1935 National Electro Spanish

$2495 CAD ($1896.2 USD)
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Among the very first Electric Spanish guitars ever made is the National Electro Spanish, released in April of 1935, a year and a half ahead of Gibson’s ES-150 (Charlie Christian Model). National, Rickenbacker, Gibson, and a few others were racing to get electric guitars to market, and there was an incredibly fast evolution in electric guitar and amp designs in the mid to late 1930s.

This example of National’s Electro Spanish is of the original variation, with output jack and volume control positioned on the guitar’s top adjacent to the tailpiece. The guitar’s body and neck were built by Regal, with National adding the electronics and hardware. The body is of laminated maple and arched spruce and features the single-layer binding and two tone reddish sunburst typical of Chicago-built guitars of the mid ‘30s. The blade-style pickup is encased in an airplane-esque housing that’s located close to the bridge and there is structural support through the body that was specifically designed into the guitar’s build for support. The pickup has strong output thanks to its early design and huge magnets, and its tone is both bassy and bright thanks to its high output and its location close to the bridge. The wiring is original and there is no string ground, but that’s an easy mod. The guitar sounds great in that raw bluesy small-amp overdriven kind of way.

The guitar has seen repairs over its 90 years on earth. The neck has been reset, there’s a repaired crack through the neck heel, and the body binding has been reglued and spliced over parts of its length. The finish is completely original but heavily worn and flaked off in areas, and the original tuning machines appear to have been off and on a few times. All that said, the guitar functions properly, although its original frets are a bit tired.

The neck has a V carve and a nutwidth of 1-13/16”. Neck depth at the 1st fret is .93” and the scale length is 25.3”. The pickup DC value is 15k.

With hardshell case