Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

National Treasure

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

National Treasure

Article excerpt

Introduced in 1928, National's resonator guitars represented the first major new concept in guitar design since Orville Gibson's archtops of the 1890s. Although we may think of resonator guitars as appearing concurrently with larger and louder conventional acoustic guitars, such as Martin's dreadnoughts of 1931 or Gibson's Super 400 archtop of 1934, the Nationals came onto the scene several years earlier and played a major role in pushing other companies to develop louder acoustics. Although Nationals were made temporarily obsolete by electric guitars in the mid 1930s (until they were rediscovered during the folk boom of the 1960s), they paved the way for electrics by way of their resonator cones, which are basically acoustic versions of the cones in electric guitar amplifiers.

The Dopyera brothers, who founded National with vaudeville performer George Beauchamp, experimented with and patented several cone configurations before coming up with the tricone arrangement. …

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