Vintage National Duolian Resonator - USA 1936
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From National about the Duolian:
'All metal body, ﬁnished in prismatic silver gray. The hardwood neck, joining the body at the fourteenth fret, is comfortable to play, especially in the high register. The National resonator produces a rich, powerful tone of beautiful quality. The Hawaiian model has a special square neck which enables the player to hold it more securely.'
National manufactured the Duolian between 1931 and 1940. The Duolian was a metal bodied single cone resonator guitar. The body was made of steel with two f-holes. The necks were mahogany with an unbound dyed (ebonized) maple fretboard and pearl or ivoriod dots. Early models had 19 frets and joined the body at the 12th fret. From 1934 onwards they had 20 fret necks which joined the body at the 14th fret. The headstocks were slotted with classical style tuners (3 on a plate). The steel bodies were typically finished with "frosted Duco" crystalline paint finish. The Duolian has gained a reputation for classic blues tone: it was favoured by the early blues players due in part to its compact but loud body.
This Duolian is in fine condition for an 87-year-old instrument. The round neck was actually re-shaped from a square neck some time ago in Japan, the work is immaculate - you would never have known based off the quality of the craftsmanship. The guitar has had a refret with stainless steel frets, work also completed in Japan.
This National Duolian has a bright, punchy sound that can really cut through the mix. Known for its clarity, the guitar really sings playing regularly or slide. When you slide a bottleneck over those strings, you get that unmistakable, soulful bluesy wail that's just impossible to replicate with any other guitar. The single resonator cone inside the steel body amplifies the sound and gives it that extra shimmer and sustain. It's the kind of guitar that can fill a room with its presence, whether you're playing softly or digging into some bluesy licks.
A wonderful vintage National, in great condition that looks and sounds the absolute business. Comes in non-original hardshell case.
- Body Material: Steel
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Dyed Maple with dot inlays
- Frets: 14 frets clear of the body
- Scale Length: Approximately 25 inches
- Resonator Cone: Single resonator cone
- Soundholes: Two soundholes on the upper bout
- Bridge: Metal bridge connected to the resonator cone
- Tuners: Vintage-style open-back tuners
- Pickguard: No
- Nut and Saddle: Bone