From some of the fine customers that bought Nationals and Scheerhorns from Catfish over the years.
Big thanks to everyone!
Hi Catfish, the baritone Triolian arrived Friday, and after allowing a day of post-transit rest, I tuned it late yesterday, and love it! As you said, very intense lows, which I think especially nice as I get more and more into playing Hill Country blues. Beyond the lows, the overall sound of the guitar is simply stunning; a special tone that will be wonderful for bringing together my many varied influences and creating a unique sound.
I would be remiss if, beyond the sound, I did not mention how incredible the guitar looks; not flashy, but rather understated beauty. I also want to take a minute and express a real thanks and appreciation for all your insight and guidance during the selection and design process. I could not have done it without you, and surely would have made a number of mistakes if I had tried. For this guidance and insight (and patience I might add!) I am extremely grateful. If it would ever be helpful, I would be pleased to be a reference to any potential client in the future. With best regards and many thanks.
Buy from Catfish! I have bought two National Resophonic guitars from Catfish, one is a custom, and one is a standard, and we are working on possible third custom guitar. Let me say this, I buy guitars not only as a player, but also because I feel I can
bring a work of art into being. I have worked with individual sellers as well as guitar retailers on ebay and other sites; I have worked with vintage and artisan guitar outlets and I have worked with the mass retailers; but, with Catfish, it was a completely different experience. Not only can he tick off the specifications of the guitar, he can assist you, in the case of custom guitars or standard guitars, as to what you really need given your musical interests.
And, he is an artist, he is an Inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame as well as W.C. Handy blues music nominee; Catfish is no slouch on guitar! He is a virtuoso. And you get to know him during the purchase process. It’s just great! He’s just a great
guy! And his prices reflect that he wants more people playing resophonics! He’s intimately involved in your purchase. I have never experienced that before. So, my purchases for guitars, I first go to Catfish, that’s where I go and you would do well to go to him as well.
HOLY Shiiiit. It’s phenomenal. I love it already.
Thank you so much. I’ll send pics later this weekend. So much yes.
All best, buddy:)
C@tfish! El Dueco arrived today! Sounds and looks magnifico! Such a joyful noise, how sweet the sound! The sun was out briefly but it’s kind of dark now (it snowed a bit this morning!)
If I can get the lighting right (gotta do this baby justice) I’ll take a photo and post a pic and honorable mention to your page,
or else another time this week.
Had the guitar now for a week or more and my is it ever so fine!!!
Brought it out on a couple of gigs, and today will do the same again. Let me tell you, it really looks sweet with my Tommy Bahama shirts too!!!
Thanks again Keith! Hope our paths cross again. It’s been too long. Stay tuned and play nice,
I really will say with all my being that from my experience when you deal with National Resophonic Guitars and in my case, Catfish Keith, who was my registered dealer or whatever you folks call that, you are going to have a top notch experience and walk away with an instrument worth every single cent you spent.
…And get the highlander pickup – even if you end up using a slimline anyway, you will admire and probably use the highlander signal in a blend – it is freaking amazing!
Catfish, of course it arrived and is wonderful. We aren’t done doing business. Absolutely love doing business with you and will buy again through you. I’ve bought through many shops over the last 20 years but you exceeded them all. please include the following in your testimonials on your page.
For anyone looking to buy a National I can’t recommend any shop or person more so than Catfish. His passion for all things guitar, his love of the music and his connection to National make him “the man”, he communicates well and often and makes the experience fun and exciting. If anyone is thinking of a National Guitar they couldn’t do better than going through Catfish Keith. It’s like going through a trusted friend. Wonderful.
Catfish, I just got my National Style O this morning. It came a day early. What a beauty. Thanks for all of your input and help in the process. I really appreciate the personalized service I received. I would not hesitate to send anyone in the market for a National your way. Thanks again. Hope to see you soon. Best regards,
PS. If you ever have anyone that would like to talk to a previous customer to help them feel more secure in the process, I’d be happy to talk to them.
Dear Catfish,a big thankyou on how everything went,perfect.
The guitar itself is a beauty,the sound is classic national and construction and finish is superb as was the transaction and delievery.I did a lot of busking with it in NYC and gave the money back to the homeless on the street. I have a spare Highlander here and as soon as I install I will be gigging with it.
Thank you Catfish, the guitar is of excellent build and finish, I like the sound and now hope to play it to its’ potential some day!
I read your site regarding the importance of detuning from open E and other higher tension tunings, but I am curious why National does not use an easier gear ratio to tune, it seems very stiff at the high tensions. (a minor point). I too run a small business – a medical practice and I have to increasingly use the internet for public awareness. I had never heard of your music until I searched for a National guitar, then your name will come up every time. I have now been listening and buying your CDs and telling others to check out your sound. On the web site Spotify, I set up a play list for ‘RL Burnside’ for my own purposes and surprisingly I have had 62 people and counting follow this list, basically they just listen to the selections I picked rather than go through multiple albums to pick favorites. What I did was add two of your songs into the list as they seem to go (Bye and Bye and Dark is the night..), but it struck me as a way to increase your exposure to Blues aficionados, — by creating lists of more famous artists and adding a few of your own pieces.
A pleasure doing business with you,.
Hey catfish, received the guitar today and it looks beautiful!! Can’t wait to play it after work. Very happy with the look and the action is better than I expected. Thanks for all your help.
Hey Catfish, I got the guitar. It’s absolutely breathtaking. Thank you so much for all your help. I wanted to ask you, if I want to use a lower gauge string like 12 or even 11 (I’m thinking of putting nickel strings) do you think I need to adjust the neck?
PS I was at a party with friends and family in Ohio, a lot of musicians and music lovers and I mentioned you and the guitar and everyone knew who you were, some had seen you play live and were very excited that I was in touch with you regarding this guitar.
Anyway, big thanks again.
Hi Catfish, my El Trovador arrived this afternoon on schedule and it’s just lovely! Thanks so much; I’ll recommend you to anybody who asks where to buy a National!
By the way, do you string your Nationals with mediums and do you keep them at concert pitch or are you almost always in a lowered alternative pitch for slide?
Catfish, the Triolian is fantastic! It sounds great; fast attack with good sustain. I know it will continue to sound even better when the cone opens up, and it actually gets use to being a guitar. I want to thank you again!
The guitar arrived today, and it’s outstandingly perfect!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Again, it is flawlessly beautiful, and l love the spider cone tone!!! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes I love this guitar it is beautiful and sounds great. I have got a chance to play it for a couple of hours now, the neck feels great. Also found out what a baby I am, when you play 9 to 42 gauge strings then play 12 to 52 at the end of a hour I’m done.
Thanks so much for your help.
Hi Catfish, just to let you know I am loving the guitar. WOW! Thank you very much… I will be ordering more 🙂
It arrived just about an hour ago. Everything seems to be in great shape. I have already fallen in love with this instrument, and will enjoy it for many years. Thanks for your great help in making this purchase.
I wish you well with your music, Keith, and surely do with we could get you here to Nashville to play.
I was having some work done on the Duolian by a luthier named Derek Zelenka at Gruhn Guitars here in town yesterday. Your name came up, and it turns out he is a huge fan, and like me, feels that we need you to come and play in Nashville. Derek does most of the National work at the Gruhn shop, and has a nice collection himself.
Anyway, thanks again. I will be up late tonight playing the blues!
Just wanted to send another note. I’ve now had the guitar for a month and spend considerable time with it…..I am as happy today as when I got it. Again, wanted to say thank you for producing such a quality instrument (inclusive of the Highlander pickup) and the willingness to customize. My only problem is keeping it out of other people’s hands.
Catfish – it has been a great experience, thank you for steering me this way.
The eagle has landed and I have spent a couple of weeks finding my way around the best tones – the sustain is ridiculous and it really projects while still putting out warm highs and lows. Love the guitar and can’t thank you enough for making the purchase easy and stress free – would recommend you to anyone looking to buy a new National.
Am talking to Ian – any recommendations on a slide for this El Trove? – am eyeing a 6mm Amber Ultimate – maybe 2.5 in, and I think I saw you playing something like that in a NAMM video. He said it might be too heavy, which my acoustiglide brass slide really is for this guitar, but I am such a tone whore I will deal with it for optimal tone. What do you think is best for wood? Don’t care much about cosmetics.
Thanks Again – Very Happy Customer
Keep up the good work!
Hey Catfish, love the Dueco! I was thinking of a Style O but now I’m thinking that it might not be distinct enough to be worthwhile. The Style 1 german silver tricone on the other hand should really set itself apart. I would want the cutaway version, with a highlander pickup and a strap button just like the Dueco. Your website says it will be available in October for $3975 (not including the extra options). Sign me up! Do you need a deposit?
It sounds beautiful and looks great…… I’ll give it a thorough check-out maybe tomorrow night (will have more time and light)…..tonight was just about putting my hands on it….
It does not suck…….. at all. I did a quick check on the pickup system….very faithful sounding……all in all, thank you for steering me well. More to come but wanted to get a quick note to you to say I am happy and looking forward to many years of acoustic blues and slide playing with this animal. First thing I did was play some Scrapper Blackwell.
Why I bought a National: I have a very nice other resonator, cost under a thousand, but I invested another $400 getting it up to snuff (new tuners, National cones (is a tricone), a better setup. I was enjoying it so much, that I wanted a second resonator, this time a steel single cone… In all my research folks came back to ‘save your money and go with the best, from National Resophonics’, so I did.
Why I bought from Catfish: I had talked with a few well known shops on the west coast that I’d done business with in the past, but you know, while they were interested in selling me a guitar, they weren’t really interested in talking to me – I mean I had questions because I really am NO expert on resonator guitars! I had read Catfish’s web pages, and out of the blue just gave him a call on a Saturday afternoon.
We talked for a good long while, he answered all my questions, and over my decision process we emailed a BUNCH and talked two or three more times. Understand something… Catfish knows resonators, and he’s got a “first name” relationship with the folks from National.
Bottom line, Catfish helped me build my ‘dream’ National. He advised me on all options. He watched over the process, and kept me informed each step of the way. His prices were fair and the best I’ve seen.
National Gold Dueco, 12 fret, with some cosmetic upgrades. I’ve only had her for two days, but the action is PERFECT for slide/finger picking. Intonation is perfect. She’s LOUD. She is beautiful. Wow, friends, WOW! She was worth waiting for.
You want a National? You want to talk to an expert? You want some special personal service? You want a great price? Go with the Catfish.
“Fat Scrapple Art”
Yes she’s wonderful. I love this guitar! Sounds so good. It is exactly what I thought of when I saw it the first time on internet the warmth from the wood, endless sustain! The setup is perfect! Tell them guys at National Resophonic that they have a very happy & satisfied customer in Germany! Again thanks a lot!
The guitar came yesterday and I couldn’t be happier with it!
As soon as I unwrapped the paper from the headstock I was in love. The finish on the curly maple could not be better. And the unbound fretboard looks amazing. The colors actually blend together at the darkest spots on the neck near the heel and the headstock better than I could’ve asked for. I attached some pics so you could see it if National didn’t send you any. It is sure a sharp looking guitar.
It plays great too! I’ve been tuning it ADADF#A and am really happy with the sound i’m getting. The action is really nice too. Easy to fret on and I can play it lapstyle with a light touch too. Thank you very much for all your help through this purchase. Your service really is second to none. You’ll definantly be hearing from me when i’m ready for another guitar! Please do keep me updated on the 5 string and octave mandolin projects too!
Hey Catfish: Guitar came today, it’s incredible. I think what you did was let the Resophonic people exchange your guitar for a real lefty, and then you had them send it to me, because the little dots are on the right side (top) for a lefty. Thanks for that. Some of your songs I been listening to, I have some questions. I’ll get back to you. tks, again
Hey Brother Catfish, thanks for the “I’m sorry”, but it wasn’t necessary. All is cool.
I love the guitar. I’ve bonded with it by now! I really like the mahogany neck, and can’t even explain why I do. For some reason, it feels a little more natural to my left hand. This is probably some sort of emotional response rather than anything rational. And, have you had opportunity to look closely at the tuners?…their National Brand tuners? On my ’09 Triolian, the gears are brass, though the worm gears are steel. But on the new Dueco, the gears are steel. So, that’s another detail that is now more like the old stuff from the 20s and 30s. I really appreciate the way Nat. folks draw inspiration from the old company, yet they resist the urge to try to clone the old instruments. Some of the old features shouldn’t be cloned. After all, an adjustable truss rod is BETTER than what was available in 1935.
The new Dueco is not quite as loud and responsive as my 30 month old Triolian. They do have to “open up”. They seem to improve as they get played, not unlike their wooden cousins.
Man alive. This has been a full “guitar day” for me. Thanks for your professionalism and your concern with my satisfaction.
Keith, the UPS guy just dropped it off this morning and I am in a state of euphoria, this guitar sounds amazing!
I haven’t touched a guitar in 6 months, this thing plays like butter. I have never sounded this good, a real testament to what Don & the folks at national are doing. The neck is a beaut. It sits do balanced in my lap.. I could list a hundred things I like about this axe.
Most important of all, I’m really glad I went with a 14 fretter for the added swing/jazz capabilities. Comparing it to a 12 fret Delphi they’ve got in a store up in Amsterdam, I am not losing out on the low end. Even not played in as it is, it has a ton more bass than I expected! Admittedly I was kinda worried about it sounding flat, especially being an internet purchase and all.
So I can’t thank you enough mate! If I ever buy another (here’s looking at you, El Trovador Baritone..) I will drop you a line. 🙂
Hey Catfish, the guitar arrived about twenty minutes ago. What a lovely instrument! The pictures online didn’t do it justice. After a very quick tune-up (a good sign), I’ve been finding my way around. I’m particularly excited by how quickly it felt comfortable in my hands. In my mind, that’s one of the greatest differences between high quality instruments and cheaper imitations: the guitar just wants to be played by its owner. It blooms in the master’s hands. For me, there’s a long journey ahead with this guitar.
Many, many thanks for all your help throughout this process!
Hi Keith, guitar finally arrived it’s really nice, looks gorgeous, still haven’t had much of a chance to have a good long play on it but so far it seems quite versatile and has a lovely warm sweet rich tone (highlander sounds good too) so,I’m real happy. Thanks for your help. All the best
Keith, iIt arrived safe and sound on Friday. Awesome guitar that sounds as purty as it looks 🙂
Hi Cat, I just received it few hours ago. It’s amazing, astounishing.Well, thank you. Really. Keep in touch.
Hi Catfish, I couldn’t happier. I’ll work on a picture.
It’s taken a bit to understand how the guitar wants to be played because the one I had been playing (and gave away this weekend) was a beast and was actually causing chronic left shoulder pain. I’m a slide player and now I don’t need all of the pressure to get what I wanted out of the guitar.
I really like the matching paint on the tailpiece. Oh, and the paint is still fresh enough that I can still smell it. Why did I wait so
Hey Catfish, man you just made my day. Thanks again. And I personally will tell the ‘brass” (get it?) at National what a great ambassador you are for their guitar.
It’s here. Came today while I was at work. I kept going into the file room to look at it. Took it home with me on the el. I’ve be on it since. It’s a beautiful looking and sounding guitar. Could not be more pleased. Thanks Catfish.
Yeah, the guitar came last night and it was well worth the wait! Everything is perfect and it sounds wonderful. Thanks again for your support, I will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone who is looking for a National. It has been a pleasure doing business with you.
Hey Catfish, the National was waiting for me when I arrived at my hotel today… it’s just awesome! The Replicon finish is great and it sounds teriffic. Can’t wait to really spend some time with it and work on some bottleneck.
Hope your gig last weekend went well… can’t wait to get the National CD and hear your cuts. Hey, if there’s any feedback mechanism on your web site, I’d be glad to leave you positive comments… like I said it was a pleasure doing business with you and National should be proud of you repping their stuff.
Hi Catfish – It arrived yesterday. It is beautiful to look at and beautiful to hold. And it sounds wonderful too!
Well worth the wait. Thanks for makin it happen!
It’s here now and we’re getting acquainted. I think that this is the first guitar in the 30 I’ve owned that shipped with a gauge of string I’m comfortable with too! It’s a great guitar. I haven’t scratched the surface yet, but its already showing its personality. I’m glad I went for German Silver too.
Thanks for your help. Stay in touch. I’m off to play with toys now…. 😉
You already know I’m sure, but this guitar is great. It’s fantastic. Thanks again!
The guitar looks great! I notice when I finger pick hard, it really barks with nice sustain. I tried playing with a huge flat pick with hammer on and pull offs, and sound just jumps out at you. My finger tips need to toughen up and the sound will be even better. It sounds better this morning than it did last night. I play a lot of different styles, so it’s going to be interesting figuring out which songs will sound best playing the resonator.
Definitely, a new instrument to the arsenal. I know you play acoustic guitar. When you write a song, do you know from the
start whether you will play it on a steel resonator or wood acoustic? For example, some of my railroad songs, I think will sound better using the Triolian. (steel guitar – steel rails) Kind of an old fashion hard sound with a bite. Anyway, as always, any thoughts you have are always appreciated. Thanks for all your help. The nickel rubbed finish really looks classic!…
Catfish, I do love it…it is beautiful…..Oh, it is so beautiful!
Got it a few hours ago, love it, right then what’s next!? NRP Black Tricone could be nice? Loving the Tricone tone. Pickup sounds great, attached is a short demonstration for ones perusal, hope all’s well, thanks again
Hey Catfish: the guitar arrived on Thursday.
What can I say: like the first time I tasted coffee: was bitter, but I knew I would love it for the rest of my life and that passion would only increase and be all encompassing, like the tunes my dad use to play when I was a kid and I knew they would live with me forever, like my first girlfriend and the feeling I got when she said she liked the colour of my bike.
The sound is warm and I love the range…amazing.
I will write later; your estimations all very accurate….thanks mate.
G’day Catfish, jJust a quick note mate to let you know that the Eagle finally landed!! It got here yesterday.
I can say I am really glad that I have made your acquaintance and had I not found your webpage, who knows where I would have ended up.
So mate, for you………..thanks heaps. It is a bloody nice guitar………a really sweet sound and just wholesome for me. Bang on
and if I do step up later for a Baritone I hope you would be the same helping hand again. Alrighty. You have a good one Catfish and again many thanks mate !
Hi Catfish, the most impressive unpacking in my life…
Perfect is the word: Perfect pack with the big National logo, Perfect case very well protected by foam and with the same National logo, Perfect piece of steel and wood inside (National logo again)…
I write you while the guitar is warming up before to be tuned. Even untuned, it seems to have THE sound. So far, exactly what I dreamed of.
You did great… and so, you are now my perfect US dealer. Thanks for this adventure, I hope it was a good bargain also for you and that you are ready for the next one… let’s wait after Xmas to speak about.
Must be warm enough… I go to play but I don’t know what, blues is sad and I am happy.
Merci encore Catfish.
I just received “Mable”, over an hour ago and I blown away with the wonderful sound of this instrument, it moans, whines, sustains feels great in my hands. So far I have been running through open G and D I think I’ll hang with these for a while as I feel a lot of fun here. This is gonna sound weird but I have been playing since 13 and have a fairly nice palette of mostly acoustic and electric paint brushes, but I have never ever felt this way with an instrument before. I know that sounds weird but it’s like I just found home… Ok, I gotta get back to learning more about Mable, but I really want to truly thank you for all you have done in putting this together for me and your inputs from my questions. I am really pleased with this. (got a silly grin). Catfish I am sure I will have questions in the future and hope you won’t mind from time to time if I prod you for technique and suggestions.
Talk with you Later,
Thanks so much,
And all the Best
Keith: the resotone arrived, in perfect shape and well wrapped. those guys do a great job.
the guitar is very well made: excellent quality in every respect. frets are perfectly dressed, the neck is straight, tuners are smooth, positive, and the guitar holds its tuning well, even with energetic sliding and string popping. the thing is lighter than I feared it might be.
It sounds cool. Now, I need to learn to play it- i am an acoustic guy and the only guitar I play is my national single cone steel body. So it will take me a while to get the hang of it. But I will have fun trying i think. I have a 1964 national tube amp, like a fender champ, and it sounds good through it. Also sounds good through my old fender. Haven’t tried my son’s stuff (Laney etc.)
I appreciate your help with this order, and i am very satisfied. Fred Mcdowell and l have some nice tunes they played on electrics, so I have stuff to try to replicate. Even death letter sounds righteous.
I hope one day to obtain a tricone, and if you are still in the business, I will ask you to help.
Hi Catfish, she’s a beauty! Setup is perfect. I’ll put heavier strings on the top two for slide, of course, but wow. Fun for fingerpicking as it is. The packing was awesome, and the case is cool – has the National emblem on it.
Thank you so much.
PS: Have you had a chance to try the M1 Tricone yet? Man, that’s a killer. Played one recently.
I got the new guitar last night, it’s really nice! I couldn’t be happier. It looks fantastic, the sound is way better than I remember from the one I played, sustain is incredible, feels great, and I really like the stamped National on the headstock. Thanks for all the help in getting me my new guitar.
Hi Catfish – guitar now safely taken into custody. What a stunner – beautiful tone and lovely finish and attention to detail. I was a bit disappointed with the pickup sensitivity at first, until I opened the battery case and found a) the battery wasn’t connected and b) the battery had shorted itself out on the clips! However with a new battery inserted it works just fine.
The action is very easy – slightly lower than I’m used to but this is compensated for by the heavy strings. The fret ends are really smooth – better than I’m used to – and this makes slide playing much more comfortable.
Altogether one very satisfied customer. I’m away again for a couple of weeks, so I’ll let you know how I get on after that.
See you in October. Very best wishes and thanks