The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

buying a guitar from china is it worth it and legal?


hi I was wondering I cant afford a national and have checked out some Chinese resonators that looks similar to resonators. are they worth it and legal?

You can buy some perfectly legal and ok sounding Chinese Resonators under the Regal, Gretsch and Fender labels. None are as good as a National but neither is anything you're going to buy from China directly.

I would try either the Michael Messer resonators in the UK, they are highly recommended and are created and set up according the Messer's personal supervision or something from the republic resonator line.  Both are made in China and can be viewed in youtube videos.  Both these have "biscuit cones" like a national guitar.

Some people like the Gretsche line and they carry both "biscuit" and "spider bridge" models. The one's I have tried have had issues out of the box and I would not recommend them.

The regal line I believe is going to be a spider bridge instrument, which is different from a national.

Buying direct from China IMHO probably you should prepare to take it to a shop to have it set up - when you get it. I think the quality is inconsistent and you risk getting something that looks good but is not a proper instrument. The small manufacturers mentioned first paragraph in the UK and US work with factories to make  good working instruments.


I bought a wood bodied Recording King reso from China - it sounds good but has some minor issues.

I needed to stain a pale area on the fretboard and the saddle could do with a bit of work!

But for 140 I'm not complaining!



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