c.1930 Regal Flamed Mahogany Tenor Guitar

Readers of the blog are now probably pretty familiar with my taste for Regal tenor guitars of this first variety (small body, 12 fret neck, tailpiece load), and also probably familiar with the normal spruce/birch version (click here for one). This model is essentially identical to that type, but uses fantastically-flamed Cuban mahogany for the back and sides -- just like on the deluxe version of this instrument.

As expected, the nice mahogany is a tone enhancer and this instrument is both powerful and gutsy, but also sweet.

My work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, cleaning, new (1920s replacement) bridge, and setup. It's slick as all heck and plays really fast. The 21" scale coupled with the 12-fret body join makes these really comfortable in the lap, too.

The finish is in nice, glossy shape, but has weather-checking throughout, which is typical on Regals since the finish is so thin.

Nice multicolored, inlaid rosette. The top, back, and soundhole are all bound in nice black celluloid.

Cute logo on the headstock -- and an original wood nut.

I'm not sure what type of hardwood the fretboard is. It looks like some sort of rosewood or maybe even walnut. Pearl dots, nickel-silver frets.

Lately I've been installing tenor-banjo style bridges on tenor guitars when the bridge fitted to the instrument isn't right. This was actually pretty common back when these were made, and the addition of a period bridge from my parts bin gives this a great look. The lightweight ebony/maple bridge also improves volume and response.

"Bell Brand" tailpiece. I have foam to mute the extra string length under the cover.

The pictures don't do the wood justice, but the back and sides are a chestnut-brown color. As you can see, the flame to the Cuban mahogany is just so nice.

Regular-Joe friction pegs work just fine.

Pretty, huh?

The heel shows slight gaps at either side, but this is typical of Regals which tended to have rushed neck-join cuts. The important part, which is the dovetail fit, is all shimmed up and reset, so it's good to go.

...trying to show off that flame, though there's a bunch of glare from the windows.

Who doesn't like an original chip case in good condition? Makes it a heck of a lot easier to take out!


tpfliss said...

Do you think there would be any difference between a three footed banjo bridge and a two footer? I have the guitar you linked to hanging on my wall and it has a mandolin bridge on it. I'm going to restring it soon and I thought I'd try an extra banjo bridge and see how it sounds. What are the factory bridges like on these things?

Antebellum Instruments said...

The factory bridges are usually dyed maple ones of the small sort -- like a banjo size bridge but with a flat bottom, and a bone insert. I like the bulk of the nicer Grover 2-foot tenor banjo bridges but also the fact that they're a ton lighter than the mando bridges. It's all about desired tone, because the structure on these is strong enough not to need a wide footing for the bridge. The heavier the bridge, the warmer and mellower, the lighter, the brighter, more responsive, and louder. Just like on a banjo.

pak gendoet said...