National Resophonic Polychrome Tricone

Acoustic 6-String Guitar

Made by National Resophonic

Description National's least expensive metal body tricone. Steel body rather than brass, and baked on paint job instead of nickle plating (that's the "polychrome"), but styled in the same art-deco design as its shiny, pricier brothers. Comes in a few colors too.
Posted By Paul Cummins (95)
Directory Equipment: Guitars
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Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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On 6/17/2003, Paul Cummins (95) posted:
Overall Rating:
Simply said, this is one great guitar from a company that makes a bunch of 'em. Each model has its own voice; and it's really up to a player's personal preference which is the right one for them.

I wouldn't hesitate getting another just like it.
Model Year: 1994
Price: $1700.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Stan's Guitar Shop Glendora, CA
Features:
National Resophonic's only factory is located in San Luis Obispo, CA. They don't "job out" any models; so you're assured a US made guitar. The tricones are their upper line models; with 3 smaller resonating cones inside the body rather than one like their wooden body guitars, Style 0, Triolians, and Dobros have. The body style is a little smaller than a dreadnought; with rounder shoulders.The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard; and meets the body at the 12th fret. The tuners have a vintage Kluson look. The "Polychrome" finish is baked on, and comes in Blue, Copper, Green, and Dark Gray. Mine is one of the earliest made (serial #P-26); and is a Light Gray Burst that I don't think is available any longer.
Playability:
The usual setup on this and most Nationals calls for slightly higher action and Medium (or heavier) gauge strings; due to its most common use as a guitar for slide players. Even given that though, it's not impossible to adjust it. I prefer heavier gauge strings for alternate, open tunings and slide work, and have mine set up with slightly higher action; but I can still comfortably finger chords and play single note leads (bending takes a bit more of a "manly" approach, however) :o)
Sound Quality:
Sound-wise....nothing sounds like a National tricone but a National tricone. Classic Delta Blues tone and unbelieveable acoustic volume. Listen to Johnny Winter for a great example of the tone of a tricone. I compared it to the more expensive brass bodied Nationals- playing them side by side for days before choosing. Though there is a difference, I found myself liking the Polychrome's unique voice more. Why? I'm not sure. But I'm not sorry now after almost 9 years. Live, I've been playing it in front of a mic; and I'm considering a Highlander system for amplifying it.
Durability:
I've played this guitar almost daily for practically 9 years, and never even broke a string let alone had a failure of a part. It's a tank (and weighs almost as much). Adjustments have consisted of two truss rod tweaks (once after its initial break in, and the other when I changed the set up to accomodate heavier strings). That's it!