Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

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Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby The Breeze » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:14 pm

I ordered Rat Rod a while ago, though I didn’t get the cutaway I’m not disappointed. I also ordered one in a Black finish, which turned out to be one of the models that needed the most reworking. Because of the delay Len discounted the price for me, and because he couldn’t supply the cutaway model offered a full refund if I wanted. I don’t, in fact I think I prefer the one I got.

First, and most importantly, it passed the girlfriend test… But what do I think?

Does it look cool?
IMG_0479a.jpg

I love the blackness. The black finish to the headstock is a nice touch and the logo adds a definite chill.
IMG_0506a.jpg

Working down, the shape of the slotted headstock I like, the rough unfinished inside of the slots though could be better. But this is one of the first batch and the ones coming off the line now should be more refined. The rest of the neck is faultless, I love the finish.
IMG_0510a.jpg

The body pressings are not perfect but the joints are all good, but I like this, after all it is a Rat Rod... Overall the finish is good.
Yes cool.
So, what’s the setup like seeing as this is a main selling point?
Faultless. Honestly, everything is spot on. The neck set is right, the frets are dressed perfectly, and the action is perfect for fretting and slide. I love the profile of the neck and the finish, it just feels right.

What about the sound?
It definitely has the Tricone thing, the sound I wanted, far more versatile than my vintage Duolian. It doesn’t have the bass of the Duo, but as the zing is coming off the strings this is improving. Also it should open up a bit in time. These early models have a little less depth in the body, and the steel is a little thicker than the current models, again the ones coming off the line now should be more refined.
Compared to my Made In China Dobro it is far more alive. The Dobro is muted on the middle strings at the 12th fret, not a problem on the Rat Rod. I have no problem swapping between D and G tunings so this will definitely be my main slider.
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby The Breeze » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:16 pm

A couple more photies.
IMG_0512a.jpg

IMG_0514a.jpg
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby zhyla » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:34 pm

The Breeze wrote:Also it should open up a bit in time.


Nice review but... what are you talking about here?
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby The Breeze » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:32 pm

zhyla wrote:
The Breeze wrote:Also it should open up a bit in time.


Nice review but... what are you talking about here?


I have absolutely no idea why, but in time just as strings loose their zing the sound of a resonator improves after playing for a while.
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:41 pm

The Breeze wrote:
zhyla wrote:
The Breeze wrote:Also it should open up a bit in time.


Nice review but... what are you talking about here?


I have absolutely no idea why, but in time just as strings loose their zing the sound of a resonator improves after playing for a while.


Folks I know that have bought new resos tell me that it takes a couple of weeks of tuning and playing and for the cones to settle in.

Very cool looking geetar and a nice review.
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby neangler » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:57 pm

It's been a long time since I last posted, and I'm glad to be checking the board again.

Anyway, I've bought one used and two brand new Nationals over the years (plus a new Nat mandolin), and I really don't think the new ones changed over time. These aren't wooden instruments, and it's almost impossible to tell the difference between the instrument changing and new strings changing. And strings do change; you can really tell this if you play mandolin. A fast mandolin player can "kill" and take the edge off a set of strings in just a couple of hours.

I suspect what people hear is the difference (maybe more confidence) in playing a new guitar. And man, once it gets it's first scratch, it ain't new no more and you can really start digging in and playing that mother.
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby The Breeze » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:42 pm

neangler wrote:... And man, once it gets it's first scratch, it ain't new no more and you can really start digging in and playing that mother.


8) That's the plan.
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Re: Hot Rod Steel - Rat Rod Tricone Black – Review

Postby The Breeze » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:41 pm

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