Boxcar Resonator and the 'Right' Strings


Jun 20, 2022
Phoenix, AZ
First post - and it is about something I know nothing about.....

Anyway, I am looking seriously into getting a Gretsch Boxcar Resonator (G9200) and being a long-time acoustic player, I also want to pick up a couple of extra sets of strings. When I search for 'Resonator Strings,' every set I see are 15-58 or 16-59, but the Boxcar comes standard with D'Addario 12-53. So now I have questions:

- Are the standard D'Addario strings actual resonator strings and does it really even matter?

- Are the heavier gauge strings too much for the Boxcar or are they needed since I plan on playing with alternate tunings (which usually means tuning down)?

Any other resonator-related help will be greatly appreciated by this neophyte!



I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
Those special reso sets are for square necks tuned to high bass G, don't pay that no mind for a round neck, the strings themselves are the same, just sized according to what tuning you use. If you want open D, low bass G which are standard bottleneck tunings then a regular medium ga. acoustic set is fine.


Jun 20, 2022
Phoenix, AZ
Well that clears up a lot! I play 12s on my regular acoustic (Martin D-28), so getting to stay with a gauge that I am familiar/comfortable with is a relief (I was not looking forward to trying 15s or 16s).

Thanks for your help!


Sep 18, 2012
Bagsville, Oxford UK
As Wildeman said the super heavy gauge are not aimed at normal round neck slide players who mix slide/ melody and the odd chord. I play 11’s on my Martin acoustic but was told to step up to 13’s for my National style O because it gets a better sound out of the cone. It did sound better and I could cope with it. The guitar would have stood up to heavier strings but would be pretty difficult for me to play my stuff. The guy who bought it had hands like a gorilla so can do pretty much what he likes.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 23, 2010
tappan ny
Are the standard D'Addario strings actual resonator strings and does it really even matter?
Welcome friend .
I once was on the committee for a bluegrass festival . I called D'Addario to see if they would set up a booth at the festival and although they don't really do events like that , they asked for the info and sent a bunch of promo goodies . Doesn't hurt to call and ask them your questions , they Screen Shot 2022-06-20 at 3.08.39 PM.png may even send you some strings ... if you ask nicely :p
They sent me about 12 pro tools ( pictured ) , 12 sets of guitar strings and 12 sets of banjo strings . Great customer service