2013 Earnest Instruments Radiator Acoustic/Electric Resonator Plectrum Guitar

Above: acoustic video

Above: electric video

The title for this instrument is long because it's also very specialized. So, let's break it down. First-off, it's a plectrum guitar. Huh? That means, usually, a 26-27" scale length and four strings. This is reminiscent of a 1900s-1920s plectrum banjo which was, basically, a 5-string banjo with the 5th (drone) string removed. These were popular in jazz-era groups and, yessir, a number of plectrum guitars were made by all the major manufacturers in the '20s and '30s to suit plectrum banjo players moving-over.

The next part... it's also a resonator instrument. In this case Mr. Joel Eckhaus ("Earnest" himself) used a National Hot Rod biscuit-bridge resonator cone fit in a proper soundwell. The body is a "thinline ash" design but it's truly fully acoustic in there. It's well-built and well-thought-out, so despite being a thinner-depth body, the acoustic volume and sound is excellent. I really, really love the way this sounds and "plays" acoustic best of all.

After that, it's also... electric! In this case it has two passive pickups -- a lipstick-style magnetic (electric) pickup at the neck and an acoustic (piezo) pickup installed under the bridge. That last one was rattling-around loose when I took this in for consignment, so I changed its placement from attached to the cone to attached to the under-side of the biscuit bridge which improved output and tone a lot vs. puttied to the cone as-stock. One can blend the lipstick with the piezo via a 3-way switch and adjustments to either pickups' volume knobs. I like the sound best with it blended and the magnetic pickup rolled off just slightly. It's very lively that way.

Last of all... it's also got a cutaway! Yesss, so many frets free my friends.

I have this strung in (and compensated for) a one-wound, three-plain format like a 5-string banjo might have if it were missing its 5th peg. These strings let you tune to DGBE ("Chicago-style") tuning standard, CGBD (plectrum tuning), CGCE (open C), DF#AD (open D), or various other similar-interval tunings.

Repairs included: cone seating, pickup placement adjustments, compensation to the saddle, setup, added "string tree" screws for better down-pressure at the nut.

Top wood: solid ash

Back & sides wood: solid ash

Bracing type: transverse on back

Bridge: maple, compensated

Fretboard: ebony

Neck wood: maple

Action height at 12th fret:
1/16" overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 28w, 19, 13, 10

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Scale length: 26 1/4"

Nut width: 1 1/4"

Body width: 13 1/4"

Body depth: 2"

Weight: 5 lbs 6 oz

Condition notes: it's pretty clean save a few very minor scuffs/bumps here and there mostly on the edges of the body. The headstock is altered a little -- I had to get some extra downpressure on the strings at the nut so I added "guide" screws for each string that also act as string trees to do just that. As Fender-style headstocks (like this, really) age-in they tend to pull forward just a bit and so extra string trees usually become necessary (this is why old Fenders go from one tree to two as they were produced later and later). Without these downpressure screws/trees the strings get a little bit of a sitar-like sound or overtoney, rattly springiness. There are a couple of "burn marks" on the back of the neck.

It comes with: a gigbag.