Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: National RM1 changes/evolution

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Way out there
    Posts
    319

    Default National RM1 changes/evolution

    Danged recent thread on the RM1 has me looking at 'em...and the cosmetics seem to vary. Did National issue different models or different levels of trim? Some are plain-jane (sorry, Jane!) all maple, some figured maple, some maple (plain and/or figured) with a walnut back. Some have a bound fretboard, some unbound. The headstock has the widest variables: some un-veneered with a tacked on metal emblem, some with a veneer (wood? plastic?) with an emblem, some (most recent catalog) with a veneer having some sort of "deco" decorative treatment, a white border around it's edge and a truss rod cover.

    Is anyone here on top of these variables...whether they are options, or just catalog changes through the years, when these changes occurred? I reckon it could be said that I am a "fancy" kind of fella as concerns my tastes in an instrument's trim (plain maple, unbound fretboards and unadorned headstocks cause me to yawn) and thus curious, are the plain ones valued lower or just from certain catalog years? Thanks for indulging me...
    too many strings

  2. The following members say thank you to musicofanatic for this post:


  3. #2
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    3,668

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    My 2005 RM-1 is an early one, flamed maple over walnut. New pricing has climbed in recent years to $3400 new, with used prices following as well (especially those with hot plates!). This one just hit the classifieds for $2100:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/197025#197025
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

  4. The following members say thank you to pheffernan for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Way out there
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    Yes, seeing the one in the classifieds (located in spitting distance from me), and comparing to the currently cataloged version, caused me to wonder about the variables in trim. My research was showing that the all maple bodies were the earlier version than the maple/walnut bodies, but this is part of what I am endeavoring to ascertain. Does yours have a bound fretboard? What sort of headstock treatment? Thanks!
    too many strings

  6. The following members say thank you to musicofanatic for this post:


  7. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    3,668

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    Mine has the original headstock inlay and bound fretboard:

    Name:  DA0B4BB2-AD74-4EC1-A3A6-D2BF73848409.jpeg
Views: 176
Size:  19.9 KB
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

  8. The following members say thank you to pheffernan for this post:


  9. #5
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,110
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    My cousin, Don Young, was the co-owner and president of National Reso-phonic. The National guitar company in its original form had ended decades earlier than when Don and M. Gains restarted it and used many of the original designs of the National instruments. Some had patents renewed that had expired. They were actually a new company going by the name National Reso-phonic, rather than National. They started in 1989 with a few prototypes they took to Namm and received orders from sellers and various shops, kicking off the manufacturing and hand-building of this revived Resophonic form of guitar. They built it from the ground up. The mandolin was a new design Don’s team came up with not long before the year of Pheffernan’s 2005 was made. When Don became Ill about 7 years ago, and subsequently passed away in his early sixties, several changes in design began to occur. The quality of their instruments does not seem to have changed, though the tone woods, various models and varieties of instruments went through an evolution. Don was overseeing the operation when the wood body Resophonic mandolins were added to the product line. Their two options included a more ornate version and a simpler edition. There were those with walnut backs and sides and another version had flamed maple throughout. Both Walnut and maple were used on the more ornate version. In Don’s time, and I watched him do so, he played and inspected every instrument as it left the shop to be sold. He was a remarkable musician— playing Hawaiian slide, acoustic flattop, fiddle, banjo and mandolin, not to mention his great singing voice. Gains was the design engineer, while Don the luthier and musician. His untimely retirement and death could very well have instigated numerous changes in their models and varieties. Prior to the recent mid-teens, the RM mandolins were consistently in two iterations. This is what I know and I am proud to say that Don Young and his partner Gains were responsible for the revival of the Resophonic instrument. Now they are being manufactured by a number of companies. Without Don, who polished his skills at Dobro when they were in our hometown of Long Beach, CA, the popularity of these metal cone-amplified instruments would not have occurred. Don and Gains moved up to San Luis Obispo, CA to start their new company, which took courage and vision. These mandolins, crafted under Donald L Young’s artistic leadership are a meticulously and wonderfully built instrument. I hope this information helps.
    I started on the guitar my dad handed me in 1962, and have continued as a guitarist all my life. In 1982 my wife’s family passed down an old teens Gibson A4. It only took me 40 years to learn to play mandolin in 2013. Now I can’t stop trying to get better. — lflngpicker

  10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to lflngpicker For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,774
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by musicofanatic View Post
    Danged recent thread on the RM1 has me looking at 'em...and the cosmetics seem to vary. Did National issue different models or different levels of trim? Some are plain-jane (sorry, Jane!) all maple, some figured maple, some maple (plain and/or figured) with a walnut back. Some have a bound fretboard, some unbound. The headstock has the widest variables: some un-veneered with a tacked on metal emblem, some with a veneer (wood? plastic?) with an emblem, some (most recent catalog) with a veneer having some sort of "deco" decorative treatment, a white border around it's edge and a truss rod cover.

    Is anyone here on top of these variables...whether they are options, or just catalog changes through the years, when these changes occurred? I reckon it could be said that I am a "fancy" kind of fella as concerns my tastes in an instrument's trim (plain maple, unbound fretboards and unadorned headstocks cause me to yawn) and thus curious, are the plain ones valued lower or just from certain catalog years? Thanks for indulging me...
    Are you wondering if changes have occurred since 1927 when John Dopyera and George Beauchamp started the company in L.A., CA? Or are you mostly wondering about the current iteration, National Reso-Phonic Guitars, which Don Young and McGregor Gaines opened in 1989, now located in San Louis Obispo CA?

    EDIT: Ooops, too late, please refer to the post preceding mine... Many great answers.

    Just a note, mostly for @lflngpicker... I corresponded with and eventually met Don Young in person at NAMM, he was a great guy. He authenticated my ~'68 aluminum-bodied square neck Dobro as one he saw Rudy assembling in his workshop at the old Mossrite factory in Long Beach. Don had lots of stories and was totally fun to be around.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [Our recent arrival]

  12. The following members say thank you to dhergert for this post:


  13. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    30,071

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    The other difference is the metals used in the cover plate and tailpiece: antique look or simple steel and the optional plate with a pickup. I have a walnut backed one with the antique brass hardware. I will post pics later though I think it is an earlier one.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1924 Gibson A4 - 2018 Campanella A-5 - 2007 Brentrup A4C - 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin - Huss & Dalton DS - 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead - '83 Flatiron A5-2 - 1939 Gibson L-00 - 1936 Epiphone Deluxe - 1928 Gibson L-5 - ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo - ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo - ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo - National RM-1

  14. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  15. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,824

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    My recollection is that the original RM1s - from the late naughties - all had a maple top, walnut back and an antique brass cover-plate.

    Mine came from TAMCO in 2009. Trevor had several in stock - I assume they’d all arrived in the UK in the same delivery but the headstock appointments were all different; e.g. some had a transfer logo and mine has the metal plate, and tuner buttons were different colours. The steel (or is it aluminium?) cover plate didn’t come it ‘til several years later.

  16. The following members say thank you to Ray(T) for this post:


  17. #9
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,110
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Are you wondering if changes have occurred since 1927 when John Dopyera and George Beauchamp started the company in L.A., CA? Or are you mostly wondering about the current iteration, National Reso-Phonic Guitars, which Don Young and McGregor Gaines opened in 1989, now located in San Louis Obispo CA?

    EDIT: Ooops, too late, please refer to the post preceding mine... Many great answers.

    Just a note, mostly for @lflngpicker... I corresponded with and eventually met Don Young in person at NAMM, he was a great guy. He authenticated my ~'68 aluminum-bodied square neck Dobro as one he saw Rudy assembling in his workshop at the old Mossrite factory in Long Beach. Don had lots of stories and was totally fun to be around.
    Don, Thank you, so much, for telling that story. It means a lot to me to hear how you found him to be likable and informative. He was so fun growing with, too. I remember in 1965 when we each got a Japan-made electric guitar and when our families got together that Christmas, we plugged ‘em in and played together. I didn’t know about the Mossrite involvement, so thanks for pointing that out. Don eventually went with Dobro, before they moved overseas to make guitars under Gibson ownership, to Huntington Beach where Don was foreman of the shop. He told me that in his later teens he took his metal-bodied Dobro apart and reassembled it in order to get familiar with its construction. Our family was grateful when he repaired my late father’s ‘47 000-18 Martin for his 49th birthday— rebuilt it really with a new fret board and new sides formed from mahogany we bought at the nearby lumber yard.
    I started on the guitar my dad handed me in 1962, and have continued as a guitarist all my life. In 1982 my wife’s family passed down an old teens Gibson A4. It only took me 40 years to learn to play mandolin in 2013. Now I can’t stop trying to get better. — lflngpicker

  18. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to lflngpicker For This Useful Post:


  19. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,955

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    That was fun, thanks Dan.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  20. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:


  21. #11
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,110
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    My friend, Pops1– I always appreciate how you honor cousin Don’s memory with your admiration for him and his instruments. Thank you for your reply! Your friend, Dan
    I started on the guitar my dad handed me in 1962, and have continued as a guitarist all my life. In 1982 my wife’s family passed down an old teens Gibson A4. It only took me 40 years to learn to play mandolin in 2013. Now I can’t stop trying to get better. — lflngpicker

  22. #12

    Default Re: National RM1 changes/evolution

    If I remember correctly National produced two resonator mandolins. The RM was produced with a maple body and top. It’s top plate was drilled with round holes in a triangular pattern. The RM 1 is built with a walnut body and a maple top. The top plate has oval slits.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •