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2 Nationals in need of help, Guitar 2
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Author:  Conor_Searl [ Fri Apr 15, 2022 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  2 Nationals in need of help, Guitar 2

The second National is a newer Style O.

2 problems here, first the action again is what I would consider very high, (my client doesn't play bottle neck, but plays with harmonics, and harp-y style things). The saddle in this case is glued into the biscuit, and the biscuit is glued onto the cone. When adjusting action should the material come off of the bottom of the saddle like in other acoustic guitars, or is all this glue normal?

My second problem is the pickup has zero output. It's a Highlander RP-1 passive pickup. All the connections look good, and the wiring is really tidy. It seems the original installation was good. Do these things just stop working at some point? The company has gone out of business, so I can't get any troubleshooting advice from them, but from what I understand these were the go to pickups. Any thoughts on how to get this pickup working again?

Author:  Chris Pile [ Fri Apr 15, 2022 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2 Nationals in need of help, Guitar 2

The only National I ever worked on that was equipped with a pickup had the pickup glued to the bottom of the cone. Thus I was able to work (a bit) with the biscuit to adjust the action of the wretched thing.

Again - RUN AWAY.

Author:  windsurfer [ Sat Apr 16, 2022 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2 Nationals in need of help, Guitar 2

You might try calling national. I know when Don was running it they were very supportive of small time luthiers and very open about sharing information. I know I talked with them several times and was able to visit the shop and get help sorting out some details about best practices for setting the neck one their old instruments.

Author:  Freeman [ Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2 Nationals in need of help, Guitar 2

Conor, the action on most resonators is set by adjusting and shimming the neck stick just like setting up a banjo. There will be two or maybe four flat head screws under a couple of the fretboard dots up around 15 or so (you can find which ones with a magnet). Pop the dots out, loosen the screws and the screw thru the end block (probably holds the tailpiece on) and the entire neck with stick should come free. Shim the neck stick to set the angle - it may have some little mushroom looking things between the stick and the back of the guitar.

You have very little adjustment at the saddle - it should have slots just deep enough to position the strings. Resonators are also hard to intonate, a slide player doesn't worry 'cause she's got that glass thing on her pinkie, fretted notes will often be sharp.

One mor thing about setting up a resonator, you have kind of a small window for the strings under the palm reset. I like to do all my setup with the cone cover off, then screw it back on after the action is good.

Can't help with the pickup, I've always followed Brozman's advice and just mic'ed it.

edit to add - I've only seen biscuits screwed to the cone from the back

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