I ukulele, daily, but I've been secretly woodshedding with six strings since September. I bought a National Delphi Deluxe (vintage steel finish) in November. I was renting a Guild for awhile, but I took it back because of bad fret ruts. So my experience with wood bodied guitars is limited.
I have questions about damping the strings with my right palm on the Delphi. I notice that the low E (sixth) string doesn't 'bellow' out as loud as it would on a wooden guitar. Am I right on that score? Are wooden bodies inherently a lot 'heavier' and louder on their bottom strings? Is this due to the standard National cone being engineered to produce a louder treble response at the sake of a softer bass end response?
Anyway, as a consequence, I've learned to not dampen the sixth string much, if at all. Otherwise, I can't hear the bass notes off that string as much as I'd like. (I must admit, I like a big bottom end!) The A (fifth), and the D (fourth)strings require more damping, otherwise, they will, indeed, overpower the treble notes. Which leads me to my next questions.
I get a bit of a buzz off the D string when it's dampened, especially when I play with a thumbpick. I suspect that this is because the handrest biscuit cover won't allow me to dampen that string as close to the biscuit saddle as I'd like to be.
The reason I mention this is because I saw a You Tube video embedded on the National website of Mike Dowling demonstrating the 'Hotplate' pickup system available for single cone Nationals. Mike discusses his penchant of taking the hand rest biscuit cover off for playing his El Trovador. (Don't worry! He puts it back on for storage and transport.) He states he does this for muting purposes with his right hand. Does anybody else do this, and remove the biscuit cover to play? How about you, Ari?
If this is logically sound, am I right in presuming that the buzz I hear on that D string might likely disappear if I took the hand cover off to allow me to dampen the strings right at the saddle on the biscuit?
This idea is a little scary! I once crushed a cone on one of my National ukuleles, so I know too well just how fragile the cone is. I guess I would like to hear input as to whether it is worthwhile to take the cover off. Do I need to start shopping around for the right size Allen key for that cover. (Imagine dropping one of the itty bitty screws! Tricky wicky wacky woe!)
One final issue that's puzzles me a bit is Ari's use of a lowered tuning (every string down a whole step). I saw you discussing this on a You Tube video on The Guitar Workshop's You Tube channel. You mention, Ari, that, in order to do this, you had to get the action raised. I presume this mainly entailed installing a taller saddle on the biscuit? Did it also entail replacing the nut, so as to raise everything a bit at that end, too?
(One of these days, Ari, I will buy your Blind Boy Fuller lesson. I am anxiously awaiting the release of your imminent Blind Blake lesson. too. So, I'll likely order both at the same time. I'm currently working on three Blake songs. But, I digress a bit.)
Anyway, that's all, folks! Cheers, Jimmy