We’ve received the first of a brand-new line of Nationals, the Smith and Young models.
|Serial Number||Prototype models|
|Neck||Maple necks with 25″ (635.9 mm) scale lengths. Nut with is 1.95″ .|
|Frets||These do have frets, and they’re never going to wear out or need service!|
|Body||Maple laminate (Model 11) or steel body (Model 1).|
|Finish||Polished metal or sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finishes.|
|Hardware/electronics||Traditional style open strip gears, spider bridge on a hand-spun 10.5″ aluminum-alloy cone, open soundholes with steel rings.|
|Playability/Action||Setup at standard squareneck Action height; at nut is .5″ .|
|Case||‘Superior’ hardshell case included.|
|Comments||The Smith and Young line is named after Eric Smith and Don Young, the owners of National ResoPhonic Guitars. This line of instruments is intended to reproduce historically correct pre-war era instruments, in the style of the highly desirable late 1930s Dobro guitars with Spider bridges. To avoid confusion with the dozens of Biscuit-cone and Tri-cone guitars built under the National ResoPhonic brand name, Eric and Don decided to debut an entirely new “brand name” to highlight these unique insttruments.Built for the demands of bluegrass players these guitars will be offered in round neck and square neck configuration at FAR lower prices than one would expect.
Tonally these guitars offer the classic pre-war midrange tone that one would expect from a Spider-bridge type resonator but far more bass and volume than I’ve ever encountered in any vintage Dobro.
The steel body versions are slightly sharper in the trebles with a more compressed and tighter bass. The wood body are fuller in the bass; rounder and warmer but perhaps not quite as loud…though both are certainly noticeably louder than any historic Dobro I’ve played.
The Model 1 in steel weighs in at 7 lbs 11 oz (3.486 kg) and the Style 11 in wood is 6 lbs 10 oz (3.005 kg).
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