1962 National Val Pro, Fiberglass Body Scarlet Finish
A Brief History from our Tech Writer
During the late ‘50s and the very early ‘60s, many instruments companies were experiencing a downturn in sales. National was one of these companies, and in an attempt to draw buyers in they released a wildly shaped and wildly made line of guitars, better known today as “map guitars”. These guitars oddly shaped horns resembled the east coast of the United States on a map, hence the name. National was able to achieve this crazy shape by making these guitar bodies out of fiberglass, or “Res-o-Glas”, as they called. Fiberglass was a new material at the time, and surely would have given this guitar a sort of space-age appeal, though fiberglass's tonal merits are certainly questionable and the material would fall out of favor by the end of the ‘60s. These guitars also came with Supro Vista-Tone pick-ups, which are deceptive in that they look like humbuckers but are actually single-coils next to large magnets separated by a piece of steel. These quirky devices were part of Link Ray’s sound and today can be heard from players like Dan Auerbach and Jack White. The map guitars would prove unpopular in the years to come, and all lines were discontinued in 1965.
This is a 1962 National Val Pro, in Scarlet finish. The Val Pro line featured a single Vista-Tone pick-up and a three way tone switch for cutting out the bass or treble. Each position has its own volume control as well, along with a master volume near the input jack. This piece is in great playing condition, but it does have some decent wear and is missing its pickguard. The most serious wear is on the neck binding, which is cracked in many places and is missing about ¾ of an inch from the 3rd fret treble side. The decorative print on the pick-up is also wearing away in some spots. Apart from those issues, this guitar is a great player with a fun sound and a groovy look. Don’t pass it up! Sorry, no case with this one.
Nut Width: 1 ¾”
Weight: 7 lbs. 4 oz.
8/10 (excellent condition) 1962 Made in the USA
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