About Smith & Young Stringed Instruments

We are proud to introduce the newest line of instruments from Smith and Young Stringed Instruments a division of National Guitars!

There is an art to reproducing guitars from a by-gone era in today's day and age. The folks at National have certainly proven they can not only faithfully recreate historic models, but also update them tastefully with modern day technology & materials that offer improvements. Today's National Reso Phonic is a constantly evolving company, which is always trying new ideas, reissuing classic models, and pushing the envelope as far as tone is concerned.

For many years, National Reso Phonic has been in research and development of the original Dobro's®, as those models were part of the fabric and historic beginning of the original National company founded in 1927. This is the instrument that spawned an entire industry, a sound, and inspired a tone like nothing else. The Dobro® company was founded in 1929 by brothers John Dopyera, Rudy Dopyera, Ed Dopyera, and Vic Smith. The name "Dobro®" represents an early acronym for the Dopyera Brothers, thus: Dobro®.

The name Dobro® was never intended to mean a specific instrument, like a banjo, or mandolin, however, over the years, the name Dobro® became synonymous with any squareneck spider-bridge resonator guitar, held in the lap, and played with a bar in open tunings, rather than fretting the strings on a fretted fingerboard.

Over the years the Dobro® company changed ownership many times, and was shuttered from 1942 to 1954, bought by Semi Mosely, then lost, and finally bought by Gibson.

Fast forward to today's modern era National Reso Phonic instruments, located in San Luis Obispo, where founder Don Young started his company in 1989. Having worked for the Dopyera brothers several times during his career and then for OMI (Original Musical Instruments), Don is uniquely qualified to recreate these iconic guitars. We are proud to introduce the newest line of Spidercone guitars from Smith & Young Stringed Instruments!

In the most recent quarter century Don Young and partner Eric Smith of today's National Reso Phonic have built historically correct re-issues of these early instruments, yet only recently have been motivated to add the modern flare of increased string height, germane to a distinct Bluegrass sound. The new Model 1 with its steel body, rubbed nickel finish, single cone sound, is absolutely tremendous. One can sense the wonderment when people first heard that haunting, vocal sound emanating from the Model 1. These instruments are loud, with a clear, warm tone.

A little longer and deeper overall than a standard National, this body size translates to a larger sound. Larger break angle at the headstock over the nut makes for increased tension on the cone, further producing more tone & volume! These things are loud, however never piercing. The hand spun Spidercone makes all the tone possible, and National has always produced their own cones. Often imitated, never replicated! Referring to their unique tone, they have coined the phrase "It's in the Cone", referring to a tone that only National can make. We look forward to the future, and introducing this exciting new line of Spidercones from Eric, Don and the crew at National.