The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

National Style 1 Tricone, 1929

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Here’s a wonderful piece – a National Style 1 Tricone resophonic guitar built during 1929, just two years after the first resonator guitars appeared!

The first Resophonic guitar appeared in 1927 in response to what seems an eternal challenge for guitarists – having enough volume to overcome the other instruments on stage. At the time, that often meant banjos and mandolins, and perhaps brass instruments. George Beauchamp approached Los Angeles luthier John Dopyera with an idea for the resophonic guitar, and some of the metal parts were made by Adolph Rickenbacker who had a shop nearby. The National String Instrument Corporation was born, with Dopyera, Beauchamp, Paul Barth and Ted Kleinmeyer as partners. In 1929, the John Dopyera left to form DoBro with his brothers.

This National Style 1 Tricone has a 12-fret ‘Spanish’ or round neck and dates to 1929, and was built at the National shop in Los Angeles. All of these guitars had 12-fret necks until 1934, at which point the influence of banjo players migrating to guitar prompted an industry shift to 14-fret necks.

This guitar is in good condition and is fully playable – it has just been serviced at The Twelfth Fret Repair Shop, with a neck reset, fret dress, setup, brace repair and new cones. The nickel plate finish is in overall good shape, with some light oxidization, and the serial number (located at the tail, below the strap pin) has been re-etched. The neck is Mahogany with a bound Ebony fingerboard, and its finish is in reasonable shape for a 90-year old instrument. There is light denting to the back of the neck. The frets and fingerboard are very clean – as noted it’s been recently serviced – and if it was ever refretted, it was done very well; the fingerboard has no sign of the chipping that often results when removing frets from an old, drier piece of wood.

And then there’s the tone. This guitar sounds great, with the cutting edge associated with resophonics. The cones are new, and the guitar has a warm, full tone with lots of bottom end. Mids and highs are also well represented. Dynamically, this responds well to changing right hand attack, going from low volume to quite loud with no loss of tone.

The original hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $8500 CAD
  • Model: Style 1
  • Year: 1929
  • Finish Nickel Plate
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 10878
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 16/08/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.7lbs 3.5kg
  • Scale Length: 634mm 24.9in
  • Nut Width: 47mm 1.85in

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