The -olian's

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The -olian's

Postby Johnny DobroBoy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:09 pm

Hey all I noticed things seem a little slow around here, so I was wondering how people felt about the differences between a Triolian, and a Duolian. I think I heard somewhere that originally Triolians had a Tricone setup inside of them, and often had wooden bodies. But now the only difference I see (I've never held either in real life) is that Triolians usually have a "burst" finish to them and Duolians are usually plain steel. So to sum up the ramblin' here: What are the significant differences between Triolians and Duolians? :mrgreen:
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Re: The -olian's

Postby bottleneckjohn » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:23 pm

The tri in the name comes from the early tricone setup!
Later on some differences was neck wood, metal gauge, (thinner in the Duolians), fretboard wood, etc..
And the paint of course.
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Re: The -olian's

Postby Jakeblues » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:37 pm

According Brozman's "The history and artistry of National resonator instruments" only the prototypes (12 were made) were tricones (under a round coverplate). The production models single cone resonators in Harmony, Kay or Gibson bodies with the National name on them for 1928 and possibly early 1929, then they switched to metal bodies with Single cones.
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Re: The -olian's

Postby gaucho » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:08 pm

The Duolians were made to be sold a lower price point since the depression was on on folks weren't buying Triolians, Style 0's and Tricones as much. They were about $30 when they came out. They had Mahogany necks without bindings (the Triolians had bound Maple neck). The Duolians had a cool Duco finish which seems like it would cost more that the paint on the Triolians. The Triolians were $10 or $15 more and the Tricones (depending on the style) started at about twice the price. I have a friend with a '31 Triolian and I have a '31 Duolians. We trade off all the time and they sound pretty similar to me, but I give a slight edge to the Duolian...
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Re: The -olian's

Postby 36_style_o » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:48 pm

I've owned several Duolians and several Triolians.
They do sound "pretty similar" to one another (a Gibson player would probably say the same about Strats and Teles), but if your ear is well tuned to resonators you will notice some very important differences.
Obviously 12fretters and 14fretters are different animals, so let us assume we are comparing similar guitars (not including the early wood bodied Triolians in this comparison).
The neck wood is the main issue: mahogany absorbs more vibration than maple does. Maple is HARD compared to mahogany.
As a result of the maple neck, the Triolian has a "harder" brighter and sometimes less forgiving sound than the somewhat "mushier" Duolians.
I think Triolians make a better standard tuning guitar (less chaotic overtones/reverb) and Duolians fare slightly better for slide, even though the Triolians I've had sustained better than Duolians. The Duolians had the fatter bass, the Triolians had the better defined highs.
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