Mike Dowling demonstrates his pair of Nationals.
by Teja Gerken
August 25, 2015
Blues guitarist Mike Dowling owns and plays a lot of guitars, but his primary performance tools are a pair of Nationals. Dowling’s main instrument is his signature model, which is based on a 1932/1933 El Trovador. Built with an all-mahogany body, the guitar has a single-cone resonator and a long, 25 21/32-inch scale. Dowling’s other National is a brass-body ResoRocket N, which is similar to a traditional Style O, but with a cutaway and different coverplate and grill designs.
Both guitars include National’s Hot-Plate pickup system, which Dowling designed. Built into a custom-made replacement coverplate (and therefore requiring no modifications to the guitar), the Hot-Plate includes a single-coil Lollar Telecaster-style pickup, passive volume and tone controls, and output jack.
SPECS: Mahogany top, back, sides, and neck. Ebony fingerboard. Single 9.5-inch resonator with biscuit bridge. 25 21/32-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. nationalguitars.com
SPECS: Nickel-plated brass body. Hard-rock maple neck. Ebony fingerboard. Single 9.5-inch resonator with biscuit bridge. 25-inch scale. 1.825-inch nut width. nationalguitars.com
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