1937 National Duolian

With its crystalline Dueco finish, steel body and aggressive bluesy tone, the National Duolian is one of the most iconic vintage resonator guitar models. Originally built between 1930 and the onset of WWII, the Duolian was favoured by many of the blues players of the day. It was the least expensive guitar made by National upon its introduction and its combination of big volume, robust build, and low price made them attractive to street musicians all over North America. Blind Boy Fuller is likely the most well known 14 fret Duolian player, and Brownie McGhee, Son House, and Blind Arvella Gray are also associated with this model.

This example has just come through our repairshop with a neck reset and new biscuit, fret dress, a new aged tailpiece and a repaired neck stick. The tuners, nut, frets, and cone are all original, as is the finish throughout. The guitar is in excellent condition and shows average life-wear to its Dueco finish. Playability is set for fingerstyle blues, with an action that measures about 5 to 7 64ths at the 12th fret. The neck is substantial in feel, with a deep carve and V profile and a 1-3/4” nutwidth. Solid headstock with open-geared tuners, bone nut, maple neck with gumwood fingerboard and ivoroid dots.

A great sounding resonator, with the darkness and expressiveness of its original cone, and the playability advantage of a well-repaired instrument. It has a great balance of steel-body brashness and played-in warmth. And it looks amazing, with its aged Dueco, original rope strap, and National shield headstock decal.