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Getting my National Ready to gig!


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I've decided that I want to play my National Western D Resophonic guitar at gigs. This was a very expensive guitar that my girlfriend gave me as a gift many years ago, so I babied it, but lately. I've been loving the sound so much, and hell I'm not getting any younger, so this week I gave it some love and prepped it for some serious gigging.

I lowered the action by removing the 2 piece maple saddles and sanding the lower from the bottom, and after installing I radiused the saddles better. I adjusted the truss rod, to balanced out the playing height. I added a strap button, and installed a Krivo Magnetic pickup (it already had a Highlander Active Cone pickup system in it). It was always a great slide guitar, but now it plays great for fingerstyle too! An having a dual source pickup system is great. I can distort the hell out of the magnetic pickup, while still having a clean cone tone!

 

 

 

 

Removed the saddles

Spider.jpg

Marked them for sanding

Saddles.jpg

Reinstalled saddles

Saddles Installed.jpg

Renistalled cover-plate and adjusted saddle tension

Adjusting Saddle.jpg

Added Strap Button

Strap Button.jpg

Edited by rockabilly69
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None invasive magnetic pickup mount, The Krivo is held on with adhesive putty, and I used the F hole for it's output jack...

Western D with Krivo.jpg

The pedalboard allows me to use the distortion for just the magnetic pickup, power the internal cone preamp, and use compression and timebased FX on both channels!

The Rig.jpg

Edited by rockabilly69
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Cool! How are you liking the Grace Felix? I got one last year and was really getting into it and then Covid hit. It is probably the coolest acoustic pre ever and I'll bet it sounds stunning with the National.

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3 hours ago, rwinking said:

Cool! How are you liking the Grace Felix? I got one last year and was really getting into it and then Covid hit. It is probably the coolest acoustic pre ever and I'll bet it sounds stunning with the National.

I've been a big fan of Grace preamps, as I've been using my Grace Alix non-stop for the past two years, and frankly for single channel stuff I think it's the best acoustic preamp made. That's why I  bought the Felix so I could have two channels of the preamp for my reso shows. I've got three National resonators with two pickups in them each.

This is all I need for my day to day work, volume, tuner, Grace, reverb/delay...

 

Pedal Board.jpg

Edited by rockabilly69
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Same here...I think I spoke with you about this once. I use a Dimarzio Black angel split into the Felix orI also have a K&K piezo with a black angel or sunrise split. It is so nice on the grace to be able to eq each side from one preamp!

Larry Dimarzio used the Grace at NAMM a few years ago to demo his acoustic pickups and people loved the sound.

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1 hour ago, rwinking said:

Same here...I think I spoke with you about this once. I use a Dimarzio Black angel split into the Felix orI also have a K&K piezo with a black angel or sunrise split. It is so nice on the grace to be able to eq each side from one preamp!

Larry Dimarzio used the Grace at NAMM a few years ago to demo his acoustic pickups and people loved the sound.

Yeah the Grace pres work with any pickup I plug into it! Including this one...

https://www.dimarzio.com/artists/daniel-weldon

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very nice and interesting
I wonder how that Rubberneck works with it (one of my favs analog pedals)

Edited by Gianluca
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12 hours ago, Gianluca said:

very nice and interesting
I wonder how that Rubberneck works with it (one of my favs analog pedals)

It works great. I auditioned many pedals before I put that grouping together, and only the good ones made the cut. I wasn't looking for pristine clean style repeats. I mostly use the delay for dirty style repeats with the Fab Suisse Overdrive. I control how hard I hit the delay with the compressor in front of it. And I smooth the tails with the JHS Spring Tank.

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On 1/24/2021 at 7:25 AM, rockabilly69 said:

It works great. I auditioned many pedals before I put that grouping together, and only the good ones made the cut. I wasn't looking for pristine clean style repeats. I mostly use the delay for dirty style repeats with the Fab Suisse Overdrive. I control how hard I hit the delay with the compressor in front of it. And I smooth the tails with the JHS Spring Tank.

sounds interesting, thanks for the explanation
and enjoy it :-)
 

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5 minutes ago, Gianluca said:

sounds interesting, thanks for the explanation
and enjoy it :-)
 

I'm actually using this pedal board today for (3) 45 minute sets where I will be using my resonator for 1 of those sets. 

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2 minutes ago, rockabilly69 said:

I'm actually using this pedal board today for (3) 45 minute sets where I will be using my resonator for 1 of those sets. 

cool, have fun, if you want please do let me know if you have a recording of it online we can listen to :-)

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8 hours ago, Gianluca said:

cool, have fun, if you want please do let me know if you have a recording of it online we can listen to :-)

I did have fun with it today, but I had some issues. I swapped the MXR compressor for a really good sounding Dazatronyx Optical Tremolo pedal, which sounded great, but I didn't like the feel of the footswitch in it, it was a bit hard to actuate. I actually missed kicking it on in a one of songs where I really wanted it on the chorus, but the audience had no idea, so all good. I also had problems finding the perfect mix level for the Rubberneck Delay. Just the slightest touch of the level knob was either too much or too little. I'm going to put a rubber washer under that knob to hold it still! Niggles aside, the board sounded great, not only with my reso, but with my J45 acoustic!

Although I plan to record something soon with the two channel reso setup, I don't have a recording with this pedalboard and the reso, although I've used it for other things, it was used with my old Ampeg amp on this song...

 

 

 

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interesting Tremolo, surely going to be on my list(I'm still acquiring ODs ...never have enough)
I guess you know about pedal switchers with program sets banks, cheap and doing their job with a touch of single button pressed you change program(I know you know it so I'm wondering why not using one?)
cool recording, that Tremolo ins interesting :-)

have you ever compared the DOD Rubberneck to the Way Huge Echopuss?

good staff as usual RockABilly69 :-)

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2 hours ago, Gianluca said:

interesting Tremolo, surely going to be on my list(I'm still acquiring ODs ...never have enough)
I guess you know about pedal switchers with program sets banks, cheap and doing their job with a touch of single button pressed you change program(I know you know it so I'm wondering why not using one?)
cool recording, that Tremolo ins interesting :-)

have you ever compared the DOD Rubberneck to the Way Huge Echopuss?

good staff as usual Rockabilly69 :-)

I don't use that many different types of tones in a night where I need a switcher, and I pretty much have memorized where the dirt, trem, delay and reverb needs to be set for each song so as I said a switcher isn't needed. But I did buy a HX Stomp and I'm A/B-ing it with all the individual pedals. I'm running the quarter inch out of the Grace Felix into the HX Stomp and I'm running that into one channel of my acoustic amp, and in the other channel, I'm running the full pedal board with all the individual FX. I'm trying to make patches that sound just like my pedalboard, and frankly it's working pretty good, I'm kind of surprised, because I've never really been a digital multi-Fx type of guy. If the Stomp does the trick I'm going to make another pedalboard based around that.

 

The tremolo on that song was the amp trem on my vintage 1961 Ampeg Mercury, the new trem pedal sounds more like the trem on a Princeton Reverb..

I've never tried the Echopuss. 

On my main acoustic board I use a Keeley Delay Workstation and it sounds decent. On my electric guitar board I use a Boss RE20 Space echo, and it sounds great, and feels like the original Space Echo. As you can imagine, with my age (62), and being a full-time musician for the more than 30 years, I've tried every one of the original Echoplexes and Space Echoes, and none of these pedals are that good, but they don't need the maintenance and they get you in the ballpark. Both the RE20 and the Rubberneck feel right, and both are kind of dark sounding which I like.

 

Board.jpg

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very interesting
Boss RE-20 is great, I could be asking questions for days
VoodooLab Tremolo too another good candidate,
I'm trying to get where a Tremolo could add some depth at times but still my VDL Vibes seems to satisfy me
I am not a full time musician
last addition to my pedal (un)board has been a Snouse BB2 mod a few days ago, excellent I must say

thanks for the explanations

image.thumb.png.de512c653530047ced40a29039d5c7c0.png

Edited by Gianluca
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20 hours ago, Gianluca said:

very interesting
Boss RE-20 is great, I could be asking questions for days
VoodooLab Tremolo too another good candidate,
I'm trying to get where a Tremolo could add some depth at times but still my VDL Vibes seems to satisfy me
I am not a full time musician
last addition to my pedal (un)board has been a Snouse BB2 mod a few days ago, excellent I must say

thanks for the explanations

image.thumb.png.de512c653530047ced40a29039d5c7c0.png

That is crazy looking pedal, what do all those switches on the side do?  I read that it is based on the Blues Breaker circuit which is what my Fab Suisse is based on too :) 

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in the previous version those are dip switches accessible from the inside
it took me some time before finding one (when I wasn't expecting to find one) at a decent price from eBay
I didn't have a Blues Braker kind of OD, maybe the Lovepedal AMP11 Big BlackBox does it a bit but not really the same thing, it's a cool comparison though

I think the Snous BB2mod introduces some extensions to the typical BluesBraker
I checked the Fab Suisse on YT, it sounds interesting

my list of ODs is growing, I have some cool pieces I think
the Klon KTR is very, very well done

Snouse_BB2Mod_switches.jpg

Edited by Gianluca
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12 hours ago, Gianluca said:

in the previous version those are dip switches accessible from the inside
it took me some time before finding one (when I wasn't expecting to find one) at a decent price from eBay
I didn't have a Blues Braker kind of OD, maybe the Lovepedal AMP11 Big BlackBox does it a bit but not really the same thing, it's a cool comparison though

I think the Snous BB2mod introduces some extensions to the typical BluesBraker
I checked the Fab Suisse on YT, it sounds interesting

my list of ODs is growing, I have some cool pieces I think
the Klon KTR is very, very well done

Snouse_BB2Mod_switches.jpg

Looks like a fun pedal with enough options to really dial it in to your personal taste. I like overdrive pedals and it's always fun to play with the new ones, but I specifically love two overdrive pedals for what I do electric, and that's the original Rat (I own three of them), and the Fulltone Fulldrive. Yeah I know, pretty boring:) But they work for me.

When I play my acoustic sets and want some grind, I send the signal from the 1/4" out of my Grace preamp to a Mythical Overdrive into a handbuilt Princeton Reverb clone. The XLR out of the Grace goes to my Schertler acoustic rig.

As for Klons, I played through both original Gold and Silver models too many times to count, and a KTR, and I  think they are the most hyped pedal of all time. There was not one sound in any of those that I couldn't get with my Mythical Overdrive pedals which I paid about $150 for. I think when the originals first came out, they were something special, but now there are so many clones of the Klon that can nail that tone, that it just makes it plain silly for the Klon to have as much hype as it does. I'm not against spending money on things that do something unique. I have recording preamps that I've spent ridiculous money on but those things are worth the cash. I think Josh did a great show on the hype!

 

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the RAT and the FT Fulldrive are cool, not boring at all 🙂
interesting signal path there

to me the Klon historically is unique, what Bill Finnegan did was something like Wozniak did with Apple IIe (at the Homebrew Computer Club I mean) but with the power and visions of Steve Jobs combined
Finnegan knew what he was doing, great cool US culture at work, he was doing something that will always be unique, a true game changer

clearly after the Chittum reversed circuit was published now everybody is good at doing the Klon Centaur clones, honestly I do not think it pays respect to the real thing that that is

in that class, I have:

  • Klon KTR
  • RYRA The Klone
  • Bondi FX Sick As v2
  • Proanalog Devices Manticore v2

the last two are extensions to the Klon Centaur/KTR circuit, fantastic tone

I was live chatting in that JHS episode, not really in sync with Josh and his way of doing on everything, great YT channel though

long story for me about the Bill Finnegan solution, I could get lengthy there 🙂



klon-centaur-schematic-low-res.jpg

Edited by Gianluca
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2 hours ago, Gianluca said:

the RAT and the FT Fulldrive are cool, not boring at all 🙂
interesting signal path there

to me the Klon historically is unique, what Bill Finnegan did was something like Wozniak did with Apple IIe (at the Homebrew Computer Club I mean) but with the power and visions of Steve Jobs combined
Finnegan knew what he was doing, great cool US culture at work, he was doing something that will always be unique, a true game changer

clearly after the Chittum reversed circuit was published now everybody is good at doing the Klon Centaur clones, honestly I do not think it pays respect to the real thing that that is

in that class, I have:

  • Klon KTR
  • RYRA The Klone
  • Bondi FX Sick As v2
  • Proanalog Devices Manticore v2

the last two are extensions to the Klon Centaur/KTR circuit, fantastic tone

I was live chatting in that JHS episode, not really in sync with Josh and his way of doing on everything, great YT channel though

long story for me about the Bill Finnegan solution, I could get lengthy there 🙂



klon-centaur-schematic-low-res.jpg

I've tried the RYRA, and the Manticore, but never the Bondi (actually I've never even heard of that one). I also have a BYOC Klone clone here too that I haven't even built yet. I got it as a gift :)As for the KTR, I hear that pedal ALL OF THE TIME because one of my best friends, (who is a great pedal and amp builder) does a lot of recording in my studio and he uses the KTR and a Sweet Honey Overdrive, alone, and stacked ALL OF THE TIME. Of all of the klones mentioned including the KTR I still prefer the Mythical Overdrive (vintage spec). Maybe that's because I've used it the most. Funny thing with me the KLON is not even in my favorite top 3 of overdrives. You either like that tone or you don't.

 

The guy with the KTR is the one who built this pedal...

 

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