I spent an hour in Harry's Guitar Shop in Raleigh yesterday (thanks Harry), which usually has a good selection of mandos, and they get different stock in with some regularity. #They're a Rigel dealer, and I was thinking about an A+. I thought I'd warm up to it by comparing it to the A Natural, and was surprised to find I REALLY liked the Natural. #The A+ is very sweet, and is close to the G 110, save for a bit of complexity, perhaps. #But the Natural was like a whole different animal. #The neck was HUGE, like somebody's forearm, but amazingly comfortable. #But the sound was realy unexpected; not sweet, and not punchy, but extremely smooth and rich (sounds like I'm comparing ice cream sodas to milk shakes...) Not at all buzzy, or ringing, but deep and dark.
I've read that the Natural has a 'vintage' tone- does this gibe with anyone else's experience? I was playing jazz and some choro- I think the Natural would not make a BGer very happy. #I was especially impressed by the chording; I usually find that the treble tends to dominate my chords (perhaps my technique more than the mandolins I've played) but the Natural had a much more balanced sound.
Is the Natural voiced in a way that is so completely different from the higher end Rigels? And is it much wider at the neck than the A+? #I hasten to add that the Natural is just godawful ugly, but I was # really struck by that tone.