Tut Taylor reso Carolina model

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First off, Happy New Year to all of you slide players out there! I hope this coming year is your best so far. I wanted to share an experience I had up at Elderly Music in Lansing MI this past Thursday. I went up there with my friend and great banjo player Jeff Peterson. We are both from Burlington WI which is about 75 miles north of Chicago. I was on a mission to buy a new or used squareneck reso of some quality. I had a round neck Goldtone that I sold on E-bay that I started to learn on about 6 months ago. I am still very new to slide playing but I have played guitar and mando for years.

I saw that Elderly had a used dobro Josh Graves model that seemed to be reasonably priced so I was kind of hoping for that one. I wanted to get away from the cheaper type of dobro's just for the sake of future resale value. I have some experience with that in the past with guitars and mandos. I currently have a Summit, Collings and Rigel for mandos and a Martin D-28 1975 model, Taylor 710 CE limited and a great Froggy Bottom guitar, so I know quality when I see it. I bring that up only as a frame of reference. I am a newbie with resonators.

After playing a Beard std. cherry model, a used dobro model 60, a JD used and the Josh Graves model, I was pretty underwelmed. I then played a new Merideth that was nice but not great. I also played Wechter Sheerhorn maple model and a Rob Ickes model. The Ickes model was impressive but I was again concerned about future resale. While I was waiting to talk to a salesperson about a trade value, I saw that I passed over a Crafters of TN Tut Taylor Carolina model. The name Crafters meant nothing to me so I was not expecting much. To my surprise, this reso blew the others away! I thought maybe it was new strings or something but this had just as old of strings on it as the rest. The Beard was the only one that had new strings on it (probably because the Beards move much faster?). At any rate, this Carolina model is quite nice. It has a spruce top with herringbone inlay and a mahogany body. There are some nice inlays on the fret board as well. The ornamentation while nice was not the deciding factor however. Sound was. After playing the Josh, the Rob Ickes and the Tut for an extended period alone and then with a guitar, banjo and mando the Tut was my clear winner.

I am making this incredibly long post because since I have returned home with my new axe, I have read a lot of conflicting posts about the Tut. Some like them and many do not. This again points to the need to try them yourself before you decide. It appears to me after doing some research that I probably did not protect myself resale wise with this purchase, but if I love it and play it alot then that does not matter.

As for my ranking of the resos that I played at Elderly, my untrained ear ranks them this way (from my favorite to the least) without regard for price:

Tut Taylor Carolina model ( I bought it!)
Rob Ickes model Wechter Scheerhorn
Beard Cherry model standard
Dobro model 60 1993 model I think
Wechter Sheerhorn maple model
Goldtone solid mahogany
Jerry Douglas model dobro
Josh Graves model dobro

Finally a note to Rob Anderlik. I stopped at the Old Town School of music with Jeff my banjo player on the way back. That is a great place to visit for anyone that has any interest in folk music. I think I ran into Colby Maddox downstairs but I am not sure. I did not introduce myself lest he think I am stalking him! Anyway, you are blessed to have that Mecca there so close. I would be there often if there was one in Milwaukee (sigh).

Happy Holidays to all.

I will post a picture or two when I have the chance.

Little Jimmy
Lil' Jimmy


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