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I've worked on a fair number of squareneck reso guitars, solid as a rock with no truss rods. My brother is a resophonic player and just bought a nice old '30's Dobro® with a round neck, and it's being shipped to him this week.  It's set-up with a low nut and was played like a standard guitar.

The question arises: can this guitar be set-up with a tall nut, tuned to standard reso G-tuning and played with a bar? In other words, will the neck support the tension?  There's no visible evidence of a truss rod, but then no one's stuck a magnet near it yet. 

I'd love to hear thoughts and experiences regarding neck stability on these old-timers with round necks, and whether or not they're built to take raised tuning.  Thanks...

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No personal experince here but I would expect the additional bending monent from the raised strings will pull the neck into a bit more relief.
But if you are playing lap style with a bar that probably does not matter

Well my experince tells me that they don't stand up to the extra tension that is the reason they use a squar neck on the raised nut. Why don't he just play it as a slide guitar? Bill..............

Open G tuning certainly creates less tension on the neck. I would try it and measure the difference in relief. Then decide for the long term. I think it'll be okay. 

I've been told that Bashful Brother Oswald has played a round-neck reso for years, G-tuning with a raised nut, so there's hope... maybe his existing neck is bowed to some degree, but as Jeff points-out, he's playing "in the air" anyway, so it shouldn't matter much.

William, it may come down to exactly what you mentioned, but my brother's a great player using a bar & raised nut, so he has no need to alter the style. If anything, he'll adapt the guitar to how he plays.

In any event, regarding the one en route, it'll be interesting to put a magnet on the neck to see if a trussrod exists or not. To be continued... thanks for the input :) 

As far as I know, the neck won't break, so who cares if a strong bowing occurs : it will be played with high action anyway. I would go for it.

I have 2 Dobros with round necks in the early 30s and the necks are fairly straight and with normal tuning One I have used a metal

l raised nut that fits over the original nut so it can be removed.

Ron

Thanks, Ron.  As it turned, the round neck reso didn't have a truss rod installed initially so, to err on the side of safety, I took the fingerboard off and installed a Martin-type square bar.

It's anyone's guess if the neck would've flexed without it, but it's straight as an arrow today, almost two years later. 

Mike
I had never thought of using a magnet to check for truss rod. Good idea!
I checked my 2 dobros and no rod.
Was there any thing else like maple?

In my 8 strings I I have been puting a 3/4 square alum tube for entry stringth.

I also checked a old regal nothing and checked 2 old Kay's and the magnet is still there!

Ron

Hi Ron, nope the inside of the neck was devoid of anything but neck wood:)  Now it's got the square-bar rod, and who knows if even that was needed... but it's there now and holding-up under some pretty high tension, having a mighty tall nut installed for slide work. 

Your 8-string sounds cool... how do you like to tune them? 

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