|Body And Neck:|
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced guitarist looking to add an affordable resonator to your collection, you can find a good resonator – one that’s a step-up from basic – for under $300. Oscar Schmidt’s electro-acoustic OR6CE roundneck is an excellent example of what you can get if you are able to stretch your budget, and deserves its place in our best resonator chart. Let’s check it out.
Oscar Schmidt may not have the name prestige of a National or a Regal in the resonator market, but they sure do make a sweet instrument. The OR6CE features a sleek and comfortable body with a single Venetian cutaway, allowing great access to the highest frets – handy, as this is a roundneck model, so will be played like a traditional acoustic guitar. The all-mahogany laminate body is very good-looking and refined thanks to the elegant satin black finish enrobing the wood, paired with a matching black headstock and contrasting cream binding.
The soundholes also move away from the typical screened circles you’d find on entry-level resonators, with some elaborately-carved uncovered soundholes in the upper bout. As for the neck, this is also mahogany, with a rosewood fretboard and a total of 21 frets. The craftsmanship is overall applaudable – Oscar Schmidt can be a little underrated, but the quality of their budget instruments speaks volumes.
The OR6CE is fitted with a biscuit-bridge resonator, with a traditional diamond pattern aluminum coverplate. As we’ve established, this resonator is also capable of being plugged directly into an amplifier through the jack on the lower bout, and is voiced by a single covered pickup that sits just above the coverplate. This is tended to by simple master volume and master tone rotary control knobs, similar to what you’d find on an electric guitar. So, it’s not as versatile as some EQ-laden preamps, but it does everything that’s needed. Finally, you get a decent set of chrome die-cast tuners, which do a fine job of keeping the instrument’s tuning stable.
For a resonator in this price range, the sound impresses. It’s very clear and offers the classic vintage biscuit growl, making it perfect for blues or slide playing. Acoustically, this guitar offers a sweet sound, although it’s not particularly warm, despite the mahogany construction. Overall it projects quite well, and there’s more than enough volume when plugged in.
This OR6CE has great appeal in both looks and sound, so, for under $300, it is worth adding to any resonator shortlist. The satin black finish and detailing are big attractions and suggest this is a higher-end instrument compared to the more basic entry-level models – even if it is only fifty bucks more. It’s not as warm as it could be in tone, but the actual sound is very easy on the ear, while the electronics are a bonus – it certainly wouldn’t be out of place on stage.