Review of the Vintage AMG2 Resonator Guitar

Having worked in a music store in Nashville for over 30 years, I have seen, demonstrated and played more resonators in my life than most people. My favorite memory was when BB King was playing a gig in our town and he dropped by our shop since he knew the owner from many years ago. He´s pretty much prone to using Gibson, as any King fan knows. It was a real treat seeing him come in and play a few notes on a variety of different guitars.

One of the better selling resonators that we´ve had in our store is the Vintage AMG2, one of the guitars B.B played with. It appears to be a really diverse instrument as people seem to be buying it for a bunch of different uses. This ranges from Blues, concerts, opening tuning, practice and even backup, and many people comment on the toughness of the guitar, which would make it great for travelling around or taking on the road if you need to.  Personally, like BB King, I am more of a Gibson fan when it comes to Resonators.  I decided to take one home for a week or so to try it out and give customers my honest opinion.

As with most guitars, the strings that come standard are never that great so I would recommend you replace them, especially if you´re a newbie or not used to heavy strings.  I generally prefer Elixir strings. After a few hours of play it will really begin to open up and provide very good harmonics.  Intonation was also very good all the way up the neck, although I´ve had some customers complain that theirs wouldn´t intonate properly at first, regardless of whether it was open tuning, slide or picking.

The action seemed fine, its low enough for finger style but also high enough for sliding. Although, it might be a little bit high for some players – something that is very easy to adjust. The sound it produces is particularly loud, considering that we´ve played it in store with a bass and drum combination and it was perfectly audible without being plugged into an amp.  If you plan on playing some gritty blues tones, use a glass slide. The resonator on this model performs just as well as those on other guitars that cost 3 times more, and has absolutely no “buzzing” noises that you often find on Resonators.

The guitar is definitely well put together, with very good craftsmanship all over. The only thing that might put some off is the bell brass finish. You´ll be spending a lot of time polishing your investment and it may tarnish quite quickly. The body is flawless though, and the F-Holes (shaped in squares) are perfectly shaped with no rough edges. The neck and string spacing are also very comfortable. My only recommendation for serious players would be to replace the chrome die cast tuner with a bone nut, since this will prolong the life of your guitar.  Overall a great purchase, comparable to guitars that are way more expensive!

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