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ca 1934-35 DOBRO M14 “Leader” Fiddle Edge

It’s well established that metal body DOBRO resonator guitars were made at the National Guitar Company plant in Los Angeles, California and the Regal plant in Chicago, Illinois only between 1934 and 1940. And that’s all they made and they were all fiddle edge. The M14 Leader model was offered only in 1934 and 1935 and the serial number stamped on top edge of the headstock is 2177.

This example is the sought after model with engraved nickel on brass body with the segmented F holes and the oh so cool tasteful body engraving. And like all metal DOBROs of this era it has the 14 fret mahogany neck with a bound Brazilian rosewood fret board. All on a comfy soft V shaped round neck. Cool engraved Kluson tuners and the stunning pearloid Mother of Toilet Seat paddle head stock only known to be on some of these M14s complete the look.

The construction of the DOBRO metal body guitars was quite different than the National guitars. DOBRO tops and backs were fastened to the sides with a unique rolled method that required no soldering. The resulting lip around the edges gave rise to the name “Violin Edge” or “Fiddle Edge” as it was known around the factory. This construction method was only used from 1934 to ~1940. All later model metal DOBRO’s which were in production by Gibson from the 1970s to the present are easily identifiable because they lack this fiddle edge. The small holes seen are factory original for a pick guard bracket, most examples we’ve encountered came with these and like this one, most pick guards are long ago lost.

The  DOBRO spider cone resonator guitars differ from the National Style O Single cone resonators in that (we believe) they project a crisper, more clear volume. The haunting sound of a spider cone is what both blues and country slide players seek.

This one has had an impeccable neck reset and set up by Ross Teigen of Naples Florida. The inspection was amazing and revealed that astonishingly nobody had messed around inside this one and the cone, spider bridge are all original, un damaged and intact with no funny business found and no dents or dings anywhere. Yet there is plenty of evidence of years of thoughtful play.

Ross’s  work is of absolutely stunning caliber with action set for finger style and slide play to please even the most accomplished of players.

Not many of these vintage metal body fiddle edge DOBRO resonator guitars out there in such honest condition.
This is a truly magnificent musical instrument.

Please watch Richard Bastar III and Frank Corso give her a ride in the videos.

Year: ca 1934-35
Manufacturer: National Guitar Company / DOBRO
Model: M14 “Leader” DOBRO Guitar
Case: Nice proper fitting new tweed vintage style hard case
Color: Nickel on Brass, tastefully engraved
Condition: Excellent ++