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Jay Turser electric resophonic

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  • Jay Turser electric resophonic

    I picked up a Jay Turser electric resonator guitar. Very pretty. Kind of cheap. Paid $100 for it. It plays and intimates very well actually. It's the older Korean made model, not Chinese. The problem is the action was way to low for slide and I play slide with very low action compared to most players. The bridge did not look adjustable so I used the old trick of wedging a pick under the nut side of the neck pocket. Seems to work fine and I don't hear any difference in tone. Should I go to more draconian modifications or is this pretty much standard practice? Also, anyone know of a decent knock off mini HB to put in this thing from All Parts or something. The one in it is crap, lol.

  • #2
    I can't find any pictures that show me how the bridge and nut are made, so I have no ideas on how to deal with string height, usually I try to find a way to raise either or both if necessary. I keep all my guitars set up so I can grab a slide bar any time and not have too much trouble "banging out" on the frets with a bottle or brass bar. That's for playing in normal guitar position, sitting or standing with a guitar strap. My lap steel was set up way high, no problem there, and I've set up an acoustic for lap slide before but brought it back to normal playing action later.

    I would check into replacing the nut with a higher one if possible, most of the time nuts aren't that difficult to replace, and some extra height at the nut will help, but not totally solve the problem. If the bridge is too low, is there a way it can be raised? I can't tell from the pictures I see. The same trick, slide some sort of shim under the bridge may be possible but I can't tell. The only other idea I have is to cut the neck pocket slightly deeper, bad idea...

    Pickup...I sometimes like cheap off brand pickups for slide, some of my favorite slide guitars are Japanese off brands...As in Teisco, Kingston, the US made Harmony guitars, Memphis, Hagstrom, Lotus, Aria...look around at resale outlets, yard sales, local auctions, pawn shops and see if you can find a cheap guitar with pickups that will fit. One of my all time favorites is the Peavey Super Ferrite, (from the old T60 and Patriot guitars) it can be found in both single coil and humbucker varieties. I thought they were all single coil until I found a Peavey page on the single pickup model of the Patriot guitar that said it had a Humbucker. Mine is the 2 pickup model, single coils. But that is a large pickup, so it wouldn't help you. If you can find one, the Harmony Silhouette or Bobkat has small size humbuckers, and sounds great. Mine is the single pickup model. I use it for slide a lot...

    Bobkat H15 guitar - made by Harmony

    This page has good shots of the pickups, and I saw on a Austin City Limits show that Bonnie Raitt has a dobro with the exact same pickup in it.

    The True Vintage Guitar Blog: Harmony Bobkat Video Blog

    Also a couple of good sound clips there, if you can find that pickup, I'm sure it would sound very good. This page has a couple of other sound clips, the single pickup model like mine, but it shows how good that DeArmond pickup sounds. However it also says they go for big bucks on fleabay...

    ShortScale :: View topic - Harmony Bobkat

    Did some looking and 1st one I found was $200, but there is one with 3 days left and still under $20...who knows what will happen later...but if you can fiind it at a decent price, it's definitely worth a try, mine sounds great. I had to replace the tone cap, it was getting almost no treble, that's the only thing changed, the rest is factory stock...mine is a 1966 model. The one Bonnie Raitt had in her dobro sounded excellent too. I Can't find a vid of it dammit...

    Can you tell I really like that pickup?
    Why do I drive way out here to view the wildlife when all the animals live in town?

    My Photography - http://billy-griffis-jr.artistwebsites.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for reply Pete. I'm actually a very experienced slide guitarist that plays several different tunings. I usually play open and standard tunings on various Les Pauls or on Dobros acoustically. The problem with this little gem is that it is a solid body resonator electric guitar with a spider bridge. I set up my action probably like you do. The previous owner of this JT set it up very low. I didn't want to shim the spider and I suspect the previous owner lowered the action by changing the neck angle or it was just factory made that way. What I did was shim the neck pocket with a heavy pick. It does not seem to have affected the sustain or tone. I was just wondering if any one has had any experience with these models and had a more elegant or proper solution. This is the model: Jay Turser JT-RES Solid Body Electric Resonator Guitar. It has an anemic mini- HB, a piezo pickup and a blend control. Yeah I played slide on a Victoria for years until someone actually stole it.

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      • #4
        OK from your original description I thought that was the model you were referring to. Without seeing it in front of me I can't begin to figure a way to raise the bridge, nothing I can find shows me how it's made. The neck pocket trick you used might be your only option. I get the large triangular picks for that kind of thing and cut a section off. I was also a machinist for 8 years though, and collected brass shim stock in several thicknesses, .001" up to .030" I think, and that works very well but not everybody has it. That's what I used under the bridge saddle of my Takamine acoustic/electric.

        I use open tunings a lot too, G, D and E mainly. Even managed to write a decent fingerpicking tune on acoustic in open G 5 or 6 years ago. For slide it's great, but I play slide in standard tuning too but not much...it's not exactly easy...I set my action about 1/8" at the octave fret. High enough for slide, still low enough to play well without seriously pulling strings sharp when fretting.

        Don't know what to tell you about the pickup, the DeArmond I suggested above is an old favorite of mine, and sounds great for slide, and dobro. I'm not familiar enough with pickups to go further than that, I usually do ok with the stock jobs, the only ones I have replaced were really wimpy and just looked around at music stores and guitar shops for used ones. Usually paid about $5, if it works great, if not, look some more...Usually I can't even tell what they are, most are stock pickups and someone wanted an upgrade. A couple have been great, one is still in my old el cheapo tele I use for open G slide work. I replaced both, single coil in the bridge position I got at a yard sale for a buck, and it sounds excellent, humbucker in the neck position $4 at a guitar shop. Neck like a baseball bat, took it off and went over it with 80 grit, up to 400 for finish, coat of polyurethane and it's loads better now. Been playing it 20 years. But both pickups are used jobs and I have no idea what brands, but they do sound good.

        That's about all I can come up with, it's trial and error, but I've been able to find some gems among the piles of crap here and there...Look around, if you get a price you can't beat, it's worth a try. If you can get a good price on the DeArmond, grab it.
        Why do I drive way out here to view the wildlife when all the animals live in town?

        My Photography - http://billy-griffis-jr.artistwebsites.com/

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