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Thread: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

  1. #51
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Well, not 20 Questions, but considerable ...

    How often would you play it?
    Probably pretty often, especially at first. It would always be a specialty instrument, for specific uses/songs.

    How often would you play it if it sounds really bad?
    Hardly ever. But it still might find use in recording.

    How would you get rid of it if either of those come into play?
    Me? Sell an instrument? Ha ha ha! That'll be the day. Mandolins come here to spend the rest of their lives. Never sold one. Same with cars. Drive them till they die. So far that hasn't happened to any of my instruments.

    How do you know the story behind the bullet hole [is] real......?
    I don't. I forgot to ask. If this ends up happening, I will. FWIW, she talks the same way the ad was written.

    How often have you bought a used car from a lot when you got a good vibe from the salesman...........after hearing a bunch of woes from his life and how he is a really good person. And is Bill Gates in disguise?
    Never bought a car from a dealer, so N/A. Seems to me most if not all of the car sellers I've known have been reliable.

    That said, at this point, she has to do COD, or a Café member from the Dallas area has to intercede. If not, regretfully, I'll have to pass. Oddly enough, even if that's how it goes, it'll be a relief. This has been dragging on for two weeks.
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  2. #52
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Hey journeybear. Thanks for being a sport when I am raining on your schnickerdoodle!

    Am basically responding as if I was talking myself out of it only because of CL............and that is a hard thing to do. I know you want it.

    So do I.

    For the same darn reasons.

    Pax!

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  4. #53
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Good luck with this one, J-Bear. Not too fond of the Asian clones of National resonator mandolins. I have one of the cloned originals, a 1930's Triolian, and while it's deafeningly loud, its larger steel body and longer scale give it a deeper resonance that the Johnson/Republic/Recording King brass-bodied ones lack -- to my ears. If you have agreement on a decent price, and can suss out some shipping arrangement that's affordable, relatively direct and timely, you may find some use for this one. And, the bullet hole (I assume the round missed the resonator cone) does give it a certain raffish cachet that definitely works with a "blues" instrument.

    Seems that the acquisitions you document here involve related issues –– an A-3 requiring refinishing, a Republic reso needing "alternative" payment procedures and non-standard transportation. Is it the instruments themselves that are attractive, or the challenge of obtaining them in playable condition? I mean, Republic mandolins aren't all that scarce, I'd speculate.

    By the way, back when the Asian brass-bodied resonator mandolins came on the market, I heard (maybe repeating myself here) that the Republics used a Czech-made cone that was slightly superior to the ones Johnson and other brands used. So you perhaps have made a better choice...? We'll see.

    By the way: here's an old thread discussing different Asian and US resonator instruments; fairly informative read, if I do say so myself...
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  6. #54
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    I have a 1930s Triolian tenor guitar, which has a really good, evocative sound. But, as I said earlier, that long neck makes it difficult to play with my fingers, scrunched by so many years of playing mandolins. It works fine with a slide, though. But I really can't play chords on it. That's where a steel mandolin would be useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Is it the instruments themselves that are attractive, or the challenge of obtaining them in playable condition?
    Hadn't really thought about it, but perhaps I'm attracted to rescues, instruments that are damaged goods or have weathered misuse and manhandling, kind of like myself. I can relate to them, and know they have stories to tell, if given the opportunity.

    But there's also the cost to consider. I'd be getting this for around half of what I usually see them offered for.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    ... the bullet hole (I assume the round missed the resonator cone) does give it a certain raffish cachet that definitely works with a "blues" instrument.
    It seems so. If you look at the pics, the exit wound is even closer to the "side" area, even clips it. Yeah, that is for sure a motivating factor.

    Thanks for that link. I'll have to read through it. It tends to take the owner a few days to respond, so I have a little time on my hands.
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  8. #55
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    ...perhaps I'm attracted to rescues, instruments that are damaged goods or have weathered misuse and manhandling, kind of like myself. I can relate to them, and know they have stories to tell, if given the opportunity.
    Not unlike getting your cat or dog at the shelter.
    Rescue instruments, I like it

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Yes, much like the well-worn F-2 you and I both found, you just ahead of me. It had been through a lot, but restored to life. I found it appealing on that level, and also as a good deal on a good instrument, albeit beat-up. Obviously, that's not the case here, but yes, it's a recurring theme, going way back. Both my plain As had encountered wear and tear before we met, but as they are eminently playable and sound great, they have been lovingly cared for and played a lot since they've been with me. I imagine this one will find a welcome here, too. If ever ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  11. #57

    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Well, I can't say the same for myself. That there bullet hole and its tale of woe wounded me, awoke in me sympathy I've been unable to assuage. I've made an offer for a substantially lower price and it has been accepted. I'm about to pull the trigger on it, even though it is indeed loud and raucous. I've wanted something of this sort for a long time, and back in my jug band days, I picked up a National Triolian steel tenor guitar to fill the void. It's a fine instrument, but the frets are just too far apart for chords with my hands, transmogrified as they are from countless years of scrunching to play the mandolin. So this should fit the bill. I'm figuring my experience with tone control will help me make it a damn sight easier on the ears than the sound sample the owner sent me. So does anyone have any last-minute input before I shell out my hard-earned bucks for this wee beastie?
    I had a Republic Mandolian like that. Getting a good set up is critical. Those have an adjustable truss-rod but it's questionable as-to whether mine actually worked or not. Didn't matter since it was set nicely. The stock biscuit bridge needs to be replaced. Mine was made from soft-ish wood, which sucked tone. My luthier made one from maple and ebony, like they are traditionally made, and the instrument came alive.

    I love the wider fretboard and longer scale. They are loud and in your face, but these work well with some TLC.
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  13. #58
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    I had the same experience with a Republic tenor guitar I had. The set up sucked and I had to make a new biscuit bridge out of maple and ebony and make a new nut.
    It sounded good after that but it did not hold up to my 1928 National Triolian tenor guitar that I own (plus it was heavy) so I sold it.

    JB, if by chance I do get your reso mando to deliver, I'll take a look at the set up and let you know what I think.
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  15. #59

    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    You should also take a good look at the internal damage caused by the bullet. It has definitely compromised the rim and a good chance it has damaged the cone. Rim is fixable and cone replaceable but you should factor that into your consideration. That one is also missing the Republic star they used as the third fret marker on mine.

    I didn't pay much for mine - sniped it on an ebay auction. Came with a very nice case. I think I paid more for luthier time than the actual mando. Without much into it and a "reso-relic" finish I went at it with some power tools and did a home-made hot-plate. Used a humbucker Lace developed along with National specifically for resonators. Plus I put a piezo under the biscuit bridge and got quite a good tone blending the two.





    Mine was a lot of fun after the work. I just came to a point where I had too many instruments and something had to give.

    Not a fan of National. Went by their booth many times over many NAMMs and they were always very arrogant and stand-off-ish to the point I won't have anything to do with them.
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  17. #60
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    I appreciate your insights. Really, those of any and all of you who have more experience with these than I - which isn't much, apart from the Triolian tenor, though how much of that relates to this, I don't know.

    But do you really think there's any internal damage? Fortune seems to have smiled on this poor thing, as the entry wound looks to be just far enough away from the guts that they're not hurt. Being a through-and-through, the bullet didn't ricochet inside nor break into shards.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    I passed on a bowlback I found in an antique shop. It has some quotes from scripture on the front, carved into it. I actually kind of liked it. The story, it turns out, was that the mandolin was owned by an inmate on death row. So I passed.

    Mojo is great when the details are unknown and the circumstances have a kind of film noir romance about them. But a real bullet hole means something not great. Maybe a mandolin hated by an armed spouse or roommate, for whatever reason, or perhaps the mandolin saved the player's life in some shuddering real altercation. In any case, when considering what really might have happened, the real blood and bone of the matter, I would pass. Just me.
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  19. #62
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Hold everything! Look at photo #2 - there's a break in the tailpiece, nearly halfway across it. Especially if you add in the amount of similar damage coming from the other side. Yeah, it's time to call it a day. It may be an easy job to replace, but I can't imagine these are easy to find or very inexpensive if you do. As if this hasn't been enough of a headache so far ...

    Oh well!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  20. #63

    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I appreciate your insights. Really, those of any and all of you who have more experience with these than I - which isn't much, apart from the Triolian tenor, though how much of that relates to this, I don't know.

    But do you really think there's any internal damage? Fortune seems to have smiled on this poor thing, as the entry wound looks to be just far enough away from the guts that they're not hurt. Being a through-and-through, the bullet didn't ricochet inside nor break into shards.

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    The cone sits on a metal shelf that attaches to the rim and pretty much fills the cavity. If by miracle the bullet spared the cone, the rim is certainly damaged. You could probably see inside through the exit wound if you get it in your hands.

    If it were me I'd be budgeting a new tailpiece, cone, bridge and some welding time on the rim-shelf.
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  21. #64

    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    To keep this in context, I believe they sold new for $450 with a nice case. I got mine for a third of that and it was NIB. After the upgrades and years of playing fun I sold it for almost twice the new price.

    Which brings me to a point - there's a nice market niche for somebody interested in buying these and adding a hot-plate like mine. Once you've done that the only competition is National and they start north of $2K, so there's a huge hole in the middle where some money could be made and a service provided to the community. Not my cuppa but could be a nice niche.
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  22. #65
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    To keep this in context, I believe they sold new for $450 with a nice case. I got mine for a third of that and it was NIB.
    Thanks. When I started with this I took a look around the interweb and was seeing prices of a little lower than $1000 and up. But I just took another look, which I haven't since, being so focused on this, and saw a used Johnson for $250. If I'm so inclined. So yeah, we're done here.

    Except: WTF is NIB?
    Last edited by journeybear; Nov-15-2021 at 4:32pm. Reason: just one more thing ...
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    New In Box....but what is WTF?

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    You mean, WTF is WTF?

    Ya know, I did a search to find the answer to my question, did so, and then removed it so as not to be a bother. And in the few minutes it was up, you rang in - which now made me have to put it back in so your post would make sense ... Will it never end?
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    I think...........it just did!

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    C'mon, everyone knows WTF means "Wave to Frank". As in Frank Plettro, the famous (and yet unsung) Italian mandolin legend who was so great he disappeared one day in a cloud of smoke. And when one sees a cloud that looks like him you're supposed to say "WTF" out loud and then wave.

    Every once in a while, do think about getting a resonator mandolin. Might work in certain situations in my Finnish-American band. Especially playing outdoors. But never have purchased one. Guess the pull isn't that strong.
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Verne's former mando looks really cool, and, he says, was a lot of fun when he finished.

    If I had any predilection at all toward electric instruments, what he did with his would probably reignite my interest in the bullet mando (since JB appears to be done with the whole plan).

    But.... I have no amplifiers, etc nor any inclination toward amplified music at present, so .....

    I guess not.

    But if I lived in Dallas, I might follow up with a dirt cheap offer anyway.

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  31. #71

    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    If you could get it cheap enough it could be a fixer-upper, but you have to be real going into it.

    FWIW here's something I recorded with mine. It's a bed-track for a tune I'm working on, so a bit repetitious, but you should get an idea of the tone I got:

    http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Dow.../ResoMando.mp3
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  32. #72
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Every once in a while, do think about getting a resonator mandolin. Might work in certain situations in my Finnish-American band. Especially playing outdoors. But never have purchased one. Guess the pull isn't that strong.
    JeffD will tell you that nothing beats the res. Keep an eye out for a used National RM-1. And I could still be tempted by an OMI Dobro or the rare Rigel resonator.
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  33. #73
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    If you could get it cheap enough it could be a fixer-upper, but you have to be real going into it.

    FWIW here's something I recorded with mine. It's a bed-track for a tune I'm working on, so a bit repetitious, but you should get an idea of the tone I got:

    http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Dow.../ResoMando.mp3
    It sounds pretty good to me.

    I guess, if I lived in Dallas, I'd be thinking $150 or less. Lotta ammunition for negotiating in this thread (pun intended).

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    JeffD will tell you that nothing beats the res. Keep an eye out for a used National RM-1. And I could still be tempted by an OMI Dobro or the rare Rigel resonator.
    You're an instigator, for sure

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  35. #74
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    You're an instigator, for sure
    Nah, just a prophet.

  36. #75
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin - Resonator by Republic

    Yeah, I've lost interest in this wee beastie. Just too many obstacles, oddities, and obnoxious aspects. If it were easier, cheaper, and nearer, perhaps ... perhaps ... perhaps ... But it sometimes takes some doing to talk myself into or out of making a decision, and right now I'm talked out of it. If someone else is still interested, go for it. I'll wait for a better deal on a better instrument.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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