One of the most popular resonator guitars sold today also happens to be one of the most affordable on the market – the Classic Spider roundneck, from the entry-level brand Rogue Guitars. It’s one of the cheaper models on our chart of the best resonators, so how does it hold up to some of the higher-end models? Let’s take a look.
The first thing you notice about this guitar is the black finish (although a sunburst model also exists), which sets it apart from some of the other more traditional-looking guitars in this price range. The black gives it a more elegant feel, especially with the cream binding around much of the body. The body uses the classic pairing of spruce on the top, with mahogany making up the back and sides – both sturdy laminates, which is the standard from low to high-end resonators.
This black version is a roundneck model, with the neck made of mahogany featuring a rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, and attractive mother-of-pearl diamond inlays. While its price tag suggests anything but premium, it feels pretty solid and comfortable to play on the knee. On that note, we should point out that the Spider Resonator also comes in a squareneck model, should lap steel playing be your style. Either way, this is a pretty durable guitar that feels worth the cash.
As you may expect from the name, this Spider is fitted with a 10.5” spun aluminum resonator cone and a classic die-cast spider bridge. You’ll also find a chrome-plated bell brass coverplate and tailpiece. All solid components for the price. At the other end, the headstock features a set of chrome tuners. Sadly, these don’t hold tuning very well, and let the guitar down a bit – certainly passable, but if you’re planning the hold onto the guitar for a while you may want to change them. The stock strings it comes with are worth changing too – as soon as possible. Otherwise it’s a pretty solid performer.
For such an affordable guitar, the Spider sounds pretty good all round, with a sweet, warm tone with sufficient sustain that’s particularly good for country and bluegrass styles. Meanwhile the projection – for a resonator – is decent. Not as loud as some, but for practicing and jamming, it’s very acceptable.
Rogue’s Spider is a decent guitar and a great choice for beginners, although it’s equally as suited to more experienced players looking for a budget resonator. The body and construction is quite good for the price, and it lends itself nicely to modifying and upgrading. It’s certainly not perfect, but after a good set-up and string change it’s hugely playable, and should provide many happy hours of practice.