"I'm nervous about buying a guitar I haven't played..."
We understand that. This isn't buying a guitar off a wall. You don't know us and we don't know you, and that can lead to some nerves on both sides.
But that relationship changes. Honest to goodness, whenever I start building a guitar for someone we go from talking about "guitar stuff" to exchanging pictures of our families, stories about music, or boxes of junk food and maple syrup.
It starts out as you don't know me and I don't know you, but it ends up as something completely different and very, very cool.
We also understand that when someone who appreciates what we do is willing to trust us enough to make them an instrument, we have a responsibility to give them our best work. If you receive your guitar and there is something you're not quite satisfied with, it totally bums me out. I want you to think your guitar is awesome, and I'll make it right.
How To Buy A Mule
Step One: Send a deposit (the Paypal link is below). You don't have to decide on your options yet, and you'll have plenty of time to do so! When we receive your payment, you'll get an e-mail from us. If you have questions about the guitars, options, etc., this would be a great time to start that conversation.
Step Two: About a month or so before we begin your guitar, you'll receive a detail confirmation e-mail from us where you will finalize your options. You don't pay any more money at this point, this is simply so we can start building your instrument.
Step Three: When we actually start building your guitar, we'll send you progress pictures along the way. This is cool. We're building the guitar for you, and so you should see us build your guitar.
Step Four: When your guitar is completed, you'll get snazzy final pictures from us and that's when we'll request that you pay the remaining balance on your instrument.
Step Five: We'll let the guitar settle in for a week and then do a final setup. We ship it out, and then you play it.
A quick note from Matt on the options: My personal opinion is this : If you primarily strum with a pick, go steel single cone. A single cone gets you a bit more headroom and attack that sounds good with a strum. Everything else or a mix of things go steel tricone cone. Brass will get you a bit warmer with both of these setups.
Pickup or not? The only pickup we put in is the minihumbucker we make here. It's an actual electric guitar pickup - not something modified to fit on a resonator. It's awesome and gets you an electric tone that you can't get anywhere else. If that's what you're looking for do it. If you're looking solely acoustic applications, use a clip on microphone or one on a stand.
I've heard almost 300 of these guitars and those are my opinions. You can take whatever you wish from that and make it your own of course!
Resonator Guitar Options and Prices
Starting price includes slot headstock and figured ebony fingerboard and domestic shipping cost. International shipping is $150 and customers are responsible for customs cost which can range between 5% and 20%.
Current wait time is approximately 10 months. Price changes do not affect the wonderful people already on the list.
Starting price $2700. This includes torrefied quartersawn maple and titanium reinforcement neck construction. Figured maple is $150.
Tri-Cone - $225
P90 style pickup Pickup - $225 . We make these here and use a minihumbucker housing.
Cutaway - $300
Brass Body - $200
Mulecaster Options and Prices
Base Price - $2100
Hipshot Tailpiece - $200
Make A Deposit
Send a $250 non-refundable deposit to reserve your Mule.
Current wait time is 10 months.
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org
So in 1927 National made a proto-type guitar that was a tri-cone fit into a single-cone body, it was some kind of test I think and they never made a production model out of it. My Mule is just that, a tri-cone set into a single-cone stainless steel body and the sound is somewhere right in between the two designs. I'd never part with my National, but this guitar doesn't really sound anything like it, and I've found that I'm using the Mule a lot these days. Matt did a fantastic job all around on this guitar, the neck feels like I've played it for years, and it's got a custom made P-90 that really sounds nice and not overly electric. I love the sound, and it's versatile, changing from sharp to growl to mellow depending on where your right hand is.
I have had my Mule for about 2 weeks now and I am simply amazed at the craftsmanship. When friends and family come over to my house they are impressed with my Mule and tell me that I should just hang it on the wall and not touch it, because it is a piece of art. Obviously that is not what I am going to do, but it does look great, and more importantly, sounds amazing. All of my guitar playing friends drool when they first see it. Thanks for constructing a great guitar and more importantly thanks for the great customer service.
I skipped work today to play the Mule, i feel like I'm highschool again. Tell everyone there they kick ass.
- Steve Winslow
So it's been a week..... Wow, Matt, Wow!
I can't even begin to tell you how completely satisfied I am with my Mule. Its so responsive to any style of playing, anything from a sweet, sweet mellow to just a nasty, trashy growl. I love it.
The satin neck plays so so sooooo smoothly! its so comfortable, practically playing itself. The patina on the brass is absolutely beautiful.
I find myself catching a glimpse of that gorgeous body out of the corner of my eye and I just have to go over and play. My house projects have taken a serious hit this past week, and I anticipate they'll continue to suffer for weeks to come..
Its truly a work of art!
Thanks again so so much Matt.
One day I'll be on your list again for another!
I've been playing two or three hours every day. Open D and C a half step down feel best to me, but G rings nicely there too. It's Incredible to me - having scarcely played a steel guitar except in shops - how nuanced and sensitive to attack the cones are, how each seems to pick up different combinations of volume and frequency to generate distinct overtones. I can play quiet or hard or between to the two and it's like I have three or four different guitars. Running through my rig - essentially tape echo, trem, verb, and OD - the colors multiply. Particularly dialing up the wow and flutter on the tape echo creates some note decay with the slide that feels like a whole new tool. The craftsmanship is just beautiful. I'm really happy to have it. When I get a chance to shoot some useful video - something you can use on your site - I certainly will.
-Jeffrey Foucault - www.jeffreyfoucault.com
Wow. This guitar is just unreal. I’m seriously in love. I actually put it to work on a session that I had the very night I got it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect because the USPS guy dropped it off and I though it might work well on the artists project I was recording on that night. So without testing it out at home or a big dramatic “box opening event”, I just grabbed it and left for the studio. When it came time to use it I opened the case, tuned it to open G for the tune that we were tracking and basically just hit record. We were all instantly in love. I was blown away. I can’t believe how well this thing takes a mic. It just fits perfectly in a mix. I’ve used it on a ton of recordings already and onstage too. I’m addicted. Any excuse I can use to take it out and put it to work, I take it. I love blending the acoustic mic(s) with the P90 running through a small amp. I’ve plugged it into a little Fender Champ, a Silvertone and even big Super Reverb and it sounds super cool through all of them.
The tone is just exactly what I want to hear from a resonator. It’s got a lot of the sweetness of a tricone, but also a fair share of the trash can aggressiveness of a single cone. It has a very complex low end that is hard to describe. Sort of a hollow resonance to it that interacts and works with the mids in a really cool way. It has a “jump out at you” midrange that still remains sweet and never annoying like some resonators can get. The highs are so smooth. Sort of an old “papery” quality to it. Not “spikey” like my National single cone can sometimes get, especially under a mic. It’s very controlled with kind of a natural compression happening somehow. The treble strings resonate like no other guitar I’ve ever played. such a cool sound. They’re so alive and just seem to jump out on melodies and sing. Incredible!
Anyways just wanted to give you an update on the gitfiddle. The verdict is GOOD! I love this thing. Thank you so much Matt.
You need to raise your prices, brother! I worked in a high-end acoustic shop for five years, where I had my hands on many vintage and new Nationals. This Mule is far and away my favorite single cone. It’s a junk yard dog. It’s just plain mean. I am proud to own it. This Mule is inspiring and intimidating at the same time. Am I worthy of owning it? Not yet, so I better spend some time in the woodshed. Lastly, my two boys, ages 10 and 12, have already begun to argue about who gets it when I am gone. I think (hope) it’s a tad early to have that discussion, but it’s a nice compliment for you nonetheless.”
The guitar made it here alright, no problems at all. In fact it was pretty close to being in tune as well. And, shoo-boy, what a stunner!! Such a beautiful thing, Matt! Just wonderful, between the wood choices and the way you’ve finished them, and the great metal-work work. Eeeh yow, I love it, I love it. The shape and size of the neck is awesome, too. Now I kinda wish I had a steel-string guitar with that same neck on it. So comfortable in my hands. Yeah; a steel string with the Mule’s neck and a 12 fret joint. That’d be a good feeling guitar. Such a great sounding guitar, I love it. A musician friend of mine, Cahalen Morrison, was over here a few days ago and he played it and loved it, too. Both the sound and the look in equal measure, both awesome. He also (as do I) loved the fact that it was quite literally “The Mule.” We both figured you nailed that one right on the head.
Peace and Blessings,
Kelly Joe Phelps
The mule is absolutely incredible. Got it a couple of days ago and I haven’t put it down since. One of the most beautiful instruments I’ve ever seen and played. Thanks again. Absolutely worth the wait.
#68 arrived this morning and my only disappointment was to find it in standard tuning. I’ve spent all morning in slide heaven. I’m not a professional or trained musician, so I won’t pretend to have much musical vocabulary or expertise to get technical. I just know it feels and sounds like home. From rusty trash can to silk-&-honey sustain, you can pull everything you need out of it. Thanks so much. Barring a catastrophe, this is the guitar that will provide for my retirement. My plan is to busk in my dotage as a one man act called 401-(k)apo.
Drop a line if you ever pass through Nola.
Hi, Matt. My delivery was delayed a day longer than I thought so I finally received and opened up my new Mule (#69) yesterday. Admittedly I had high expectations, but it totally surpassed them. When I opened the case, my wife, my two sons, and I all said ‘Whoa’ at the same time. The finish is a total knockout, the neck shape is fluid but solid, just ideal. And the voice is absolutely gorgeous. I thought the dynamic range would be wide, and it was way wider than that. I thought it could be driven ragged or sweet, but it’s even more than that. The tricone just wants to sing. Sitting on its own in a stand, the instrument rings sympathetically with our conversation, as if it’s speaking with us. And when you touch the strings it just wants to purr or roar or whatever you’re feeling. It was so worth the wait.
Thank you for your craftsmanship and your devotion to your instruments. It all really shows. I’ll play this proudly and happily and keep it forever if I’m able.
All the best,
it’s been exceptionally well received! First with the “Martin Dorks” and then I had some alone time with it last night and again this morning.
First of all it’s absolutely a gorgeous piece to look at. Really beautiful.
The neck is so darn comfortable for my hand. up and down the fretboard….smooth, easy. again, for me, perfect spacing.
Is it ok if I say the sound is rough, jangly and warm?…all at once? or does that just sound stupid?
soulful is over used and vague, but also appropriate here..
Can’t believe I have No. 20.
The workmanship….the fit, the finish, the finesse all represent an experienced, meticulous artist…
Congratulations on a guitar well built. You really have something here to be proud of
Okay, here’s the deal… I let the guitar acclimate a bit, and at around 11:00 p.m. last night I decided to open up the tweed case (which is very cool by the way) and spend a few minutes with the guitar before I headed off to bed. I finally got to bed at 2:48 a.m.–I just couldn’t put it down!
First the craftsmanship is superb, and the guitar is just beautiful in an old-school kind of way. The neck is possibly the nicest I have ever played on any guitar, EVER! Really smooth & fast with a super comfortable shape. I don’t know what you call this neck geometry, but just keep making ’em like that because it’s amazing (what is the fingerboard bound in? Very nice as well!). I tuned it up to standard tuning (someone at Maple Leaf must have been playing it in open D), and just started playing conventional stuff, and I just love the tone. Tried out the slide (which is high quality and a nice surprise), and again, the tone is killer!
I can’t wait to get back to it today, and I just know it’s going to open up new horizons for me. I will have SO MUCH fun with this guitar! I just couldn’t be happier, Matt…you have a really good thing going on there, and I sincerely wish you bucket-loads of success. I would like to give you an endorsement on the Acoustic Guitar Forum and I’m wondering if it’s okay if I use the pics of my guitar that are on your web-site to include in my post? I can take my own, but they definitely wouldn’t be as cool and artistic as yours; however, if you’d rather I didn’t, that’s just fine. Again, fantastic job…I’ve been smiling since 11:00 p.m. last night!
So yesterday I finished a 12hour night shift in the early morning and stayed awake another 12 hours waiting for fed-ex to deliver the Mule. One of the hard case locks had been sacrificed on its long journey to the UK, but thats no problem, I tore it out of the cardboard box and placed the case on the floor outside while taking a huge breath before opening it and revealing the machine inside….I was stunned.
I just fell on my arse looking at it in the case for quiet some time, I have no words that could do it justice to describe the beauty in every detail you have created with this work of art, With that said I had to hear it, A little tuning and it was so much more than I’d hoped for, The cone had jumped around a little but after correcting that, It was alive !
The neck profile/feel and look are perfect in every sense, An ease to play Slide but also to Fret, Keep doing whatever you are with these necks !!
The Metal work is mind-blowing Matt, Certainly letting the natural materials show it’s true beauty.
This Mule howls ! Every little detail had given it so much personality, Hard to believe it was only completed two weeks ago, This continental cone inside does exactly what you said ”It Dominates”, Played a few steel resonators in time and they always seemed to have a dull tone or no tone at all, yet still cost you an arm and a leg, The little videos you put out on Youtube and Instagram give only a snippet of what these a capable of, I’ll be uploading what I can to pass that message on.
It’s got tone ! It’s got balls ! Thank you so much for this Matt, It’d a dream come true, Also, for the Swish case, Plus the slide/picks/Sweatshirt, It’s been a great journey, talking guitars and travel with you along the way. I’ll certainly be back to order another one or two soon.
All the best to the future, Now to start my own journey with the perfect equipment.
I’m not surprised you we’re too busy to hand over the guitar in person, Either here in the U.K or when I’m jumping back and forth to Sweden over the year I hope to meet sometime.
Hey Matt! I’m officially the proud owner of #83, the tricone you sent to the mapleleaf! Christian hooked me up. God, this guitar incredible. Couldn’t have imagined how special she’d be. Well done. So lucky to play her everyday on my front porch. When she’s not being played, she doubles as an incredible piece of wall art. My girlfriend and I live in a cabin a 1/2 mile in the woods and this guitar fits in perfectly. I’ve been spreading the word about you and your instruments to anyone who will listen. Can’t wait to when you get to my name on the list, clearly I need a brass single cone.