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Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin Engraved Nickel/Silver  (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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SKU   423798   000303000

Brilliant resonant tones of generations past can be yours again.

The Recording King Metal Body Mandolin is one of the only mandolin resonators available today and the instrument with the most similar characteristics of the pre-war originals. Choose from the nickel-plated bell brass finish, the nickel-plated bell brass finish, with "Lily-of-The-Valley" back engraving, or the champagne matte finish, while they last.

Nickel-plated bell brass finish
This unique Recording King mandolin has a nickel-plated bell brass body, 10" hand-spun Continental cone and a beautiful pearloid headstock overlay.

Nickel-plated bell brass finish, with "Lily-of-The-Valley" back engraving
This Recording King mandolin has power, projection and style. With the Lily-of-the-Valley back engraving, 10" hand-spun Continental cone, and a beautiful pearloid headstock overlay, the resonator mandolin looks and sounds like an antique, custom mandolin.

Champagne matte finish
This unique mandolin has a matte champagne-finish, nickel-plated bell brass body, 10" hand-spun Continental cone, and a beautiful pearloid headstock overlay.

Includes featherweight case.

  • Body: nickel-plated bell brass
  • Neck: solid maple
  • Fretboard: rosewood
  • Cone material: hand-spun aluminum
  • Cone: Continental, 10"
  • Coverplate: roundhole
  • Headstock: plated Recording King logo
  • Headstock overlay: pearloid
  • Tailpiece: bell brass
  • Bridge: hard maple
  • Position markers: mother-of-pearl dot
  • Tuners: nickel-plated
  • Includes a featherweight case
  • Case sold separately

RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin

  • Nut width: 1-5/16"
    Scale length: 14-7/8"
    Depth: 2-1/2"
    Lower bout: 12-3/4"
    Body length: 13-3/4"
    Total length: 27-3/4"

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Recording KingRA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

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So far, so good

By Twelve String

from Boston and Amsterdam

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer


  • Good Tone


    Best Uses

    • Concerts
    • Practicing

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    Haven't had it long enough to competently review his instrument.

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


    Okay starter instrument

    By Ross Cherednik

    from USA

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews


    • Consistent
    • Good Tone
    • Long Life
    • Strong


    • Poor Tone Quality

    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Concerts
    • Practicing

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    Those wanting a resonophnic mandolin who don't want to pay the higher price of the much superior National will find an acceptable, but no equal, substitute with the Recording King. It is loud, has decent intonation, but has a high action. I plays very fine slide mandolin. However the much finer qualities of the National Resonophonic mandolin will always tempt one to move up to it. I did and am much happier.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


    Fun Instrument

    By OldPoet

    from Urbana, IL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    I am very satisfied overall. It has a unique sound and gives me a nice change from a regular mandolin. It is loud and a little sharp, almost enough to hurt your ears if you play it for a very long time, but again, I like the sound. I wanted it to ring out and it does. The fit and finish are good for something in this price range. The only problem I had was that I wanted to install a strap button on the heel of the neck. It says in the specs that the neck is solid. Well, it may be, but the neck heel is not solid, it is shaped quarter inch plywood and I drilled right through it. Since I had the hole, I installed the strap button anyway, but I am unsure if I will be able to use it without breaking the wood.
    This Recording King RM998 M came pretty much as expected. I got the champagne matt but it isn't. Is very copper looking, not the flat look that shows up in all the pictures. I don't mind though. Took it to a jam and got a lot of complements on the look. I didn't play it for them however.
    Everything was good. No problems with setup, I tuned it up and played well out of the box.
    Worth the money. I notice that since I bought it they have raised the price.

    (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


    Bill Selles Amateur musician and relatively new to mandolin

    By bill selles

    from Klamath Falls, Oregon

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    I considered giving this instrument a "10" but there are some minor things not quite right from the factory, but I am certain that a professional set up will correct those small challenges.

    As with any string instrument, it takes some time to settle in, but this one is seeming to do so rapidly, much faster than the cheaper instrument I got locally about 7 months ago,

    I have shown it to several musicians that are much more accomplished than I am, and most are considering getting one for themselves!
    My review of the RA-988 Metal Resonator Mandolin

    I play with Old Time Fiddlers, and we do not use amplification for our instruments. This mandolin has enough volume that I do not have to strum and pick hard in order to be heard well. (Which is also a disadvantage when I make mistakes, which is frequent right now!)

    I especially like the instrument when playing some of the slower gospel music because of the way it holds a sustained note for a long period. And I love the sound it produces ( My wife compares it to the steel drums in caribean music) It has a very rich tone, especially on the lower strings, but is a little twangy on the E string, which may be eliminated when I take it in for a set up. I am also going to have the action lowered as much as possible to improve ease of playing toward the bottom of the neck. This may be a challenge, as the litier I am using is not familiar with this type of mandolin, but at least he has sources that can help him if necessary!

    Overall, I am quite pleased!
    Sound is great, holds pitch well and even tho new, it is breaking in well and requiring very minor ocassional adjustment to stay in tune.

    Sound quality is different than other mandolins, but I find it quite pleasing! Almost sounds like caribean steel drums at times.

    It is large and heavy, but not hard to get used to (perhaps that is because I am relatively new to mandolin, but I find it easier to play than the "A" style that I have.
    I have priced mandolins ranging from low to high. I have tried expensive mandolins owned by friends and even though this could be improved with a set up, it compares quite well with mandolins that cost a lot, and in my opinion does better in many ways!

    (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)


    Disappointing purchase

    By Kurt Nielsen

    from Arizona

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    I saw a street musician playing a resonator mandolin a few weeks back. It looked and sounded unique (in a good way) so I looked into purchasing one for myself.

    I was pleased to see Musician's Friend offered a resonator mandolin that had a good review, so I ordered it. However, with no adjustable truss rod to properly set up the instrument (confirmed by an email exchange with the manufacturer) I regrettably returned the item.
    This resonator mandolin does not have a truss rod adjustment. Since the action of the one I ordered was way too high, this was a deal breaker for me. I returned the instrument.
    The overall quality seemed pretty good. With a new set of strings, and if there had been an adjustable truss rod to properly set the instrument up, this would have been a nice item to own.
    An instrument that costs almost $400 (over $400 for the engraved model) should have a truss rod that is adjustable.

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


    Resonator Mando

    By That Guy-lvZl0

    from Virginia

    Comments about Recording King RA-998 Metal Resonator Mandolin:

    Let's start with the appearance of the instrument first. It's an eye catcher without a doubt. Its the heaviest mandolin you'll ever find (nothing to complain about though), and the body with is almost the same width as your standard acoustic guitar. It also picks up fingerprints really easy, so it'll have smudges all over it after you play. It's beautiful, regardless. I'm kicking myself in the butt for not getting the engraved nickel one.For sound, nothing compares. Its so incredibly unique. The best words that I can use to describe it are brassy or twangy. It's also LOUD. I usually play it in a small venue without a mic. It comes with a very nice case too. Now just like any other brand new instrument, you will want to get a set up on it. My only complaint on this instrument was that the intonation, mainly on the G, was out pretty bad. Its currently in the shop, and I can't wait to get it back. Hopefully this review was helpful, I definitely recommend the Recording King Resonator Mandolin.

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