7/30/2012

c.1935 Regal Tenor Guitar




This bare-bones version of the classic Regal tenor dates a little later than most of them at probably around 1935. It's all-solid birch with a poplar neck and dyed fretboard. It has a sort of cool medium "red-brown-burst" that looks nice over the plain grain of the birch and unlike other "student" version of Regal guitars from the time, this one actually has real celluloid binding which keeps the trim smart and neat.

This is #2 of 5 tenor guitars I picked up from Aaron Keim recently, and needed the basics -- seam separation reglue jobs, fret level/dress, cleaning, new (banjo) bridge, and setup. Curiously, the neck is straight but it seems like the fretboard itself was not installed with a quite flat face which meant even though the frets were seated well they were a little peculiar up near the extension. The dressing and leveling took care of that, but it was a quirkly little thing to see.


This has a 21" scale and with these regular 32w, 24w, 14, 10 strings on it, really belts it out with authority. The neck also feels nice and fast and the 12-fret join means this has a lot of body so the bridge is centered right in the sweet spot for tone.


Original friction pegs and wood nut.


Clay or celluloid dots in the board. Original brass frets.


Though non-original, this had a 1930s-era tenor banjo bridge on it that looked good, but was a bit tall. I replaced it with this nice 1920s-repro Grover 2-foot tenor bridge.


Good "Bell Brand" tailpiece takes ball and loop-end strings.



This tenor guit is remarkably clean.




Typical inexpensive period friction pegs.




A strap button can always be installed through the lower screw-mount on the tailpiece hanger.

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