Up for sale, a 2013 National El Trovador Mike Dowling signature acoustic electric single cone resonator in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. An enduringly popular design first introduced in 1932, this modern iteration was designed in tandem with renowned swing and blues guitarist Mike Dowling. Like its predecessor, it features a 4” deep all-mahogany body, maple biscuit bridge, and mahogany neck with a bound slab ebony fretboard. This particular El Trovador features National’s Hot-Plate coverplate, a $400 factory upgrade option which boasts a single Lollar Telecaster-style single coil pickup with Volume and Tone controls.
Tonally, this National delivers plenty of natural throaty warmth and rich low-midrange character with a sharp, percussive cut and underlying bark. The maple biscuit bridge and ebony fingerboard ensure sweet, pristine trebles, balancing well with the warmth of mahogany and channeled into an electric signal by the Lollar single coil. Whether played acoustically or plugged-in, the El Trovador has a vital, lively sound with a broad, detailed overarching character. This guitar weighs 6lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-52 bronze strings and easy-playing action.
The mahogany neck has a chunky soft V-shaped profile carve with a bit more roundness and heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .920” deep at the 1st fret and 1.030” at the 9th. The slab ebony fretboard features ivoroid binding and a 16” radius, and the stock medium jumbo frets are in exceptional condition, retaining their full factory height with well-rounded crowns and virtually no wear. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 21/32” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The stock bone nut measures 1 3/4” in width. The headstock sports a rosewood veneer, and the National Double N-embossed open-gear line strip tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
All of the electronics work as intended, with the Lollar pickup wired to the stock harness and governed by Master Volume and Tone controls. Hardware includes the nickel-plated coverplate, bridge cover, trapeze tailpiece, and dome-top knurled knobs, all of which show faint surface patina. The original label is visible through the F-hole, bearing Mike Dowling’s signature and dating this guitar to November, 2013.
The satin finish is framed on front and back by ivoroid binding, with cosmetic wear limited to some light scuffing on the treble side of the strum path and just a handful of pinhead-sized dings on the body as a whole. The flawless satin finish on the neck profile has been buffed to a semi-gloss through play, and feels smooth and fast in the palm.
The original black tolex National-branded hardshell case is included, with blue plush interior and a clean silver National graphic.