Deco Phonic: A New Option in Resonator Guitars

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Richard Johnston-

Paul Beard is no newcomer to resonator guitars, as major players like Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, and other A-list players use Beard Dobros. But except for the imported versions bearing his trademark, Beard resonator guitars have always been, well, kinda pricey. That has changed thanks to Paul’s new Deco Phonic line, as he has taken the Collings Waterloo concept and applied it to resonator guitars made right in his Maryland workshop. These Deco Phonic models are made by the same small crew (nine or ten guys), and feature simple but classy designs, thin low-gloss finishes, and offer great tone and playability at very affordable prices.

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As Jerry Douglas points out in his brief introduction on the Beard website, the name “Deco Phonic” is more than just a cute-sounding title. The whole resonator guitar phenomena began during the Art Deco era, and if you look at an original National Tri-Cone or the coverplate from a later Dobro, the influence of Art Deco design is hard to miss. Paul Beard’s Deco Phonic models are inspired by the Regal-made Dobros of the mid-1930s, instruments that provided guitarists with additional volume and sustain in the days before magnetic pickups made it easy to plug-in and get loud.

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Gryphon just got its first shipment of Beard Deco Phonic models, and we’re happy to be offering both roundneck and squareneck models. All feature the Beard Legend cone and #14 cast spider bridge, a combination that delivers authentic dobro tone and plenty of volume. Our Deco Phonic Model 27 squareneck is a great Made-in-USA dobro for only $1600, and that includes a hardshell case. If you love the dobro sound but prefer the versatility of a round (Spanish style) neck, we have the roundneck neck version of the Model 27 for $1800. We also have Model 37 and Model 57 versions in stock, some with factory-installed Jerry Douglas pickups. Prices range from $1600 to $2400

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