Rm-1 maple vs walnut

  1. Rezman
    I am writing to see if anyone has played both the maple back and the walnut back and what they might say about them. I am looking to purchase one and haven't heard any discussion on this point.


  2. Ray(T)
    Until your post, I wasn't aware that they were offering a maple option - it must be relatively new. Personally, I can't see it making that much difference. Buy one of each and tell us what you think!
  3. Steve-o
    Good question RezMan. If you posted it a few days earlier, I may have been able to oblige. Just got back from Elderly where I played two RM-1s, but they were both walnut backed. I didn't think to ask for a maple backed version. In general, maple gives a brighter tone, but I doubt the distinction is that great in a resonator model. The walnut version sure sounded fabulous.
  4. Rezman
    Thnx Ray (T), Steve-O
  5. Steve-o
    I went back to Elderly today and played both the walnut backed and maple backed RM-1s. A/B'd them in a practice room. The comparison wasn't quite apples to apples, since the walnut one had old strings on it and the maple one had fresh strings. That said, the maple RM-1 was a tad brighter and the walnut a tad darker (mellower, rounder, whatever adjective you like), as you might expect (was this simply due to the new strings? not 100% IMO). However, the tonal difference was much more subtle than one would expect from non-resonator mandolins. IMO, the resonator cone colors the sound far more than the choice of back/side wood. They were both characteristically loud, had great sustain, and that National sound.

    Bottom line: I'd choose whichever one is most pleasing to the eye. Somebody better buy this one before I do. It's gorgeous!
  6. Ray(T)
    Yes, I thought as much. The one in your link looks just like mine. I prefer the brass tuners with the black buttons - apart from their stiffness. I've seen others with a transfer rather than the brass plate on the headstock. The only trouble with the plate and the serial number plate on the back is that they get in the way of a headstock tuner.
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