The major difference between resonator guitars is the configuration of the resonators residing in the guitar body.
The single cone resonator is the least complicated. It is essentially an inverted, spun metal cone with a small hardwood center, known as the ‘biscuit’. The ‘biscuit’ houses the bridge saddle resulting in vibrations being transferred directly to the bridge from the strings and in turn directed from a single point through the ‘biscuit’ style cone, into the guitar body, producing a hard, directed and punchy sound.
Tri Cone resonators feature 3 cones joined by a metal T bar, resulting in a softer, smoother and sometimes almost silky sound.
The Spider Cone design is the type most often used in square-neck models and is what provides that characteristic bluegrass resonator tone.