I like this Nati-Horn-its no DeNeve, but it's got its good qualities...

Comments

Lounge Primate's picture

"And all this talk about buying a custom guitar sight unseen...when you plunk down money to any custom builder isn't that what you are doing? There are good ones and "duds" from any builder.."

Great point Homer! What does one do on a custom build if it doesn't sound like the ones that inspired you to plop down the big money? And you've waited a year or more (Wish list!). Has anyone ever said, "nah, doesn't sound right, I'll pass, refund please."  I'll bet a lot of customs have been taken home with the luthier saying, "it'll open up." I guess that's how the vintage used guitar traders get their wares.

MarkinSonoma's picture

Good point Tab/Homer regarding buying any custom sight unseen and how it relates to a leap of faith. I guess in this situation, even though every guitar in the world is slightly different than it's twin brother, even if it's something like a production Martin D-28, a mahogany L-body Nati-horn is following a well-established template from Tim Scheerhorn, though the guitar is built by different hands.  

Different deal than ordering a guitar from a builder where you've never seen, played, or heard one in person. A few  months ago I was finally able to play an Appalachian after hearing good things about them. The fellow that had one is a member here and he brought it to our "seldom scene" SF Dobro Club meeting. I was impressed, particularly for the money. But the owner Doug went the "leap of faith" route and ordered it from 3000 miles away and it worked out fine.

When I ordered my Clinesmith 10 years ago it was after Todd had a booth at our local Healdsburg Guitar Festival and I went back and forth for quite awhile between the three guitars he brought with him. So I pretty much knew what I was  getting into at that point though obviously when the guitar was done it wasn't going to be quite the same as the three I had sampled, but I had a good idea what to expect. And i also went up to his place when he was still in Northern California and picked out the wood, and he did the tap tuning bit. But had he already made the move Oregon at that point I would have ordered it just the same.

Good ones and duds from any builder - the longer I play and the more trips I've taken around the block, I'm a firm believer in this one in different types of guitars. Though  some builders are more consistent than others. 

Your earlier post where you wrote that the nut height was 5/16 (and Greg commented it on it) before coming back with a different measurement - that raised my eyebrows - an egregious error like that in construction does not sound like National Reso-Phonic, that's something one might see on an el cheapo Chinese import. 

Homer Blethy's picture

Yeah, it was late and I didn't really have the measuring stick out...but my point was that the action was not consistent from nut to 20th fret...it goes uphill a little, something I really don't like on a dobro setup. I will say that the cone is compressing a bit and the action is flattening out. I would imagine that the craftswmen did this on purpose.

One weird thing happened at the gig last Friday. A guy walked in and asked me if the 'horn was a National. I said," yeah, kind of...." thinking that he wasn't totally tapped in to dobros and such. I told him it was a Scheerhorn made by National, and he said, "Yeah my buddy is the head of that crew in San LUis Obispo"...which is, in fact where they are made. It struck me as odd because the island I live on has a very small gene pool. The fellow was just visiting and happened to come in to the show. Pretty small world.

Homer

Greg Booth's picture

The action on both my dobros gets higher towards the bridge also. I don't think I've seen one that doesn't, actually, but I haven't been looking for that specifically....

paul oddvang's picture

why buy natihorn, if you dont like the "tim horn" ???? 

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paul oddvang

Greg Booth's picture

paul oddvang:

why buy natihorn, if you dont like the "tim horn" ???? 

Uh oh.....careful, this could turn nasty.

MarkinSonoma's picture

Greg, you know you're looking forward to this one.

I'm going to go make some popcorn for this...c'mon, let's get those cards out on the table!

Lounge Primate's picture

Rope a boddhisatva: I'm sinking down in my chair, knees  up on the chair in front of me , eyes on the screen,  eating popcorn too.

Homer Blethy's picture

That guy is dead. Switch to Netflix. The action is  level on my Jones and DeNeve. I didn't like the first three Tim Horns I bought. Damn near $10K worth of them. Can't blame me for not trying to find one I liked. I gave up for a while, like 15 years. So I tried again and I got lucky. End of story. I'd play a dobro brand named "CrapWagon" if it sounded good.

 

Here's what I hate about my Jones and the reason I don't play it much. Some of the frets are in the wrong spots. Doesn't really matter if you only have one dobro. But if you play one that has the frets in the right spots, then go to the one that doesn't, it screws up my confidence, especially on fast tunes where you use the eye before the ear when you're hopping around the board.

 

Did I mention I'm giving Jennifer Anniston dobro lessons? She's gonna be a dobro player in a movie, and they want her to be able to act out the part better. Its a prison movie.

paul oddvang:

why buy natihorn, if you dont like the "tim horn" ???? 

Does the Nati-Horn not have trapezoidal fretboard?

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