9/23/2012

c.1935 Regal "Fancy Duds" Tiple


First off -- this is the cleanest vintage tiple I have ever seen. It looks like it was made this year and only played a few times in a music shop. The spruce is actually the whitish, brand-new hue of a new instrument, rather than the aged-in buttery-orange yellow color I expect to see on an old instrument. It's wildly clean.

Second -- it's 100% original, which is usually not the case, since these things tend to be treated poorly and bridges tend to crack and fly off with poor storage issues.

Third -- it sounds awesome. Crisp, clear, and sweet, with good volume. Just what the jangle-Doctor ordered. This is not typical, since most spruce-topped, "pin-bridge" style tiples tend towards a very mellow and warm tone with not much cut.


My work included a neck reset, light fret level/dressing (very light), slight saddle-area shave at the bridge, and general setup. Woods are: solid spruce top, solid birch back, sides, and neck... all crack-free! The fretboard is dyed-maple with a pearloid/stenciled-fret-marker veneer, and the bridge is dyed-maple as well.


Wonderful gold-sparkle headstock veneer with green Regal logo. Bone nut may be a replacement... or may be original... can't really tell!


This has a creamy-white pearloid fretboard veneer with stenciled-black marker frets.


The top and back edges as well as the soundhole are bound in white celluloid. The multicolored purfling (wood) is in just beautiful shape, with eye-poppingly bright colors (these usually fade to muted browns with time).


Oops, well, not 100% original... I forgot that when I shaved down the saddle area I also installed a replacement bridge saddle, since the original brass one didn't fit the whole width of the saddle area anyway.




Nice medium-brown, semi-satiny finish.


Tuners work great!



Nice, one-piece birch back with a mellow sunburst coloration.



There are just a few tiny scratches/scuffs here and there -- it's like this was played for a month or two and then left in the case in a cool, dry closet.





This has its original case, which is actually in OK shape, except that the hinges are broken. Par for the course, really!

2 comments:

Thomas Regnier said...

I really love the binding on old Regals, it's very pretty. It's absolutely amazing in what good shape that tiple is--I'd say it's a keeper!

Antebellum Instruments said...

Yeap, this one's a beaut. I'm pretty tempted. :)