1935 Dobro Rare 8 string Electric Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar Vintners 1935 Dobro Rare 8 string Electric Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar - Guitar Vintners
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1935 Dobro Rare 8 string Electric Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar This is a historical anomaly. 6 & 7 strings are documented. And the body was cast for 6 or 7 strings. An 8 string is not documented. But apparently someone wanted one. You can see how they had an ingenious idea to use the extra space at top of the peghead to add an extra tuner. And installed an 8 string bridge after trying an extra string-through in the cast string-holder. But that extra string in the cast string-holder put the high string over too far. Thus the bridge was modified to hold eight strings & the cast string holder was ignored. We have seen this same method used on a 1937 Supro Electric Hawaiian which has a similar body and configuration. But this particular Dobro is the first known example of such a design. Serial # A122. These aluminum bodies with their hollow chamber resonate and sustain remarkably. The strings attach directly to the bridge, which directly interfaces with the body. There’s no tailpiece to isolate the string/body interface. The entire guitar is set up with unbroken contact from one end to the other: from the Grover tuners the strings pass over a bone nut, then over a metal bolt-on fixed bridge, with the ball-ends inserted straight into the bridge plate. Unplugged, it's loud enough for quiet practice. The pickup is great; it's reminiscent of a Supro/Valco sound, not surprising as those pickups evolved from this. It’s fatter than a Tele-style single-coil, but not as thick as a humbucker. It's well balanced, with a fairly pronounced midrange. A real collector’s instrument. A real player, plus a unique historical significance. My plan is to install a (true to design) Stackpole tone pot & chicken-head knob. And when I find time, to strip it, repaint, & install new felt backing. Once refurbished, we’ll be looking at $1600. Compare it to our 1936 National. It will be in similar condition, but of course, with 8 strings, a rarer find.

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