2000s Republic Resonator Mandolin

I'm pretty certain that the Republic, Johnson, and Recording King resonator mandolins are all built in the same factory in China. The earlier Johnson models are the ones I'm most familiar with and have been my favorites since they're the closest in look to the "old guys." This Republic version, however, with its adjustable truss rod and extra bling, is just as good (or better). All three of the brands play more or less like the originals once they're setup properly and all share the same (ridiculous) original extra-long 15"+ scale length.

Because of that extra-long scale I usually string these National-style resonators with normal "lights" but tune down a full step to FCGD or a little more (as in the video) to EBF#C#. The "F" tuning works great playing against ukes or trad-jazz folks while the "E" tuning is a nice place to play with bluesy guitars in the keys of E and B. For "standard" pitch, I usually restring to an extra-light set of strings (32w-9 or 30w-8) so that I'm not snapping strings all the time (the high Es often go pop a lot with a 15" scale). I've also over-strung with 42w-11 or heavier to tune down to DAEB -- just a step above mandola's standard pitch. That's a lovely tuning to play Celtic or old time with and it lends itself to "Planxty"-style fills and sliding chords because it's so warm.

I've gotten off-topic, though, huh? So about this instrument -- it needed a fret level/dress, cone seating, compensation and adjustments at the saddle, and a good setup before it was playing spot-on. Now that all that's done it's a winner and nice and stable, too. It has its funk, though, by way of cheap tuners (oh, well) and some mild tarnishing here and there throughout the (nickel-silver-plated?) body. The body itself is thinner-gauge metal than what's used on the newer National Reso-Phonic instruments (the guitars, anyway) and, ironically, this makes the construction more like the original Nationals of the '30s. Funny!

This body also has laser-etched "engraving" in the old lily-of-the-valley pattern, though it's very hard to see in photos despite being obvious in-person.

Repairs included: fret level/dress, setup, cone seating/adjustments.

Body: nickel-silver-plated

Bridge: rosewood/maple compensated

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: flamed maple

Action height at 12th fret:
hair-under 1/16" (fast)
String gauges: 36w-10

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: flat

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: low/small

Scale length: 15"

Nut width: 1 7/16"

Body width: 12 5/8"

Body depth: 2 1/2"

Weight: 4 lbs 8 oz

Condition notes: it's pretty clean throughout but there are areas where the finish has just lightly tarnished on the body -- something that's easy to do as simply not wiping-off fingerprints will discolor a finish like this over time. It's not obvious, though, at a glance, and I couldn't even take photos of it because the body is so reflective.

It comes with: an original foam/flight-style case.