The world of yowhatsshakin


National Reso-phonic’s recreation of their 1927 Tricone resonator guitar with nickel plated brass body. Comes with a round mahogany neck with ivoroid bound ebony fingerboard. It is not as adorned at Style 2 (or higher) Tricones, but has, in contrast to the rather Spartan Style 1, hand-engraved double cut wavy lines around the body, an ivoroid overlay with engraved logo on the slotted peghead, and ivoroid position markers. The open-gear machines used are so-called Vintage Style Tuners with ebony buttons and a 14:1 gear ratio. Although National indicates on their web site they only use Waverly tuners for their Style 3 and 4, I assume these machines are also produced by Waverly with a custom engraved ‘N’ (for National I suppose) although they tend to have a 16:1 gear ratio. The specs of this model can be found in this table and the page on the National website can be found at:


National Tricone Style 1.5

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2007

Serial number:    T1.5-158 12764

Strings:               D’Addario EJ42 Resophonic Guitar Strings (16-56)

In his treatise ‘The Guitar Book: A Handbook for Electric and Acoustic Guitars’, Tom Wheeler spends a chapter on the history of John Dopyera, his brothers, and George Beauchamp and the wonderful creations they came up with in the 20’s when guitars players had to compete with horn sections and the like. I never paid to much attention to it until Dire Straits released ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on their album ‘Making Movies’. That was the first time I really became aware of the sound of a resonator guitar. It took me a while to realize that National had been resurrected and is producing these wonderful instruments again. And although Mr. Knopfler is using a Model O, I have gravitated to the slightly warmer sound of the Tricone. And not to be a total cheapskate, I decided to upgrade my order slightly by going to the Style 1.5. A perfect balance between  the ornate engravings on the higher styles (which I personally do not really like) and the stark appearance of the Style 1. Only thing one should know before buying a nickel plated instrument is this: if you sweat easily, you’ll have to live with cleaning up the mess on a regular basis if you want to avoid excessive oxidation and discoloration of the plating. Alas ...