The most fun and valuable part about resonators is that they sound SO different. They wake up your ear and push you out of your ruts like few other guitars can. Since they are so loud small changes you make to the instrument make a large difference in timbre and tone. The biggest bang for your buck when it comes to your resonator is changing the string gauge and tuning.
Your resonator with light gauge strings tuned to open E will sound like a totally different beast compared to it tuned to open C#. And not just in pitch. The tension and mass of the strings affect the instruments timbre. You'll hear new things and make different musical choices. Thats inspiration! Go for it and have fun exploring.
I LOVE using Nickel strings - do you love that dead string sound? Me too. Nickel half rounds sound a bit thunkier than phosphor bronze. And if you really want to swing it wide put some flat tops on.
A note when changing strings: swap one string at a time. This will keep the cones in place.
Here are the strings we recommend for your resonator and their associated tunings.
Both Standard and Open D:
Open D or C# ONLY - don't use for standard tuning. You can tune to standard D though. Standard tuning just a full step down.
Open E or light touch standard
Nickel standard or open D
We are working on getting our own strings made by our good buddies at Stringjoy. Stay tuned for that!