12/26/2015

2006 National Reso-Phonic Estralita Deluxe Wood-Body Resonator Guitar




This is a customer's guitar that's just "passing through" after purchase. It needed a very light fret level/dress, some minor internal adjustments of the dowel rod and shim "islands," and a general good setup. It lived life as a lefty for a while so the nut had to be jacked-up a little on the treble side before setup, too. A Highlander pickup system is installed.

My opinion? This is probably what wood-bodied Nationals are supposed to sound like. It's built more or less the same way a metal-bodied National is, save the body is made from thick plywood rather than brass or steel. It's definitely got the rumbly, projecting, and full nature of a modern National but has a little bit more "creaminess" to the mids and upper register -- a plus in my book -- and a little less springy/reverb sound to the bass. It's a winner, for sure.


Per National's own write-up of this model, it has a ply body with ivoroid binding and walnut veneer on the back/sides and flamed maple veneer on the top. The finish is a straight-up satin that's both practical and nice to handle. The neck is walnut (a nice touch as well) and has a rosewood fretboard also bound in ivoroid and a fancy deco-style pearloid headstock veneer.



Can't argue with diamond pearl inlays, can we?

I like the big old medium frets Nat'l puts on these. The neck profile, by the way, is a slimmer medium v-shape and quite playable. The nut is the same wider 1 13/16" that I'm used to on new Nat'ls.




Again -- the removable bridge cover is a huge advantage. During setup I compensated the saddle as well.




There's only a minor amount of wear and tear on this rig.






Note the lefty-position jack for the Highlander pup. It's actually OK for a righty as well, since this is roughly the same position one would have the cable leave if you're like me and run the cable through your guitar strap before heading to the board or amp.


The StewMac Golden Era (I believe?) tuners are accurate and reliable.


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