This is the place to ask Michael Messer and other forum members questions relating to National, Dobro and other resophonic musical instruments. Also questions and comments relating to National, Dobro, Supro, Valco amplifiers. No commercial advertising. To ask Mark Makin questions about anything in the Palm Trees, Senoritas & Rocket Ships thread, start a new thread in National Avenue
So this has happened a number of times to me--"Wow! What a fantastic ________! I'll never be able to afford that--but what the heck, I'll just put a ridiculously low bid in!"... So a couple of years ago I saw this on eBay...a 16H fiddle edge that looked virtually new--I even wondered at first if it were some reproduction. I reasoned that even though it was a square neck, it's condition would warrant a final bid well in excess of $3000. I even considered the possibility that the winner might redo or replace the neck in order to play it Spanish style--a horrible thought, as I had actually wanted a square neck fiddle edge for many years. So when I checked that next morning after auction's end--ulp!-- I saw the PAY NOW notice in my email:
Offset short spider on lugged cone...absolutely flawless save for one tiny dent on top which appears to me to have been caused by a dropped steel. And happily for me, its sound is rather different from the other resophonic guitars I have...definitely Dobro, but it has a sort of ethereal quality to its sustain. I cannot help but get in a good mood whenever I play it. As I recall, some of this forum's members were surprised at the final price, and had assumed it would go too high and didn't bother to bid--to all of you--Thanks! (after recovering from the shock of actually having to pay for it)
Post by Michael Messer on Apr 13, 2019 9:03:16 GMT
That is a beautiful guitar. You struck lucky there! Square neck guitars, apart from popular Dobro models and cool looking electric lap steels are not easy to sell.
The dent from a flying steel is so common on square neck metal guitars. On wood guitars it tends to chip the lacquer, which isn't quite so bad.
It happened to me once clearing up after a performance. The steel (I use a round Hawaiian bullet steel) was on a chair and my guitar was lying in its case next to the chair, but the case was open, and of course the steel rolled off the chair onto the guitar. I'll never do that again, nowadays I always leave a 'steel drop gap' between the chair and the case! We live and learn....hopefully.
As a point of interest, the headstock inlays on your Dobro are very similar in style to the inlay on the Harry Watson Style 4 Tricone that I used to own.
Yes...I guess looking back it's fortunate for me that back in the 1950s when I told my father I wanted a guitar (so I could play rock n' roll) he brought home a square neck something and the next thing I knew I was going once a week to a small German man's house who would rap me on the knuckles with a ruler when I wasn't playing "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain" fast enough! That experience had soured me on Hawaiian guitar (save for Santo & Johnny) until I saw Sneaky Pete with the Byrds back in early '68 playing his cable driven Fender pedal steel. I started taking up steel guitar again after that, as my bizarre playing added a certain something to the already odd music our band was coming up with. The tailpiece on the fiddle edge I could live with if it were nickel instead of chrome--but I have found an intact original in which the very top part had been cut away, and a broken one with a perfect top. A friend is going to join the two together to create a Frankenstein tailpiece. This guitar sort of makes up for the style 3 or 4 I missed out on back in 1972 at that music store in Whittier, California--(I didn't know the difference in National engraving styles back then--I only remember it was engraved all over). I foolishly waited as although I had the $225, I felt guilty as my wife was the only one working at the time--I was a musician!