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Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:17 pm
by albertgen
I have a short scale DelVecchio I bought through Chuck Tucker. It is the Dinamico special with built in trussrod and fancy tuning machines. It's not perfect but it has a nice tone. You really have to play them differently than than other guitars, you kinda have to play melody and sort of bend the notes in tune. Al

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:29 pm
by craigdobbins
Al, I got one of those from Chuck Tucker back in the 80's too. I made a new nut (the string spacing was way off), worked on the frets to level and smooth them, recut/reseated the biscuit just a little, and made a new saddle with intonation for the 2nd and 3rd strings. Eventually played and sounded pretty good, but nowhere near as good as the one I have now. I learned a lot about DVs from that one. Also had to get a new tailpiece from Chuck- the original just came apart (unsoldered) one day, and wouldn't hold when I resoldered it.

I may have a photo around here somewhere. I eventually sold it to a student, and I've lost track of the student and the guitar now.


Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:48 pm
by albertgen
My tailpiece did the exact same thing Craig, then I called Paul McGill and he told how to make one out of a schaller or gibson tailpiece. Had to cut it and put new threads on it. The guitar sounds pretty good to me but then again I never had any other to compare it to, you rarely see them. Mine is the only one I ever played or seen, except Chet's on TV. It's always a shot in the dark when you buy one. Al

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:40 pm
by conecaster
Just to clarify the information on these guitars for the record.

The First Reso guitar I made Chet was Koa wood.

The Second was Brazilian Sapwood cedar top

The last one which he recorded on was spruce and maple with a 12 fret neck, Chet had trouble adjusting to the 14 fret models. This guitar is featured in Me and My Guitar.

The guitar he is pictured with here was not his guitar. That was a Reso I had in 96 when he was interviewed for Vintage guitar Mag. sold it to a person in Japan named Kaoru.

Its a truly Chet story.

I worked in Berry hill at that time, 2818 Columbine Pl. I had an assistant named Randy Moore.

I left the shop one afternoon while Randy was working.

I returned some time later and Randy said Chet came by, I asked what he wanted?

He said he wanted a guitar and Randy showed him the guitar in the picture. Chet said it would do.

He left telling Randy to let me know he'd get it back to me.

He was doing the photo shoot for VGM and went out of his way to get the guitar for the shoot.

Its was such a kind thing for him to do. But that's the way he was.

The next summer that picture was used in a poster hanging over Kirk Sand's table at CAAS, with language from the interview talking about him.

That's what I call dis respectful, I would never use a picture of another maker's guitar in my marketing.

So the two guitars pictured here are not the same guitar, The Koa I used was darker colored but had intense flame.

I sold it to a collector in Ohio and made the next of Chet's guitars to replace it.

Pau McGill

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:01 pm
by awykle
Thanks Paul for the clarification. I mistakenly assumed the guitar Chet was holding in the VGM article was the same as the one I have which is made out of koa. I obtained it from the collector you sold it to here in Ohio, along with the letters from you and Chet authenticating the guitar. It is as you said built with very highly flamed koa and is a beautiful instrument. Thanks again for the info and story about Chet's generosity.

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:23 am
by conecaster
I know many Chet Atkins followers will point out my reso sounded differently and that is fair.

Dan says he put a DV biscuit on my reso and it changed the sound, The cones are very sensitive, The weight of the biscuit does effect sustain. I discovered that limiting the contact between the biscuit and cone increased the volume while the heavier biscuits increase sustain.

The setup is so critical to the sound of resonator guitars.

But for those who want to compare the sound of my guitars there are differences in my design to the DV. For starters Chet's main recording V was the small DV made for Nato, it has a smaller cone diameter.

But just for tonal comparison please listen to this recording of Nato done on my second reso. It is koa like the one in the earlier posts. ... r_embedded

Nato recorded this on the Stars on the Ground cd in 93-94.

I think the sound is much like the DV sound.


Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:26 am
by BillB
It sounds very DV-like to my ears. I don't think I would have known the difference. I had not ever heard that song, but it sure makes me want to go somewhere tropical for a vacation.

Bill B.

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:35 pm
by awykle
Thanks so much for posting Paul! I do agree. I also didn't know Nato had the first Koa reso you built. Thanks so much again for all the add'l insight and info.

Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:34 pm
by conecaster
There is a recording of Nato on this page playing my Koa Resonator.!chet-and-nato/c1yyj

Go to the bottom of the page.


Re: Chet's Paul McGill resonator

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 3:22 pm
by conecaster
I'd like to invite everyone to my website.

Although I have made resonators it is not the only thing I have ever done.

For the last 15 years I have been known for building the state of the art Nylon String Electric guitar used by so many major guitarists and side musicians -- the Super ACE. I also make the Super Steel version as well.

Had I been doing this earlier I have little doubt I would have had Chet's support for it but it was to late when I began building them.

I also have little doubt, given Chet's attraction to instrumental jazz radio airplay, he would have pursued working with the Artists I am most associated with through my Super ACE guitar.

But in viewing my site I'd like people to recognize that my nylon string stage guitars are also everyday guitars that even classically trained players have embraced as their main acoustic guitar, but then on a stage with drums, keyboards and sax, it will carry a headlining guitarist.!feedback/c1ka5

Because of the politics at CAAS and because it is so much effort to display at any event, I do not think the CAAS members ever had the opportunity to fully understand my guitars and career. So, as a footnote I'm known for building resonator guitars.

I'm not sure many here know that every time Klugh has played CAAS it was on a McGill classical guitar, one of many he bought in the early 90's. In fact it was Earl who asked me to get into DV resonator guitars.!pricing/c2sc

I considered myself a friend of Chet Atkins, I loved the guy and I'm so honored that he would have come to my shop that day and ran off with a guitar to do a photo shoot in an attempt to help me. It was a great surprise when another guitar maker put a photo of Chet holding my guitar, shown in this thread, on a poster and hung it over his display at CAAS the next summer. I can't imagine ever doing such a thing myself. Some are a little more concerned about their CHET identity than I am.

A few days ago I delivered a guitar to John Standerfer, an old friend I have so much respect for. He had seen two of my Super Steel guitars and wanted the sound to compliment his duet work with Brooks Robinson.

John will be playing a Super Steel when he arrives in July.!super-ace/c1ain

I am putting together a performance for Brooks and John at the Nashville Unitarian Church on Woodmont Blvd on the 11th of July and hope we can draw a nice crowd for them locally.

I would have worked to bring many players to CAAS over the years that could have broadened the event in a way I believe Chet favored when he brought in so many non thumb style players like Martin Taylor, Earl Klugh, Valerie Du Chateau. But the focus has been narrowed, and the repetitive repertoire of old material reproduced in 20 minute sets all day has discouraged many I know from returning. Chet was not about looking backwards, he was always looking for a new direction which his career demonstrates by association with so many great musicians.

I often wonder what he would think of how CAAS evolved given his inviting a broader range of guitarist to participate when he was involved. I believe this was the nature of the person I knew, he loved players many of his fans do not recognize. George Barnes was a great guitarist in NY, he once told me he was so clean that if he had heard him in the beginning he would have given up. I remember the day an old friend with a charismatic stage persona was with me at his office, Chet lit up just shaking my friend's hand , he had a radar for performers. He wanted to hang and put on a recording of Andrea Previn playing piano variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in the styles of all the great classical composers.

I feel like my lessons from Chet have helped me strive to be forward in my direction as an artist, and not stuck in the past with no new inspiration.

Thank you,

Paul McGill