national guitar storesell a vintage guitarabout national guitar dot comnational guitar photo gallery contact

About National Guitars

A run down of the various models made by the original "National" throughout the late 20's and 30's.

national guitar Tricone Guitar


Tricones were made of german silver w a 3 pc. body construction. The three cones give it less volume but far more sustain than it's single cone brethren. Engraved tricones are very rare and collectable. Any Nat made of german silver is very desirable and sweet of tone! Slide players love tricones! They came w round and square necks. Square necks make great lap style guitars.
national guitar Style O resophonic guitar

Style O's

Typically nickel plated brass bodies, but early models can be made of either brass, steel, or german silver.... or a combination of the three. Most after the first 600 or so tend to be consistent brass 2 pc. bodies. When National converted to a 14 fret guitar in late 34, they kept the same scale length and shortened the body height to achieve the two extra frets. They also switched to the chicken foot coverplate seen left.
national guitar triolian resophonic guitar


Triolians were in effect the upper level steel bodied Nat. It came in several varieties. Polychrome (left) w yellow/pea green and palm tree scene, a Walnut sunburst finish, or even a piano grain painted finish. It came w a bound maple neck and fretboard and engraved tuners like an O. Earliest were made of wood w floral scene then hula girl motif on the back, but quickly went to steel w the palm tree scene and setting sun seen left.
national guitar 12 fret duolian guitar


This seems to be the guitar everyone is after. This was a lower cost steel bodied Nat that typically came w an unbound mahogany neck and super cool Duco Frost finish in the following colors..... Grey, Green, Walnut, Brown, and Gold. By far most are grey or green. The earliest were Dark Walnut. These guys growl w an incredibly raw steel tone!
national guitar el trovador

Beyond the above, there are several wood bodied models, including El Trovador, Trojan, Estralita, and Aragon. (El Trovador to the left)

There are many unlisted Nat's in the Nat Hospital, soon to be available. Ask if you don't see what you want, it may be days away from being ready.