Seeking Advice Regarding an original Dopyera Brothers Dobro

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Seeking Advice Regarding an original Dopyera Brothers Dobro

Postby Bant's Bluz » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:53 am

There is a music store owner in the little burg I live in and I'l just learned that he has a square neck dobro that he might be willing to sell. I don't play lap style, but I was definitely thinking this might have some investment potential. I talked with Lenny at vintage nationals and he recommended lots of photos, etc, etc, but I'm hoping some of you folks can give me some pointers as to what to be on the look out for so that I could reduce my exposure if I decided to buy it. The owner, as of now is talking $8 to &100 for it.

Any thought or feed back is sincerely appreciated.
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Re: Seeking Advice Regarding an original Dopyera Brothers Do

Postby Freeman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:42 pm

I own a 1932 Dobro type 27 (their cheapest unbound model at the time) which was basically a basket case when I got it (painted black, crushed cone and cover plate). I gave $200 for it, partialy because I felt sorry for the woman who owned it and partially because I felt sorry for the guitar. I build and work on guitars so it wasn't much trouble for me to restore it - however I also really have no idea of its worth.

I can help you a little bit with evaluation - the action should be around 3/8 inch uniformly from nut to cone, spide and cone should be snug in the well, the little tension screw in the middle of the cone is often too tight which will choke the sound. New cones, spiders and bridges are available. Sound hole covers should fit snugly (sometimes they rattle). Normal tuning is "high bass" or dobro G - GBDGBD - but a few other tunings are used. Lap style is fun to play - get a Shubb or Stevens steel and a set of finger picks.

One of the best resources for resonators, particularly lap style is here. These folks can definitely help you with value

http://www.resohangout.com/

There are also a couple of vintage resonator sites on line. Serial numbers were stamped in the end of the head stock but are somewhat confusing because of the history of the Dobro and National companies. Good luck, would like to see pictures if you get it
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Re: Seeking Advice Regarding an original Dopyera Brothers Do

Postby gaucho » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:38 pm

From the description you've given, it could be anything from a 20's up thru an early 90's model. Try and get at least one full front (inc headstock) photo or at least a model and serial # (should be stamped on the top of the headstock). That way we can give you more info. The Dopyera years covered a lot of years.
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Re: Seeking Advice Regarding an original Dopyera Brothers Do

Postby Bant's Bluz » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Thanks for the feed back! I'm still trying to get the store owner to let me into this upstairs "secret sanctum'!
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