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Regal RC-2 Duolian

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The Regal RC-2 Duolian has been a favorite with blues legends since it was first introduced in 1931. This modern version has been upgraded with a ful...Click To Read More About This Product

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The legend is back and better than ever.

The Regal RC-2 Duolian has been a favorite with blues legends since it was first introduced in 1931. This modern version has been upgraded with a fully adjustable neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and a 14th-fret neck joint. 15:1 ratio machine heads tune easily and securely. The rolled-in F-holes, coverplate, and tailpiece are true to the vintage original Duolian. The spun resonator cone with wooden biscuit bridge provides the amazing tone that has made this guitar a classic.

The Duolian was a favorite with blues legends such as Son House, Bukka White, and Tampa Red when it first appeared in 1931, because it offered the volume and projection they needed while maintaining the tone they required. As its sound spread throughout the Delta more and more musicians turned to the Duolian, and it became the amplified guitar of the 1930s with its sharp attack and rapid decay. When the blues migrated from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago, so did the Duolian. It became a staple of the south side Chicago blues scene in the '40s, '50s, and beyond.

FEATURES
Duolian-style nickel-plated steel body
Slim, comfortable neck
Rosewood fingerboard
Mother-of-pearl dot position markers
Die-cast 15:1 ratio sealed tuning machines
Adjustable truss rod

If you're going to play the blues, you better have the right axe. Order the Duolian today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
RegalRC-2 Duolian
 
4.4

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Is The Duolian The Answer? In many ways, yes.

Very hard for me to feel fully capable of rating this as I have played so few other resonators. The ones I played in the stores were wooden bodies and not that exciting to...Read complete review

Very hard for me to feel fully capable of rating this as I have played so few other resonators. The ones I played in the stores were wooden bodies and not that exciting to me. Living in a rural area, even though I'm willing to drive, it became obvious to me that I would have to buy my resonator online and so had to rely on the reviews of others (spent HOURS shopping) and searching out videos of people playing the different models. I had decided I wanted the fuller tone of the steel body. When shopping resonators, you should consider whether it matters to you how much access you have to upper frets. Some have a 12th fret body fret which, to me, is too short. Many songs- and when just fooling around- it is handy to play the 12th fret without having to stretch and to be able to access frets 14 and even 15 with your slide from normal fretting position. Although I have been playing guitar forever, slide is fairly new to me. I have never played any American made resonators but I know the tone I like in others (D. Trucks. J Douglas etc). On this guitar, best tone by far- as regards resonance and character and that 'gut bucket" sound- is 2nd and 3rd strings. 4th good as well. 1st string sounds fine but does not have much resonance, I assume because of the higher pitch. 5th okay and 6th, as mentioned above, I still haven't found full happiness with. Maybe I will get it to project better with a hard pick or steel finger picks. Overall though... I'm keeping it, having fun, getting better all the time. One factor that made the decision for me with this model was that i couldn't find any used ones on Ebay! A sure sign of satisfaction.
By features, I am thinking of tuners: "7" a little hard to turn, resonator tone: "8", appearance: "10"
Very well put together. Fret edge finish excellent. Is very heavy but.. if you want light, don't go metallic! Would have liked to see the set up just a tiny bit higher, especially on the 6th string which I'm still not 100% satisfied with. I have thoughts of making a new nut, but if you want to be able to play fretted notes (Little Martha!) or songs with combos of slide and fretted, you wouldn't want the set up much higher than this. When the guitar came, intonation was a problem everywhere- most especially on the sixth string. I had read from others about the need to change the strings; DON"T WAIT to change the strings like I did. It will influence your happiness with this instrument if you are playing bronze wound strings- which it comes with- on this guitar which will not really sound right until you put on the nickle wound resonator strings you can buy elsewhere here.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Regal RC-2 Duolian

I have a prior review that hasn't posted yet for some time, so will repost this, after having owned it for a bit. The fit and finish is not flawless as noted below...Read complete review

I have a prior review that hasn't posted yet for some time, so will repost this, after having owned it for a bit. The fit and finish is not flawless as noted below in other reviews. With a resonator, having the biscuit touching the top opening, is probably not good for tone and vol. The Regal logo, is way off center, but mention that only since may reflect on other overlooked issues I have not discovered yet. The Chrome will immediately discolor if you don't wipe it from day one, period. And, Regals customer service, who I wrote to months ago prior to buying, still has not responded to me... so this site is it, better buy the extended warranty then when you do the purchase. Otherwise, its a nice unit. Just wish they paid closer attention to things like if the top was put on just right so the cone and biscuit move freely. The Decal, logo, is just plain sloppy and should not have left the factory IMHO. But, for the money what other options do you have. So, get it, and fix what's wrong, it's still worth it. I didn't return mine though was very tempted, indeed!

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Excellent Resonator for Blues

By RadioResonator

from Denton, Texas

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

If you pine for that 20?s & 30?s resonator sound but can?t spare 2 large for a National, the Regal RC-2 is a great value. The overall quality is excellent for a guitar in this price range. The sound and playability of mine was not bad right out of the box. Once I replaced the absurdly light strings the sound was excellent. Use medium or heavier strings that start with a .12 or heavier particularly if you plan to play slide. (Bob Brozman uses a .16 and Catfish Keith uses a .17 high E string. Harder to finger but the tone & sustain are worth it.) One tip: never remove all 6 strings at once! That can allow the cone to shift and you may get buzzes. You can reseat a cone but it isn?t easy or quick. If the guitar doesn?t buzz out of the box the cone is seated properly. Keep it tuned up to pitch and replace one string at a time. Trust me ? this is the voice of sad experience talking!Overall I am very pleased with this guitar and I?ve played both original 1930?s Nationals and the new National Resophonics. Not the same but pretty durn good and a great value.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Is The Duolian The Answer? In many ways, yes.

By Jonathan Fine

from VT

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

Very hard for me to feel fully capable of rating this as I have played so few other resonators. The ones I played in the stores were wooden bodies and not that exciting to me. Living in a rural area, even though I'm willing to drive, it became obvious to me that I would have to buy my resonator online and so had to rely on the reviews of others (spent HOURS shopping) and searching out videos of people playing the different models. I had decided I wanted the fuller tone of the steel body. When shopping resonators, you should consider whether it matters to you how much access you have to upper frets. Some have a 12th fret body fret which, to me, is too short. Many songs- and when just fooling around- it is handy to play the 12th fret without having to stretch and to be able to access frets 14 and even 15 with your slide from normal fretting position. Although I have been playing guitar forever, slide is fairly new to me. I have never played any American made resonators but I know the tone I like in others (D. Trucks. J Douglas etc). On this guitar, best tone by far- as regards resonance and character and that 'gut bucket" sound- is 2nd and 3rd strings. 4th good as well. 1st string sounds fine but does not have much resonance, I assume because of the higher pitch. 5th okay and 6th, as mentioned above, I still haven't found full happiness with. Maybe I will get it to project better with a hard pick or steel finger picks. Overall though... I'm keeping it, having fun, getting better all the time. One factor that made the decision for me with this model was that i couldn't find any used ones on Ebay! A sure sign of satisfaction.
By features, I am thinking of tuners: "7" a little hard to turn, resonator tone: "8", appearance: "10"
Very well put together. Fret edge finish excellent. Is very heavy but.. if you want light, don't go metallic! Would have liked to see the set up just a tiny bit higher, especially on the 6th string which I'm still not 100% satisfied with. I have thoughts of making a new nut, but if you want to be able to play fretted notes (Little Martha!) or songs with combos of slide and fretted, you wouldn't want the set up much higher than this. When the guitar came, intonation was a problem everywhere- most especially on the sixth string. I had read from others about the need to change the strings; DON"T WAIT to change the strings like I did. It will influence your happiness with this instrument if you are playing bronze wound strings- which it comes with- on this guitar which will not really sound right until you put on the nickle wound resonator strings you can buy elsewhere here.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

To be honest and up front here, this is the first resonator that I've owned and I haven't had it for that long. I've owned a number of acoustic guitars over the years and I also taught guitar for a number of years plus I've written a book on music theory as applied to rhythm guitar, so I'm fairly knowledgeable about what playing is all about. I have a Martin D28 that I keep in standard tuning and I've also been playing a Yamaha CJ818 in both D and G open tunings with slide and by fingerpicking. I love the Delta blues and I've been playing them on my Yamaha for quite awhile now, but a resonator is what I really wanted. There's just something about the sound that can't be reproduced on a regular acoustic. At first I didn't know the difference between biscuit and spider bridges, tricone or single cone, brass, steel, or wood bodies, but after quite a bit of internet research and from reading about them in 'Acoustic Guitar' magazine, I finally settled on buying a single cone steel-body, 14-fret resonator. A 14-fret was important to me over the 12-fret models. The brand name wasn't important as long as it sounded good and was fairly decent to play. I read the reviews on several models, but the review of resonators in 'Acoustic Guitar' magazine rated this as one of the best picks for the price and after now owning one I would have to agree. Unlike the unfortunate luck that some reviewers had, mine arrived inside the hard shell case that I also bought and it was in perfect condition. No broken neck or strings, no dents or dings, just a very nice looking resonator that once tuned, sounded excellent with no buzz. For slide, it's excellent though I do plan on putting on heavier gauge strings. The action is a little stiffer than I like for fingerpicking, but from what I gather, that's normal for a resonator, especially due to the heavier gauge strings. I've been so used to the sound and feel of the Yamaha that it took a short time to get used to the feel and sound of the RC-2, but now I wouldn't trade the sound for anything. It's exactly what I was looking for. The first shock was at how heavy it was compared to what I'm used to, but that's not really a problem. The nickel plating has too much of a mirror finish for my tastes and I wish it were toned down a little, but I can still live with it. The photo of the RC-2 here and in 'Acoustic Guitar' showed the headstock as being plain wood, but it's actually a faux marble (I guess that's what it is) which is OK, but I would rather have had a headstock with the pictured wood look. All in all, I am extremely satisfied and I feel that I got my money's worth and I know that I will receive years of enjoyment out of it. I would strongly recommend buying a dreadnought hardshell case when you purchase this as it originally comes without a case.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

An Excellent Starter

By MeanOldBast

from Route 66, New Mexico

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I bought this guitar to play Chris Whitley and it does that duty well. The neck on my first RC-2 cracked near the body after two weeks (in slack tuning no less), but Sega replaced the guitar no questions. The original strings are ridiculously thin and cables make the guitar louder and better sounding. The intonation is the terrible - blame it on the biscuit bridge - it's not exactly fixed in place like a normal acoustic. I wish the frets were better finished and eventually I'll lay a file to them. But those issues aside its got a loud and wonderfully trashy sound. I kind of have to re-learn how to play!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Regal RC-2 Duolian

By PlainOldMusician

from Piscatway, NJ

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I have a prior review that hasn't posted yet for some time, so will repost this, after having owned it for a bit. The fit and finish is not flawless as noted below in other reviews. With a resonator, having the biscuit touching the top opening, is probably not good for tone and vol. The Regal logo, is way off center, but mention that only since may reflect on other overlooked issues I have not discovered yet. The Chrome will immediately discolor if you don't wipe it from day one, period. And, Regals customer service, who I wrote to months ago prior to buying, still has not responded to me... so this site is it, better buy the extended warranty then when you do the purchase. Otherwise, its a nice unit. Just wish they paid closer attention to things like if the top was put on just right so the cone and biscuit move freely. The Decal, logo, is just plain sloppy and should not have left the factory IMHO. But, for the money what other options do you have. So, get it, and fix what's wrong, it's still worth it. I didn't return mine though was very tempted, indeed!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Instrument!!

By Romulo Grodzki

from Curitiba, PR, Brasil

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Consistent
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Nothing

Best Uses

  • Therapy Life

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

Excellent musical instrument. I'm playing all kinds of forms, including blues and rock pop. My Regal arrived in Brazil in perfect condition and very fast. Regards to all!!!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Best priced resonator guitar I've found

By Rev. Bluesdawg

from HOLLY, MI

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

You can spend alot more for that greasy sound, but this inexpensive axe really nails it! Decent workmanship, fit & finish. Great tone.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Get that Tampa Red sound

By Radio Blues Man

from Glen Ellyn, IL

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

Upon receiving the RC-2, I noticed the fit and finish were flawless as per Regal's reputation. I did not use the original strings as one of the strings broke when I initially tuned it up. I immediately strung it with D'Addario EJ18 Heavy Acoustic Strings .14 gauge strings. These are a larger gauge string than those provided by Regal. I also use a Bronze Bomber slide. The guitar needs both the heavy slide and the heavy gauge strings to get the fat tone you hear in the old blues records. The guitar came pretty well set-up from the factory. The strings are significantly off the finger board which was probably intended by the factory to accommodate those who like high action for slide playing. I'm having my guitar-tech lower the action a little, but I will keep the action on the high side so I can bite down with the slide. When playing without the slide, the guitar has poor action, which should be expected from a resonator guitar. I have never played a resonator which had great action. What you lose in action, however, you gain in loudness and tone. This guitar shows off when you play note-by-note. The bass strings on this sweetie can fill the room when you play note-by-note. I would say the guitar has three times the volume of an ordinary wood instrument. I am also happy that the Regal does not have that annoying banjo tone of other resonators. The RC-2 has a chunky sound, but without the aggressive attack and rapid decay of some resonators. The sustain is satisfactory, but I can't quite get the extended sustain you hear on some of Tampa Red's recordings. This may be because I'm no Tampa Red, but it also may be because Red often used a Tricone rather than the a single cone resonator. I would describe the sound I get from the RC-2 as more like what you hear on the old Bukka White recordings. So in short I'm pretty well satisfied with this purchase and think its a good value at this price point.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Low cost, great sound

By Mr. Willie

from Portland, OR

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I've had mine for about 3 years now, play mostly slide but fingerboarding work fine too. I keep it tuned to open G. It has a killer sound with 13's playing slide but pretty hard to finger, sounds good with 12's and much easier on the fingers. It buzzed at first which drove me crazy but turning the cone fixed it. Recommended.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I love this guitar.

By JJ-v3C4Z

from Blaine, MN

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I waited about 20 years to finally get a resonator, and I am VERY happy I got this one. A friend of mine let me play his National for a few years, and this Regal definitely compares in sound, with the additional advantage of being brand new, perfect, flawless and beautiful. Weighs a ton, but I love every ounce.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Pretty good for the money.

By CaptBobALou

from Helena, MT

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

Not quite the tone I wanted, but fit/finish on the body were good. Intonation not quite there, and strings sucked (but they're cheap) Sounds pretty good for the price, but will end up hot-rodding it with a new bridge, nut and resonator.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Blues Machine

By GUITARDLJ-_k51S

from Indiana

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I've looked at other metal bodies but for the money you can't go wrong with this baby. It's not a National or Dobro, but it does have the vibe and sound of your favorite blues slider. The crome body is a fingerprint nightmare, but you can't get this sound with a wooden body. When it's clean, nothing outshines it LOL! Buy it, you'll like it!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

World's coolest guitar

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I love this guitar. It has a very loud resonator voice with great ring. The brights are actually very sweet, especially capo'd up a few (I usually play this in standard tuning).Didn't even intend to own one. Was just browsing a local music store and saw one hanging up, ran my fingers across the strings once, and bought it on the spot. I also own 2 Martins and an Alvarez 12, but this is the only one I play anymore. Love the sound.Nice fast neck. Decent hardware. Blindingly shiny. Downside: HEAVY! Takes some getting used to.Also, I'm a lefty. These puppies are really easy to flip.

 
5.0

Sounds great & looks great!

By Martin fan

from New England

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

Well built instrument with great sound. Nice fret work too. You will not be disappointed.

 
5.0

Sweet!

By Rob-Egbln

from staten Island New York

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I have always been intrigued by metal bodied resonator guitars ever since i saw my uncles 1931 national style o. The RC- 2 duolian provides equal quality tone and craftsmanship at a fraction of the price. i was stunned. i cant wait to get up the cash to buy my own! (my mom is going to kill me!... this is not what college tuition is supposed to pay for!... or is it?)

(0 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

horrible sounding resonator.

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

It sounds very bad and breaks easily

 
4.0

regal rc2 duolian

By tacoma c1c chief

from nampa, ID

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

the fretboard is rough, the setup was poor, good chrome, excellent sound if you can get rid of the rattles.

 
5.0

Wonderful metal-body

By 3toes-5flkm

from Columbia, SC

See all my reviews

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

I had been playing my fender wood-body resonator (and still do) and was wanting to break into the metal. This seemed affordable so I picked it up here.I couldn't be happier with this resonator. Keeping it tuned in E with some slightly lighter than normal strings gives it a great tinny 30's blues sound.I've had it for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. Just gotta keep it clean and keep good strings on it.

 
5.0

Utopia

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

The RC-2 is way under-priced. You can now associate Regal with quality. The biggest improvement from the RC-1 is the tone and the action on the RC-2. The sound and action are great right out of the box (very easy to fret). All of the hardware is more than acceptable. I'm impressed and have not even taken this instrument in to be set up. This duolian is only a few steps away from being Dobro or National Resonator quality. While I don't put much stock in appearance, this duolian is very nice looking and has a classic feel to it. It sounds and plays just as nice as it looks. I've only had it 2 days and feel that I really got more than I paid for it. I've owned the RC-1 before and was very satisfied with it. But the RC-2 is well worth the extra dollars. You won't find this kind of quality unless you purchase a Dobro or National (and you will have to pay more than double for what you pay for the RC-2). Also, the RC-2 beats the Fender FR-48 hands down. This is the way to go if you want a solid sounding resonator.

 
5.0

RC-2 Duolian Review

By Dale

from Hillsborough N.J.

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Regal RC-2 Duolian:

For the money, I thought this guitar was well worth it. You have to keep wiping smudges off it though, or it will discolor. I love playing slide on that guitar, I always keep it tuned to "D" and play blues on it. Even in regular tuning it fingers pretty well, it's also very loud. I wish it had a pick-up of some kind on it.

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