National Duolian Resophonic Guitar (1933)
National Duolian Model Resophonic Guitar (1933), made in Los Angeles, serial # C-7251, grey/green crinkle enamel finish, steel body, maple neck with ebonized fingerboard, brown hard shell case. Item # 7673
This National Duolian hails from late 1933, a product of the middle period of the Great Depression. The stamped steel body has a crystalline silver/green body finish and the second type "rolled edge" F-holes, but it retains the earlier style 12-fret mahogany neck. This would have been one of the last 12-fret Duolians made, as the design was altered to a 14-fret neck joint within a few serial numbers of this one. The maple neck features the older slotted headstock, also soon replaced with a solid design with more "modern" vertical tuners. The "National Duolian" logo is stamped into the face of the headstock with the serial number on the top edge. The 12-fret neck combined with the "rolled' f-holes was considered by National scholar Bob Brozman to be the best sounding of all single-cone variations.
These Duolians were the least expensive resonator National guitar offered at $32.50 with a thin-gauge steel body and minimal appointments they may well have enabled the company to survive the hard times of the early 1930's. The model was extremely popular with period blues and hillbilly musicians, offering an unbeatable combination of value and volume. While they are generally considered as primarily a perfect delta-style blues instrument, the Duolian is just a great sounding guitar, good for blues and beyond.
Overall length is 39 3/4 in. (101 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.). This Duolian is a nice example with some light typical wear but a great sound. The body finish has some scratches and dings but is only worn down to the metal just below the high E string on the face and still has a great look The coverplate is amazingly free of to the enamel. The instrument is all original including the cone, biscuit and saddle, tuners and tailpiece. The neck finish shows only light wear, as do the original frets-the ebonized maple fingerboard has a few old dryness cracks but is completely solid. The original maple saddle has been cut down somewhat and the action is perfect for delta or other blues styles mixing fingers and slide, if just a touch high at the 12th fret for some standard playing styles. For the blues purist it's just perfect; and this is a powerful-voiced instrument, as good sounding a single cone National as we have had recently. Includes a very good modern HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Click on a thumbnail above for a detailed view.
| Home | Contact | Hours | Purchase | Search | Just
Retrofret - New York String Service
233 Butler Street | Brooklyn, New York, 11217 USA
718 237 6092 Voice | 718 237 6092 Fax
All text and photographs © 2003 Retrofret and may not be reproduced without permission.