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National Models

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:38 pm
by sconnors
Hi Guys
Looking to purchase a National in the next year or so and am looking for some input. I've basically narrowed it down to a National Duolian or Triolian, but am looking for input from people who own Nationals. I play slide in open tuning mostly, like playing styles of Son House, Rory Block, John Hammond, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Bukka White.
Any input on model selection before I pull the trigger would be greatly appreciated.
Scott

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:24 am
by darylcrisp
Hi Scott

I just went thru this same situation myself. The style of music i want to play on my National is Robert Johnson, Son House, Keb Mo and Mike Dowling. I came to this knowing absolutely nothing and with 6 hours being the closest shop with stock to demo-so i hit the forums and Youtube and called some known shops. Here is some of the info i found out and hope it helps your journey.

The shops that helped me with questions and offered thoughts on the different models were:

Artisans: http://artisanguitars.com/
Tonewood: http://tonewoodguitars.com/catalog/bran ... eso-phonic
VintageNationals: http://www.nationalguitar.com/catalog/guitar-slides
eric Shoenberg: http://www.om28.com/

Coming from a wooden acoustic guitar background and primarily playing fingerstyle guitar-i first thought i wanted a wooden National like the M1 or M2-after watching/hearing the different styles of the players, i quickly determined i liked the singlecone steel sound-and seemed to prefer the light steel over the brass and heavy steel with heavy plating. I ended up purchasing thru Tonewood because Pat Hodges had in stock what i wanted, the price was very reasonable, and he had an excellent trial/return privalege(but i bet all the above have about the same policy).

I will say the Eric Shoenberg answered the day i called since he had a Triolian on his website-he also had an Estralita Deluxe and El trovador-he played each one multiple times and discussed with no rushing the differences and sounds of each-i preferred the Triolian easily of the bunch but had a silver base NRP in my mind(which the other 3 shops had). I will say the price Eric had on the Triolian was very good, and he is a very well known honest dealer in the acoustic guitar world.

Some things i learned thru Artisans that i didn't know- the light steel models may have "flat cut" F holes or "rolled" F holes. The flat cut F hole models are louder and "brasher"(may not be the best word to use). The Rolled F cut holes have a deeper resonance overall and a slightly different sound. Whether this is folklore or not i have not a clue. The one NRP that has rolled F holes is the brushed nickel finish NRP 12 fret-i liked it from the start and all shops that had one said it had killer overall tone and just sounded and looked very cool. I don't know if the different models might have a slightly different metal composition or not(i kinda doubt it)-but another great place to call might be National themselves and ask-i didn't do that as i found what i needed at the above dealers.

If you go online the National site has some soundclips-but for me, i couldn't tell much difference in them unless it was a Tricone vs a SingleCone. The most audible info i found was typing in "National Resophonic NRP" or National Resophonic Triolian" on Youtube, and you will get alot of demo's from VintageNational and Bob Brozman. A bunch of "shootouts" of the different models and explanations for players.

Below are some nice magazine articles with video and i hope they come thru:
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=24728
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=25634
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=24096

So i hope this helps, i will say the things Pat at Tonewood told me i found exactly true about my 12 fret brushed NRP. Its a real nice balanced sound , excellent setup from the factory, real nice hardcase, and just a real fun guitar that will play a broad base of music.

Keep us posted on what you get
daryl

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:49 am
by allanlummox
If that last post was shorter, I'd tell you all about my Delphi. All you post Scorese cats are wrecking it.

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:08 am
by rustyslide
allanlummox wrote:All you post Scorese cats are wrecking it.


Film directors ruin everything!

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:20 pm
by NEONMOONY
:)

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:14 pm
by allanlummox
I really need a keyboard with a breathalyzer attached.

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:41 pm
by sconnors
darylcrisp wrote:Hi Scott

I just went thru this same situation myself. The style of music i want to play on my National is Robert Johnson, Son House, Keb Mo and Mike Dowling. I came to this knowing absolutely nothing and with 6 hours being the closest shop with stock to demo-so i hit the forums and Youtube and called some known shops. Here is some of the info i found out and hope it helps your journey.

The shops that helped me with questions and offered thoughts on the different models were:

Artisans: http://artisanguitars.com/
Tonewood: http://tonewoodguitars.com/catalog/bran ... eso-phonic
VintageNationals: http://www.nationalguitar.com/catalog/guitar-slides
eric Shoenberg: http://www.om28.com/

Coming from a wooden acoustic guitar background and primarily playing fingerstyle guitar-i first thought i wanted a wooden National like the M1 or M2-after watching/hearing the different styles of the players, i quickly determined i liked the singlecone steel sound-and seemed to prefer the light steel over the brass and heavy steel with heavy plating. I ended up purchasing thru Tonewood because Pat Hodges had in stock what i wanted, the price was very reasonable, and he had an excellent trial/return privalege(but i bet all the above have about the same policy).

I will say the Eric Shoenberg answered the day i called since he had a Triolian on his website-he also had an Estralita Deluxe and El trovador-he played each one multiple times and discussed with no rushing the differences and sounds of each-i preferred the Triolian easily of the bunch but had a silver base NRP in my mind(which the other 3 shops had). I will say the price Eric had on the Triolian was very good, and he is a very well known honest dealer in the acoustic guitar world.

Some things i learned thru Artisans that i didn't know- the light steel models may have "flat cut" F holes or "rolled" F holes. The flat cut F hole models are louder and "brasher"(may not be the best word to use). The Rolled F cut holes have a deeper resonance overall and a slightly different sound. Whether this is folklore or not i have not a clue. The one NRP that has rolled F holes is the brushed nickel finish NRP 12 fret-i liked it from the start and all shops that had one said it had killer overall tone and just sounded and looked very cool. I don't know if the different models might have a slightly different metal composition or not(i kinda doubt it)-but another great place to call might be National themselves and ask-i didn't do that as i found what i needed at the above dealers.

If you go online the National site has some soundclips-but for me, i couldn't tell much difference in them unless it was a Tricone vs a SingleCone. The most audible info i found was typing in "National Resophonic NRP" or National Resophonic Triolian" on Youtube, and you will get alot of demo's from VintageNational and Bob Brozman. A bunch of "shootouts" of the different models and explanations for players.

Below are some nice magazine articles with video and i hope they come thru:
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=24728
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=25634
http://acousticguitarmagazine.com/artic ... leid=24096

So i hope this helps, i will say the things Pat at Tonewood told me i found exactly true about my 12 fret brushed NRP. Its a real nice balanced sound , excellent setup from the factory, real nice hardcase, and just a real fun guitar that will play a broad base of music.

Keep us posted on what you get
daryl

Daryl,
Thanks. Very informative post and I appreciate the links you provided. It's nice to actually hear experiences from people who own Nationals and play them on a regular basis. The information you provided is great! Hope to hear from others
Scott

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:12 pm
by farmslave
You might want to look at a National Style O great guitars. Brass body , nickle finish.
Good luck, and don't forget to play em before you buy!!

http://youtube.com/1farmslave

Re: National Models

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:29 pm
by darylcrisp
Scott

You are more than welcome.

Here is a neat store with some used and new Nationals-i love the looks of the used Delphi-Buffalo brothers should also have a couple days trial period-just ask and see if you get interested.

I agree with the post about checking into the style O-they sound real nice, a couple more hundred than the light steel bodies and they are maybe 2 lbs heavier. I believe the video of Scott Ainslie is a style 0-a 1931 i think.

There is a place in Floyd Virginia called "the Picking porch", this is in Bluegrass country and this man used to have an instrument shop that stocked guitars, mandolins, resonators and such. I think he has went to full time teaching/instruction and is clearing out his new stock-here is a list:
http://www.thepickinporch.com/2009/10/n ... ance-sale/
if you call or email, he will drop on those prices some. i'm thinking the delphi was quoted to me in the $1800 range.

take care,
daryl