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Monday
Feb232015

New Gear: National Style 1 Tricone in Vintage Silver

I'm not gonna lie: John Reynolds is my hero. Always has been, probably always will be. 

John Reynolds plays a National. A Tricone National. 

Ever since I had a lesson with John 15 years ago, I've always wanted a National. Even my wife, who is usually against any additions to the guitar colelction, would always agree that I should have one someday. Well, just before Christmas, a bunch of things came together, and I got my wish. 

I had resisted the urge to buy one of the suprisingly decent Republic resonators guitar when they came out a couple years ago, because every time I compared one to a National, there was no question that a real National just had "it", and the Republic was an ok copy, but it wasn't magic the way a National is. I had also decided to wait for a Tricone, specifically a Style 1 (the plainest metal-bodied one), even though I did also enjoy the brasher and louder tone of a Style 0 Single-Cone. John was kind enough to lend me is ~1930 National Style 0 Single-Cone for a gig, which I definitely kept longer than I should have - it was too fun to give back!!!1

Anyway, I just happened to see an ebay listing for a barely used 2012 Style 1, and this one wasn't made of the regular brass, but rather of "German Silver" which is an alloy even closer to the original 20's-30's Nationals. Now, I personally think the National Guitars made in San Luis Obispo in the modern era are easily every bit a great sounding as the original ones (let's face it, metal doesn't age like wood does!), and the standard brass alloy sounds fantastic - but the "German Silver" is even warmer soudning and weighs slightly less (it's still pretty damn heavy, though). 

Though the guitar didn't make it in time to open Christmas morning, once it arrived, I was delighted to find that it was every bit as good as I'd always wanted. Here's a couple videos of me playing it. Enjoy.

"All of Me"

"Blue Skies"

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