1/21/2015

1930s Regal Size 5 Spruce/Birch Tenor Guitar




I work on a lot of these and I'm going to be honest: the ones that have been beat to heck and washboarded all over from pickwear are the ones that sound the best. This one, rigged up with standard CGDA strings, sounds awesome. It's much fuller and warmer than you'd expect from a box this size. I'm continually surprised by that with these size 5 little critters.

This is a customer's instrument and didn't need the usual neck reset (yet), but it did need some cracks shored-up as well as a new bridge, fret level/dress, vintage geared pegs installed, and general setup and cleaning. It plays spot-on, now.


The spruce-topped, birch back/sides models are the Regal tenors of this size that I see most frequently. They're not as upper-class as the mahogany-backed or rosewood-backed models but they're a definite step up from the all-birch models in terms of full-spectrum sound. The birch-topped ones are a bit gutsier in the mids and more direct, however.


This inlaid-style Regal logo in celluloid suggests mid-30s manufacture. The original wooden nut is even still useful.


The dyed-maple board is a bit worn-out but the frets just needed a typical level/dress to get them in good order. They'd been played-in a lot.


The soundhole rosette looks great. The binding on the top and back is a "fiberloid" material rather than celluloid.


I pulled this vintage 50s-style maple bridge from my parts-bin and used it specifically for this guitar because it has tight graining like nicer fiddle bridges.


Again, I like the way these old Bell Brand tails let you use ball or loop-end strings.





This came with some spring-loaded friction pegs (original) but the customer actually supplied me with a set of Grover geared pegs from the period. Nice! They certainly improve the experience of tuning this old dog up.






I just love seeing geared pegs on these. I usually just swap in guitar tuners because folks these days can't take friction pegs... and to be honest... I understand. They drive me a bit nuts, too, on anything steel-strung.

3 comments:

bonnybroome said...

Hooray! Glad you like it.

Greta said...

+sigh+ love these....

Art Drecko said...

Fantastic vintage tone!