Hope I don't mess this up...

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Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:35 am

Ok, here goes... Can't put it off any longer.

I'm going to put the NRP Hot Rod cone in the old Duo. String change first, then record with the old cone.

I've set all my guitars up so far very successfully, but I'm still more than a little nervous about doing this one!

Guitar: National Duolian, 12 fret, punched f-holes, circa 1931 and it shows.
Strings: John Pearse NM710 Phosphor Bronze, .013; .017; .024; .032; .042; .054.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:06 am

Gone wrong already!

Changing the strings put the bass on first, then loosened the two treble (you have to take the top two off together to get the top one in) and the tailpiece has snapped. There is a big crack over the bend that extends halfway across.

So loosened strings, now I need another tailpiece. any ideas where I might get one?
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby ricbleu » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:19 pm

Breeze, first off, commiserations on the breakage. I know that sinking "can't get it back" feeling. Stew-Mac sell resonator tailpieces "for Dobro or National", chrome or nickel @ $US12.25 each. Good luck with your repairs.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:43 am

Hey Breeze - check out the Allen RS-2 tailpiece (allenguitar.com). You will be glad you did.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:11 am

Thanks guys.

Firstly, i'm not too worried about loosing the original tailpiece, I'm far more concerned with keeping the guitar playable. The neck and fingerboard however, is a different story! Even then if I knew I could keep the original neck and fingerboard I would have it straightened and a truss rod fitted without blinking.

Thanks Lo-Fi, I have had a look at the RS-2 and it looks like a decent piece of kit. However the aim is to first change the strings, then record the guitar, then change the cone and record again. I don't want to make a lot of mods at once cos then I wont know how the mods have affected the sound. Strictly one thing at a time then assess it with this vintage Nat.

Have found this at Elderly Instruments:
http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/TP1.htm

And have emailed Vintage Nationals.

I'm without the Duo for a while now, so am keeping WELL clear of guitar shops...
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby blueshome » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:07 pm

Neck straightening etc: www.nationalguitarrepair.com. Mr Schoenenberger has terrific reputation.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby jamesfarrell » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:09 pm

How the hell did you break a tail piece? :shock:
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby kiwiblues » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:07 am

Hi Knuckle, good to see you back. I was wondering exactly the same thing!
Must have put it in a vice and hit it with a sledge hammer!! :roll: :lol:
jamesfarrell wrote:How the hell did you break a tail piece? :shock:
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:24 am

jamesfarrell wrote:How the hell did you break a tail piece? :shock:


According to Len at Vintage Nationals it is common ailment for old Nats. They do move, especially when you change the strings, and over time, (near 80 years with this guitar), work harden and then break at the weakest point. It is only nickel plated brass alloy.

So you don't need a vice or a sledgehammer at all Kiwi. :)

The good news is Len can supply me a replacement, identical to the ones used on modern Nationals. AND... He can sent my original back to National who will repair and re-plate it if I want. He's just had 5 of them done himself.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:35 pm

The damage:

Duo_tail.jpg

Duo_tail_close.jpg
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:15 am

Got the new tailpiece. Fitted and looking good...

IMG_0025.jpg


FYI this is the break angle:

IMG_0030.jpg
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby kiwiblues » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:45 pm

So how does it sound with the new cone?
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:22 am

kiwiblues wrote:So how does it sound with the new cone?


Going to record with the old cone first, then do the swap.
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:20 pm

Well, changing the cone was a doddle compared to recording the guitar. Wow, what a learning curve!

First a look inside...

Inside.jpg

Neck reset?

Fri_afto.jpg

Mmm... Looks a little friday afternoon...

Cones.jpg

The two cones, original on the left, Hot Rod on the right. The difference in weight is noticeable, the original is much heavier, the Hot Rod feels very fragile in comparison.
If you hold the edges an tap the cones with your fingernails the Hot Rod sounds very tinny. But, when suspended from the middle and tapped the difference was noticeable to say the least! The Hot Rod cone sounded almost a whole octave lower in pitch!!
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Re: Hope I don't mess this up...

Postby The Breeze » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:35 pm

Neck.jpg

Lots of mojo been extracted from this neck, hope there's some left...

I was going to record two versions of Ventilator Blues and put them up as a blind comparison, but my singing voice is not very good. Anyway I am just getting over a cold and many years of smoking so when I take a deep breath I end up in a fit of coughing, (many say that it is an improvement). Besides I don't think any of you would have failed to spot the Hot Rod cone.
This is a little riff I came up with while working out a solo, two rounds with the original cone then two with the Hot Rod. Only been slidin' for a year and a half so excuse the rough playing.

http://www.myspace.com/546586328 01 Track 01.m4a
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