12/05/2015

2002 National Style N "Etched" Resonator Guitar




While marketed as recreations of the original Nationals, the guitars made by National Reso-Phonic these days are actually close replicas with a number of modern improvements that make them a bit more reliable and durable for rambling and road use.

For starters: the bodies on these nickel-silver-plated brass "Style Ns" (close kin to the original 20s/30s Style 0s) are slightly thicker (and heavier-duty) and to my ears this allows a bit more bottom-end and rounded-off (less zingy) top-end into the tonal signature. Add to that a truss-rodded quality maple neck with ebony (rather than stained maple) fretboard, good-quality modern tuners, and a tighter quality-control in the internal setup vs. the originals, and you wind-up with an instrument that's built like a tank yet turns on a dime, playing-wise. A radiused board feels pretty good to the fingers, too, for that matter!



This guitar came in for consignment and it's overall quite clean for a 13-year-old. The top has very minor moisture-dotting and light fingerwear to the coverplate in front of the biscuit, but is otherwise near-mint.

This came in good order, though I did give it a quicker setup and intonated the saddle so it'd play in tune up the neck. The modern removable bridge cover sure is handy! It plays perfectly (3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret) and is strung with D'Addario semi-flattened phosphor bronze 12s.


This has a 1 13/16" nut width with a medium-sized hybrid C/V shape to the back of the neck. It's comfortable -- very much so -- for fingerpicking or flatpickers who are thirsty for space on the board. Note the deco-style truss cover which hides a two-way rod. Users note: this adjusts "backwards" from other rods, in that you turn counter-clockwise from the top of the headstock to "un-warp" your neck.


The ebony board is bound with ivoroid binding and has pearl dots inlaid.







The back has a few buckle-scratches but is otherwise clean.



The neck is well-cut and beautifully finished with a vintage-looking sunburst.










This comes with its original, heavy-duty hard case. Note the reinforcement to the lid!

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