The 20 Best Resonator Guitars In 2024 For Any Budget


Resonator guitars can be so much fun to play. They have a unique sound and can be a perfect choice for blues and country. But one of the main problems is that resonator guitars are not as common as solid-body instruments. 

And even if you find one, how do you know that it’s good? Here, I will go through some of the best resonator guitars you can find today, and you will be able to find something in almost every budget category. So, let’s start from the beginning. 

Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Body material: Maple
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Vintage Brown Matt

Dobro is a brand with a rich history. It started the story in 1928, and it wasn’t long before the company merged with National to create National Dobro Co. As you can probably guess, Dobro focused on resonator guitars and it quickly became one of the biggest names. 

Today, Dobro is a part of the Gibson company, which is why you can find “Epiphone” models as well. When it comes to Hound Dog, is one of the most popular models you can find. One thing you will notice is that the price is quite low, and it is because the model is made by Epiphone. 

The neck is made of maple with rosewood fretboard, and there are 19 frets. It is worth mentioning that Dobro Hound Dog doesn’t have a pickup, so you will need to find another way if you want to play it live. 

Dobro Hound Dog M-14

  • Neck shape: Old School Dowel Style neck profile
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Body material: Bell brass, nickel-plated
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Nickel-plated

While the guitar shares the name with the other Hound Dog model, there are enough differences between the two. Most notably, the body of the guitar is made of bell brass, and it’s nickel-plated. This is more in line with resonator guitars from the thirties, and it looks amazing. 

What is more important is that you will get the traditional sound of the resonator guitar, and the price will still be affordable for many players. Of course, this is still a guitar designed by Dobro, and it’s part of Gibson. Or rather, Epiphone. 

All things considered, it is a great instrument, especially in this price range. 

Harley Benton Custom Line CLR-ResoElectric

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Wenge
  • Body material: Chrome-plated steel
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: Gold-coloured resonator lipstick single coils
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Metallic Chrome

Harley Benton has been dominating the budget range, and the company makes incredible equipment for a low price. But at the same time, you can find more expensive instruments as well such as the Custom Line CLR ResoElectric resonator guitar. 

The body of this model is made of chrome-plated steel, and it will give you the traditional sound of a resonator guitar. One thing worth mentioning is that Harley Benton Custom Line CLR also has a pickup. You will get a resonator lipstick single coil, and it will give you more options to shape the sound. 

As for the design, the guitar looks amazing, and it is one of the best models you can find in this price range. 

Gretsch G9230 Bobtail Squareneck

Gretsch G9220 6-String Resonator Electric Guitar with Bobtail Square...
  • Appealing Design: With its deluxe appointments and Fishman Nashville...
  • Resonator: The vital feature of all Gretsch resonator guitars is the...
  • Stunning Sound: Gretsch Ampli-Sonic diaphragm resonator hand-spun in...
  • Fingerboard: It has a padauk fingerboard
  • Neck shape: Square
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Katalox
  • Body material: Mahogany
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: Fishman Nashville pickup system
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Burst

Gretsch is a legendary brand, and many famous players use guitars made by this company. And it is not surprising that Gretsch also offers resonator guitars. The model here is a bit different compared to others on the list, and one of the first things you will notice is that the body is smaller. 

The guitar also has a square-shaped neck, which makes it perfect for playing with a slide. And to make things even more exciting, the Gretsch G9230 is equipped with a Fishman Nashville pickup system, and you can easily plug it into an amp. 

As for the design, the guitar is beautiful, and it is perfect for alternate tunings, blues, and fingerpicking. You can play guitar either like a regular acoustic or put it on your lap and use the slide. 

Baton Rouge R71P/12-HMA

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Sapele
  • Fretboard: Pine by BlackwoodTek
  • Body material: Bell bronze
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: BR-R1 pickup system
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Handcrafted antique finish

Another great option comes from Baton Rouge, and it is a parlor resonator guitar. If you love smaller instruments, this can be a perfect option for you. It is also great for those with smaller hands since they won’t need to struggle with the instrument. 

The guitar is also equipped with a BR-R1 pickup system, and it will allow you to play it through the amplifier with ease. One of many neat additions is that this Baton Rouge model has a vintage finish, and it looks quite old. 

When it comes to the price, it is in the mid-range, and it might be too expensive for beginners. 

Recording King RM-993-VG

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Body material: Nickel-plated bell brass
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Distressed Vintage Green

Recording King started working in 1930, but the company was discontinued in 1939. And it remained out of service until 2007 when the brand was finally revived. While many things have changed since the thirties, Recording King kept the vintage design. 

And today, the majority of guitars by this brand are inspired by original vintage models. Recording King PM-993 is a resonator guitar with a smaller body. It is made of nickel-plated bell brass, and the color is Distressed Vintage Green. 

If you are a fan of vintage-looking instruments, you will adore this model. As for the sound, the guitar is perfect for blues, and it sounds incredible. 

Baton Rouge R71TC/14-CR

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Sapele
  • Fretboard: Pine fretboard by BlackwoodTek
  • Body material: Bell brass
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: Pickup System R1
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Red Copper Rust

If you are looking for something a bit different, Baton Rouge offers a guitar that is unlike standard models. Firstly, the guitar has a single cutaway that makes it easier to play on higher frets, and it is shaped like a standard acoustic guitar. 

Every bit of the guitar is designed to look ancient. You can see antique-style machine heads with Red Copper Rust body finish, and the combination is gorgeous. However, one “modern” part you will also spot is the pickup system, which only adds to the versatility of the instrument. 

As with the majority of Baton Rouge guitars, the price is a bit higher, and it might not be the best option for beginners. Of course, if you can afford it, it is a well-made instrument you will love playing. 

Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper

Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper Metal,Gray,Nickel Plated Brass Body
  • Round neckNickel-plated brass bodyMahogany neck25" scale lengthRosewood...
  • It has a round neck that's perfect for blues-based music such as...
  • The G9201 features a nickel-plated brass body with traditional-style F...
  • The heart of this richly resounding guitar is the Gretsch Ampli-Sonic...
  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Katalox
  • Body material: Brass
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Nickel

Gretsch has an incredible repertoire when it comes to guitars, and you can find many different models. Including a variety of resonator guitars. Honey Dipper is a simple-looking model that offers a new way to play the guitar. 

The guitar has a smaller body, it’s made of brass, and it has a mahogany neck with a katalox fretboard. The price is a bit lower than what you’d expect from Gretsch, and one of the reasons for that is that the guitar doesn’t have a pickup. 

Gretsch Honey Dipper is one of the best options in this price range, and it is a gorgeous-looking guitar. It is more in line with traditional resonator guitars, and it is perfect for blues. 

Paramount Tricone 1933 Brushed Nickel

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Body material: Bell brass
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Brushed Nickel

This model is designed by Paramount, and it is inspired by models from the thirties. The body is made of bell brass, and the neck is made of mahogany with blackwood fretboard. The Tricone guitar by Paramount looks incredible, and you can play it any way you want. 

Unfortunately, the guitar doesn’t have a pickup, and you will need to use a different method if you want to play it live. The combination of materials looks gorgeous, and the guitar can be quite versatile. 

One downside for beginners will be the price. It is a bit higher than you’d expect, but the quality is worth the price. You will get one of the best resonator guitars available on the market. At least in this price range. 

Gold Tone PBS

Gold Tone Paul Beard Signature Series PBS Squareneck Resonator Guitar...
  • Traditional dot inlay
  • Vintage binding
  • A high gloss vintage mahogany finish
  • Neck shape: Square
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Body material: Mahogany
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Natural

If you want to have a pricier guitar, Gold Tone can be a great option. The guitar is a Paul Beard signature model, and it is designed based on vintage resonator guitars. The entire body is made of mahogany and with a mahogany neck and blackwood fretboard. 

The guitar doesn’t have a pickup system, but it is one of the finest guitars on the list. And this would also explain the price. This is not an instrument for beginners, and while they could play it, there are cheaper versions available. 

Another thing worth mentioning is that the guitar has a square-shaped neck, and it is in open G tuning. This makes it perfect for playing with the slide. 

National Reso-Phonic Estralita Deluxe

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Walnut
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Body material: Walnut back and sides with maple top
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Sunburst

Of course, if you don’t mind spending money, why not go for one of the best guitars you can find today? National Reso-Phonic was founded in 1983, and the company is located in the U.S. The company makes a variety of instruments, and resonator guitars are one of many possible options. 

The model here is a work of art. The design was based on the traditional resonator guitars with f-shaped holes, and there are no pickups. As for the body, it has a walnut back and sides, with a laminated maple top. The size is a bit smaller compared to standard guitars, but it’s bigger than parlor models. 

If you decide to buy this model, you should know that a hardshell case is included in the package. 

Fender PR-180E Resonator ACB

Fender PR-180E Resonator, with 2-Year Warranty Aged Cognac Burst
  • All-mahogany construction
  • Spider resonating cone
  • Fishman Nashville pickup system
  • Comfortable neck profile with ovangkol fingerboard
  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Body material: Mahogany back and sides with maple top
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: Fishman System
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Aged Cognac Burst

For years, Fender focused on amplifiers and electric guitars. But in the past couple of years, there is a selection of acoustic guitars you can find as well. And this includes resonator guitars as well. The PR-180E is a beautiful guitar that is suitable for all skill levels. 

Most importantly, unlike the majority of Fender instruments, this one is affordable. The design of the guitar is fairly traditional, and it looks amazing with its Aged Cognac Burst finish. The PR-180E is also equipped with a Fishman pickup system, which simplifies things for people that want to perform live. 

The combination of vintage design with modern features makes this guitar worth checking out. 

Gretsch G9241 Alligator Biscuit RN SB

Gretsch G9241 Mahogany Round Neck 6-String Acoustic-Electric Resonator...
  • Acoustic-Electric Resonator Guitar: When you play chunk rhythm,...
  • Vital Feature: Like all fine Gretsch resonator guitars, the vital feature...
  • Impressive Quality: Hand-spun in Eastern Europe from nearly 99 percent pure...
  • Finish: It comes in an attractive 2-color sunburst finish that looks chic...
  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Katalox 
  • Body material: Mahogany
  • Hardware color: Nickel
  • Pickups: Fishman Nashville
  • Number of frets: 20
  • Finish: Sunburst

Gretsch 9241 is a gorgeous guitar with a smaller body, and it is made of mahogany. The neck has a comfortable V-shaped profile, and it’s also made of mahogany with a katalox fretboard. Furthermore, the guitar can be a great option even for beginners, and it can be played as a regular acoustic guitar without any problems. 

When it comes to the pickups, this Gretsch model has a Fishman Nashville system, and it sounds incredible. Of course, you can still play it as a regular resonator guitar as well, and you don’t need to use the pickup if you don’t want to. 

National Reso-Phonic NRP Rubbed Steel 12 Fret

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Body material: Steel
  • Hardware color: Steel
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Rubbed Steel

In the majority of cases, when someone mentions resonator guitars, people will think of National. One of the most well-known models is the one that appeared on the cover of Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, and Knopfler played it on Romeo & Juliet. And this one looks rather similar. 

Of course, there are a few differences between the two models. Firstly, this one wasn’t made in 1937, and it doesn’t have iconic palms and lovers on it. Instead, the guitar has a Rubbed Steel finish, and an ebony fretboard on the mahogany neck. 

Needless to say, the price of the guitar is something many guitarists will dislike, and there probably aren’t many that can afford it. 

Leewald Bluesy Fellow Duotone

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Body material: Laminated wood
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: Amistar Duotone pickup: Biscuit bridge “under saddle” pickups and magnetic neck pickup
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Vintage Honey Satin

Leewald can be another interesting option if you don’t mind spending a bit more. The guitar is vintage-looking, and parts of it look worn out. But the guitar is still new. It has a body made of laminated wood with a mahogany neck and a rosewood body. 

The finish of the instrument is called Vintage Honey Satin, and it has a Duotone pickup system. What is interesting about this model is that it has a Biscuit bridge pickup under the saddle and a magnetic pickup in the neck position. 

You will also get two knobs to adjust the tone, and the Bluesy Fellow guitar is made in the Czech Republic. 

Beard Guitars E-Model SN ASB

  • Neck shape: Square
  • Neck material: Flamed maple
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Body material: Flamed maple
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Amber Sunburst

Beard Guitars is not a new company. But it easily became one of the more popular brands today. The company is based in the U.S., and the quality of the instruments is quite high. The model here is from the E-model series, and it is a modernized version of vintage resonator guitars. 

It has a body made of flame maple which gives it a beautiful Amber Sunburst finish. Both sides and top are made of maple. The neck is made of maple as well, and it has an ebony fretboard. While the guitar doesn’t have a pickup system, the quality and design are exceptional. And it’s well worth the price if you can afford it. 

Just keep in mind that this guitar is with a square neck and a large nut, which means it’s designed to be played with a slide like a lap guitar. 

Danelectro ’59 Resonator Guitar

Danelectro '59 Resonator Guitar - Black
  • 6-string Resonat Guitar with Hardboard/Plywood Body
  • Lipstick Single-coil Pickup
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard
  • Piezo - Black
  • Neck shape: Modern C-shape
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Body material: Spruce
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: ’56 Lipstick Single-coil, piezo cone
  • Number of frets: 21
  • Finish: Black

Now, if you want something different and unique, the Danelectro ‘59 Resonator guitar might be a perfect option for you. The model is a combination of a resonator guitar and an electric model. It has a double cutaway, and it looks rather similar to other electric guitars designed by this brand. 

But at the same time, it is still a resonator model with a pickup system. There is a ‘56 Lipstick single-coil pickup, as well as the piezo cone you can use. There are three potentiometers you can use to adjust the volume and tone, and the guitar is more than comfortable for playing thanks to the modern C-shaped neck. 

Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog M-14 – Nickel

  • Neck shape: Round
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Body material: Bell brass
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Nickel

Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog M-14 is a classic model. And while there are other models in the Hound Dog series, there are enough differences between them to add this one as a separate entry. The body is made of bell brass, and it looks amazing. 

So, if you are looking for a traditional resonator guitar, this might be it. You might notice that the price is a bit higher compared to the majority of Epiphone guitars, but the quality and design of the instrument make up for it. 

National Reso-Phonic Scheerhorn Figured Maple

  • Neck shape: Square
  • Neck material: Solid flamed maple
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Body material: Solid flamed maple
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: None
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Sunburst

National guitars are one of the best options you can find today. And while the price is quite high, the models are on a professional level. There are a few National Reso-Phonic guitars on the list, but this one has a square-shaped neck. 

This means that it is not designed to be played as a regular guitar, but on the lap instead. And of course, with a slide. The guitar has a handspun Scheerhorn cone, incredible Sunburst finish, bone nut, curly ivoroid binding, and plenty of other features that will make you understand the price. 

And if you decide to buy it, you will get a hardshell case as well. 

Beard Guitars Jerry Douglas SN RedBeard

  • Neck shape: Square
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Morado
  • Body material: Solid mahogany
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Pickups: Fishman Nashville Spider-Style Resophonic Pickup
  • Number of frets: 19
  • Finish: Red

The first thing to mention is that this is a Jerry Doublas signature model, and it looks gorgeous. The guitar has a Beard Legend Spider cone, high-gloss red finish, Fishman Nashville pickup system, Gotoh mini machine heads, and plenty of other features that explain the price. 

It is also an instrument with a square-shaped neck, designed to be played as a lap guitar. Whether you decide to play it through the amplifier or without one, the sound will be incredible. And there are plenty of options to experiment with different techniques and tunings. 

The guitar comes with a Beard deluxe case you can use whenever you travel somewhere. 

Summary

Getting a new guitar is always exciting. But if you want to try out something new, you can always buy a resonator guitar. These instruments have a rich history, and they are a perfect option for country and blues. 

Of course, you will need to decide whether you want an instrument with a round or square-shaped neck. This will affect the way you play the guitar, and whether you will need to use a slide for it. 

What matters the most is that there are plenty of different options, and you can find a stunning resonator guitar in almost every price range.

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Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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