10/29/2016

1934 National Style 0 Resonator Guitar




Nationals are always popular with customers in the shop because they're, well, so darn cool. This is a Style 0 from 1934 and has the "modernized" 14-fret neck, smaller body, and "silver" body with a tropical-scene, etched finish. Materials on the Style 0s are upgraded over the more ho-hum Duolians and Triolians and this sports a maple neck capped with an ebony fretboard, pearl dots, and binding on the neck, too.

A customer dropped this off for consignment and I owed him a spot in line (for a guitar withdrawn), so I did this one up on the quick. It got a neck angle reset (these have a big dowel inside like in banjo construction so this is relatively simple), a fret level/dress, a bit of adjustment on the cone, a new bone saddle, and a proper setup. It's strung with 12s and plays spot-on at 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA at the 12th fret. The neck is dead straight (with a Gibson-like 24 3/4" scale) and the sound is robust, powerful, and -- frankly -- delicious. It's like a double espresso rather than a cup of good, strong coffee.


This guitar also has the desirable "chicken-foot" pattern for its coverplate. There's patina and use-wear to the finish, of course, but it's even, mellow, and doesn't distract. The etched scenes (palm trees on the front) are clear and crisp, though it's awfully hard to shoot them in a store full of antiques reflecting off of it from every direction!


The nut is bone, original, and 1 3/4" in width. It was shimmed-up lightly in its past.

The guitar is also all-original except for the tuners (which are period and mostly right) and saddle.



The fretboard is ebony and has a light radius to it. The dots are pearl.






This guitar originally had four dents on the lower bout. I removed two of them on the back, one on the front, and then got this one (near the edge) a bit better but didn't want to over-do it as these guitars have the seam on the top edge and banging away at it could burst the solder. It's non-obvious unless you're looking for it.

I always find it a bit funny to do "body work" on a guitar...







The finish on the neck is doing that usually "nitro" checking and whatnot.







The tuners, while period-appropriate, are not the originals. These are actually likely a bit better in quality and are Waverlies.





S5472 dates this to 1934.


The original case comes with it but is little more than a dust-cover!

1 comment:

Robert Gardner said...

Beautiful guitar. I love the tropical scene on those Style O's.