6/20/2013

c.2001 Regal RC-2 Resonator Guitar




This Korean-made Regal-branded biscuit-cone resonator guitar is one of the Saga imports of the early 2000s. While it's heavier than a vintage National and doesn't have the giant v-shaped necks of the '30s Nationals, it does ape the tone pretty well for its price point. The main difference sonically is that the vintage Nationals have "more going on" and an extended big, airy-sounding bass range. At least, to my ears, anyway. This one seems to have a bit more sustain than the old National's I've played, though.

This guitar came to me by way of a friend of mine and I promptly took it in and gave it a full setup, cleaning, and recut the maple bridge on the biscuit to compensate it for good intonation (this helps a lot!). The original setup on this was with a somewhat-too-high nut which I almost feel might have been an attempt to make this amenable to a slide blues player -- or, it just left the factory with a really bad setup.


Having some time under its belt, the body is starting to get some nice tarnish here and there which makes it friendlier to look at (I can't deal with highly-polished resos).


I gave the headstock a bit more of a vintage look by replacing the big old Rotomatic-style tuners with some repro Klusons and swapped the cheesy triangular truss rod cover with a bigger, cut-down cream Gibson-style one. The Klusons also lightened the headstock, too.


Curiously, many Korean and Japanese guitars come out of the factory with brown binding. I would've preferred no binding on this (radiused) rosewood board, but that's just my taste!





I was lucky to be able to cover the original mounting holes for the Rotomatic-style tuners with the big baseplates of the Klusons, so the install of these is really clean. The neck shape on this guit is a lot like a 40s Gibson -- not tiny and small like many modern Taylors or 60s Gibsons. This makes it a very cozy fingerpicker which many new guitars are not.

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