The Dopyera brothers, Rudy, Ed and John, have an long and convoluted history of producing resonator instruments, spanning the 1920s through the 1970s. In the late 60, John and Rudy began what would eventually become OMI, overseeing the production of banjos and metal bodied guitars under the "Dopera's Original" brand. The brothers had lost the rights to the Dobro name in a sale to Mosrite.
The original Dobro and National tooling was used to produce these instruments, and production was so low that each instrument was practically hand-made. This Model 30 dates to that time frame and sports the "Dopera's Original" decal on the headstock. The body is made from steel, painted gold (the Model 30 came in gold, red and blue). The cone is the biscuit type as used in a National Duolian. The neck appears to be maple with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The back of the neck is sunburst. The neck measures 1 3/4" across at the nut, and string spacing at the saddle is 2". Scale length is 24 1/16". The neck is carved in a modern 'C', not clunky at all, and the fingerboard has a slight radius. A (functioning) truss rod is installed in the neck. One unique feature is the little strip of braid that covers the jointure of the neck heel and body .. never saw anything like that before!
This guitar appears to be all original, including the finish, which at first was a bit perplexing, since it looks like a 'rattle can' job at first glance. But, after looking inside, we're convinced the paint is original. There is some corrosion at the lower bout/back jointure, where it's evident that the guitar sat in a damp environment for a while. There are small nicks and dents to the body, and paint nicks on the neck, but overall a pretty attractive guitar. The frets were dressed, truss rod tweaked and the action set at a comfortable 5 & 6/64".
The guitar plays well, and produces a very loud tone. A great fingerpicking blues guitar, and a real screamer for slide. Guitars from this era of the Dopyeras' production are quite rare on the market today. Our source for information on this guitar is taken mostly from Mark Makin's "Palm Trees, Senoritas and ... Rocket Ships" book on the history of the Dopyeras' creations through the decades.
Comes with its likely original hard case.
Check out the sound clip.
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Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.