National Triolian Resophonic Guitar (1932)
National Triolian Model Resophonic Guitar (1932), made in Los Angeles, serial # 2779W, Walnut Sunburst finish, steel body, maple neck with ebonized fingerboard, black hard shell case. Item # 7096
The steel-bodied Triolian was National's "bread and butter" guitar during the Depression, offering great sound and serious volume at the relatively modest price of $45.00. With National Tricone guitars selling for over $100 and the flashy brass-bodied Style 0 at $62.50, the fairly plain single-cone Triolian made the powerful National sound available to a much wider range of players. Made of slightly better grade materials than the bottom-of-the-line Duolian, the Triolian was extremely popular among blues and hillbilly musicians and is still an excellent choice for many styles of playing.
This 1932 example (from the worst years of the Great Depression) is in somewhat plated-in but substantially original condition. This version features a walnut enamel finished steel body with flat-cut f-holes and a 12-fret maple neck with a bound fingerboard. Walnut sunburst Triolians were hand-sprayed so no two are exactly alike…this one has fairly dark mustard colored areas around the coverplate and f-holes and a medium-dark edge with a lot of scatter to the blend of colors. This guitar has some restoration to achieve optimum playability but all original parts and no modifications, a very fine-sounding and playing Triolian.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).
This old National shows a decent amount of wear overall but remains nicely original. The body has a lot of small chips and scrapes, a decent sized spot on the back is worn through, and a there is wear spot down to the metal on the coverplate above the strings. The neck shows quite a bit of wear to the finish, more from exposure to moisture than play, and a lot of the lacquer on the neck and headstock has flaked away.
The guitar has just had a neckset and a new fingerboard installed, with the correct style celluloid binding and using the original dots. All the crucial parts -- including the cone, biscuit, tailpiece, and engraved-plate 1920's style tuners -- remain original. The maple saddle has been replaced as has the bone nut. The oft-missing "National Triolian" headstock decal is once again mostly flaked away. This is an excellent player with a full and powerful sound, ready to go with a "Blues Approved" vibe! Overall Very Good + Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
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