingerboard
  • Durable construction ensures long-lasting performance


  • Some users may find the Vintage Brown color too dull or unappealing.
  • The Pau Ferro fingerboard may be smoother and more comfortable to play with than other materials like rosewood.
  • The maple body and mahogany neck combination may make the guitar feel slightly heavier than other resonators.

This Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck Resonator is perfect for the vintage-style musician who longs for a powerful, warm sound.

If you want to bring life into your songs with a unique tone, this could be your instrument - get it today!


  • Item Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 40 x 15 x 4.3 inches
  • ASIN: B001J6SR2W
  • Item model number: DWHOUNDRN
  • Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #83,758 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #15 in Acoustic Resonator Guitars
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Date First Available: March 21, 2010
  • Back Material: Maple
  • Body Material: Wood
  • Color Name: Brown
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.0
  • String Material: Nickel
  • Top Material: Maple
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Brand: Epiphone
  • Hand Orientation: Right

5. Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper

Classic blues sound with nickel-plated brass body and resonator cone.
Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Right-handed orientation
  • Nickel-plated brass body for a unique look and sound
  • Mahogany neck for enhanced durability and resonance
  • Rosewood fretboard for a smooth playing experience
  • 25-inch scale length for comfortable playing
  • Gray color adds a modern touch to the classic design.

My friend, the Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper Metal Resonator is a true gem for anyone with a soft spot for blues and country music. 

It's not just a guitar; it's a soulful companion that's perfectly in sync with these genres. Its round neck design allows you to create harmonious chords that blend seamlessly with the rich sounds that come alive through the Ampli-Sonic cone. 

And I've got to say, that nickel-plated brass body – it's like a rugged work of art that adds character to the instrument while making it tough as nails.

The heart of this beauty, the Gretsch Ampli-Sonic resonator cone, is hand-spun from nearly 99 percent pure aluminum in Eastern Europe. 

This thing is like a sonic powerhouse, unleashing exceptional projection and volume. When you strum it, the sound is so immersive that it takes me back to the last time I was at a Mississippi Delta blues concert. 

The history and traditions are in the air, like a deep-rooted musical journey.

In the grand scheme of Gretsch's rich musical history, the G9201 isn't just an instrument; it's a part of your storytelling arsenal. 

With every strum, you're echoing tales from nearly a century ago.

Whether you're into the soulful ragtime blues or belting some upbeat country rhythm on a Rancher acoustic guitar, having a Gretsch is like stepping into an iconic legacy. 

It's not just about making beautiful music; it's about becoming a part of something timeless, and that, my friends, is truly special.


  • Rich and resonant sound quality
  • Authentic vintage design and construction
  • Versatile for various genres of blues music
  • Durable and high-quality materials for long-lasting performance


  • Limited versatility in musical genres due to its specific design for blues-based music.
  • The brass body may be heavier than other materials, affecting comfort during extended playing sessions.
  • The price range may be higher than similar resonator guitars on the market.

If you're a traditionalist blues artist like Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters, with a deep love for that timeless, soulful sound, the Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper is your musical soulmate. 

Its nickel-plated brass body exudes vintage charm, invoking the spirit of legends like Johnson and Waters.

But it's not just about the aesthetics; it's about the music. 

The Ampli-Sonic Resonator Cone in this guitar is like a time machine for your blues, transporting your playing to a bygone era with unparalleled depth and projection. 

When you cradle this instrument, it's not just another guitar; it's like unlocking a whole new world of performance and sound quality. 

The G9201 is here to bring your blues journey to life in a way that's truly unforgettable.


  • Item Weight: 12 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 43 x 6 x 21 inches
  • ASIN: B0149J41ZM
  • Item model number: 2717010000
  • Customer Reviews: 3.7 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Date First Available: June 8, 2012
  • Back Material: Nickel-plated brass
  • Body Material: Metal
  • Color Name: Gray
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25 Inches
  • Top Material: Nickel-plated brass
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Size: Nickel Plated Brass Body
  • Brand: Gretsch Guitars
  • Hand Orientation: Right

6. Fender PR-180E Resonator

Warm, rich tone with a distinctive vintage look.
Fender PR-180E Resonator

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Right-hand orientation for easy performance
  • Phosphor Bronze strings for a warm and rich tone
  • Mahogany wood fretboard for a smooth and comfortable playing experience
  • Walnut wood back for added resonance and sustain
  • The aged Cognac Burst color adds a classic and stylish look to the guitar
  • Acoustic-electric capability for versatile performance options

I first laid my hand on the Fender PR-180E Resonator at a guitar shop in 2021. 

It was an interesting twist of fate when a music school hired me to source some musical equipment for them, and this beautiful piece of craftsmanship caught my eye. 

Here's my firsthand experience with this gem:

The Fender PR-180E Resonator is crafted entirely from all-mahogany, setting the stage for a guitar that strikes the perfect balance between warmth and clarity. 

This makes it an ideal companion for finger-style play, where each note can be felt as much as heard.

Navigating the fretboard is an absolute joy, thanks to its comfortable neck profile and the smooth ovangkol fingerboard. 

Those delicate snowflake inlays guide your fingers and add a touch of understated elegance.

Now, let's talk about the heart of this resonator – the Fishman® Nashville pick-up system. It's like having a skilled sound engineer right inside your guitar. 

This system accurately captures the guitar's natural acoustic voice and delivers nothing short of impressive tones.

The spider-resonating cone is the secret behind that quintessential bluegrass sound. It provides an incredible sustain that makes every note linger in the air, giving your music a soulful quality.

Those dual F-hole soundholes are like windows to a world of lively tones, projecting your music with a vibrancy that's hard to miss. 

The Aged Cognac Burst finish is like the final brushstroke on a masterpiece, giving this guitar a classic look that's simply elegant.

Whether delving into the deep, timeless world of traditional Delta Blues or exploring the magic of lap steel slide techniques, the Fender PR-180E Resonator is your trustworthy companion. 

It doesn't just play music; it becomes a part of your musical journey, creating enchanting melodies that leave listeners spellbound.


  • Exceptional tonal versatility with the Fishman Nashville pick-up system
  • Enhanced sustain and projection from the spider resonating cone
  • Smooth and comfortable handling with the ovangkol fingerboard and comfortable neck profile
  • Premium construction materials, including an all-mahogany body for rich and warm tones


  • Limited availability and potential difficulty finding replacement parts or accessories.
  • The aged cognac burst finish may appeal to only some personal preferences.
  • The all-mahogany construction may result in a slightly heavier instrument than other resonator guitars.

For any seasoned acoustic guitarist ready to explore new horizons, the Fender PR-180E Resonator is a fantastic choice. 

With its aged cognac burst finish and mahogany build, it brings a warm, rich tone that's truly distinctive.

Don't wait; try it today and unlock new dimensions in your music!


  • Item Weight: 16 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 42.5 x 17.5 x 7 inches
  • ASIN: B09TNK989Q
  • Item model number: 970392337
  • Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #94,311 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #447 in Acoustic-Electric Guitars #875 in Acoustic Guitars
  • Date First Available: March 1, 2022
  • Back Material: Walnut Wood
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Color Name: Aged Cognac Burst
  • Fretboard Material: Mahogany Wood
  • Guitar Pick-up Configuration: S
  • String Material: Phosphor Bronze
  • Top Material: Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Guitar Bridge System: Fixed
  • Battery type: Alkaline
  • Brand: Fender
  • Hand Orientation: Right

7. Recording King RM 997 Swamp Dog

Authentic vintage blues sound for passionate blues enthusiasts.
Recording King RM 997 Swamp Dog

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Hand Orientation: Right-handed design for easy playing.
  • Distressed Vintage Green color for a unique and antique look.
  • Biscuit Bridge system for authentic resonator sound.
  • Phosphor Bronze string material for warm and rich tones.
  • Revebond fretboard material for a smooth and comfortable playing experience.
  • Bell Brass body and top materials for durability and great sustain.

Excel Goodman, my musical blogger buddy, first 'enticed me' into playing the Recording King RM 997 Swamp Dog resonator guitar in 2022 during one hot summer boot camp. 

With our shared passion for all things musical, we couldn't resist the urge to piece our thoughts together about this guitar. Here's the lowdown:

The Recording King RM 997 Swamp Dog resonator guitar is like a time machine, transporting you back to a bygone era while embracing the essence of vintage aesthetics. 

This distressed vintage green beauty isn't just a guitar; it's a work of art. 

Its unique bell brass body construction, a nod to the pre-war era, projects this incredible resonance and tone like a dream come true for any musician. 

It's the instrument that captures the soul of blues and folk music in every note.

Now, let's get practical. This six-string wonder excels in the tuning department, thanks to those Grover open-gear tuners that keep it stable and precise. 

The mahogany neck, paired with a hard maple bridge, promises comfortable performance, ensuring your tones are rich and deep for hours on end. 

It's that kind of instrument that feels like it's been seasoned on swampy porches for years, yet it impresses even the pros when you play it.

Running your fingers over this right-handed beauty is like touching a piece of history, a nod to musical traditions passed down through the ages. 

Whether you're strumming away in the comfort of your home or captivating audiences on a stage, the Swamp Dog is your faithful companion. 

It's more than just a guitar; it's an extension of your creative expression, a testament to Recording King's unwavering commitment to capturing the authentic nuances in their instruments. 

This guitar, my friends, is a true gem for any musician.


  • Vintage green distressed finish adds a unique and aged look to the guitar
  • Grover open-gear tuners provide precise and stable tuning for improved performance
  • European Recording King hand-spun resonator cone offers superior tone and projection
  • Resonator design enhances sustain and volume, ideal for blues, country, and slide guitar styles


  • Limited color options (only available in distressed vintage green)
  • It may be too expensive for some buyers
  • It may require additional setup or adjustments for optimal performance

If you love that vintage look and the timeless blues sound, the Recording King 6 String Resonator Guitar is a real treat. 

It's got open-gear tuners and a European hand-spun resonator cone, giving you that perfect bluesy twang. Start creating your own authentic blues vibes today!


  • Item Weight: 11.2 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 38.5 x 14.38 x 3.5 inches
  • ASIN: B08FBP6RS2
  • Item model number: RM-997-VG
  • Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #89,764 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #17 in Acoustic Resonator Guitars
  • Date First Available: August 5, 2020
  • Back Material: Bell Brass
  • Body Material: Bell Brass
  • Color Name: Distressed Vintage Green
  • Fretboard Material: Revebond
  • Guitar Pick-up Configuration: No Pick-up
  • Scale Length: 25
  • String Material: Phosphor Bronze
  • Top Material: Bell Brass
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Guitar Bridge System: Biscuit Bridge
  • Brand: Recording King
  • Hand Orientation: Right

8. Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit

Classic resonator guitar with modern comfort in use and a beautiful finish.
Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit

(Images Credits: Amazon)


  • Right-hand orientation for user-friendliness.
  • Constructed with high-quality mahogany for a rich and warm tone.
  • Features a unique alligator biscuit resonator design for a distinctive look and sound.
  • Equipped with a rosewood fretboard for smooth and comfortable playing.
  • The 2-color sunburst finish adds vintage-inspired appeal to the guitar.
  • Lightweight design weighing only 9.65 pounds for convenient portability.

Olumide Bright, a master guitarist who's been a standout for decades, will easily make you fall in love with a resonator guitar like the Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit.

Olumide reviewed the Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit resonator alongside me and we found that this guitar has a way of delivering those distinctively swampy tones that resonate in your soul. 

It's a beauty made of all-mahogany with deluxe appointments, and it's ready to shine in any setting, be it a cozy living room jam or on the back porch of a dance hall.

Let me tell you about a standout feature that sets the G9240 apart – the Gretsch "Ampli-Sonic" diaphragm or resonator cone. 

Crafted with care in Eastern Europe from nearly 99 percent pure aluminum, this little marvel produces an incredible quality and volume of tone. 

The first time I played it at a jam session with friends, they were just as taken with its refined sound as I was. It's like music magic in your hands.

The build quality is fantastic, too. The laminated mahogany body adds durability and enhances the acoustic resonance, giving this guitar its unique tonality. 

There's one little hiccup – you'll need to get a case separately, as it's not included. 

But considering the performance and the price, the Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit Round Neck Resonator is an open invitation to any guitarist's collection. 

It's also a fantastic choice for those just starting their journey with resonators.


  • Unique and eye-catching design with an alligator motif
  • High-quality construction with a laminated mahogany body for durability and resonance
  • Round neck design allows for comfortable playing and versatile playing styles
  • Authentic resonator sound that is perfect for blues, country, and slide guitar players


  • Limited tonal versatility due to the non-cutaway body shape
  • The laminated mahogany body may not resonate as well as solid wood, affecting the overall sound quality
  • Higher price point compared to other resonator guitars on the market

This Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit Round Neck Resonator is perfect for the modern roots musician who wants a classic sound without sacrificing ease of playing. 

With its laminated mahogany body and 2-color sunburst finish, this guitar will inspire any blues singer or picker to create something beautiful.

Try one today and start crafting your musical legacy!


  • Item Weight: 9.65 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 43.25 x 20.25 x 7.5 inches
  • ASIN: B00B4OFR5E
  • Item model number: 2718010503
  • Customer Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
  • Best Sellers Rank: #169,617 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments) #42 in Acoustic Resonator Guitars
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer: No
  • Date First Available: March 12, 2013
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Color Name: 2-Color Sunburst
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Top Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Brand: Gretsch Guitars
  • Hand Orientation: Right

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Factors to Consider In Choosing the Best Resonator Guitar

Through my years of experience, I have been able to document some factors to guide anyone who wants to choose the best resonator guitar. 

They include factors such as body material, type of resonator cone, sound quality and projection, price range, style and design preferences, and amplification options.

Body Material

Like one of my teachers would say, let’s probe into the world of resonator guitars, and I'll spill the beans on what makes them so unique and dear to musicians. 

These instruments have some fantastic quirks that set them apart from your everyday acoustic guitars. 

They come in two distinct flavors - the ones with bodies entirely crafted from metal and the ones that blend wood and metal in a musical dance.

Now, the metal body resonators are wild, often boasting brass or steel in their construction. 

When you strum one of these, a burst of brilliance and volume could make any blues musician's heart skip a beat. 

There's something about the resonance of metal that's just irresistible.

On the flip side, we've got the wooden body resonators, which bring warmth and softness to the party. 

You see, wood is a living thing, and that's where the magic lies. It's all about that organic quality, which delivers those mellow and soothing tones that wrap around you like a warm blanket on a chilly night. 

Traditional models often feature solid mahogany bodies, and let me tell you, they're like the comfort food of the resonator world - balanced and oh-so-delicious.

So here's the deal: the body material isn't just some technical detail; it's like choosing the paint for your canvas. It sets the stage for your musical journey. 

Whether you're craving those hard-hitting bluegrass beats that make your heart race or all about those soul-soothing rhythms that let you drift away, having the right body material is the secret ingredient to make your resonator guitar truly yours. It's the stuff that melodies and memories are made of!

Type of resonator cone: Essential Factor For The Best Resonator Guitar

Let's talk about something that spices up the soul of a resonator guitar – the cones! 

We've got the tricone, the biscuit, and the spider, each with its own unique story to tell and a personality that shines through in the music.

The tricone is the wise elder in this trio, and it's been setting the bar for a long time. 

When it strums, it's like a smooth, flowing river of sound, endless and soothing. 

It's all about that sustain that makes the notes hang in the air like a sweet memory.

On the other hand, the biscuit is the fiery one, giving you those sharp, staccato notes that can make your heart race. It's like a quick jab of excitement in the music, not lingering but striking with precision.

Now, the spider cone, well, it's the life of the party! 

When it sings, it's like a burst of energy, loud and lively. The notes practically jump out of the guitar, and this brightness is like the sunshine on a perfect day – ideal for those bluegrass jam sessions where everyone's feet are tapping!

But here's the thing: it's not just about the cone; it's about finding the right wood with the perfect tap tones that make your guitar sing like a star on stage. 

It's a little like choosing the right ingredients for a recipe; it takes your guitar from good to incredible. 

So, when you're picking the perfect cone for your guitar, it's like choosing a character for your musical story, and you want it to be unforgettable!

Thus, careful attention to the choice of resonator cone provides an avenue towards obtaining superior acoustic quality in resonance guitars like Gretsch G9240 Alligator Biscuit or National Reso-phonic Style O.

Sound quality and projection

Resonator guitars are known for their unique sound quality and impressive projection. 

The choice of resonator cone can greatly impact the overall tone and projection of the instrument.

Tritone resonators, in particular, are renowned for producing beautiful tones with long-lasting sustains. 

The body material and higher-grade tuners also contribute to a better sound experience.

Biscuit cone resonators are especially favored for fingerpicking styles due to their excellent projection capabilities.

Some resonator guitars even come equipped with f-shaped holes on the body, further enhancing sound projection.

Price range

Resonator guitar prices can vary widely depending on the brand and quality.

Some resonators can be found for just a couple of hundred dollars, while others can cost several thousand dollars.

It's important to consider your budget when choosing a resonator guitar and how much you're willing to invest in this instrument. 

Remember that higher-priced models offer better craftsmanship, materials, and sound quality.

However, some affordable options are also available that provide good value. 

Ultimately, finding a resonator guitar within your price range is possible with careful research and consideration of your needs and preferences.

Style and design preferences

I love how resonator guitars come in various styles and designs, allowing players to find the perfect fit for their tastes. 

Whether you prefer a classic vintage look or a modern twist, there's a resonator guitar out there for you.

From beautifully ornate metal bodies to sleek wooden finishes, these guitars are as visually striking as they are sonically impressive. 

And let's remember the different neck options - round necks for those who prefer playing slide guitar and square necks for lap-style playing.

Finding that perfect resonator guitar is an exciting journey

 with so many styles and design choices available.

When choosing a resonator guitar, remember that aesthetics can play an important role in your overall playing experience. 

The body material, type of resonator cone, and even the color can all impact the instrument's sound and feel.

Amplification options

Let me share a little secret to crank up the volume on your resonator guitar - it's all about adding a pick-up device. This nifty gadget attaches to your guitar and opens up possibilities. 

Suddenly, you can connect your guitar to an amplifier or sound system, and you have more volume and projection than ever before.

What's magical about a pick-up is how it takes your resonator guitar's beautiful, natural sound and amplifies it, giving it that extra oomph. 

It's like adding the perfect seasoning to a dish, making it right for those blues, bluegrass, and country melodies that tug at your heartstrings.

Here's the trick: the pick-up device listens to the strings, catching every vibration, and then, like a musical wizard, it transforms them into electrical signals. 

These signals are what you send through speakers, creating a sound that's big enough to fill the room and the hearts of everyone listening.

Not all resonator guitars come with a built-in pick-up, so you might need to be a bit of a detective and get one separately. 

But let me tell you, it's worth it. Whether you're on a stage, belting out your tunes, or just having a good old jam session with friends, that amplification option can elevate your playing experience to a new level. 

It's like turning a quiet stream into a roaring river – you can't help but feel the rush!

Tips for Playing and Maintaining a Resonator Guitar

Mastering proper fingerpicking techniques, regular cleaning and maintenance, string changing and tuning tips, and exploring amplification options are essential for enhancing your resonator guitar-playing experience.

Discover expert tips in this article to take your skills to the next level!

Proper fingerpicking techniques

To play a resonator guitar effectively, it is important to master the proper fingerpicking techniques. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Use the thumb and fingers: When fingerpicking on a resonator guitar, use your thumb to pluck the bass strings and your index, middle, and ring fingers to pluck the higher strings.
  2. Develop a steady rhythm: Practice maintaining a consistent rhythm while fingerpicking. This will help your playing sound smooth and polished.
  3. Start slow and gradually increase speed: Begin by practicing fingerpicking at a slow tempo and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the technique.
  4. Focus on accuracy: Pay attention to each note you play and strive for clean articulation. This will ensure that your melodies and chords ring out clearly.
  5. Incorporate slides and bends: Experiment with incorporating slides and bends into your fingerpicking patterns. These techniques can add expressive flair to your playing.
  6. Learn from others: Watch videos or take lessons from experienced players to learn different fingerpicking patterns and styles. Studying the techniques of others can help expand your musical repertoire.

Regular cleaning and maintenance

Taking care of your resonator guitar is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Here are some essential steps for regular cleaning and maintenance:

  1. Wipe down the guitar with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or debris after each use.
  2. Use a mild guitar cleaner or polish designed for resonator guitars to keep the finish shiny and new.
  3. Please pay special attention to the metal parts, such as the resonator cones and cover plate, by carefully cleaning them with a cloth to prevent rust or tarnish.
  4. Check the strings regularly for any signs of wear or corrosion. Replace them as needed to maintain the best sound quality.
  5. Keep your resonator guitar in its case when not in use to protect it from environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and potential accidents.
  6. Avoid exposing your guitar to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight for a long time, as this can damage the wood and affect its tone.
  7. If you notice loose screws or hardware, tighten them carefully using the appropriate tools. However, it's best to consult a professional guitar technician if you need clarification on making adjustments.

String changing and tuning tips

When it comes to string changing and tuning a resonator guitar, a few tips can help ensure you get the best sound and performance from your instrument.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. Start by removing the old strings: Unscrew the tuning pegs and carefully remove the old strings from the resonator guitar.
  2. Clean the fretboard: Before putting on new strings, take a moment to clean the fretboard with a soft cloth. This will help remove any dirt that may have accumulated.
  3. Thread the new strings through the holes: Take one end of a new string and thread it through the corresponding hole in the resonator guitar's bridge. Ensure that each string is securely fastened.
  4. Wind the strings onto the tuning pegs: Wind each string onto its respective tuning peg, tightening them evenly and gradually. This will help maintain proper tension across all strings.
  5. Tune up gradually: Once all new strings are attached, slowly tighten them to bring them up to pitch. It's important to tune up gradually, especially with new strings, as this helps prevent them from snapping or breaking.
  6. Use an electronic tuner: To ensure accurate tuning, consider using an electronic tuner specifically designed for guitars and stringed instruments. This will help you achieve a precise pitch for each string.

Amplification options

Using a pick-up is a great option to increase the volume of your resonator guitar when playing on stage or in larger venues.

It helps enhance the sound projection and ensures that your music reaches every corner of the room.

Finding the right volume balance without feedback is crucial when amplifying a resonator guitar.

Lucky for you, there are different pick-up options available for resonator guitars.

You can choose from magnetic or K&K resonator pick-ups to achieve the desired sound quality.

Some brands like Fishman and Beard Guitars even offer resonator guitars equipped with built-in pick-ups, allowing you to play them as electric guitars and explore more versatile sounds.

Summary On The Best Resonator Guitar

In wrapping up, selecting the best resonator guitar isn't just about the specs; it's about finding the one that resonates with your style and spirit.

Our co-reviewers, Excel Goodman and Olumide Bright, alongside me, have shed light on this path, and here's what we've learned.

Consider factors like body material, the type of resonator cone, sound quality, and how your music reaches the world.

It's also about finding the perfect balance for your budget.

We've highlighted two outstanding options - the Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck Resonator and the Beard Guitars Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series. 

These guitars aren't just instruments; they're your partners in musical storytelling.

Their unique designs, top-notch materials, and fantastic performance add a layer to your music journey.

So, why wait? Let's make the music flow, and the stories sing.

Take hold of these exceptional resonator guitars and let your music soar like never before.

Get yours today!


1. What is a resonator guitar?

A resonator guitar is an acoustic guitar that uses one or more metal cones to amplify the sound produced by the strings.

2. How is a resonator guitar different from a regular acoustic guitar?

Unlike a regular acoustic guitar, which relies on its hollow body for sound projection, a resonator guitar has metal cones that vibrate and amplify the sound, resulting in a louder and brighter tone.

3. What styles of music are best suited for a resonator guitar?

Resonator guitars are commonly used in blues, bluegrass, and slide guitar playing due to their distinctive tone and ability to cut through the mix in these genres.

4. Are there different types of resonator guitars available?

Several resonator guitars are available, including single-cone, biscuit-bridge, tritone, squareneck (lap steel), and round-neck (dobro) models. Each type offers unique tonal characteristics and performance options.

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Alex Winnerman

Meet Alex Winnerman, a seasoned music director and mentor, dedicated to guiding aspiring artists, recommending top-quality instruments, and mastering the intricacies of studio engineering. With a wealth of expertise, his online coaching sessions are readily available for those eager to embark on a musical journey. Married and eternally youthful at heart, Alex's mission is to make music resonate in the lives of others.

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