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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Looking for a Circa 1932 National Cone - Heartbroken!

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

thefoxden - Posted - 03/09/2022:  17:11:30

I just tore down my ‘32 Duolian to do some maintenance and in the process of re-fitting-up its cone unfortunately went into catastrophic sag mode—I’m absolutely heartbroken!

I know a lot of folks will recommend that I just get a new Hot Rod, and I will if need be, but I thought I’d try the Hangout first to try to find an original cone from the same era. It was really the soul of my instrument, and my instrument is a huge part of my soul.

If anyone has one they’re willing to part with I’ll pay any fair price, or if anyone knows some dusty corners of the internet where one might seek out such an item, I’d greatly appreciate the help. Otherwise, a new cone it is until one pops up on the ’Bay I suppose.

Thanks for any help (or condolences) in advance!

Edited by - thefoxden on 03/09/2022 17:12:19

docslyd - Posted - 03/09/2022:  21:00:39

...I understand the "magic" and nostalgia of an old cone that has survived the same number of years as the guitar. Unfortunately, we really need to consider the fact that the cone is an "expendable" item that gets replaced as it gets used up. I would suggest get a cone from National. I set up a very original Style 4 tricone recently and the new cones really brought the instrument back to life. That fact alone, justified the change. In addition, if you were to find a cone of the proper vintage, it is bound to be in very poor shape, if not abused. Another thing to consider is to re-shape your original cone if its not too badly damaged.  Popsicle sticks or other clever items can form it back close to its original shape.  Since it's so old, even if you get it close, it's likely to sound the same as it did before.

Edited by - docslyd on 03/09/2022 21:02:34

thefoxden - Posted - 03/09/2022:  22:17:10

I appreciate it Eric. I’m honestly looking for moral support in buying a new cone as much as I’m looking for an old one ha. There is a level of superstition in it for me, and I’ve done a few tricks already to try to resurrect what I have. So far no luck I’m afraid. (Solder would be helpful if thin aluminum would accept it better! I’m a novice though.) In any case, thanks—I’ll get it up and playing one way or another. I appreciate the encouragement!

daver - Posted - 03/10/2022:  12:08:07

"Solder would be helpful if thin aluminum would accept it better!  I’m a novice though."

Soldering aluminum is exceptionally difficult, requiring special solder, flux and a very careful technique (I would call it impossible and I've been soldering stuff for 40+ years).  Even then, solder would add a concentrated mass to the cone which will alter its performance, all other issues resolved.  I wish you well in the search for an old cone.  In the meantime, the guitar will make more than zero sound with new (temporary?) cones...

wlgiii - Posted - 03/10/2022:  12:18:39

Buy the new cone, and an old one should magically appear; that's usually how it happens. And if it doesn't....a National cone made my import Rogue project camping guitar sound great, so your '32 Duolian should sound fantastic.

thefoxden - Posted - 03/10/2022:  15:09:03


Originally posted by wlgiii

Buy the new cone, and an old one should magically appear; that's usually how it happens. And if it doesn't....a National cone made my import Rogue project camping guitar sound great, so your '32 Duolian should sound fantastic.

I suspect this is exactly what is going to happen ha. To the new cone I go...

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 03/10/2022:  15:24:19

Here and elsewhere on line, I occasionally come across someone who will write whether it's a spider bridge resonator or, biscuit bridge, or tricone and they have been at it for a really long time - and they'll write  that the guitar sounds exactly the same as it did decades ago. Not sure how they determine that. 

My oldest guitar is an early '30s Dobro with the original lug cone. A luthier once told me "don't ever mess with this - leave it as is." And I have. It's not real loud, and it does have the sweet old vintage tone. But if I could travel through time and pick it up new at the Dobro factory in Los Angeles in 1933, I get a feeling it sounded different back then as compared to now, after almost 90 years of repeated downward picking pressure on the cone and oxidation. 

 Locating an original cone from back in the day doesn't necessarily give one access to the holy grail. 

Wildeman - Posted - 03/11/2022:  19:04:26

I feel for you, i have a '36 Duolian with its original cone and i know how I'd feel, that said, if something did happen I'd just buy a new one from National and get to puttin on the miles.

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