Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Schoonover Resophonic Guitar

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Mike Witcher demonstrates a custom Schoonover dobro.

by Teja Gerken
October 10, 2016

Luthier Kent Schoonover has been building dobro-style resonator guitars in his Oklahoma shop since 1992. Offering individually made custom instruments, Kent specializes in “open” body designs, with no internal posts or baffles. His instruments feature an arched back, and he has also developed a modular spider that includes a precision-fit saddle assembly.

In this video, Peghead Nation dobro instructor Mike Witcher demonstrates his Schoonover No. 56. The guitar’s body is made of quilted maple and it has a flamed maple neck. It also has a Beard Legend cone and Beard cover plate, as well as a Fishman Nashville pickup.

“It’s got great sustain,” says Mike, adding that “It is very clear sounding, with not a lot of extra overtones, which makes it pop through pretty well in a mix.” He also likes that the guitar has a rich bass, but doesn’t get muddy in the midrange. “I’ve noticed that quilted maple tends to be a little richer sounding, and maybe more mellow, compared to flamed maple.”

Study dobro with Mike by enrolling in his Beginning Dobro and/or Dobro Workshop courses on Peghead Nation.


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by dale mitchell on
Hi Kent : Sounds like we agree on construction methods. I too build an open arched back body . At one time I put a single post similar to the sound post on a bass but removed it on later models and noted a much improved sound & tone. I`m using a #14 spider and do not know what a "modular spider" is??? Picture? I`m finishing with catalized urethane ( automotive clearcoat). Much nicer to work with than lacquer and much more durable. Also water proof! Try it on one instrument and you`ll never go back to lacquer!
Posted by Pablo Conrad on
I have been playing a Schoonover made of quilted maple for the past 9 years. I love it. One day I want to visit the shop and thank Kent in person for everything he brings to these guitars: a great open-body design, craftsmanship, tone! tone! tone!, durability, and a beautiful look.
Posted by Bengt von Andreae on
I have one of these. I am very happy with it! It was also worth waiting for.
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