12/02/2015

1920s Oscar Schmidt "Stella" Oak B&S Tailpiece Guitar




This is #2 of a 4-part set of Oscar Schmidts I'm working on for a customer. This one is 00-sized (14" lower bout) and has a spruce top over quartersawn oak back and sides. I love oak as a tonewood as it adds a bit of lingering, darker sustain and a warmer character overall. It works especially well with these old tailpiece, ladder-braced guitars as it darkens-up the overly-bright sound they tend to have. The slightly wider lower bout compared to your average Stella (most are 13") adds a decent amount more more bottom end and volume for the guitar's size.

Work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, brace and seam repairs, a new bone nut and bridge, and a good cleaning and setup. This guitar has a 24 7/8" scale length and the 50w-11 strings drive the lightly-braced top "just right." It's a loud box and has a good feel due to the slightly-v neck having a smaller cut (front to back) than the average baseball-bat Schmidt from the time.


The guitar has zero cracks -- how about that? The condition is also very good for a guitar of this age. I'm so used to seeing these Schmidts really beat-up.




The rosette is a decal.


Here's my new bone bridge -- mandolin-style -- and a vast improvement over the tone of the original dyed maple/fret saddle bridges that were factory-issued.




Nice oak, huh?








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