Recording King RM-991-S Review – Sets the Bar High for Mid-Range Tricone Resonators

Readers of our guide to the best resonators on the market will find it is topped by this excellent squareneck tricone model from Recording King – one which shows off some high-end appointments, while still displaying good value. Before we start, note that while we’re reviewing the squareneck model, an almost identical roundneck variation (the RM-991) is also available.

Recording-King-RM-991-S-Body

Body & Neck

While there’s nothing particularly extravagant or unique about the design of the RM-991-S – at least when compared to other tricone guitars – it’s still a striking instrument. It features a 25.5” scale length body made from highly-polished nickel-plated bell brass, with a traditional non-cutaway art-deco design. The body is fantastic with that smooth mirrored finish, and shows good craftsmanship for the price.

The RM-991-S is a squareneck model, with the neck made from Honduran mahogany, which feels smooth and comfortable when playing lap steel style – exactly what this model is designed for. The 1.75” nut width neck features a padauk fretboard, with 19 frets, and simple mother-of-pearl fretboard markers. The action is high – as you’d want when playing lap steel style – and, generally, the guitar required minimal setup out of the box.

Recording-King-RM-991-S-Headstock

Hardware

The RM-991-S has no electronics, but – as we’ll discuss – there’s little need for amplification, as this baby can really sing! The guitar sports three 6” hand-spun aluminium cones, with two placed on the bass side and one on the treble, connected by a T-shaped bridge (which features a saddle made from ebony and maple). This is all shielded by a classic art-deco screened coverplate. Sitting on the slotted headstock, conveniently facing upwards for easy access, is a set of quality open-geared die-cast tuners, while you’ll also find a plated Recording King logo at the top of the headstock. Sadly, there’s no case included – for the price we’d have expected at least a gig bag.

Sound

The cone set-up on this resonator is perfect, with the two bass cones offering a warm, sweet tone, with plenty of power and volume – easily cutting through any acoustic mix. However, the dynamics are wide ranging, and a smoother playing style can result in some very soft sounds. Meanwhile, as you’d expect from a tricone, there’s beautiful sustain that just goes on and on. While the squareneck design limits you to a few certain genres, the guitar’s focused sound is perfect for blues styles and Hawaiian slide.

Conclusion

This really is a great guitar. Aside from the mirrored finish, there are no bells or whistles – just solid sound and easy playability. For the price, you would actually be hard-pushed to find another tricone resonator showing the quality of this RM-991-S, while the RM-991 is a good alternative if roundneck playing is more your cup of tea.

For more info about the Recording King RM-991-S, click here.
For more Resonator Guitars you might like, click here.


Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. i just bought one of these rm-991-s.it has such a tenny sound to it.is their anyway to muffle the tenny sound?

  2. Thank you
    Because of your review I purchased this guitar online. Huge risk for me because I am a complete beginner to playing guitar of any kind. I’m self-taught with online lessons. I bought an entry level resonator and fell in love. I knew there was more sound to be had than what I was getting. Wow! My RM-991 blows me away. I’ve had it for a couple of months and my enthusiasm for playing is unbelievable. Even when I’m just strumming (open G tuning) I cannot believe the amazing quality of the various tones and the sustain of the sound goes on and on and on. I could not be happier with my RM-991 and I’m ever so grateful to Guitar Fella for giving me the confidence to buy this guitar online. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *