I've been toying with the idea of building a dog dish resonator for a long time.

They look great but how do they really sound?

 I've seen a lot of pictures but haven't seen a lot of videos featuring them, which leads me to believe they're all show and no go.

I bought a dog dish with the intent of building one but it doesn't seem to have any acoustical value. In fact it sounds kind of dead.

What has your experience been?

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I have built one so far and the sound is far more dobro than usual cigar box bodies.

It was also the first fretless i have made so in a way its difficult to compare to the others (all fretted)

I am new to three stringers and seem to struggle more with the fretless than fretted, so in a way I wish I had built it fretted (will have to make another to compare)

I used the cheapest (read as thinnest cat bowl eBay could provide, dumped the rubber ring and it rings quite well) I first used a small bridge with two small feet but this was much quieter than a solid strip bridge with a fretwire saddle (maybe this is why they use biscuits on the real resonators, will try a biscuit next time)

I fitted piezo discs to it but they seem much quieter than my other standard cigar box builds in this case, maybe its to do with the fact I needed to use much more "reinforcement in the box to accommodate the gap in the through neck to fit the cat bowl .

So to sum up,in my case I like the sound, not so keen on the fretless style ( I am hopeless at slide! )

But definitely worth the effort and a different sound than normal.



Every build sounds different...

I helped a friend make a dog dish reso and it wasn't as good as a paint can lid, but it worked!  

it will bug you until you try anyway... so just do it!

Personally, I've been building hammered #10 can lids.. I love them!

I know your right. 

It's gonna bug me until I build one and take it off my to do list.

I've done cookie tin resonators and they work great but the dog dishes look cooler.

Hi again,

i forgot to mention before but are you using an ordinary dog bowl (plain dish shape) because I use the double pressed type? (sort of a flattened letter "M" shape in section) as these reflect sound from both back and front,

I have never tried a plain bowl type but maybe they are thicker metal

My dog bowl reso is the best sounding cgb that I've made. It was a lot of work but worth it.

I went to pretty much every single pet store in my city till I found a bowl that sounded nice. I probably looked like a weirdo picking up bowls, flicking it with my finger and listening to it ring. Eventually I found one that rung out with a sustained clear high pitch. Its rubber ring was melted onto the lip so that was a huge pain in the ass to scrape/sand off. 

The other thing that led to the great acoustic sound is that I built my own box. I didn't have a cigar box big enough to hold the bowl so I had to make one out of necessity. I made it out of some 3mm plywood with a cedar top. The box took about as long as the neck to build.  

I think you're intuition is right about the bowls though. If they sound dead out of the guitar it's probably going to sound about the same in one. You'd probably get a cool thumpy sound but no sustain. Speaking of sustain, I stretched springs across the inside of the bowl. They make the guitar sound like it's plugged into a reverb amp. It's kind of a sad, ghostly type feel. It also helps the notes ring out for a long time. Go for it. I found it a very rewarding build. 

(sorry about the messy background. It's the only pic on my phone)

Thanks for your insight.

I was definitely looking at smaller dishes because I was trying to fit it into a cigar box and I build a lot of ukuleles.

I want to hear this resonator. It sounds like it would be a great "messy" sound. Looks nice.

Definitely do it. They sound great and unusual.
Mine is a full six stringer in a nice big box with bolt on neck.

What I will say is your choice of bridge/saddle design will make all the difference.
I originally used a piece of whittled wood with a bolt inserted across it and was not fully happy with it because it seemed to be killing the sound. After experimenting for a while I settled on the same bolt balanced across two hard plastic dice with small grooves to hold the bolt. It made all the difference. The solidness of the bridge/saddle combined with the lightness of the design and it's small surface area brought it to life.

Yeah, just do it. They are great.

Oh and btw. Mine was a cat bowl. :)


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