12/22/2011

c.1925 Regal Flamed Mahogany Soprano Ukulele





Here's yet another one of these beautiful flamed Cuban mahogany Regal sopranos from the '20s. If you've watched the blog for a while you've seen a number of these -- simply put, because I hunt for them. They're some of the nicest bang-for-buck sopranos I have certainly ever played and worked on and are made from top-flight wood as well.

This one had some work done on it previously: the neck had been reglued and the bridge had been reglued. I shored up a little of that, cleated and filled a hairline top crack to the treble side of the bridge, gave it a fret dress, cleaning, and setup. All good to go!

These ukes have a loud, strong sound with a decidedly bell-like tone to them. Good sustain, clarity, and a useful balance of tonality which makes it good for a number of different playing styles are also present in these guys. I love 'em!


In addition, they simply look gorgeous. The neck is plain-Jane stained poplar (usually), but the body is flamed Cuban mahogany which, combined with a vintaged original finish, turns this beautiful orangey/red koa-ish color. It's also a fantastic tonewood.

Note that the trim on this would originally have been bright red/green/yellow and black, but most of these ukes have that color fade to warmer woody colors as they age due to exposure to sunlight. Either way, it still looks impressive!



Original frets, freshly dressed.


Gorgeous! The top/soundhole are both bound in black celluloid.


The original bridge has a chip out of one corner -- typical -- and would normally cause string seating issues. I drilled the mounting hole and slot for the string a hair deeper, though, and thus avoided having to either modify further or cut an entirely new bridge for the uke.



Incredibly flamed mahogany sides, too!



...and back! See how it looks almost like koa?






And there's the Regal label! This type of uke usually has either no label or a distributor's brand name and it's rare to find one with the actual Regal brand inside.

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