National Duolian 1934 | $5500 | (v2111) This 1934 National Duolian is one of the most stunningly beautiful, well-preserved and best sounding we've had the pleasure to own. The Duolian line went through a number of changes over its almost ten year run. First offered in 1931 as a 12-fret, straight-cut f-hole guitar. In 1933 the f-holes were 'rolled', and by 1934, the neck became 14-frets to the body. So this example is a 14-fret, rolled f-hole example with frost-gray duco finish.
The duco finish varied at lot on the Duolians. We've seen gold, silver, silver-gray, green sunburst, and almost black. The crystalline effect on this example is spectacular and in almost perfect condition. The body is made from steel and has a 'ribbed' coverplate with sound holes in the 'diamond' pattern. Inside is the typical spun aluminum cone of the period with the black painted biscuit/saddle setup. The neck appears to be maple, carved in a soft 'V' with a 'bean wood' fingerboard, which is unusual for this era Duolian. Celluloid position dots mark various fret positions, and the 'X'-patterned dots cover the screws that help hold the neck secure. The head stock featues an attractive sunburst and the National Duolian decal. The serial number, C 9493, is stamped on top of the head stock.
The body measures 14 3/16" across at the lower bout. The scale length is 24 3/4". The neck measures 1 3/4" across at the nut with string spacing 2 3/16" across at the saddle.
The guitar is 100% original, right down to the nut, saddle and tuners. The paint is nearly 100%, with only some nicks around the edge. There are no dents in the body. The finish on the neck is almost perfect with only a few nicks. The fingerboard and frets show no wear; there is evidence of nut raiser use, and there is a small divot in the middle of the fingerboard between first and second frets, which looks more like a chip out from the planer than playing wear. The original cone is intact and shows no signs of stress. The tuners and tail piece are both nice and bright, with one tuner shaft a bit bent.
There is no evidence of prior repairs to the guitar except maybe the saddle slots cut lower. We performed no work on this guitar except to clean the fingerboard a bit and restring it. The action is set at 5 & 6/64", the neck is straight and true and the guitar plays easily. The sound is very loud, just like one would expect from an old Duolian.
This is a wonderful guitar for old-time hillbilly and country blues music, especially with a slide. It's a collector-grade instrument, in excellent, original condition that sounds and plays great!
Comes with what is likely its original soft case also in excellent condition.
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Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.