National Reso Rocket Steel - Classic sound; bitch to play

National Reso Rocket Steel

Classic sound; bitch to play

Posted in Acoustic Guitars

The excuse to myself was that we were stocking our new Supertone Records studio with as many classic instruments as possible. The reality of course is that I have always desired a resonator guitar and now use it all the time. Before buying, I took advice from my friend Andy Swearman, who has a fetish for these beasties. He suggested I go for this model 'Because of the way I play'. He was right.

A resonator guitar or resophonic guitar is an acoustic guitar whose sound is produced by one or more spun metal cones (resonators) instead of the wooden sound board (guitar top/face). Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than regular acoustic guitars, which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion instruments in dance orchestras. They became prized for their distinctive sound, however, and found life with several musical styles (most notably bluegrass and the blues) well after electric amplification solved the issue of inadequate guitar sound levels.

The Reso Rocket is one of the newly designed National single resonator guitars. It incorporates a redesigned cover-plate pattern to complement the distinctive Tricone-style grill work. The upper bout has been modified for easier access to the higher frets.

Although the 'biscuit' is fitted with a Highlander iP 1-X inline transducer, I also retrofitted a HotPlate system designed by Mike Dowling which features a Tele-style Lollar 'Special' pickup. This enables me to use it with an amp; my preferred choice being the Ampeg Reverberocket :)

The action is purposely set high for slide work. In fact a reasonably athletic limbo dancer could easily practice their art at the 19th fret :)

Many people use brass slides but I find them too heavy. To get the best tone, I prefer to use a Dunlop Moonshine Ceramic slide on this instrument.

Great classic sound and the audience love it when you whip it out at a gig, so to speak...


National Reso Rocket Steel - Classic sound; bitch to play

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