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Thread: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default My New National RM1 All Maple/Aged Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I've been pretty much a lurker here for about 4 years. I've recently gotten into Blues and needed a mandolin best suited for the genre. I bit the bullet today and purchased a new National RM1 from Elderly Instruments. Here are some pictures sent to me of the mandolin I purchased
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    I would be interested in knowing other owners recommendations as far as strings, what kind of strap you find more comfortable, etc.


    Kevin
    Last edited by KMaynard; Jan-31-2012 at 8:51pm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Nice. Enjoy.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Hi Kevin, a small binder clip to hold the strings on the tail piece poles, (when changing them) Baley strap and ft74s. (YMMV)
    Enjoy the new ax!
    Monty.
    David Monaghan

  4. #4
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Yeah, love those things....
    Congrats!

  5. #5

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Mine came with a strap button on the heel of the neck, so I like using a Longhollow Leatherworks light guitar strap. Works great. For strings, I've been using the Jazzmando Flatwound JM-11s.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    They are reletively heavy. I have a fat strap tied to the head stock, and it is very comfortable that way for me.

    They seem to come from the factory with very high action. I assume that Elderly would do a proper setup.

    Don't fuss over the brass; it looks better with age.

    Enjoy.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Oh, you're gonna be in love when that thing arrives.

    Mine also has a neck button. I use a Levy's PM22 strap and Labella flatwound strings, the set with the wound As. You'll want the slightly wider strap due to the weight.
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  9. #8
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I think the strings that came with mine are John Pearse. I replaced in kind. I like them fine.

    I was worried about a high action when I ordered mine from a local shop. But when it came the action was actually very reasonable. I have played the ever loving potatoes out of it since I got it.

    It is especially suited to outdoor jams and parties and playing an outdoor contradance. Its very loud. Too loud for some of the small venue intimate jams I do. It makes the person sitting across from me wince. I can kill flies on the other side of the room with my mighty two finger G chord.

    I use a full sized guitar strap, mostly because that is what I had lying around. With my other mandolins I generally play strapless, but with the res I need a strap to support the weight.

    I don't play blues much, so I couldn't tell you what kind of mandolin is best suited for the blues. But I am sure the res can do it. It seems to be able to do it all. And its so damn cool looking. And the OHSC, its classic. That Natinoal shield logo right in the middle. Its the first case I have ever had that I can't bear to put stickers on.

    Check out the res group http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/group.php?groupid=78
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    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Yum. All Maple......droolllllll.

    This is one of the only mando related items that gets me all worked up.
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I used to kid our old banjo player and say the only thing that you'll never hear him say is "Can you hear the banjo back there?". Now we have a mandolin we can say the same thing about.
    You can't see your future in a rear view mirror.

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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I got mine four months ago. I use a Bill Bailey strap and JM-11's although I'm not entirely thrilled with the sound of the E strings on this set. I'm going to try either the LaBellas or the FT-74's next. I did not like the John Pearse strings that came with it for my type of music (Irish trad). Mine also came with a low action that requires me to play up near the end of the fingerboard to avoid scraping the pick on the cone. This is an issue I intend to address shortly.

    I like the sound of the National and, once I settle on proper strings and fix the action, I'll be even more pleased with it.

    Good luck.

    Paul

  13. #12

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    What a beauty. I'm sure you're going to fall in love with it again when it arrives. The only RM1 that I played had Thomastik Infeld strings fitted, and they made for a perfect combination.

    rm

  14. #13
    Mandolin Botherer Shelagh Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I use mine for all styles and it works well picked gently too. I use the D'Addario FW74 flatwound set and the gauges suit very well. I got a matching brass strap button from National and fitted it to the back of the heel. The action was a little high for me when I got it and I've adjusted it at nut and saddle. An all round excellent and versatile mandolin.

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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    I can only repeat much of what has been said - High nut when it arrived; had it adjusted to suit personal preference but left the saddle alone. National kindly sent me a matching strap button which is now attached to the side of the heel. Sound-wise, apart from being difficult to control the chop, it seems to suit most things and people who you'd expect not to, enjoy playing it.

    I changed the original strings to JazzMandos - which are OK but I've recently gone bask to J74s which don't sound so brash as the original strings and have more life in them than the JazzMandos.

    Like everything, it even has down-sides! - (1) The edge profile of the body means that a DPA mic clamp won't stay on, (2) I'm not overly impressed with the durability of the finish on the top plate. If you don't clean it regularly, it tends to stain and the stain won't come off. I found to round marks a while back - either saliva or alcohol, I don't know, - but they had etched into the finish and can't be removed, (3) The plates back and front of the head interfere with fitting an electronic tuner and (4) the tuners are stiff.

    See you over on the RM-1 social group?

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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Getting one of those must be like winning the lottery... What a beautiful instrument visually as well as sound-wise. I think they knew they couldn't compete with Chinese copies and had to do something and boy did it work!!! Stunning, in my opinion.
    Bart McNeil

  17. #16

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Thanks everyone for your great input and experiences. I'll have to wait and see if I want to drill in the neck for a strap button or find a strap that I can attach under the strings just behind the nut. I was somewhat surprised when I found this one new at Elderly with that kind of figure in the maple. Most of the RM-1 Nationals I'd looked at didn't have much figure on the back. However all that is just cosmetic and I can't wait to try it out and see how it sounds. It should be delivered Wednesday and I hope Elderly does a good setup on it before they ship it to me.

    I will be joining the RM-1 social group soon. Thanks for the invite.

    Kevin

  18. #17
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    'Tis true. The figure on the top at the sides and the back is exceptional. It's always true(mostly), that tone is the most important aspect. BUT, don't we all want the smart girls to be beautiful, too?

    Yeah.
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  19. #18

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I can only repeat much of what has been said - High nut when it arrived; had it adjusted to suit personal preference but left the saddle alone. National kindly sent me a matching strap button which is now attached to the side of the heel. Sound-wise, apart from being difficult to control the chop, it seems to suit most things and people who you'd expect not to, enjoy playing it.

    I changed the original strings to JazzMandos - which are OK but I've recently gone bask to J74s which don't sound so brash as the original strings and have more life in them than the JazzMandos.

    Like everything, it even has down-sides! - (1) The edge profile of the body means that a DPA mic clamp won't stay on, (2) I'm not overly impressed with the durability of the finish on the top plate. If you don't clean it regularly, it tends to stain and the stain won't come off. I found to round marks a while back - either saliva or alcohol, I don't know, - but they had etched into the finish and can't be removed, (3) The plates back and front of the head interfere with fitting an electronic tuner and (4) the tuners are stiff.

    See you over on the RM-1 social group?
    I never clean the brass, as I think the discolorations give it character.
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    I never clean the brass, as I think the discolorations give it character.
    Depends if it discolours evenly. On mine its mainly hand marks and splashes from whatever and I just wanted to say that if you want it to remain pristine you need to clean any marks off sooner rather than later.

    Kevin - you probably haven't seen many with that type of figure on the back because most of them are walnut and yours is one of the newer maple ones. If you're fixing a strap button, bear in mind that there are cavities in the body. If you don't want to take it apart to find where they are there are several photos on the RM-1 social group page with the resonator removed.

  21. #20

    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Actually, I like when it doesn't discolor evenly--my arm was here, my fingers brushed here, I spilled my drink here.
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    Incorruptable user un5trung's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Yeah, I've been playing one of those pretty much all day today. Recently I'd decided to keep my Gibson a-9 and sell the RM-1, so I got out the resonator for a farewell weekend and haven't put it away yet! Tomorrow I'll be taking pictures of the A-9 and putting it up for sale. It's a great mando, but I just can't put down the RM-1!

  23. #22
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by un5trung View Post
    Yeah, I've been playing one of those pretty much all day today. Recently I'd decided to keep my Gibson a-9 and sell the RM-1, so I got out the resonator for a farewell weekend and haven't put it away yet! Tomorrow I'll be taking pictures of the A-9 and putting it up for sale. It's a great mando, but I just can't put down the RM-1!

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  24. #23
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    Default Re: My New National RM1 All Maple/Ages Bronze Resonator Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    I never clean the brass, as I think the discolorations give it character.
    I'm going to be antiquing one of these somewhere down the line...
    I think the results are going to be quite interesting....

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