c.1935 Slingerland "Songster" Archtop Guitar

After a week's overhaul in the shop this delectable archtop is all set and ready to go. This is a mid to late 1930s Slingerland "Songster" archtop and has the typical features of the model: solid spruce top, 3-ply curly/figured maple back and sides, a solid maple neck, and a heck of a lot of "cool" oozing from everywhere. This one doesn't have its pickguard anymore, and has a new end pin and new Kluson-style tuners, but otherwise is all original. The bridge is rosewood, the fretboard is too, it's bound top, back, and fretboard, has MOP dots, a "Slingerland" stamped tailpiece, and plays beautifully (well, it does now anyway).

This guitar had loads of scuffs, nicks, scratches, etc. that needed to be removed and/or minimized. After doing that, I rubbed a new topcoat on the neck, front, and back to bring some shine around after all the cleaning. It's got a sort of lovely subdued velvety look too it, now, and proudly shows years and years of good play.

The headstock is inlaid with pearloid of different colors that has aged a bit. Originally it would've been silvery-gold and bright green. The nut is bone.

Fretboard with nice side-dots and binding. These frets all needed a lot of work. This was evidently used by a fret-grinding player. Strangely enough, after setup, all you need is a very light touch and light picking to get this thing very alive. Driven, it has that oncert archtop tone: projection, projection, projection! The sustain and resonance is unreal, however: if I talk in the room, even 10 feet away, this thing starts echoing and vibrating sympathetically. It's almost spooky.

The finish has aged-in from a "cremona brown" sunburst to a cherry/orange-yellow sunburst that I think suits is just fine.

Great lines. From the split F holes, my guess is that this guy was made by Kay or Harmony for Slingerland.

Adjustable rosewood bridge. Note the different color strings: these are a "test set" of spares: I'll be putting on some new John Pearse 80/20s in a bit.


This tailpiece was entirely rusty and flaking before polishing: now I can actually read that "Slingerland, Chicago" stamp!


These are some new Kluson style "Wilkinson Deluxe" tuners. I love these things: feel just like nice old Klusons. The original tuners were fried.


Neck joint is strong.


Back again.


Side detail... notice use wear.

Nice figure in that wood.

Action is 1/8" at the 14th on the treble and just a hair above 1/8" on the bass.

Other side.

Other side detail...

And tailpiece with new Martin-style end-pin.


guillaume said...

Hi, I'd like to know if this guitar is still for sale. And please mention the price.



Mark said...

So cool to see this. I actually have one of these, found by a friend at a garage sale in Kansas City in the early eighties. I allowed it to languish until three years ago when I had the neck reset and installed new frets. I'm also blessed to own a Martin D 35 and a Larrivee L-10 CE, but don't you know, even with its, shall we say "manly" action, the Slingerland is the one I love to pick up and play! Tone that goes on for days and a vibe that just won't quit.


NFL Jerseys said...

cool guitar, but very expensive
i have a friend sale guitar, but i never saw these in store

Beatles_Drums_Drawing_Life said...

i have this guitar, and all i can say, is what a beautiful guitar. i inherited it from my great uncle when he passed. Him and i still love this guitar and its beautiful sound.