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National Triplate Guitar

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When resonator guitars were first created back in the 1920s, creator John Dopyera experimented with several different ideas.  He tried using one large cone to create the sound, and he also tried three smaller cones.  This model was called the tricone or triplate model.  The first National triplate guitar used three six inch cones arranged in a triangle.  Two cones are situated on the bass side, with the other on the treble side.  A triplate guitar uses an aluminum T shaped bridge to connect the center of the three cones.  A wooden saddle is positioned on top of this bridge.  When the strings are plucked, their vibration travels through this saddle and into the bridge, then into the cones themselves.  Because the signal has to travel through three sections, the National triplate guitar wasn’t quite as loud as the single cone version.  However, it did have greater sustain and produces a sweeter tone.

The ease of finding a National triplate guitar for purchase depends on what you’re looking for.  If you just want a triplate instrument with the National brand on it, you can find modern National triplate guitars fairly easily and cheaply.  However, if you want a vintage National, you may have to pay more and look harder.

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National Triplate Guitar

Written by Editor

November 10th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

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