Up for sale, a 1957 National Town & Country model 1104 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. Second only to the Glenwood in National's product line, the Town & Country was a top tier model offered by the Chicago based Valco company. The Town & Country model was clearly chasing the emerging Les Paul solidbody market in its heyday, and this particular example is actually branded "Academy," likely as a regional exclusive for a music store that has since been lost to obscurity. The Town & Country is truly an elegant instrument, and one of the finest guitars National ever produced. This instrument balances well on a strap and weighs in at 7lbs 14oz.Tonally, the Town & Country has plenty to offer, with two of Valco's humbucker sized single coils with large ceramic magnets for a tone that has plenty of power and punch. The top end is glassy and clear, with a crisp attack and a unique midrange character that few other pickups possess. Valco was somewhat obsessed with having preset Volume and Tone controls on their high end models for each pickup position, and this guitar is no exception in that not only do the bridge/neck pickups have their own sets of knobs, but when both pickups are selected together, there's a third Volume/Tone set to govern that setting. This allows for the crafting of three very unique and targeted tones, from snappy twang to thick, meaty textures with the neck pickup selected (perfect for thickening up even the most buzzsaw of fuzz pedals). Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with fresh 10-46 strings, this National has comfortable, low action and an undeniably cool look.The neck features a very round and chunky profile with the hint of a soft V at the nut, filling out to a chunky C in the higher registers of the fretboard. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original slender fretwire which plays very well up the neck and shows only light uniform wear in the first position, with fainter wear beneath the B string until roughly fret 9. While these stock frets are fairly low and have been leveled and crowned in their lifetime, the guitar plays cleanly in all registers with no buzzing or dead spots and notes sustain clearly. The scale length measures 24 3/4" and the original bone nut is 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the metal "Academy" logo and Valco serial number plaque are both present, as are the original Kluson "no line" tuning machines with original oversized white tulip buttons (an aesthetic touch exclusive to Valco instruments). There are also two tiny pin holes on the back of the headstock from another badge which has subsequently been removed.All of the electronics work as they should, and the pots and caps have been replaced to deliver a more open and articulate tone from the single coils. Valco was well known for over-filtering the sound of their pickups with the stock capacitors, and the sheer power and richness of these pickups truly comes through with the new wiring harness. The stock hardware includes the two tier black/white pickguard, floating Brazilian rosewood bridge with lightning bolt compensated saddle, white paddle rotary pickup selector switch, six original Dakaware Volume/Tone knobs, cream pickup surrounds and the original nickel trapeze tailpiece. The bolt-on neck is ideally angled as well for ideal pickup height, as the tall cream pickup rings keep the height of the single coils otherwise fixed.Cosmetically, this guitar is remarkably clean, with a natural finish that shows only light ambering of the clear coat and moderate finish checking, particularly across the lower bout. There are a few hairline cracks on a couple of the plastic knobs and pickup rings which have been cleanly repaired, and these parts still function as intended. Since the back of the guitar is a thin solid sheet of cream plastic, there are only a few minor scuffs on the durable back of the guitar, with a few scattered tiny nicks on the sides and face of the instrument as well. This remarkably clean Town & Country has clearly been sparingly played and very well cared for over the decades!
Please check out our shop "Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar" on the web, and feel free to call us directly with any questions at 206.399.8518.Shipping in the continental USA will be $60, fully insured and shipped via FedEx Ground. Expedited shipping available for an additional fee at buyer's request. We will happily ship WORLDWIDE, but please contact us for an accurate international shipping quote before bidding or buying, as cost varies by buyer location.
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