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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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24 Apr 2017

Running The Goat Rodeo: Don’t Assume, prove

Being a maker/small business owner is one of the ultimate goat rodeos.  Making things at a high level, learning new skills, and also running business is a lot of goats to rope. Fixing problems once and for all is essential. Putting some twine on the fence just moves headaches to a different day.  Here’s some problems I’ve solved along the way.

On a list of things I believe at the top is this, “Don’t assume, prove”.  Do this test: vocalize an idea. Count the number of counter ideas, corrections, and tangents you get from those within earshot in the next five minutes.   Is it about a guitar business? Someone who doesn’t even play guitar knows why it wont work.  Etc. And you do the same thing to yourself.  Want to quit your job and start a maker business? It will work because you assume it will.  Looking for a shop space? “What are you looking to spend?”  Fill in a blank and magically that’s the rent for the space you’ll find. Because you assumed.  Don’t assume, prove.  I wanted a 1000 sq ft shop for free.  I went looking to prove that wasn’t possible.  I found a deal (and wonderful landlords) on 1,500 sq feet that would shock you.

If you are encountering a problem in starting or running your business, step back and look for the things that you believe about the situation without any proof, then come up with the ways to prove what’s actual happening.  This  will include numbers, this will include past experiences.  This will include asking people who have been in the game longer than you have.  You want to win the game, not just have the right idea.  Don’t assume, prove.

20 Apr 2017

Origin Story

pantera

The most memorable voices are the most unique. There’s a timbre to Dylan’s voice that should make it bad. But it’s not. Maybe it is, but it doesn’t matter. It’s his and he owns it. That’s the sound he wants and goes and gets it.

It’s his voice because of the things wrong with it – it’s nasally, sounds more like he’s talking, not much range- not because of the things right with it.  When “wrong” becomes right you know you are doing important work. Work becomes meaningful because you’re contributing something new.

Part of what makes us makers are the things wrong with us. What’s wrong varies from person to person, and just like Dylan’s voice, varies so widely that’s what makes us “us”. Do you own it? Part of that story is where we come from. Here’s my job history:

8th grade – Summer job at grocery store

freshman year – Burger King

Soph-Senior – Landscaping

Guitar making school

Lived in garage with tools.

3M – rolled tape onto rolls 6 months

MCS- assembled electrical motors  4 months. Called in and said I wasn’t coming in anymore.

Barry Controls- Temp. Assembled pieces onto molds for rubber presses.

Shepherd Extrusion – worked midnight shift running a plastic extrusion machine with one other person. He drank 4 liters of mountain dew an evening. I was there when four other people were injured. two weeks.

Huss and Dalton Guitars – the shining star of my work career

McMaster Carr- Packing and order filling. Got fired after I made 29 errors after 111,000 lines filled.

Wandered and played music – two years

Engine block plant- two weeks, quit after I had 12 guitars on the list

Mule- four years and counting

Those past experiences mean things. If you own it.

Above picture is Pantera.  Before they became, you know, “Pantera”.

 

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