10/08/2011

c.1935 Regal-made Tailpiece Flattop Guitar





I worked on a very similar guitar to this a while back, which you can check out by clicking here. I'm very sure this guitar was made by Regal in Chicago around the mid 1930s due to the hardware (especially the bridge), materials, and general build style.

Just like this one's sister guitar mentioned above, this guitar sounds excellent and is a nice meld between the archtop sound and the flattop sound, though this one definitely leans more to the arch side of that blend. It's snappy, has tons of sustain, is very loud, and excels as a lead, chop chord or blues guitar. It'd also be a hot number for old-timey fingerpicking as it's a 12-fret-to-the-body design which gives you quite a "round" and balanced tone.


This one is made from solid flamed maple on the back and sides with a plainer maple neck and sports a solid spruce top with Brazilian rosewood fretboard and bridge (in a nice medium-toned rosewood which is typical of Regal instruments from the 30s through 40s). All the hardware is original save the pickguard screws and tailpiece screws, which are extras from my parts bin because the originals were a little stripped.


My work on this guitar included a fretboard extension reset (it had come unglued, so I just needed to reglue it) as well as crack repair, cleaning, fret dress, and setup. I cleated two of the bigger hairline cracks on the top, both of which were caused by pickguard screws and drying over time, and also drop-filled the other top cracks.

As far as cracks go, though, they're all on the top, and nowhere else, and all now perfectly stable. It was apparent, however, that in the past the "pickguard crack" at the side of the fretboard extension had slid a little, though with cleats and the brace under it reglued, it's all set to go, now.


Pickguard is a cool tortoise celluloid with a milky-white backing which pops it out. I added some double-sided film adhesive to keep it from rattling around on the top.


New bone nut. Forgot to mention that!


White dots in the rosewood, lightly radiused, board. Neck is a v shape but nicely comfortable.


The binding on both top, back, and soundhole looks pretty slick.


Beautiful solid flamed maple back! Especially with that sunburst! Though the nitro finish is nice and shiny, there are scratches all over the guitar. Cleaning helped reduce their popping out from the finish, though.



Some nice wood on there!


Tuners work perfectly.




Sides are stained pretty dark.




And a nice original endpin as well. Strings are new DR Sunbeam 11-50w. I like these for the older guitars as they're slightly less tension than normal 12s, feel great, and on something like this you don't need a lot of tension to drive the top since it's so responsive in the first place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just picked up this exact guitar at a second hand store in Hurricane Utah.
Fits description perfectly. WHAT A GUITAR!!!!!! I need to replace the bridge....it only has the top portion of the adjustable bridge. Sounds great as is and can't imagin what it will sound like with the proper footing of the correct bridge. Love the solid flamed maple back. great V neck. Finger pickers delight! Thanks for this display!