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  #1  
Old 11-30-2019, 11:15 PM
Ben M. Ben M. is offline
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Default Advice on a Vintage National

A guitar shop pretty close to me has a 1932 Triolian for sale at a really good price. From pictures it looks to be in good condition. It has a "hooks on cover plate". The cover plate also isn't ribbed. I know National abandoned both these designs early on because they weren't durable. Any thoughts on this. Will it hold up if I go Bukka White on it

I'm gonna go check it out sometime next week. I'm wondering if (besides all the usual things to look out for in a vintage guitar) there are any specific things to check for on a vintage National.

Thanks
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:53 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M. View Post
A guitar shop pretty close to me has a 1932 Triolian for sale at a really good price. From pictures it looks to be in good condition. It has a "hooks on cover plate". The cover plate also isn't ribbed. I know National abandoned both these designs early on because they weren't durable. Any thoughts on this. Will it hold up if I go Bukka White on it

I'm gonna go check it out sometime next week. I'm wondering if (besides all the usual things to look out for in a vintage guitar) there are any specific things to check for on a vintage National.

Thanks
Mostly common sense stuff but.... since the necks aren't adjustable on the '32 models make sure you can live with the action/relief of the neck. Play every note up the neck on every string to make sure no notes are choking. Ask if it has the original cone. Although the new National Hot rod cones sound nice, I think the older ones sound better. And while checking the cone, make sure if it's original, it's not caving in. Many of the older players used heavier strings which can lead to cone collapse. Tune it to the tunings you like, and see if there are any rattles/vibrations. Tracking down rattles on a National can be a nightmare. While tuning it up, check the tuning machines for excessive play, or binding, and make sure the buttons aren't going to crumble in your hands!

Last edited by rockabilly69; 12-01-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:10 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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Check the "hooks on cover plate" to see if any hooks are broken off. You should figure that it will need a neck reset which is not done in the traditional way, but rather more like setting a banjo neck since there is a stick that connects the neck through the body to the end pin. Almost always this needs to be redone to bring them up to grade (if it has not been done already). Check the fingerboard which is usually "ebonized" maple or fruitwood and the dye often causes the wood to degenerate and crumble. Check the tailpiece for a crack along the bend, another common problem. If it is a good price but original condition, figure it will take some work. Check the body for splits, seam separations and major dents. Even in fairly ratty condition, these guitars can be brought back to very good playing condition, it just takes some work, and it is not work that should be as expensive as a wooden bodied guitar.
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2003 Martin OM-42, K&K's
1932 National Style O, K&K's
1936 Kalamazoo KG-14, K&K's
1957 National 1155 (Gibson J45 body, National neck) K&K's
1967 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Nashville
2005 Warmoth Telecaster, Lindy Fralins
Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:22 PM
Kitkatjoe Kitkatjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M. View Post
A guitar shop pretty close to me has a 1932 Triolian for sale at a really good price. From pictures it looks to be in good condition. It has a "hooks on cover plate". The cover plate also isn't ribbed. I know National abandoned both these designs early on because they weren't durable. Any thoughts on this. Will it hold up if I go Bukka White on it

I'm gonna go check it out sometime next week. I'm wondering if (besides all the usual things to look out for in a vintage guitar) there are any specific things to check for on a vintage National.

Thanks
Considering its age it may have some problems. I've seen so many that have issues through the years. I'd approach it with caution.👻
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