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Feb 22, 2024 - 6:28:30 AM
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1072 posts since 2/17/2005

Hey Folks,
I've got a couple of these Kalamazoo branded flat resonators. Forgive the question if its impractical but has anyone ever converted one of these to a standard arched resonator? Is such a thing possible? I know folks reskin prewar resonators from time to time, but I was wondering whether anyone had ever attempted flat-to-arch conversions?
Thanks!
Blake

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:46:48 AM

heavy5

USA

2993 posts since 11/3/2016

So try one just positioning it on a pot & let us know how it sounds ?

Edited by - heavy5 on 02/22/2024 07:49:05

Feb 22, 2024 - 7:59:28 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6260 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by heavy5

So try one just positioning it on a pot & let us know how it sounds ?


I believe Blake is talking about removing the flat back from a Kalamazoo resonator and replacing it with a "standard" convex / arched back.

Feb 22, 2024 - 8:18:23 AM
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KCJones

USA

2929 posts since 8/30/2012

Maybe a dumb question but why?

Feb 22, 2024 - 8:33:52 AM
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Jbo1

USA

1323 posts since 5/19/2007

I think the question is: can you add a curved back to a flat resonator, by heat, or pressure, etc.

I would think no, it wouldn't work beyond doing irreparable damage to the vintage piece. A replacement resonator with an already arched back would be much cheaper in the long run.

Feb 22, 2024 - 9:05:47 AM

heavy5

USA

2993 posts since 11/3/2016

Gibson TT resonators have flat inner surfaces & there are plenty of comments on that subject in the archives here .
I have a R&T Bill Keith Deluxe gold TT (w/ cloud inlay) whereby the res back is shaped like a Gibson but inside it is dished ? Whether that has anything to do w/ its incredible tone & volume (far beyond anything I've ever had) I don't know ?

Feb 22, 2024 - 9:07:42 AM
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RioStat

USA

6260 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Maybe a dumb question but why?


Maybe, because most people with a Mastertone or Mastertone-style banjo don't want a flat-backed resonator.

Feb 22, 2024 - 9:16:59 AM
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RioStat

USA

6260 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Jbo1

I think the question is: can you add a curved back to a flat resonator, by heat, or pressure, etc.

I would think no, it wouldn't work beyond doing irreparable damage to the vintage piece. A replacement resonator with an already arched back would be much cheaper in the long run.


I don't believe the OP was talking about using "heat or pressure" and forcing the flat back into an arch shape, but talking about replacing the flat wood back with a curved back.

I also don't consider "orphan" Kalamazoo resonators as highly desired vintage pieces.

The OP's whole premise was / is: has anyone ever tried, or is it even feasible to try, to "convert" a flat back reso into an arched back reso

Feb 22, 2024 - 9:37:05 AM

KCJones

USA

2929 posts since 8/30/2012

RioStat Yes but why would you go through the effort of "converting" a K-zoo resonator? 
Please please don't tell me this is yet another hairbrained scheme to create more "prewar conversion" banjos.

Edited by - KCJones on 02/22/2024 09:37:13

Feb 22, 2024 - 8:11:27 PM
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1691 posts since 10/13/2004

Blake,
I understand your question.....I have done a few of those old flat-back resonators in the past.....Most of the ones I have done were done for Top-Tension banjos....I simply sanded about half off the back off and turned a solid TT style resonator back and glued it directly to the flat back....Good bit of work involved in this type of project.....It does add some extra weight to the resonator as well.....

Clancy

Feb 23, 2024 - 12:17:45 PM

1072 posts since 2/17/2005

Well, I assumed some intrepid luthier (the most talented Clancy Mullins in this case) had tried this surgery. Much like other luthiers who have grafted prewar plectrum necks - I assumed such an idea would generate some derision/outrage. That said, as Scott points out, there is not a great deal of collector value in these Kalamazoo flat-back resonators. I'm not sure this is 'prewar conversion' oriented so much as silks purse out of sows ears! Anyway, thanks for the input

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