Hi All,

i come with a question to you about the principle of a biscuit cone resonator:

What is the interaction of string tension versus sound? I assume a aluminium cone needs a certain pressure on the biscuit to perform best? Exists a value for best performance? How to calculate the pressure from the string tension, because the angle from saddle to string fixing has an big impact.

The reason why i am asking: My couch guitar fall down direct on the saddle - top broken. Idea is now to use a 8 1/4 cone and build a Resonator Guitar. Use a similar approach to fix the strings i did with the cigar box guitars, but i can decrease the angel of the strings to the saddle by construction more less how i like - which influences the pressure on the biscuit.

Thanks for any input or help!!

best regards from Austria


Views: 114


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have three six string resonators. One metal body and two wood body. The two biscuit resonators have 9 1/2" cones from StewMac. The spider bridge guitar has a 11" cone.

I've seen and used a variety of string tensions from Standard (0.056~0.013) to light gauge (0.053~0.012).

I don't find a significant difference in volume between standard and light gauge strings. I do find better play ability with the light gauge if I'm fretting notes. If playing slide, I think the standard gauge work better for holding a note.

None of my guitars have unusually severe break angles over the bridge/biscuit. I'm not sure that the break angle (if within a reasonable range) has much impact on the down force of the string on the biscuit. Think about it. If you put a tension gauge on the string next to the bridge (a fish scale works) and lift it you will read the string tension. If you then bend the break angle down fairly sharply and check the tension again with the fish scale, you're going to read the same tension.

Here is a link to a more technical discussion of break angle and impact on volume and play ability. It may give you the insight you are looking for.

How autumn down under?

Wow Tom, that link saved a thousand words. But I'll just mention a couple of things.

I build and play Spider Bridge style resonator guitars where the down force of the strings is directed to the outside rim of the cone. A screw through the saddle slot goes to the centre of the cone and adds some adjustment for volume and tone. The back angle over the saddles is minimal.

When setting up Gibson Les Paul style guitars with an adjustable tailpiece, it is recommended to pay atttension to the break angle over the saddles as too much can cause the bridge (only supported at its ends) to sag over time. There is a recommmended angle in this case.


Hi  Taffy. Glad you rung in on this topic. I have a spider bridge Gretsch Boxcar that has the center screw that you mention. You're right about its break angle (not much to talk about).

As for the Les Paul, when you get into very lightly strung electrics, I don't know if break angle (if it has any) play any real part in sound or feel. I guess that if you had too much break angle the bridge could sag over time, but with the kind of strings they usually have on these, I doubt there is much down pressure regardless of break angle.

Anyway, glad the link was useful. Some folks above my pay-grade put it together. Good reading and insights.

Thanks Taffy for the input. Construction wise: i built already a built a biscuit, which works fine, but never a spider type. From your point of view: which one is easier to build? 

Hey Tom, thanks for the link!!! Its perfect. So, final conclusion: not to worry too much about it. 

Btw: i am from Austria/ Vienna - we have spring at the moment and its too cold .... :-) 

Hi Rob, to build the guitar itself would be the same, the inference is the type of cone used, if you are buying ready made cones. If utilising something else for a resonator cone, biscuit bridge would be easier.


Apologies Rob. Old eyes often misread computer screens.

Vienna is a beautiful city any time of year. I was there several years back and found the hidden treasure to be the fine coffee shops.

I play sometimes in one of them ... :-) i like them too 


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Yeah, OK,...

Started by James Pobog in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by James Pobog 1 hour ago. 4 Replies

Info please.

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter 1 hour ago. 2 Replies

Shovel guitar and sizes

Started by Laurence Owen in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Laurence Owen 20 hours ago. 5 Replies

Build #2

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Poorness Studios yesterday. 3 Replies

PDF DOWNLOAD: How to Build a Hurdy Gurdy

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Philip Taylor on Thursday. 8 Replies

Pitch Pine

Started by Laurence Owen in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Laurence Owen Sep 12. 4 Replies

Blog Posts

Mailing boxes for CBG's

Posted by Kevin Patrick on September 18, 2019 at 10:02am 1 Comment


Posted by Emer M. on September 16, 2019 at 11:59am 0 Comments

Mama Pearson's Soaporium

Posted by Rick Tish on September 14, 2019 at 8:52pm 0 Comments

Fresh Diddley Bow- "Why Not?"

Posted by Glenn Kaiser on September 13, 2019 at 10:23pm 1 Comment

Latest Activity

Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video

Third Hand Harmonica - Demo for that harp playing dude known as Buggy

"Thanks, PS.  Ignorance may be bliss.  I just pick it up and play it without much thought…"
1 minute ago
BrianQ. commented on Dave Lynas's video

Tuesday’s Blues

"I like how the cello drones in the background, nice mix :)"
1 minute ago
BrianQ. commented on Andries D. EKER's photo

This fall harvest

"Mmmmmm....... pears! Nothin’ like family :)"
6 minutes ago
Clarky commented on Clarky's video

God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols - Cigar Box Guitar Cover

"Thanks very much Poorness Studios :)"
6 minutes ago
BrianQ. commented on Andries D. EKER's photo

Norma Jean Wofford The Duchess

"Kool, there was another woman before her named Peggy Jones, they called her “Lady Bo”,…"
8 minutes ago
Lothar Ahnert liked Downtown Vinnie's video
9 minutes ago
MadGomer replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"Can you get creative and salvage the neck you were working on?  Wood glue and paint can…"
14 minutes ago
John posted photos
18 minutes ago
John commented on Kevin Patrick's blog post Mailing boxes for CBG's
"its best to buy large boxes from ether walmart or home depot and cut them down to size...it only…"
33 minutes ago
James Pobog replied to James Pobog's discussion Yeah, OK,...
"The  description  said  something about  an  organ,  so yeah…"
1 hour ago
Timothy Hunter replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"well i didnt tighten the bit in my dremel enough and it came loose and destroyed the neck i was…"
1 hour ago
Timothy Hunter replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"piezeo wont work as a transmitter. to make sound they are usually driven in the ultrasonic range..…"
1 hour ago

CigarBoxGuitar.com Knowledgebase Articles



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->