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Old 01-19-2021, 04:22 PM
blue blue is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: WetSiiiide! WA
Posts: 7,777

Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
I have played quite a few Nationals over the years but sadly the only dealer nearby is the Twelfth Fret in Toronto which is a five hour drive one way and plus we're in lockdown. So it remains a long term goal to get there again and run through the National racks a few times over.
I know you're not ready yet

But if/when you are I'm not convinced one needs to have a specific model in mind before shopping. Narrowed down, yes. Tricone vs. biscuit vs. spider (don't forget this is partially a question of scale length), brass vs. steel, etc. is a good idea. But be open-minded other than that. It's like getting a first electric. "Well I got a tele. It's the right one, and I'll never question if it does everything I need..."

Have at least $2000 banked and make a list of instruments "you would be happy with". Search every other day. Guitar Center Used instruments, Reverb, Ebay. The usual suspects. Be aware of what they have been selling for. When you see the deal that is too good to resist, pounce. A used style O might be $1,750 to $2,200, but a used style N might be $1,400. Forgive me if my numbers are out of date The only difference is no hawaiian design. If you search Style Os that's what you'll find. If you search brass single-cone and are okay with a plain body...

Other than a steel reso-rocket, which I feel is the WORST choice for a first reso (It's absolutely brutally aggressive), any quality reso will teach you a ton, and learning how to get the most out of it will make you a better player!

This approach is how I scored my Brass Tricone Baritone. I wasn't looking for one. I was looking a brass tricone (this was before I got the German Silver). It just showed up, I had a "National Fund", I made an offer, and it was accepted. It was before baritones were so easy to get from so many factory makers so it sat a while and I got a great price. It is a mind-blowing guitar, and I never would have considered it if I wasn't open minded.

Oh and it also kind of proved the point about people buying and not playing Nationals. The second string nut slot was cut too shallow. I had to work on it before it was what I considered "playable". that one string was crazy high and affected both fretting and slide!
I only play technologically cutting edge instruments. Parker Flys and National Resonators
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