The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌Sold❌ National Style 0 Etched Silver Resophonic Guitar, 1930s


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Today we’re looking at one of the seminal resophonic guitars, a National Style 0 in ‘Etched Silver’ finish dating to around 1930. The Resophonic design dates to 1927 as a successful effort in increasing volume.

While tri-cone models were the first, the single cone Style 0 offered more volume and lower production costs, though the harmonic content is not as rich as the tri-cone. In general, single cone models provide a sharp attack and quick decay, somewhat like a banjo, while tri-cones deliver a smoother rise and more sustain. Contributing to this difference is the use of plated brass for single cone metal bodies, with tri-cones using steel, often with a painted finish. Necks are Maple with bound Ebony fingerboards, and early models don’t have truss rods. For a time, Bakelite was tried as a neck material but these have not held up well.

This early National Style 0 is a 12 fret, single cone, round neck model with plated brass body. The plating features the characteristic Hawaiian scene, etched into the plating using sand-blasting. It dates to around 1930, though the serial (located at the tailblock) is covered and can’t be read. The National Shield decal is missing from the headstock. There’s a Canada Revenue sticker on the back of the head, and it’s been there for some time. The original strip tuners were replaced with Grover Sta-Tite models, but otherwise the instrument is original.

This guitar has mostly been used for bottleneck. There is some fingerboard wear, along with some dryness cracks, and the frets are narrow and low but not showing wear marks. The neck set has caused a fingerboard hump at the body, so the action is necessarily a bit high, which is desirable for bottle neck.
A hardshell case, not original, is included.

The National String Instrument Corporation was launched by guitarist George Beauchamp and builder John Dopyera, but their partnership didn’t last long. Within two years, Dopyera left and with his brothers started Dobro. That name references both their brotherhood and their native language; it means ‘Goodness’ in Slovak. Interestingly, both companies used the same supplier for many of the metal components – Adolph Richenbacker, who went on to found his own guitar company.


Price: $2,999.99 CAD
  • Model: Style 0
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Etched Silver
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: Covered
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Fair
  • Date Posted: 20/02/2018

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.5lbs 3.4kg
  • Scale Length: 25in 635mm
  • Nut Width: 1.85in 47mm
National Resophonic Guitars Website

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