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Like everyone I post some instruments and gear stuff here: Lapsteels, Guitars, Drum and Tabla with audio examples where available.

But first of all, what is a Squareneck Resophonic Guitar? Here is a good info graphic:


Meredith No. 60

(12.2014) This is one of those Dobros which are as good as a Dobro can get. Made from all massive Koa wood. There are different Dobros, but hardly better ones.

Beard Vintage R

First of all my main working horse, a Beard Vintage R Model. I like its finish – although it’s delicate – and of course, the tone you get for the price.

Beard Vintage R Model
Beard Vintage R Model

At the moment I use D’Addario EXP042-Strings. Elixir Polywebs are longer lasting, but to weak in sound and feel for me. Best sound I got with Nickel-Strings, but you have to change them two times a day! Or so.

Perfect Touch Finger Picks
Perfect Touch Finger Picks
Perfect Touch Finger Picks
Perfect Touch Finger Picks

Right now I use Perfect Touch Finger Picks. Their design avoids the clicking sound when the picks touches each other while playing. Plus, when music is hot and finger get wet, they will move much less than the ProPiks 1-ang (split wrap) I used before.



Shubb SP-2 Steelbar
Shubb SP-2 Steelbar

I use a Shubb SP-2 Steelbar and a Shubb Capo. It’s very expensive, but absolutely worth the money! It gives me the best sustain and the strings are fixed up the neck.


Shubb Dobro Capo
Shubb Dobro Capo











DPA 4099 Guitar Clip Mic
DPA 4099 Guitar Clip Mic
DPA 4099 Guitar Clip Mic
DPA 4099 Guitar Clip Mic

The DPA 4099G is good professional stuff and sounds very natural. It’s not cheap. I’m still looking for a mute switch to tune strings on stage. Maybe I’ll get wireless set one day… 🙂Saitensprung Banner

Saitensprung – my musicshop of choice

Goldtone Signature Deluxe

Dobro Goldtone Signature Deluxe
Goldtone Signature Deluxe

With my first Dobro, a Goldtone Paul Beard Signature Deluxe, I had some bad luck. The top has deformed, so that the cone was jammed in the opening and I had to enlarge it with a milling cutter. I suppose this was due to temperature issues…

I bought it in 2004 and after 3½ years I had to change the mechanics, the one of the 3rd string was broken.

Otherwise it’s a nice instrument and I think it is worth the price. The sound is somewhat metallic with few bass and the 1st and 2nd strings are a bit weak. Playing up the neck it looses sustain too.

But hey, hot cars in direct sunlight on holidays or colder evenings at a campfire are not situations you do with your best instrument.

Mohan Veena (Indian Slide Guitar)

Indian Slide Guitar
Mohan Veena

This one bought my brother on one of his trips to India. He couldn’t get his mind to slide and passed it over to me.

I’m still not very familiar with the style of playing, especially tuning the drone strings is a story of its own. And you need partners who are good at dealing with modal music. Why all and everyone needs to change chord every other bar?


Martin D42

Guitar Martin D42
Guitar Martin D42

Surely this is my star. Every time I play on it it’s like … woahhh … simply unbelievable. It has the classic dreadnought sound, but playing with a pick or fingerstyle it does exactly what you are doing. Every string is clearly there while all alloy to a big sound at the same time!

If you are a sound fetishist and don’t plan to own one like this, you better never touch one… 😉

I don’t think I need to say more. Here ist the manufacturers site, this the product page and here is Martin on Wikipedia.

Strumming sounds a bit like Eagles, you can rock this thing pretty good and fingerstyle is fantastic – if you are like me and don’t like a to «nice and lovely» sound. I got the action a bit higher than normal to slide away.

Levin W 36

Guitar Levin W36
Levin W36

When I decided to seriously play guitar, I bought around 1997 this wonderful Levin. The Serial Number says it’s build in 1978, one year before the factory closed in 1979. Founded in 1900, 1973 Levin was purchased by C. F. Martin & Co. Here you can find informations about the history of Levin and lots of pictures from early times and all Details about the W 36 model on the same site.

This Levin was played a lot I assume and also the previous owner stored it to dry. The rib got a crack two times. The second one I didn’t glue any more because the guitar became distinctive louder and I thought: „ok, if you want to, I let you go.“ 🙂

I adjusted the action pretty high on this one and played a lot open D and C on it with a slide!

Sigma DR-35

Guitar Sigma DR-35
Sigma DR-35

A heirloom from my good old friend, Ralph Reimann. This Sigma was manufactured in Japan and has a solid spruce top.

You can read about it’s previous owner and one of my best friends here: www.samuelheller.ch/music/musicians/ralph-reimann/


Colombo & C.

Mandolin Colombo & C, Lugano
Mandolin Colombo & C., Lugano

Another heirloom, this one is from my grandpa. It’s from round the 1920s I think and it had a crack in the top too due to dry air.

It has an italian style body and is relatively hard to play up the neck. But what can I tell, I’m no mandolinist…


Tabla (Indian Percussion)
Tabla (Indian Percussion)

Maybe my most difficult instrument to play. It is made in Banares by a famous tablamaker, which name I can’t remember right now. Unfortunately you can’t play once in a while easily…

Check here, if you wonder what this percussion instrument sounds like.


This is my drum I own since 1987, a Tama Granstar, with over length X-tra Toms: 10×11″, 12×13″, 13×14″ (sadly standard that time), 16×16″, 16×22″ – challenging while tuning to get a good sound. I remember dreaming away with exactly this catalog (Page 1, 2, 3 see the one down right 8) , 4) as a teenager, before I walked in the store where the pink kit was waiting only for me!

I’m not a drummer anymore because of my tinnitus. Today I would buy it all a bit smaller, but in the same color for sure! My heart is a Pearl wooden free floating 6½x14″ Snare with Remo Ambassador head. On Toms and Bassdrum I use Remo Emperor heads. Sticks I use all different kinds.

There is a 14″ Paiste Sound Formula 602 Sound Edge Hi Hat, a 18″ Crash of the same series, a Paiste 22″ 2002 Ride, a Paiste Signature 16″ Full Crash and a 18″ Zildjian A China Boy. Later I dreamed to have all Zildjian Cymbals, but never had the money for the hand made ones. I had some Splashes too, which I didn’t replace because of their short life cycle.

Nowadays I play every few weeks for mental hygiene, and it’s loud, and funky…

Soundcheck on drums for a studio session, maybe in 1998. There are a few cuts, forgive me, but I was just  jamming away… 🙂


Samuel Heller Studio 2006
Samuel Heller FönTön Studio 2006

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