The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

SOLD!!! National Triolian 12 Fret Neck Walnut Burst


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The National Triolian 12 recreates the early metal body, Maple neck versions of the seminal 1930 version of the single cone resophonic guitar.

The National Triolian 12 features a steel body with walnut burst finish and a single cone. Also available with a 14 fret neck, these guitars produce a full, rich and lush vintage tone.     The Triolian is also available in a very cool Black Rust finish seen here.

The National String Instrument Corporation patented and produced the first resonator instruments in 1927, responding to the constant need for more volume. The first instruments used three small cones – the classic Tricone design. In 1928, the single-cone design was introduced as a way to cut production costs, but this met great controversy within the company.

The National Triolian was originally introduced in late 1928 and built until 1938. Originally a wood-body guitar with a single resonator cone, in 1929 the Triolian was given a steel body. For much of the first year, a Bakelite neck was used but this miracle material turned out to be unstable and was replaced with maple.

In late 1934, the neck was changed to a 14-fret design, and to accommodate this, the body was ‘shortened’ – the scale length is the same at 25 inches, so there is no difference in string tension. This 14-fret body evokes an ‘OM’ (Orchestra Model) shape, while the original 12-fret model resembles a slope-shoulder dreadnought. Some players find that the larger body on the 12-fret model provides a slightly deeper tone and the 14-fret a little more ‘bark’.

The ‘Triolian’ name is a holdover from the name given the original prototypes, which had a trio of small resonators under one round coverplate. This proved too complex, and so the design, but not the name, was changed to the single cone we see now.

The ‘Duolian’ was a very similar instrument, but with less decoration, and an unbound mahogany neck.

The National Reso-Phonic company re-issued the steel body models in 2009, in both 12 and 14 fret designs. These are very high-quality instruments built to modern standards yet producing full, rich vintage tone. It *is* possible to have the best of both worlds!

Here’s what National says about the Triolian 12: 

“The original Triolian of 1928 signaled the debut of National’s unique single-cone guitar design. Our Triolian is a faithful reissue of the 1930s W Series classic, featuring a thin-gauge steel body or optional wood body.

The guitar is highlighted by flat-cut f-holes, a formed back, and the traditional sieve-hole coverplate. And like the originals, the guitar is handpainted in a two-tone “walnut” brown-and-gold burst designed to mimic the look of wood way back when.

But our Triolian is all new and boasts something the vintage versions lack — rock-solid reliability. The maple neck now includes an essential adjustable truss rod under the ivoroid-bound rosewood fretboard, which is detailed with inlaid mother-of-pearl position markers. 

You can select from either the early 12-fret, large-body or later 14-fret, smaller-body version. The classic slotted headstock features vintage-style engraved, open-gear tuners and the timeless “Triolian” shield decal. For more than 90 years, the Triolian has been the choice of country, folk, and blues musicians, and our reissue keeps the music flowing.”


Price: $3,989.00 CAD
  • Model: Triolian 12
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Walnut Burst
  • Class: New
  • Serial Number: Varies as new, 22932 shown
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 18/04/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Not Consignment

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8lbs 3.63kg
  • Scale Length: 25in 635mm
  • Nut Width: 1.82in 46.25mm
National Resophonic Guitars Website

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