“I think it’s hollow, I think it’s kind of haunting”. This is how its inventor, Kent Viles of Gunnison, Colorado, described the sound of his famous invention, the Dobrato. I think that’s a perfect description to describe the rather unique tone of this equally unique instrument, which kind of sound like a hybrid of a banjo and guitar.
The Dobrator is the result of Viles taking a resophonic guitar and adding a vibrato tailpiece to it, among guitarist typically referred to as ‘Bigsby”. This is obviously a rather simple explanation, there is however a bit more to the story from a technical perspective.
All the Dobrators are hand-made by Viles himself, who likes to have the ‘final say’ in the production of each instrument. Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffet and many others were and are intrigued by the invention and gave lots of praise.
To read more and watch a video about the Dobrator resophonic guitar with the B-Bender Bigsby arm, its inventor and his fans, click here.