Random Scheerhorn thread mostly out of curiousity.


MarkinSonoma's picture

I know the story of the sale of the Shroud of Turin, I spoke with the previous owner when he was here doing a concert several weeks ago. Beautiful guitar, but he felt the sound wasn't what he was looking for with the style of music he plays in his group. A great guitar perhaps, but the classic case of one size does not fit all. It's what Mike Witcher alluded to in my earlier post.

Crystal ball? I don't think they are going to appreciate and go up to $5000 either. 

I guess we'll never know, but I think the whole Scheerhorn Phenomenon might have taken a different path had Tim elected, like Paul Beard, to hire and train a handful of employees. Pre Wish List, he averaged 40 instruments per year. Would the guitars have been the same quality if he had a few assistants and built 100-120 per year? If Paul Beard had stayed a one man shop would his guitars as an independent builder in lower numbers inspire a thread like this? 

We had a fairly lengthy Nati-horn thread  going on the Steel Guitar Forum some time back, and the following post from MIke D wasn't necessarily referring  to Scheerhorns, but it related to how some of the memebers were aghast at some of the prices for custom acoustic guitars. I think he made some pretty good points:

A: Guitar builder makes a great product. 
B: People discover this product 
C: More people discover the product 
D: So many people discover it that the maker can hardly keep up, so he raises his price and starts a waiting list. 
E: Waiting list gets very long and eventually folks start selling their place in line, often for double and triple the price they locked in at. Folks also start selling their newly delivered instruments for double and triple the price they just paid. 
F: The builder sees this along with an ever-increasing waiting list so he raises prices again and again. Eventually getting to the point of 10 and even 20K instruments. 
I've seen this happen to a lot of builders over the last 15 or so years and the price is only reflective of what folks will pay. Most of these builders would never claim that their instruments are 10K (or whatever) dollars better than something else, they are simply charging what the market will bear. A totally reasonable thing to do. People want these instruments for the same reason that someone will pay 3X more for a Ferrari that doesn't perform any better than a new Corvette.

McPickin's picture

Could you all try to use different references like beer or hamburgers or better yet ribs since its summer? Not really into wine analogies, as most of probably are not, but I dont speak for the masses. Always entertaining to see folks opinions pop up, yet know many others dont care to share their legitimate contrasting views or opinions on some subjects. Not everyone likes the kings new clothes tho.

Every guitar has some good in it and what a stupid world it would be if we all played the same one. If ya got a horse ride a horse, if ya got a mule, ride a mule. I prefer Harlows which I consider to be a ferrari with an onboard howitzer when compared to  a maserati with a 22, but that's just me. Aint even close, but I respect your right to choose for yourself and be proud of it. 



MarkinSonoma's picture

Okay, I'll cease and desist with the wine analogies, but you might consider a nicely chilled Rose' during the summer, Dan, great with outdoor grilling. 

Hey, this place needs a good Scheerhorn thread now and then, it was getting way too mellow. 

And even without this thread, it would be more fun if folks did in fact care to share their legitimate contrasting views and opinions.

Wait - you prefer Harlows? I had no idea!


melman's picture

Dan, even though my main guitar now is a Wolfe, I've got a 2004 Harlow that is an absolute gem.  I recorded with it a few years back and was really happy with the sound I got out of it.  Plays great, too.  I'd take it over a new Nati-horn any day.  

mtndon's picture



To your question to me; At this point there is no way to collect the evidence how the smaller makers are being affected. My point is that a less than a year ago there was no Natihorn and now how long are they back ordered? They are of a high quality, very competively priced and some of the buyers are buying a Natihorn instead of another maker’s reso. I don't think the Natyhorns will rise in price like Tim’s reso's did; they can turn them out much faster than Tim did and the market is not that big. To all the punctuation/spelling guru's I'll apologize now.

Lakeview's picture

 Well that was just a lovely rendition. Very stirring.

  Soooo uh sorry Tim if you are reading this (I guess) but here comes a not well practiced reverse slant with an above the bar pull/ bend. With the vicissitudes of the market and economy do you think that there is a danger of a builder whose price curve followed the above described trajectory painting themselves into a corner price wise? I don't know what I would do if I were in that builders ' shoes. Nati horns are certainly a brilliant way out of the predicament. Almost like taking a beautiful painting and silkscreening it on tank tops (how was that for a summer analogy?) Hey you lurkers out there could you please consider sending photos of your wishlist guitar to another member who will swear to maintain your anonymity while allowing us the pleasure of viewing your work of art? I wonder if the builders of the Nati-horns do or have done custom upgrades like fancier woodsets? Has anyone heard of that? 

 On another tangent here... I was just reading a long Steel Guitar Forum thread on this subject which brought up some other thoughts.  There were several mentions of the Nati Horns having a lot of volume.  Personally I am getting a little worried about my hearing and how it is being affected by my "modern" guitar . I know that age is a factor in this but personally I don't need or want a banjo killer or tinnitis maker. I feel like if I play too loud I am hurting myself. I am not saying this as a criticism I am really just checking in to see if anyone else has similar feelings about their reso's?

  Second, on that thread there was a brief foray into discussing tailpieces. I have Allen tailpieces on two of my mandolins and on my vintage National Duolian. i noticed a significant improvement with each of them with the new tailpieces. I haven't quite felt the need to put one on my Horn but I am curious if anyone else has installed one?

McPickin's picture

Melman, I would pick a Wolfe over a Pseudohorn, or Beard anyday. I played a few Wolfes that were fine, And a couple of  DeNeves too. If I was not  eternally happy with my Harlow experience, I would be on Ivan Guernseys door step in a flash. Ivan made the sounds possible which Mike Auldridge created and shared, not Beard as far as I am concerned. Frank Harlow made Gene Wootens signature sounds possible he created and shared. There is no finer set up man than Frank Harlow period, in my experience. Ivan second, with others distant. Again, just my 2 cents, based on experience. Ymmv.

Rose wine with grilled food, I'll have to try that Mark. Always enjoy your West coast perspective with your thought provoking often humorous additions. I could not write like that, or devote that much time.

Wax on wax off.

Daniel sahn.

melman's picture

Okay, mtndon, I'll buy that, especially the part about NRP being able to turn them out faster.  Still, that just means we've got some new options in a competitive market.  It's the "game changer" idea that I question.  I just don't feel the earth shaking yet.    

bozabus's picture

So I know you guys that don't own a Nati-horn are just dying to find something wrong with them.  (So you can feel better about your current reso.)  So I'll give you this.   I don't like the National tailpiece on it.  The knuckle/slot feature seems to be a bit too wide.  I don't like the way the string balls sit in there.  They look like they could pop out.  I'm tempted to replace that stock TP with something else.  Any suggestions?

MarkinSonoma's picture

Tom, the obvious first choice as an alternative would be to get the U.S. made tailpiece from Paul Beard/Resophonic Outfitters. 28 bucks.

Another way to go would be a tailpiece from Randy Allen here in Northern California, and they are beautiful pieces of work, not cheap -  but over the years not everyone has stayed with them after they've put them on their guitar.   

For those that love them, they practically wax poetically about them on Randy's testimonial page in the link below (some of the folks are members here) but as I wrote above, not everyone is that stoked after they've gotten them. I guess there's no way to know in advance - but if you don't like it,  then it can be a fairly expensive mistake.

Have you tried contacting Eric at National Reso-Phonic? He goes by "Natres" here. Maybe he'd be willing to swap one out for the more traditional style.  And maybe he can explain the philosophy behind their proprietary tailpiece to ease your mind (he might have already in the long National Scheerhorn thread).


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