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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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For post about resonator guitars, guitar building and whatnot, click here for the Mule blog.

The Mule Blog

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18 Mar 2016

Building the Mule-caster

I think the most exciting part for me as a builder was that moment of “I wonder if I could make that?” leaving the Kelly Joe Phelps show four years ago where he was playing his National.  I think about that almost daily as I’m reminded of other events leading up to doing what I’m doing now.

That initial struggle, figuring, plotting, planning…I think that’s my favorite part. It’s painful and frustrating and it creates obsession.  It’s entrepreneurship of an object that inspires. ‘If I can make this, what sounds will I hear that havn’t been heard? What songs will be written?” It’s one thing to be a part of something, to do good work within a system. Its a different thing to take an assemblage of failures and successes and experiences and apply that to a piece of wood and a piece of steel. It requires relentless forward progress, you just have to keep moving. Cutting and trashing and buying and thinking.

I feel that again with these Mule electrics.

Rawk’NRoll. I know that they have to be stainless, because it sounds great and is pretty well indestructible patina wise.  I’ve been practicing my TIG welding. The resonators are flanged and then soldered. That’s the way resonators have always been done.  I want to TIG weld these because the tight cutaways on the body shape would make it really hard to get a good fit after flanging. TIG welding is also awesome. Chris Hamilton at Hamilton Steel Guitars is an inspiring dude.  I want to grow up to be just like him.

I’m making an outside mold here.  The top and back will be aligned and welded together via rods inside to properly space them. This mold will, hopefully,  be used to clamp the slides around the top and back.Mule Resonator steel tele 4 Mule Resonator steel tele 3 Mule Resonator steel tele 2 Mule Resonator steel tele

 

12 Mar 2016

Charlie Parr Reviews his Mule

Charlie Parr on his Mule:

“So in 1927 National made a proto-type guitar that was a tri-cone fit into a single-cone body, it was some kind of test I think and they never made a production model out of it. My Mule is just that, a tri-cone set into a single-cone stainless steel body and the sound is somewhere right in between the two designs. I’d never part with my National, but this guitar doesn’t really sound anything like it, and I’ve found that I’m using the Mule a lot these days. Matt did a fantastic job all around on this guitar, the neck feels like I’ve played it for years, and it’s got a custom made P-90 that really sounds nice and not overly electric. I love the sound, and it’s versatile, changing from sharp to growl to mellow depending on where yr right hand is.”

 

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muleresonators@gmail.com

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