10/31/2014

1920s Oscar Schmidt-made Sovereign Koa Terz Guitar




How rare is this? I love my customers: they send me the coolest toys to fix up! This one is a terz guitar which means it's 3/4 size and has a 22 1/4" scale length. Traditionally that means that one tunes this up a minor third (G to G rather than E to E) and that's just what I've done, stringing it with an extra light (46w-10) set of strings. It sounds awesome, looks awesome, and the bigger v-neck (flamed mahogany!) feels great on a scale length this short.

Work on this was more on the setup side and included a fret level/dress, setup, new saddle, and bridge work that included relocating both the saddle slot and bridge pins so A) the guitar would play in tune and B) the pins were located far enough to the rear that they wouldn't put a 90 degree back-angle on the saddle (and thus, eventually, split the bridge at the saddle slot).


The body is all-solid Hawaiian koa wood (with minor tight or only half-open hairline cracks here and there) and it's ladder-braced. The neck is one-piece figured mahogany and the fretboard seems to be some sort of dyed hardwood... though it's possible it's a stained ebony. As a Sovereign this would've sat higher in the Oscar Schmidt pecking order and it's certainly built with more care than your average OS build.


Cool Sovereign nameplate, bone nut, and nice tuners.



The frets are nickel-silver and tough. I leveled and dressed them as they were slightly off here and there and showed a bit of wear. Pearl dots adorn the board.


The "rope" rosette breathes a bit of island cool into this New Jersey instrument.


The rosewood bridge is super cool! I had to relocate the saddle slot backwards (you can see the darker fill) and at the same time I compensated the angle. I also, then, had to relocate the bridge pin holes farther back on the bridge as well. This was necessary for good intonation as the original saddle was more than 1/8" off and uncompensated.



I love that "rope" backstrip, too.



The neck has a previous, well done, neck reset job.








Nice funky original OS endpin, too!

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