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National Reso-Phonic Model 1033 Hawaiian Model Resophonic Guitar (1956), made in Chicago, serial # X-58090, pearloid finish, hardwood body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is one of the National company's odder fretted experiments (and that's saying something!), the 1956 Reso-Phonic Model 1033 Hawaiian. Essentially a solid body lap steel resonator guitar, the Model 1033 functions solely as an acoustic instrument despite looking like it really ought to be electrified! The 1930s style resonator cone is set into a small single-cutaway solid wood body/neck unit covered in pearloid, as used on many period lap steels and amps. A second coverplate on the back allows some sound to escape into the player's lap.

A script "RESO-PHONIC" adorns the bottom end of the stenciled stairstep-pattern fingerboard, and a metal plate National shield logo sits on the upper bout of the body. The National logo is stenciled on the headstock. The instrument is not as loud as the company's pre-war resonator Hawaiian guitars but has more volume than one might expect and a very distinctive tone, perhaps best described as like an original 1930s National already recorded onto a 78 RPM record! Odd, endearing, and one of our dark-horse favorite eccentricities; if one ever needed a Hawaiian guitar to actually play on the beach, this would be it!

Overall length is 34 1/8 in. (86.7 cm.), 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 in. (559 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

This is a nicely original guitar, showing some minor wear but unaltered and quite good sounding. There is some scuffing and corrosion on the metal coverplates, but no major plating loss. The back plate has some odd marks that look like something sat in contact with it for a while. The pearloid on the body is solid and relatively clean with a few minor dinks and some discoloration where the back of the neck contacted the neck rest in the case. There are a couple of small burn marks on the bass edge of the headstock around the D string tuner.

The fingerboard stenciling unusually intact with none of the usual rubbed-away spots; even the flocking on the back is largely intact. The fittings remain all original except for new buttons on the original Kluson deluxe tuners. This is the only one of these Hawaiian Reso-Phonics s we have had, a super friendly little oddball of a guitar. These can make a surprisingly fun piece and how about the perfect couch lap steel? It sort of sounds like you're playing through a tiny amplifier that follows you around! The original rectangular HSC is included, a bit battered but fully functional. Excellent - Condition.

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Listed6 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
Brand
Model
  • Reso-Phonic Model 1033 Hawaiian
Finish
  • pearloid
Categories
Year
  • 1956

Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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