1/20/2012

c.1925 Stromberg-Voisinet (Kay) Mahogany Hawaiian-decal Parlor Guitar


This is by far the best example of one of these old Stromberg-Voisinet (later Kay) Hawaiian-themed all-mahogany parlor guitars I've worked on -- and I've worked on a good number of them both for resale and for customers. This one is both in better shape than average and classier than average. It also has a very fingerpicking-friendly, sweet and warm and woody tone with great sustain and ringing harmonics. A lovely little 'hog guitar!

It sports a solid-mahogany body with a (poplar?) v-shaped neck and faux-rosewood (dyed pearwood?) fretboard and headstock veneer. The original bridge was missing so I replaced it with a rosewood one from my parts bin. Other work included a neck reset, fret dress, light cleaning, new ebony bridge pins, tuner lube, and small hairline crack drop-fills to the back of the guitar. Except for those noted repairs, the guitar is crack free and the finish is in weather-checked but beautiful shape and gleams.



This has the cool "Gumby" headstock which is also bound. Note that the nut is probably a replacement and is rosewood. I reused it instead of making a new bone one because it looked nice on it and I actually prefer wood nuts.


Smallish frets. Note the cool aged binding and the MOP/diamond-y inlay.


This has very cool "Larson-esque" inlaid marquetry purfling and rosette in a brown/tan/blue arrow motif -- very nice and very a-typical for these guitars (they're usually plainer purflings).


The decal is in excellent shape.




This dark new rosewood bridge not only looks great and proper with this guitar, its somewhat bellied design and longer than normal wings help reinforce the ladder bracing of this guitar's top. I'm using 48w-10 DR Sunbeams on this to keep tension down and tone up.



Hah! And a surprise decal on the BACK too! Combined with the gorgeous mahogany and bound top and back these decals really pop out.


...and a pressed-in leaf pattern on the rear of the headstock. And, oh yes, this headstock is "half-slotted" so you get the strength of a solid headstock with the cool looks and non-protruding tuner shafts of a slotted one.


Now that the neck is reset it's perfectly good to go.


Fun decal on the back.



Still, more gorgeous 'hog on the sides!




These tuners are also replacements, probably German-made around 1955 or so. They're good quality and look nice on the guitar.


And a nice end-strip with original wood button, too!

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