6/01/2012

c.1930 Regal Rarer Spruce/Mahogany Tenor Guitar


This version of the original-shape Regal tenor guitar is step number 3 on the "fanciness" scale as far as these tenors went. The low-grade model, introduced later on, was all-birch with a birch top. The most-seen version has a spruce top but birch back and sides with similar top appointments (black binding and multicolor rosette). This is like the second model but with mahogany back and sides and a little fancier binding as well as planetary geared pegs and then the next up version has fancier binding and purfling still as well as much fancier pearl inlay down the neck. 

At any rate, the mahogany models of both stripes are quite rare on the market and this one is a reall good example, being 100% original (save for a new bone saddle) and crack free.

My work on this included a neck reset, fret level/dress, new bone saddle, and setup. I'd intended to put this right up on the sales block but the wifey got a hold of it somewhere in-between while I had it tuned to GCEA and she's pretty taken with it, so we'll see as far as its "availability" goes.


It's an elegant looking instrument, with almost Martin style 18 appointments, save for the very cool (and typically Regal) green/red/yellow multicolored rosette.


Nice Regal decal. Note the 4:1 planetary pegs -- these are oodles better than regular friction pegs. I've slotted both the bridge and nut to support a variety of string gauges since tenor players seem to be the most diverse in terms of tunings used.


Pearl dots, original nickel-silver frets. The board is some sort of dyed hardwood.



After the neck reset the bridge was slightly low, so I replaced the original smaller bone saddle with this new one.


One really cool feature of the fancier Regal tenors is that they sport banjo-style adjustable tailpieces. This gives the player some unique tone control options compared to a normal guitar-style tailpiece.


Nice, proud label.




She's a beaut!


Nice pegs. The buttons are plain cream bakelite.



Despite the fresh-looking back, when you get up close you can see scuffs and light scratches and a bit of buckle rash. The semi-gloss finish (similar to period Martins) disguises it for the most part, though.



I like the detail of the back having the contrasting black/white/black binding as well.




When I reinstalled the tailpiece after doing my work I added a third mounting screw for better stability.

Ah, and the verdict? Nice and loud and punchy with good sustain. This makes an excellent fingerpicker as well, and the slim-waisted design is just a touch larger than a baritone ukulele which makes it a nice crossover instrument.

4 comments:

Rob Smith said...

Jake,
One more to add to the database!
Mighty similar to mine (blogged back to you yesterday) but just ever so slightly different - I have friction tuners and the combined loop/ball tailpiece. I guess the production line went with what was available on any given day of the week.
Sweet. If you ever decide to dispose of it........

Linda said...

Oooh that is pretty!
I imagine it's out of my league, but yes, consider me in the notification pool if ever this one gets to the marketplace.

Anonymous said...

Jake

You are murdalizin' me, man.

Ben

Brandon Moyle said...

Please email me back at Moyle.Brandon@gmail.com I have a few questions about this particular instrument and you seem very knowledgeable about it thank you. Brandon.