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
Hi all, and my apologies if I'm asking a dumb newbie question. I have recently picked up my first resonator guitar (a Dean Heirloom Copper), From what I've read it's not the finest of tone generators but it's a step on the ladder and I love it. The spec says it's an iron body, it's heavy, I guess the Copper is a thin plate over the top. It plays very well but the sustain isn't great - nut not cut great, intonation issues (probably a wonky bridge). So I'm going to get it setup properly to get the most out of it. I've read many forum posts and so am considering upgrading the 9.5" cone to a National ... but I can't seem to find a UK supplier. Can anyone suggest where I can buy one and which variant to go for? I'm hoping it will come with a new bridge too.
Michael Messer could possibly supply you with (or direct you to) a Continental cone.
National Resophonic Hot Rod cones can be bought directly from National Resophonic (my recommendation) or via Thomann’s website (in Germany).
National Resophonic (NRP) are open again, since their lockdown has eased.
You might want to consider ordering more than one cone, if you can find others interested in buying cones, as it would help in sharing the shipping costs, to benefit everyone.
A biscuit/bridge comes with National Resophonic cones but I’m not sure about the Continental cones (I’d expect so though).
In the meantime, have a good look at the biscuit on your guitar.
Is the side of the biscuit OR either side of the bridge sides touching the edge of the large circular hole in the coverplate ??? Usually, if the guitar build has all been lined up perfectly (the tailpiece, the coverplate, the neck all perfectly centred), then the cone and biscuit should sit perfectly centred in the coverplate hole. I just had a look at a friend’s Gretsch resonator guitar. The tailpiece was not correctly centred in the guitar, pulling all the strings a little towards the bass side, so the the bass-side side of the bridge was rubbing against the coverplate. Initially, I thought the coverplate wasn’t positioned perfectly centred, but it is.
I replaced the biscuit with a NRP biscuit and found the same issue with the bsicuit bridge rubbing the side of the coverplate hole. It’s not really feasible to put new screw holes 2-3mm across from the original tailpiece screw-holes. The original screw-holes need filled first then new holes drilled - but I’m no expert at doing that - and the basic narrow metal bar tailpiece may not hide the original off-centre holes. So, I cut a bit of a scoop out of the bass-side side of the bridge to stop it from rubbing the coverplate. With decent string slots cut and vee’d appropriately for better intonation, that was enough to improve the guitar quite a bit, with it’s original (I presume) Continental cone.
PS. iron body ? Check with a magnet (any will do, even a fridge magnet !) If it sticks, it’s a steel bodied guitar, if not, it’s brass. NB. Some guitars may use different metals for different parts of the guitar - so check the front, back, sides AND coverplate with the magnet.