The king of the National single-cone resonators has got to be the 'Aragon', if for no other reason that sheer size alone! (The name comes from Aragon, Spain, home to the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.) The Art Deco inspired Aragon first appeared in the National lineup in 1939, likely a nod to the popularity of the big bands whose guitarists needed a large guitar with lots of cutting power. This was Nationals answer. From the 1940 catalog: "Band guitar artists have long been seeking that perfect combination of showmanship, tone and power that would create the Super-Spanish Instrument - Aragon DeLuxe is that guitar!"
The Aragon was a 17" arch top aimed at the professional player and most likely produced by Kay. It sold for the not inexpensive price of $175. Although a successful guitar in tone and looks, it didn't sell well (doomed by the emergence of the electric guitar) and they are very rare today; among the Holy Grail of Nationals.
The arched body measures 17" across at the lower bout and is made from flame maple ply. The top is spruce with a unique slotted cover plate. It's actually bent into a parabolic shape, made from plywood. Bob Brozman, noted authority on National guitars, suggested that fifty percent of these covers were replaced with the steel cover found on the National Supro resonator made for Sears, but this one appears to be a survivor. The top, sides, back, and sound hole are bound in multiple-ply w/b celluloid binding. The f-holes are bound in white celluloid. Top, sides and back are adorned with a striking honey-colored sunburst. The neck is mahogany, bound in white celluloid. The radiused fingerboard is inlaid with pearl and abalone parallelograms and dots. The head stock size is in proportion to the body size, overlaid in rosewood, bound in w/b celluloid and sports the deco-influenced 'National' logo in pearl. The tuners are strip-style with nickel cover plates embossed with the National logo. The tail piece is also deco-inspired, hinged and nickel plated.
The scale length measures 25 3/16". The neck measures 1 11/16" across at the nut and 2" at the saddle. The neck is carved in a comfortable and modern-feeling 'C'.
The guitar appears to be all original except for the finish on the cover plate, which was expertly redone to match the original finish. The nickel still shines, and the guitar exhibits little evidence of play wear, with only minor nicks and dings from use. Action is set at 6 & 7/64" and the guitar plays easily. The guitar produces a huge tone, big and full just like its shape. Or as Bob Brozman opines in his National book "..booms out so loudly that one begins to look around the room for hidden wires!"
A rare guitar; we've heard it said in the guitar community that fewer of a dozen or so of these have ever surfaced!
Comes with a well-fitted older Lifton hard case in good condition.
Check out the sound clips!
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Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.