The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Standel DB Original Dobro Squareneck Resophonic Guitar, 1963

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Here is a rarity – under the name Standel DB Original, this is one of the first postwar Dobro guitars, hand built around 1963 from old parts stock. Standel, then a prominent amplifier maker, wanted to move into musical instruments and from March 3rd 1962 for two or three years, distributed these DB Original guitars for the Dopyera Brothers.

This Standel DB Original square neck dates to perhaps 1963. As discussed below, production of the DB Original guitars began in 1959, but the Standel company didn’t get involved till 1962. The Standel decal could not have gone on this guitar before 1962, and this arrangement lasted for at most three years. While it’s possible that this guitar was built before the Standel deal took effect, we’re placing it around 1963. Construction is typical Dopyera – the bodies are laminate, because the resonator cone is the sound source.

THis guitar is in good working order, and other than the gold-plated Schaller tuners, is in largely original condition. It has definitely been a working guitar, used as intended. There are two marks on the top between the bass side of the fingerboard and the edge. These marks are from tape, holding a song list in place during performance. For round neck guitars, the set list gets taped to the side. It has its fair share of dents dings and scratches, all honestly acquired.

A brown European case is included.

The history of the Resophonic guitar is convoluted. The design originated around 1926, and the first tri-cone model was built by John Dopyera for George Duchamp, a prominent guitarist who needed more volume – still a common goal. This led to the formation of the National String Instrument Company. However, this split in a dispute over the number of resonator cones to use – the Dopyera’s wanted to use one, because production costs were lower. The Dopyera’s left and formed the DoBro company to produce these.

The development of electrical amplification pushed the demand for resophonic guitars down, and the wartime requisition of the metals required brought production to an end in 1941. The DoBro company lived on, but as a brand of the Valco company; Louis Dopyera was one of the founders of Valco, mass producing guitars and amplifiers under many brand names.

Around 1959, the other brothers Ed, Rudy and John lived in El Monte, California and started to put together resophonic guitars, advertising in publications like Popular Mechanics. They didn’t really have finished stock, but would put together a guitar from the old parts they did have on hand. Because brother Louis retained ownership of the DoBro name, these instruments were branded DB Original.

In March 1962, the Standel company took on the DB Original line, allowing the brothers to focus on production rather than sales, and added a Standel decal to the headstock. This arrangement lasted for two or three years.

However, in late 1961, Louis Dopyera transferred the DoBro name to his brothers, and around 1967 the company was sold to Semie Mosley, maker of Mosrite guitars. The surviving brothers formed OMI, Original Musical Instrument Company, to make resophonic guitars under the Hound Dog name. DoBro is now a Gibson brand.


 
 

Price: $1650 CAD
  • Model: DB Original
  • Year: 1963 | Approximate year
  • Finish Brown
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 9002
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 06/09/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 5.72lbs 2.6kg
  • Scale Length: 635mm 25in
  • Nut Width: 49mm 1.93in
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