1938 Supro (National/Valco) Collegian Resonator Guitar




This Supro-branded National single-cone resonator guitar started-out as a squareneck Collegian (probably with yellow paint), but arrived here with a stripped-of-finish body and wound-up as a roundneck courtesy of my draw knife and sander. A customer sent it in for the work and I was happy to do it. I waffled just slightly at the idea of cutting-into the pretty sunburst finish on the back of the neck, but the end result is a joy so it's been justified.

Sound-wise this thing has that "steel-body" vibe going-on hard. It's loud, direct, punchy, and has a good fwop to the low notes and fwap to the highs. It also looks great, too, with plenty of light rusting and tarnish on the body but no serious dings, dents, or damage. The original resonator had been crumpled at its edges in the past, but a little love means it's stable in service and holding-pat.

Repairs included: extra "island" block for the interior dowel right next to the neck joint, a fret level/dress, reshape of the back of the neck from squareneck to D/U-shaped roundneck (and a "speed neck" finish), cone reseating and original maple saddle compensation/adjustment, new brass bridge cover (removable), new pearl dots for the fretboard extension, general cleaning, tuner lube, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays perfectly with a straight neck (thanks to some original steel reinforcement) and 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action height at the 12th fret. Strings are gauges 52w-11 as I wanted to be a little gentler on the old cone. They sound/feel great -- no lack of volume/fullness, here.

Scale length: 25"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 3/16"
Body length: 18"
Lower bout width: 14"
Side depth at endpin: 3 3/8"
Body material: steel
Cone type: single cone, original ridged
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: maple w/maple saddle, original
Neck feel: slim-to-medium D/U-shape, flat board
Neck wood: maple

Condition notes: while much is original to the guitar, much is not. The body is stripped and has a replacement bridge cover/handstrap. The neck has original tuners and finish where extant, but I've recut the rear and speed-necked where I've modified it (thin, satin, "bare-wood-feel") and it has a new bone nut. Side dots are added. There are pearl dots rather than ivoroid at the fretboard extension. The body now has plenty of tarnish and rust here and there throughout but... it looks good, doesn't it?















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