11/11/2016

2000s Gold Tone PBR Dobro-style Roundneck Resonator Guitar





This is another customer guitar and I'm posting by way of a sort-of review after sprucing it up a bit. The owner uses this instrument for outside, acoustic performances and -- yes -- it'll handle that, for sure. It's a quite warm-sounding, lots-of-volume resonator and half of that comes from the spider-bridge configuration (Dobro-style) with its good-quality Beard cone under the hood and the other half comes from a bigger, 12-fret body style with deep sides.

As is true with most Gold Tone products (here's the specs for the PBR), this one is sprayed with a thick, gloss finish that immediately screams "Asian import!" The neck, while toting a wide 1 3/4" nut, definitely feels modern with its flatter (14"?) radius and slim-ish C-shaped rear profile. These are distractions for me (I prefer a steeper radius on a bigger front-to-back neck), but they certainly don't hamper playability. It's also apparently been a very stable-in-service instrument for its owner.



The truss works as it should and the big, Rotomatic tuners do as well.


Work on this one included a fret level/dress and a good setup. The rosewood board has bigger frets and pearl dots.


This has a 25" scale length which is roughly equivalent to old Nationals. I find that most old Dobros had 24" scales.




The saddles don't come compensated from the factory, so I compensated them and then rotated the cone slightly to set the compensated angle for it. After that I "tacked" it in place with a tiny little set screw installed through the top edge of the soundwell (where the cone rests).

I find that half the recurring intonation problems people get with resonators is from the cones moving around on them when they restring. It's often not a problem on guitars with well-fit cones (Nationals), but many import-grade resonators have "extra lip" where the cone rests in the soundwell.







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