2/06/2013

c.1935 Regal LeDomino 0-size "Parlor" Guitar


This is a really cool, quite rare Regal "LeDomino" concert guitar. It's roughly the same size as a Martin 12-fret 0-shape with a 13 1/4" lower bout and long 12-fret body. The scale is a "Gibson-esque" length of 24 3/4" which gives it 1/2" longer reach than most comparable Regals of the day. It's ladder-braced and in the same quality vein as this Regal "Diamond Head" I worked on before, though it's slightly narrower and has birch secondary woods rather than mahogany.


I picked this up from my buddy "Mr. Sween" out in California and when it came to me it was a beat-up body with its neck and bridge detached. Work included cleating, filling, and stabilizing the center seam on the top as well as two adjacent hairline cracks on the lower bout, a hairline crack on the rear upper bout, a new upper-bout "strapping" reinforcement below the fretboard extension (for extra strength), seam reglues, a neck reset, new rosewood bridge and bone saddle, fret level/dress, cleaning, and setup. It's been "through it all."

It's come out of it all a champ, though, with that vaguely-bluesy/old-time tonality and a nice warm but punchy palette. It plays "spot on" with 3/32" bass height at the 12th fret and 1/16" treble.


The top, back, and soundhole are all bound in white celluloid and so is the fretboard. The Domino detailing is all decal work and it looks sweet as heck.


The original bridge came with this (see last photo) but I opted for a new, stiffer, rosewood bridge of the same size with a compensated saddle slot. The saddle is new camel bone but the pins are the original units.

Note the repaired center-seam as well as the two repaired hairlines that extend below the bridge. All fixed up and good to go.


Cool "LeDomino" decal at the headstock as well as that fun routed-off top edge to the headstock. Original bone nut. One of these tuner shafts (the G) is bent but they all operate just fine.


Dyed maple(?) fretboard with cool decals! Nickel-silver frets.


It sure looks so very cool. This is about as sweet and bluesy-looking as it gets outside of the Oscar Schmidt "Stella" and "Sovereign" realm from the same period.


There's definitely a bunch of scuffs, light scratches, and use-wear throughout but overall the guitar looks very good. The finish cleaned up very nicely from where it was to begin with.





The neck pocket area showed "blush" in the finish from where the heel had been steamed out previously. I minimized it as much as possible but there's a tiny bit left here and there where I didn't want to rub the finish too hard to remove the trace acmounts.

Post-reset, I also backfilled the joint just a little bit to clean up the edges. The (original) heel cap was missing as well so I just dyed it black to match the finish.






The original endpin matches the trim and bridge pins, too.


Regal label in the soundhole. Also note: the back mid-brace is missing, which is the only real "flaw" at the moment. Structurally, this is pretty irrelevant as two braces still remain.


The original, uncompensated, dyed-maple (or birch?) bridge remains with the guitar.

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