National Style 0 Resophonic Guitar (1933)

National  Style 0 Resophonic Guitar  (1933)
This item has been sold.
Item # 11797
Prices subject to change without notice.
National Style 0 Model Resophonic Guitar (1933), made in Los Angeles, California, serial # S-4677, nickel plated finish, brass body, maple neck with ebonized maple fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a super nice example of a 1933 National Style O single-cone resonator guitar, one of the company's mainstays in the depression-ridden 1930s. This guitar has one particularly distinctive feature: the brass body is built with "rolled-in" f-holes in the top, used only for a short time in this exact period. Guitars with a 12-fret neck and the rolled f-holes are considerably rarer than either the earlier "flat cut" F-hole or later 14-fret neck variations, with less than 1,000 Style 0s made to this pattern in 1933-4. Some players, including especially late National scholar Bob Brozman, consider them often the best-sounding of all single-cone Nationals.

The Style 0 was the most striking of National's pro-grade single cone guitars, much flashier than the cheaper painted steel-bodied Triolian and Duolian models with its gleaming nickel plated and unusual decorated surface. The 12-fret brass body is adorned with whimsical sandblasted Hawaiian scenes, in "variation #5" as per Brozman's encyclopedic National Guitar book. The shaded maple neck has a bound "ebonized" maple fingerboard and pearl dot inlay.

In 1933 this guitar sold for $62.50, twice what the bottom-line Duolian cost but half the price of the least expensive Tricone model. Although that was a not inconsiderable sum at the time, the Style 0 was hard to beat for its combination of volume, tone, and sheer visual appeal in those economically tough times. The Style 0 remains an enduring classic; a favorite of many players then and now, especially for period musical styles with the spotlight on early blues.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

This is an unusually nicely preserved and original Style 0 overall, one of the best playing we have had and sounding great. The all-original finish shows some light average wear, mostly to the back of the neck where the very thin lacquer is worn to the wood over some of its length. The plated body has scrapes, dinks and scratches overall, most heavily to the back but none of the play wear down to the metal often found on the top and coverplate. The tuners, tailpiece, and even the fragile decal logo are original and intact with some light wear. The cone and biscuit are original as well, and appear in excellent condition with a worn spot to the back edge of the biscuit.

This Style O appears to have had a neck set some time ago, or possibly just a particularly good angle from the factory. The original frets have been crowned down a bit showing little subsequent wear, and the fingerboard shows some very light divoting. The guitar has a very comfortable action (especially for a pre-WWII National) and a lovely, deep powerful sound with plenty of volume. Not only is this an excellent blues machine as expected, it is a very solid all around guitar for many styles. This Style 0 is a simply superb example, a great reminder of the enduring appeal of these Depression-era classics still living in the very rare original green-lined HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.