Exactly who in the Dopyera family has not been clarified, but it seems that one of probably Ed Dopyera's sons thought they should produce something for the younger generation - and a Les Paul shaped National "Reso Phonic" was the answer!
This 22" scale electro-acoustic resonator guitar was made as a student model, with a thin cutaway body, heavy celluloid pickguard, and pearl inlay position markers.
As advertised in the 1956 National catalog : "The bridge is mounted at the apex of a very sensitive, light metal cone which acts as a resonator. Since the body is solid, virtually all the string vibrations are transmitted directly to the air, resulting in a strong, well sustained tone with considerable carrying power. Heavily chromed grilles protect front and back of the resonator."
The model was made from the mid-late 1950s through the mid-1960s,
This super clean Reso-Phonic is from the collection of world renowned former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito and was used primarily to tour and record with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito on their Grammy nominated CD/DVD, "Blue Again". Rick can be seen using this guitar on "Black Crow Blues," "When We Do The Lucky Devil," and "The World Keeps On Turning," all found on the live DVD. Rick also used the guitar on his European solo CD, "Talk That Talk." Rick is known for his work with Bob Seger (he played the slide solo on "Like A Rock"), John Mayall, Jackson Browne, and many others as well as having numerous solo DVDs and CDs in his credits.
The guitar has the three quarter short scale 22" neck and is currently set up to play finger-style. Two round screw covers in the rear can be removed to raise or lower the action to also accommodate slide guitar action very nicely. It is equipped with a Fishman resonator guitar pickup and has a jack plate on the side. The original tuners rotted away years ago and were replaced with correct Kluson tuners with no additional holes or drilling. This guitar is in super clean, excellent condition with only one small mar in the finish at the base of the neck. Otherwise the fake mother-of-pearl celluloid covering is in excellent shape. The guitar plays and sounds really great both through an amp or acoustically, and can be miked both front and rear for a great stereo effect when recording (see photos of the rear resonator cover--a very unusual feature not found on any other guitar). These guitars have a very unique sound, not like other wide-body Nationals, but project very well, and have a soul all their own.