National Reso-Phonic Hot-Plate ®
Many of you have asked me about the coverplate pick-up system I rigged and used for years to amplify both my vintage and new National guitars. Well, I'm pleased to anounce that the "Mike Dowling" Hot-Plate system was debuted at the 2008 NAMM show in Anaheim, California and is now available directly from me at 15% off the suggested retail price of $395. The Hot-Plate is a self-contained, everything's-on-the-coverplate, magnetic pickup for use on any single cone National or National Reso-Phonic bisquit-type cone guitar. No question, National Reso-Phonic guitars are full-sounding and loud played acoustically, but for those who need a pick-up there's no cleaner option. I use the pick-up primarily to reinforce my sound and round out the bottom end when I'm on stage or in the studio, and when used discreetly in conjunction with an instrument mic I find that I sacrifice none of the acoustic integrity of the instrument. This system is something I rigged and used for nearly fifteen years on my vintage 14 fret Style O because I couldn't find anything in the marketplace that would fit my professional needs. Well, the marketplace has now responded and I couldn't be more pleased that Don Young of National Reso-Phonic Guitars is manufacturing and marketing the Hot-Plate system. While my home-made rigs looked -- shall we say -- a bit bluesy? National craftsmen Eric Smith and Jason Workman refined and re-engineered my idea into a unique, high quality accessory that we can all be proud of
( please see accessories at www.nationalguitars.com ).
The Hot-plate is available only in the sieve-hole coverplate pattern and can be ordered in either bright or rubbed nickel finish. The rubbed finish looks best on the new El Trovador whereas the Estrellita Deluxe and the 12 fret Style 0 use the brighter, more shiny nickel finish. One nice feature (and there are many) of the Hot-Plate is that its slightly oblong screw holes around the perimeter allow for it to fit vintage Nationals without disturbing the authenticity of an older instrument. The Hot-Plate is interchangeable on any single cone National resonator guitar. Just take off the original coverplate with a tiny screwdriverr and install the Hot-Plate. Keep the original coverplate in a safe place and should you ever decide to sell or trade your National you can replace it, keeping the Hot-Plate for reuse on your new single cone resonator. Installation should take no more than 10 minutes. Just take your strings off, change out the coverplates, plug your guitar cord into the input jack on the Hot-Plate and you'll be good to go. No walking to the amp to adjust your volume or tone, the controls are at your fingertips. The pickup is a high quality, Tele-style Lollar "Special".
To me, the National Reso-Phonic Hot-Plate sounds just like the tone of the unamplified guitar, only louder. On my El Trovador it sounds like the El Trov, on the Style 0 it sounds like a Style O, on the Reso-Rocket . . . well, you get the idea. The louder you crank this feedback-resistant Hot-Plate the more it sounds like an electric guitar, but even at higher volume settings it retains the residual sound of the cone. I recently played my El Trovador through my old Fender Deluxe reverb at high volume and loved the result. But don't take my word for it. Here's what Kevin Russell of Santa Rosa, California sent me:
"Very elegant design and execution! It sounds fantastic. I love the rich round tone of the Hot-Plate. The lows are meaty without being distorted and the highs are clear as a bell. I love the sound of the El Trovador unamplified but the Hot-Plate really does a great job of simply making that natural sound louder with no sacrifice of tone. The tone and volume controls work great and installation was quick and simple. I'm completely happy with it, thanks Mike."
To order the Hot-Plate (or any other National Reso product) just send me an email. Price of the Hot-Plate with my discount is $340 plus $15 shipping in the US. Wyoming customers add 5% sales tax. Customers outside the U.S. please contact me for payment and shipping information.
Hurry, they're selling like Hot-Plates.