Gretsch G9200 Boxcar Resonator Resophonic Cone Pickup Installation

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This Gretsch resonator belongs to singer/songwriter Owain Davies from the band Spokes. As a purely acoustic instrument Owain wanted the guitar electrifying! This Fishman “Resophonic” piezo pickup fastens to the center of the cone, in both single-cone “spider” and “biscuit” style bridges.

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American guitar firm National introduced the resonator to the world in 1927 and were popular with many blues pioneers like Son House and Bukka White. The first Nationals were actually made from brass rather than steel.

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Maker Dobro followed with their spider cone resonator guitar a few years later. Dobros differed in sound and construction. The spider cone lent a nasal honk to the sound, and many Dobros used wood back and sides.

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This Gretsch G9200 Boxcar Standard harks back to the days of Dobro. It is a very light for a resonator guitar and has a soft V shape neck reminiscent of Martin guitars. The Box Car produces a cool, nasally honk and has great projection.

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5 responses to “Gretsch G9200 Boxcar Resonator Resophonic Cone Pickup Installation

  1. Hello ther! I have the same guitar and I’m looking at installing a pickup in it. I’ve seen the K&k as well as fishman pickups and I’m curious what’s best. Also, is that black box a preamp or what? And the pictures don’t really show an installation…more less a disassembly so if you could assist that would be great!

  2. Hi Daniel, I am not familiar with the K&K pickup. As I recall Owain found the Fishman resophonic pickup a little tinny without much real presence. It also seemed to lack output. The black box houses the battery and preamp circuit. You will need to drill (or preferably ream) a hole for the output jack/strap button. The spherical pickup clips onto the middle spindle of the cone. The nut supplied that fixes this on was slightly bigger than the thread (I think Gretsch use metric and Fishman Imperial measurements). I think we used a Strat saddle to screw it down in place of the nut. Hope this helps. Cheers, John

  3. If you’re looking for a genuine amplified Dobro sound its quite tricky process as the sound comes from so much of the guitar’s construction. The best combination Ive come across, and use myself, is the Fishman Nashville pickup in the saddle of the spider, and a Fishman Aura pedal on one of the Dobro settings, which enhances the body resonance, as well as adding EQ and compression options. I believe Jerry Douglas has used this system live too. S

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