National Radiotone Bendaway

mykljpao

Member
Messages
538
Anyone have any experience with the new (but discontinued due to production costs) National Radiotone Bendaway? Wooden bodied resonator with cutaway. I am contemplating a purchase and my research comes up universally positive but I don't always trust the reviews on Harmony Central (no surprise there).
 

righthandman

Member
Messages
122
I used to teach in a store that was a National dealer and we had one of those in. It's a truly fantastic sounding guitar, much louder than you would think. I'm sorry to hear it's discontinued but if you've found one I'd say jump on it
 

johneeeveee

Member
Messages
1,613
I have one. Mine is a custom build for an employee that has a pearloid veneer on the headstock, with pearloid binding, waverlies with ebony knobs and diamond shaped inlays on the ebony fretboard. It was also signed on the inside by all the employees, including National owners Don Young and Macgregor Gaines. It was also fitted at the factory with a K&K biscuit bridge resonator pickup.
It is an awesome sounding instrument with great projection. The big soft V neck on it is fantastic. I'm not much of a blues player, but have kept it due to it's uniqueness and it's possible collectability. I guess now that they are discontinued it may be even more desireable... I don't know. Just writing those words makes me feel a bit lame, as a guitar this cool should get played... a lot :)

Here's a couple pics of it:

a9_1.jpg


42_1.jpg


Someday I'll have to learn to play slide, huh?

Peace - jv
 

mykljpao

Member
Messages
538
Johneeeveee,

I agree wholeheartedly...it should get played a lot.....and I promise that after you sell it to me, I will play the hell out of it :dude

That is VERY cool! I happen to like eye candy on guitars and that combination just smokes. :AOK That is the same neck treatment as on my ResoRocket (minus the classy ebony tuner keys). The pedestrian look of the usual production model is my only complaint with the Bendaway. As to future collectibility, who can tell. However, they are looking to resume in the near future with different production techniques to reduce costs while maintaining the quality. BTW: don't think these need to be restricted to just slide play. I think the bendaway will get setup primarily for fingerstyle blues and ragtime with lower action than would be ideal for slide. I'll use the rocket for slide.

Righthandman, thanks for the corroborating review. I've been toying with either a brass tricone or the wooden bendaway but think I'll try the wooden rez first since the tricones are still in production and significantly more expensive, lol.

These resonators are seriously addictive once you start playing them.
 

johneeeveee

Member
Messages
1,613
Hey mykljpao,
I hadn't really thought of selling it, but I might consider it since you seem to be really looking for something like this. I would have to think about it, but PM me if you were seriously digging this guitar, and we can talk about it.

BTW, this guitar is set up right now with low enough action to play fingerstyle, while still being able to slide on it as well. I love the neck on this thing, and now wish my acoustics had this wide nut.

Take care - jv
 

mykljpao

Member
Messages
538
Just want to post a HUGE public THANK YOU to Johneeeveee. I went from making an offhand joke about him selling me his guitar to being the new owner of his custom National Radiotone Bendaway. It was both a pleasure making John's acquaintance and doing business with him. The instrument far surpassess his description both cosmetically and tone-wise.
THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS PLACE!! Happy seller, thrilled buyer and the endless ebb and flow of gear continues. Even Fedex did their part delivering on-time (early even!) with nary a scratch on the box. Every deal should go so smoothly. Thanks again, John. Rest assured, this one's going to get significant play time!
 

johneeeveee

Member
Messages
1,613
Thanks Michael, I'm so glad you're digging the guitar (I knew you would :))

It was a pleasure to meet you as well, and I'm happy that National will get the attention it deserves.

Take care - jv
 

gaonick

Member
Messages
5
Hello all,

I'm new here but wondered if anyone had a National Radiotone Bendaway for sale. After reading a lot about them they really do seem like the ideal resonator for me... They seem to be getting increasingly hard to find on eBay and all.

Thanks,

Nick
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,421
I lucked out & found a mint one on Ebay a few weeks ago. I wanted a wood body National as I like that tone, but since I play with a slide on my middle finger I absolutely need a cutaway. The Bendaway is the only one like that.
It is LOUD (loudest acoustic guitar I have ever heard if I hit it hard) if needed, has a great biscuit "boing", better sustain than the average biscuit bridge guit, & has better low end than most other biscuit models. It responds better to picking dynamics than any acoustic I have played- it loves to whisper & moan as well as roar. I will be a while getting used to this range. National hit a "home run" for me with this model & I feel privileged to have one. I do find that (for me anyway) brass fingerpicks sound best (not harsh) and a very heavy slide that I made (with hours of die grinding) from a hard steel chrome plated 13/16 socket gets sweeter tone & sustain. It is a wonderful slide guitar!
Interestingly, the day I decided that I had to find one after researching all the National models, this mint one popped up on the 'bay at a fair price from a great seller. I did an immediate "buy-it-now". Hope you find one Nick!
 
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9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,421
There is one (National Radio Tone Bendaway) on the "Bay" right now- it did not sell the last time & now has free shipping & a reasonable price- highlander pup in this one. They don't come up often at all. I already have one I'll never part with, so absolutely NO affiliation with this auction.
 

jpfeiff

Member
Messages
723
There is one (National Radio Tone Bendaway) on the "Bay" right now- it did not sell the last time & now has free shipping & a reasonable price- highlander pup in this one. They don't come up often at all. I already have one I'll never part with, so absolutely NO affiliation with this auction.
Seller has only one feedback....red flag in my book:worried
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,421
"Seller has only one feedback....red flag in my book:worried"
__________________
Ebay sellers have to start somewhere- I did. If I email a seller and get good response, that helps. If I have further doubts, I email for a phone number and call them. One feedback is not a good sign but it may be a OK deal. Not defending the seller- just mentioning a hard to find item available.
 

gaonick

Member
Messages
5
Yeah I saw that one but contacted the seller and they seemed a little off somehow, esp with that lack of feedback and no returns... The quest continues, thanks for the advice all.
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,421
Just a heads up - there is nice looking one on the 'bay right now with very reasonable BIN, free shipping & an approval period. If I didn't already have a Radiotone Bendaway I would be jumpin' on this one! No affiliation whatsoever with seller- just want to turn someone on to a GREAT National at a great price!
 




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