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Mule Resonator Guitar Homepage

Mule Resonator Guitars

Custom handmade resonator guitars

My name is Matt Eich and I,  along with my brother Phil and Adam Smith, build handmade steel and brass bodied single cone and tricone resonator guitars.  After witnessing Kelly Joe Phelps play his resonator at a  show here in Michigan I left wondering if I could use my guitar making skills I learned at Huss and Dalton Guitars to make metal bodied resonators.  They are just so much guitar: volume, range of tone, look- and potential. I wanted to do them differently.  I wanted them to sound more guitar like, meaning more warmth and low end. I also wanted them to look the materials they were made from- the raw steel and brass, with a patina I've developed over the years.  I'm so excited to be able to offer them to players. Options like a P90 pickup, a tricone in a single cone body like the very first National guitars... I'm having the time of my life building these instruments and hearing what players like Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Kelly Joe, Charlie Parr, Jeffrey Foucault, Jason Dennie, Jay Lapp and so many more players I've had the pleasure to get to know during the building process.   When you send an e-mail, you get me. My brother Phil will send build pictures as your guitar goes through the work.  That's part of the experience and story. I'm happy you're here and if you have any questions please e-mail me at muleresonators@gmail.com

For pictures of our resonator guitars, click here.

For sound samples of our resonator guitar options, click here.

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The Mule Blog

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29 Mar 2017

The New Sound

I used to have a ladder braced Gibson LG1. When I miked  it at shows it sounded awesome. Great acoustic tone, balanced and cut through nicely.  I just listened to some older recordings I made with it and it sounded wonderful – woody, old, and it mixed well. It gave those tracks a feel they would not have had otherwise.  It was a $600 student guitar, and was just about opposite of every “nice” sounding guitar you could find. But it was a new sound. It took a really wide swing to get it. It was obscenely quite. It thunked. It ended up being exactly what I needed.

I just got a new Fender telecaster with wide range pickups in it as a present from a customer.  At first I didn’t really like it, it was too unlike anything I had played before so everything sounded… weird.  Then I started hearing how the low end, especially with flatwounds and overdrive, sounded a bit like a B3 organ. I started trying to play like I was playing a B3. the lows were loooow and the highs were hiiiigh. That contrast made me start playing a bit like a piano, stuff happening underneath with the trebles playing melody. It changed how I play the guitar. And at first I didn’t like it.

When looking for a new sound we get caught up in the minutae.  the Ol’ 59 tele pickup vs the T5 tele pickup vs the underwound T5 pickup.  The rosewood from this place vs the rosewood from that place.  But here’s my most recent sonic revelation- we don’t have enough time for dinking around with the small stuff. If you want a new sound you have to swing wide to find it – listen to things you don’t like, play guitars that take a bit of a learning curve.  If you try to control it to much it all sounds the same.

27 Mar 2017

Work – Rest- Play -Dinking Around

When you work, work. When you rest, rest. When you play, play. If any of these mix you end up just dinking around.

Often times we find ourselves resting while at work. But for the majority of us our jobs are not as hard as they could be. We go into them half-ready because we aren’t rested. Our rest isn’t rest  – it’s finishing errands or staring at Facebook or watching TV. We confuse our rest with our play. Playing has some physical or mental effort that goes into it. Our brains our stimulated.  I don’t think anyone would describe Facebook or at least the wasteful part of TV time as fun. But it costs us some rest.  It’s not really fun but it costs us our play time anyways. So we never play. We don’t ever play so we try to do it while we rest and it doesn’t work. That costs us our rest so we try to rest while we work. Things don’t go well at work so things don’t get done, we make mistakes, and then we complain. How much can we complain if we are really just dinking around?

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