National "Triplex 1088" Tuning Changer.

Triplex headstock and logo

Triplex headstock and logo
And, seen here badged as an "Oahu", from the "Oahu Publishing Company", Cleveland, who were suppliers of mail order courses and "own brand" instruments.

Triplex bridge

Misc national lap steel

This inovative 1950s 6 string instrument had a lever which could be placed in 3 different positions, which allowed these tunings:

E7 (lever faces towards the headstock), C# minor (lever faces up), A major high bass (lever faces bridge as per picture).

If you are fortunate enough to find one of these, please take care and if the tuning select lever is stiff, then do not force it! The lever is a soft, fragile aluminum casting and will snap. Take the time to dismantle and lubricate the mechanism and it will work well.

March 10th 2008. Replacement cast brass levers are now in stock! Our good friend Peter Sloan has cast and machined a batch of 12 replacement tuning change levers for us. If you need one please contact me for details.
These look different from the 'factory' levers, but are far stronger and should not suffer the same fate!

The instrument came with a 5 page set of operating instructions, (dated Feb 1950) which I reproduce below.

Page 1 of brochure

Page 1

page 2 of brochure

Page 2

page 3 of brochure

Page 3

page 4 of brochure

Page 4

page 5 of brochure

Page 5

Our thanks go to Mark Makin and Kevin Fairfield for photocopying these instructions for us.

The source of the pictures is unknown. (We probably grabbed them off ebay over the years) If they are 'your' pictures please contact us to be credited.


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