National Triolian Resophonic Tenor Guitar (1929)

National  Triolian Resophonic Tenor Guitar  (1929)
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Item # 10732
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National Triolian Model Resophonic Tenor Guitar (1929), made in Los Angeles, greenish/grey re finish, laminated wood body, basswood neck, black gig bag case.

This is a completely reworked but fine playing and sounding very early version of National's Triolian Tenor guitar. These first 1928-9 models have a wooden body (instead of the steel used by 1930) and originally had a yellowish paint finish with an unusual male surf rider decoration on the back. They were only offered for a short time and are much rarer than the later National tenors.

This one has been almost completely rebuilt, the body and headstock refinished in a sort of scrubby metallic greenish-brown and set up with a recent cone and coverplate. The remains of the original three-digit serial number can still be seen on the top of the headstock but not clearly read. The neck has been completely reworked with a new ebony fingerboard with larger frets, recent Planet tuners and a new decal.

The good news is the instrument plays and sounds excellent, much deeper and mellower toned than the more common metal version. It is currently strung and tuned in G-D-A-E "Octave Mandolin" configuration and sounds quite unique, one of the sweetest resonator instruments we have heard. Not a collectible instrument any more but a lot of fun to play as a unique knock-around 4-string!
 
Overall length is 34 in. (86.4 cm.), 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/8 in. (29 mm.).

While totally rebuilt as noted this is a lovely instrument to play. With a funky refinish and basically no original hardware the instrument's saving grace is an excellent (rebuilt) neck and a great sound. It resides in a recent Martin gig bag, ready for new 21st century adventures. Very Good + Condition.