National Resophonic RM-1, tobacco sunburst. $1,800.
This National Resophonic mandolin (serial #1790) is in very good condition and has the characteristic sound that has earned the RM-1 its stellar reputation. Not much player wear to speak of, but there is some light tarnishing on the brushed steel cover plate, and some small white scuffs on the back. Furthermore, a previous owner had the not-so-brilliant idea to try multiple locations on the neck for installing a strap button, leaving screw holes in the heel and the back of the headstock. All those holes have been filled and repaired by a luthier. You can spot the two filled holes in the headstock if you know what you're looking for, but the repair to the heel is so well done that it's invisible. I will include a strap button with the instrument if you want to have it installed, but please choose the installation spot judiciously.
     Three-piece walnut body with maple top and neck; spiral-embossed spun cone with biscuit bridge. If you want to play the blues, or hold your own with a set of bagpipes, or just have the coolest mandolin on the block, this is the one to get. It's loud but sweet, uses the standard 13.75" mandolin scale, and doesn't have any of the intonation or playability problems associated with vintage resophonics. Comes with a hardshell case.
     I have, but have not installed, a brand-new National "hot plate" attachment with a Jason Lollar pickup. I will include it for the same $395 it would cost if purchased from Elderly Instruments, and you can choose whether to have it preinstalled or just included in the box. See more photos, or for more information. $1,800 plus shipping.