Up for sale, a 1930s National Deluxe Dobro Corp Model 100 combo amplifier in excellent condition and in perfect working order. This exceedingly rare, vintage National amp retains the original 12” field coil speaker, housed in a lacquer-finished hardwood enclosure with National shield grill and backlit control panel.
National's top of the line amplifier from 1939-41, the Model 100 is rated at 20 watts with a thick, smooth sound. The signal is particularly wooly and rich, offering a broad, harmonically-complex midrange, and there’s just enough treble detail for a tactile, dynamic quality that's responsive to player inputs. The octal preamp tubes give single coil pickups a robust honking quality, and humbuckers are warm and punchy.
The Model 100 features a dual-channel design, with one Microphone input and three Instrument inputs. The Microphone channel is notably louder and hotter than the Instrument, with a higher noise floor and less overall headroom before the somewhat aggressive breakup. The Instrument channel offers more room for cleans, and is notably milder, with a smoother, creamier breakup when driven hard. Both Channels have independent Volume controls, with a Master Tone knob that has a somewhat limited sweep, scooping the highs when rolled off and adding a touch more bite when dialed up.
A true “barn find” piece; the circuit has been professionally rebuilt here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with vintage-accurate componentry including paper-in-oil signal caps in the preamp and F&Ts in the power supply. The original transformers are intact, as is the original 12" field coil speaker. The tube complement includes the quartet of original “metal can” octal preamp tubes, which consist of two 6J7s and two 6N7s. The power tubes are a modern pair of Tung Sol small bottle 5881s (6L6GC), with a Sovtek 5V4 rectifier.
The hardwood enclosure is distinctive for its National shield grill, and the grill is structurally in excellent shape (being the most fragile part of the enclosure), complete with original wheat grillcloth. The carved wooden handle is also present, and the lower back panel has been removed, exposing much of the point-to-point circuitry below the tube sockets. When plugged in, the backlit control panel lights up, contributing the retro radio-esque stylings of this amp and complete with original chicken head knobs.