|Body And Neck:|
If you’ve ever played a J. Navarro, Blueridge, or Bristol guitar, you have Saga Music to thank. The brand has a big catalog of electric, acoustic, classical and – under their respected Regal series – resonator guitars. They come in all shapes and styles, but their Regal RD-30MS is their most affordable resonator – and a popular model on our chart of the best resonators – so today we’re taking a look at the squareneck version.
As mentioned, this is the squareneck model, which is suited for lap playing, although a roundneck model (the RD-30M) is also available. The body itself features the classic 25” scale length non-cutaway shape and is made entirely from a mahogany laminate, with a natural glossy finish and white ABS binding (a slightly more vintage-style tobacco sunburst version is also on the market). There’s nothing incredible or extroverted about the design, but its traditional simplicity is appealing to the eye.
Joined at the 12th fret, the neck is made of mahogany and features a total of 21 frets marked by mother-of-pearl dot inlays. It’s a chunky neck, with a 2” nut width, and feels very sturdy and comfortable on the lap. For an entry-level guitar made in Asia, the RD-30MS shows good craftsmanship from the body to the hardware – certainly one of the best in the budget market.
The RD-30MS is a solely acoustic affair, with a spun aluminum cone and a spider bridge, featuring a maple saddle. This is all covered with a traditional slotted sunray cover plate, while the soundholes are screened. At the upper end of the guitar you’ll find a set of good-quality nickel-plated open-gear tuning machines with a 14:1 gear ratio and butterbean tuning keys. For a budget guitar, these are surprisingly solid in feel, hold the tuning well, and are quite precise in operation. Finally, the tall nut is made of bone – again, another nice addition at this price point.
We’re looking at this guitar in comparison to other budget guitars and it actually performs very well indeed. The clarity is great and the projection is surprisingly good, with the aluminum resonator offering a delightfully bright twang, which is well balanced by the warmer mahogany – excellent for bluegrass and country styles in particular. Again, for the price, the overall sound quality is impressive.
Solid build, nice sound, quality tuners, and a good price – the RD-30MS is the complete package, and an ideal choice for beginners and aspiring Jerry Douglases! With such a nice build, it’s also the model we recommend to more experienced players looking for a first/second resonator that doesn’t cost the Earth.