I got it, I got it.

  1. JeffD
    I picked my RM-1 up today. I have been playing it all evening.

    The action right is great and the sound is awesome.

    I played outside in the park under a pavilion earlier today, and it kind of echoes all over the place. Joggers and dog walkers stopped to listen. One guy though I had an amplifier somewhere.

    Mannn I am loving it.

    My first thought was to have one of these as an option. But I might just make this my main instrument and the A2 as an option.
  2. Steve-o
    Congrats! They sure are great mandolins to add to ones arsenal. I've played several and have one on my wish list. Three questions: Did you buy new or used? Do you plan to play yours in a jam or group setting? What musical genres do you expect to play on it?
    Enjoy it,
  3. JeffD
    I got it new. I was talking with some folks offereing used ones, and I was interested, but I got to talking with my local music store, and he was able to get it at a not unreasonble price for new. The advantage is that I know he will do what ever it takes to make any issue right, so its worth the difference for me.

    Well right now I am playing it all the time, but I suspect it will become my jam instrument. The thing makes everyone else back up and push.

    I have just started in a band and we are doing old timey songs and tunes, and the reonator might be interestng there, but I am not sure.

    Because its new I am playing it a lot at home, but eventually I will go back to my others, my bowlbacks too, in that they have a much more intimate sound.

    The thing booms on everything, and one as to consider where and when so much sonic energy is appropriate to the music. It really shines on OT fiddle tunes. Blues of course but I don't do a lot of blues. I did some ethnic stuff in the park yesterday, (Italian, Greek, Eastern European, Klezmer, and some Irish and Scottish), and the instrument does it all real well, but again, where and when, where and when.
  4. liestman
    Jeff, those sound like my conclusions as well. At home, I tend to play normal mandolins, but when I go to Irish sessions, it is the National nearly exclusively. To my surprise and delight, I have gone to our two local Irish sessions, in large rooms with a fair bit of crowd noise, and played solo a couple slow airs in sort of a harp-inspired arrangements (lots of two or three note chords, allowed to ring a long time) and the National sounds really sweet (especially with Jazzmando strings) and appropriate, whereas in a bedroom, it is a bit much. These things are definitely made to be a public and social instrument!
  5. coolwood
    I'm near Burlington, VT and I think I heard you playing. Ok, maybe it's not that loud.

    I love my RM-1. It is loud, but I think you can adjust your picking so the dynmics are appporiate for the venue and the piece you're playing. I also think the RM-1 delivers a wider tonal range than other mandos, depending on whether you pick closer to the bridge or the fingerboard.

    I regularly play mine at church and I get many positive comments about how well the RM-1 fits in with the other instuments. I play with a mix (not always the same mix) of piano, guitars, flute, and 2 clarinets. The resonator mando goes great with the clarinets. Who'd a thunk it?

    I put the JM-11's on it to knock off just of little of the "brightness." The volume decreased a little, but as you know this thing has volume in spades if you want it.

    Best of luck with your new mando.
  6. Ray(T)
    I see you made it over then!

    I'll second the JM-11s. Only trouble is that they last too long. The tuners on my RM-1 are way to stiff and need some work on them. I've been intending to do this for months but I don't want to do so until the strings need changing.

  7. JeffD
    Well I guess this is a common occurance that I have only experienced for the first time. I took the beast to a jam last night.

    The jam is held in back of a coffee house, in a small alcove that has a lower ceiling than the rest of the place. We sit in a circle, facing each other (my absolute preference for a jam), and.. well you can predict it. The thing was too loud. We had a fiddle, two guitars, whistle, another mandolin, and an octave manodlin, and where ever I pointed that thing the person on the receiving end would wince.

    I have to learn to play softer, I mean really softer, when the venue is small or we are sitting that close. There is a lot of horse power there and I have to learn how to throttle back and manage it.

    I have been playing many years, and I fully incorporate dynamics for experessiveness when playing a performance or for or with friends at home, but in a jam I have always played full bore. Just natural. Well full bore on the RM-1 will peel paint.

    On another note, the instrument, though a little heavier than any other mandolin I play, is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. I had played the Recording King resonators and similar all metal ones, and they are a chunk. The RM-1 is a delight by comparison.
  8. liestman
    Jeff, my favorite local session is also at a coffee house, in a circle, sorta. Typical nights have 3 flutes/whistles, bodhran, maybe a guitar, maybe a fiddle, and . . . maybe 1 or even two button boxes. So I take a normal mando AND the National and let the presence/absence of the accordions determine which one I play.

    But yes you can (and should) throttle it back. If you play full out all the time, you have no dynamic range left for expression or putting in the pulse that most any dance music needs - so just ease back on the throttle, put on some Jazzmandos and enjoy the notion of a mandolin dominating - which is of course the natural order that the world should have anyway!!!
  9. Shelagh Moore
    Shelagh Moore
    The RM-1 is my normal session mandolin (mainly Irish/Scottish and Old Time but with the odd bit of blues and jazz thrown in occasionally) and is certainly versatile enough for many styles. As liestman says above, it also lends itself to softer playing and a range of dynamics as well. At home I generally use my Nava more (I tend not to take that one out).
  10. Ray(T)
    As liestman says, JazzMandos may help but also consider what type of pick you use. I normally use a Wegen but, with the RM1, I use Heavy Fender celluloid guitar pick which is lighter. You might also consider exactly what your'e playing. Difficult to explain and probably a bit esoteric but with the struggle to be heard, I find there is a tendency to try to fit in as much as possible, with the RM1, I tend to play fewer notes which means that I can be heard and play loud but this leaves space for other people's instruments to come through.

    You might also consider lending the instrument to other (trusted) people in the session so they can appreciate its qualities and you can hear exactly how it sounds. I've done this and both they and I were suitably impressed.
  11. JeffD
    Returned last night from another jam. Woo hoo was it fun. Couple of new things I notice.

    Playing around with different picks I have settled on the Red Bear (for now), as it really seems to bring out a wonderful midrange to compliment the natural highs.

    I find the sustain is as long or longer than my other mandolins, but its a lot louder - so I can do hammer ons with some authority, and even three note runs and triplets with one string pick. That is awesome. It changing how I play some tunes.

    Because it is loud enough as it is, I feel no need to keep the back free from my body, so I am enjoying sitting back a little, and feeling the music coarse through me.

    I don't know what strings come with, but they are the same guage as the J74s I normally use except for the G string is a 39 and the D'Addarios are a 40. So I haven't really considered anything but J74s as a replacement. We'll see.

    I still haven't gotten over how cool it looks. I am a guy, but I am not so shallow as to think that looks are everything. But it is nice to look down and see such a beautiful instrument hanging down your shoulder, and yea, its fun to see how folks, seasoned musicians, check out your mandolin. I almost feel guilty for loving how it looks.

  12. Shelagh Moore
    Shelagh Moore
    I don't know what strings come with...

    The strings it is equipped with from National ResoPhonic are John Pearse 11-40 phosphor bronzes I believe. I prefer the new D'Addario flatwound FW-74 set as they bring out a softer tone I prefer.
  13. JeffD
    I was looking at the National site and I suspect you are correct. No wait, I think they might be the 80/20 bronze, 11 - 39.
  14. liestman
    Jeff said "Because it is loud enough as it is, I feel no need to keep the back free from my body. . . "

    Take a look at the inside pic I posted on the top of this group page. The back on these really don't vibrate appreciably (contrary to normal mandolins), so, at least with mine, it makes no difference in volume or tone if you damp the back with your tummy or not. The internal bracing is just continuous and thick walnut that is the same pieces of wood as the visible part of the back, not braces that have been glued in. So that sucker is solid and not vibrating any that I can detect. Way cool! I guess that is why there is not a tonegard for an RM1
  15. JeffD
    No it sure doesn't vibrate much. Surpised me. I mean I can feel it some, but its far less than I would have guessed and it sure makes no difference to the sound if I hold it to my body.
  16. JeffD
    ya know what? Getting used to the RM-1 has made my other mandolins sound so meek and quiet. This isn't good. I used to love them. Its like cocaine, where every day life isn't good enough anymore.

    Gotta... get... perspective.
  17. liestman
    Its like tasting different wines. Start on the whites, move on to the reds and never in the other order. In a given playing session, start with the others and finally play the RM1, never in the other order!
  18. JeffD
    Just exactly like that. Or a cigar tasting where you have to go in the right order - weak to strong.
  19. JeffD
    I play at a jam three days a week and for myself at least twice a week. I have played nothing but this RM-1 since I got it. Last night I got out all my other mandos and tuned them up, well down actually as the humidity is making them sharp. I kind of miss them and I kind of don't.

    My playing is a little different on the res. I am taking advantage of the endless sustain. I am still wrestling a bit with the radiused fretboard, I find it a little harder to hold two sets of strings down with one finger.

    But the main thing is dynamic range. Duh! I can play so much more expressively because I can be heard at the softer end just fine, and I can rule the world at the louder end. I have taken to some strange interesting alterations of volume, doing a call and response with myself, or seducing everyone to listen harder as I suddenly get softer.

    Its the dynamic range that I miss the most when I go back to my other mandolins.
  20. liestman
    Right on, JeffD! If you are a preacher, I am your choir. I play dance music (Irish trad), where the pulse is everything (and negates any need for bodhrans and guitars really) and the best enabler of pulse is having dynamic range in reserve.
  21. chasgrav
    It's great reading all of these comments. I've owned my RM-1 for almost two years, and it has become my main mando for every purpose. In fact, I'm in the process of trading away a very nice old Gibson A-50 that just wasn't getting played any more. (I'm keeping my Weber Beartooth, though).

    The RM-1 can sing softly, or it can peel paint --- It's all under your control.
    Session police can go eat doughnuts, for all I care.

  22. JeffD
    Well the other day I went back to one of my other mandolins. It was a jam in a room with a very high ceiling and lots of echo, and not many of us playing, and I didn't want to dominate. It went ok, and I fell in love again with my other mandolin (the Weber) for what it can do uniquely.

    What a cool feeling, deciding not to dominate. Its up to me not to crush all of you, and you know I could, and I decided not to (today)!

    Tomorrow starts a summer series of outdoor contra dances, I cannot wait to bring out the res.
  23. JeffD
    That endless sustain is very usefull. I am doing triplets from hades, quickly and easily, because I only need to pick the first note of the three. Oh this is good. Real good.
  24. chasgrav
    Good, yes. It should be used only for that, and not to satisfy our own natural impulses to challenge, conquer and dominate.

    Of course, we needn't suffer any lesser instrument that makes bold to act as an equal....
  25. liestman
    Have you found the overdrive switch? It is a bit hidden, and not what you would expect on a purely acoustic instrument, but it brings the volume up to 11.
  26. JeffD
    I played an outdoor contra dance the other night as part of a large pick up band. After the dancing was done and they went home, a subset of us organized around a waltz and soon enough we had a small jam going. The res carried the jam and brought folks listening from across the street and down the lane.

    Outdoor summer evenings were made for the res!!!!!!!

    Yea I have to reign in my impusle to conquer, and kind of re-focus. The res will serve more as the curch bell, or a bagpipe - a call to the jam, a focal point around which to coalesce jammers and erupt into spontaneous music.
  27. Steve-o
    Ah, but remember the story of the Pied Piper...you must learn to use the power to benefit mankind (and womankind too).
  28. JeffD
    You know - when you get a res you should get a superhero cape with it! With a National shield in the center.

    I need a beer.
  29. Steve-o
    [edit] - Okay, it's now the end of July. Is the honeymoon over yet Jeff?
  30. JeffD
    Haven't visited in a while. And no the honeymoon is not over. Played the summer outdoor jam until labor day, with the res. Awesome power.

    I play it at home a lot, but not too much in small intimate jams, where my other mandolins fit in better. But large jams in large rooms, that res is my fall back position. In fact, I can force the tune if I want. Yea its bad manners, but sometimes it happens that two folks start separate tunes in the hope that the group follows them. The polite thing to do is stop if you hear someone else start a tune, and then play their tune. But on the few occations this happens, they always stop for me.

    Definitely the "Death Star" of mandolins.
  31. JeffD
    Nobody beats the res!

    OK. I know I am a lousy two timing soundrel. (Two timing, heck I am a five timer.) I bought another manolin. Not a res.

    So I have been loving on that other one, and extolling its virtues to anyone who will listen. Then today I picked up the res again. After forgiving me for loving another, it gleefully layed on its awesome power. I cranked it with a friend on a res guitar, and we made a mighty noise.

    Result - wow, I am in love with the res again.
  32. JeffD
    Well the adrenaline rush continues unabated. I have been taking the rez to a rock jam. All these guys with amps and Fendercasters and tatoos and a drum set. Well the rez holds its own. Didn't need amplification.

    Its not my kind of music, really, but it was a lot of fun.
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