Experiences with Mule Resonators?

tmslider

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Hello,
I am on the wait list for a Mule tricone. Presently I play a National El Trovador which I love, particularly the neck which is 1 3/4. Here are my questions:

1. Does your neck feel like it is a true 1 3/4? I have large hands and I am particular in regards to my desire for wider string spacing since I exclusively fingerpick and play slide. The National tricone neck is a bit too much for my liking, which is a pity because I am such a fan of the company and products.
2. I am looking for the best alloy to provide warmth and volume and many people state that brass is the best in conjunction with a tricone, BUT since MULES do not have the same sound grates as a tricone I was wondering if steel would be best. I play predominantly slide.
3. National would be able to put a Trov neck on a Style 1 tricone and since I can't get my hands on a Mule in SanDiego I am in a quandary. Which guitar would be best for slide?
 

Resojazznblues

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20211113_095924.jpg
The nut width is a little better than 1 3/4" as you can see by pic of my 2020 Mule steel tricone. I have played a few Nationals, custom Grosh, vintage Gibson archtops, etc and I think the neck carve and dimensions are the best and most comfortable I have played. Easy playability, doesn't fatigue hands.
 

Resojazznblues

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Also, you can go on the Mule website and youtube to hear the difference between brass and steel. To my ears, a Mule steel/brass tricone is not as loud as a National steel/brass tricone. I think this has a lot to do with the Mule tricone design being set in a single cone style body ( f holes instead of grates at upper bout, chicken foot pattern cover plate instead of t plate). The Mule's design therefore makes for a warmer, rounder tone. The brass quiets some harmonics vs steel. I play ( or try to play ) blues, jazz, avant garde jazz, near,middle,and far eastern, and jam band music. I chose the steel for its warmth, abundant harmonics, and the bloom of reverb it surrounds each note with. I think the steel reflects the note better. I play fingerstyle and fret 50% and slide 50% switching when playing. I am 50 years old, been playing 36 years and owned and had built quite a few guitars, I sold them all and play my Mule exclusively. It's all I need. I hope this helps. IMHO, you have made the right decision going with the Mule. Once you decide between brass and steel, Matt will take care of the rest. I had a great experience with Matt and the Mule crew. I recommend highly.
 
Last edited:

Resojazznblues

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Hello,
I am on the wait list for a Mule tricone. Presently I play a National El Trovador which I love, particularly the neck which is 1 3/4. Here are my questions:

1. Does your neck feel like it is a true 1 3/4? I have large hands and I am particular in regards to my desire for wider string spacing since I exclusively fingerpick and play slide. The National tricone neck is a bit too much for my liking, which is a pity because I am such a fan of the company and products.
2. I am looking for the best alloy to provide warmth and volume and many people state that brass is the best in conjunction with a tricone, BUT since MULES do not have the same sound grates as a tricone I was wondering if steel would be best. I play predominantly slide.
3. National would be able to put a Trov neck on a Style 1 tricone and since I can't get my hands on a Mule in SanDiego I am in a quandary. Which guitar would be best for slide?
Hello. Left a reply for you. Hope it helps.I didn't know if you were watching thread or not. Happy sliding!
 
Last edited:

WingedWords

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Feb 4, 2015
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Location
UK Europe.
Hello,
I am on the wait list for a Mule tricone. Presently I play a National El Trovador which I love, particularly the neck which is 1 3/4. Here are my questions:

1. Does your neck feel like it is a true 1 3/4? I have large hands and I am particular in regards to my desire for wider string spacing since I exclusively fingerpick and play slide. The National tricone neck is a bit too much for my liking, which is a pity because I am such a fan of the company and products.
2. I am looking for the best alloy to provide warmth and volume and many people state that brass is the best in conjunction with a tricone, BUT since MULES do not have the same sound grates as a tricone I was wondering if steel would be best. I play predominantly slide.
3. National would be able to put a Trov neck on a Style 1 tricone and since I can't get my hands on a Mule in SanDiego I am in a quandary. Which guitar would be best for slide?

Here's my Mule #359 from 2018. A bit over 1 3/4". And I'd second what Mule627 said about the neck carve - it's my favourite too.
20211114_180245.jpg


If you're on the Mule waiting list I'd say stick with it and give it a good trial once it arrives. It shouldn't be too hard to find a NRP tricone in a store to compare it with and if you find you prefer the NRP I'm pretty sure you won't lose money or find it hard to sell. I've little experience of National tricones old or new beyond brief instore try-outs but from listening I'd say Mules, brass or steel, have their own sound. That's what Matt is aiming for. As regards your choice between brass and steel I'd suggest you talk to Matt and tell him what you're hoping for and go with his recommendation.

When's your Mule due? Full report when it arrives please! Hope you enjoy it.
 

Lgibjones

NEW MEMBER!
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
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Location
Chicago, IL
I’ve owned a Mule and it sounded incredible, probably the best sounding resonator I’ve ever played.

The setup was so-so in my opinion, and fit and finish was not on par with National.

The maker also does not support used instruments unless you’re the original owner.
 

Digital Larry

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Location
Silicon Valley, CA
I don't have any personal interest one way or the other, but that "other popular guitar forum" has a recent thread from a guy who was not fully satisfied with his experience buying a Mule guitar.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Apr 26, 2003
Posts
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Location
Augusta, Maine
An important question with resos is: Is the cone spun, or is it stamped?

Spun cones (like Quarterman, Beard, and Legend) are a lot louder and cleaner. I'm sure the Mule folks can tell you what they use.

And another highly knowledgeable and friendly forum is www.resohangout.com.
 




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