Tone Bars

Basic Truths: It is erroneous to refer to a tone bar as an 8-string bar, or a 10-string bar, or a 12-string bar. A tone bar should be selected to fit the size of your hand and in a weight that is right for your style of playing. Any other stated reason is typically a marketing ploy.

Another Two Cents: There are chrome-plated bars, stainless steel bars, cryogenic-manufactured bars and plastic bars. Some say a chrome bar provides a better sound. Frankly, I can’t tell the difference, and I’ll bet if I did a blind test of all who make these claims, I’d win the argument. I do know that chrome will chip and eventually wear off. Dropping any bar on a hard surface will dent it (and can shatter a plastic bar). If a chrome bar is dented, you cannot smooth it out without destroying the chrome. The cost of machining a dented bar is usually more than the cost of replacing it. In conclusion, I sell only stainless steel bars.


The “Buddy Bar” Tone Bar
Weight: 3.3 oz (97.59 ml); Length: 3 3/16” (8.1 cm); Diameter: 7/8” (2.4 cm)

buddy_barsPrice: $36.00
Domestic shipping included.

The Buddy Bar, although designed for use with my Resonator effect pedal, it also performs well as a regular steel guitar tone bar. It provides a very pleasant, but subdued tone. It’s one of those accessories that you need to try out to determine if you like its sound. I think you will! If not, just return it.

The Buddy Bar was originally designed by Buddy Emmons for use with the dobro-mimicking effect unit (the MatchBro) produced many years ago by the original Goodrich Company. You might want to check out the opinions of several posters on the Steel Guitar Forum: MXR Resonator Pedal: The Steel Guitar Forum.

The “Buddy Bar” is constructed of the space-age material (Nylatron) that Buddy selected. It has the same weight and dimensions as Buddy chose. I reveal its brass interior through its rounded nose.

Model 920 (7.5 oz., 7/8” diameter, 3 1/4” long, stainless steel)
Price: $34.00 including shipping
This is the most popular bar I sell.

Dunlop Heavy Bar - Model 921 (11.5 oz., 1” diameter, 3 3/4” long, stainless steel)
Price: $34.00 including shipping
This is a good bar for practicing. It strengthens your hand muscles and after using it for awhile, it makes the Model 920 bar feel like a feather. Tip: If you filed a _” flat edge on the full length of this bar, it turns it into a great bar for mimicking the sitar sound! Dunlop used to supply such a bar but the lack of demand prompted them to stop.

Dunlop “Jerry Byrd” Bar - Model 919 (4.5 oz., 3/4” diameter, 2 3/4” long, stainless steel)
Price: $20.00 including shipping.

Dunlop Student Bar - Model: 918 (4.9 oz., 3/4" diameter, 2 15/16" long, stainless steel) Price: $20.00 including shipping