1930s Slingerland Songster Archtop Guitar

Big band, big band! This is the best-preserved Songster I've worked-on yet and it has a strong, alpha, projecting sound perfectly-suited to band use. I'm fairly sure that these guitars were made by Regal for Slingerland, but every time I say that a small voice inside me urges me to consider the possibility that these were made by Oscar Schmidt for Slingerland in the last days of OS production. Still...

The guitar is all-original right down to every last screw and crack-free save two small hairlines (cleated) at the bass f-hole. It has a solid spruce top and laminate flamed maple back and sides. The neck is maple and the bridge and board are Brazilian rosewood (as far as I can tell). My work included a neck reset, fret level/dress, intonation adjustments on the bridge's saddle, cleaning, and a good setup. It plays perfectly with 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA action at the 12th fret. The neck is straight and stable with a set of 54w-12s comparable-tension strings.

The black-to-blonde sunburst is certainly very striking. This box is 15 3/4" wide, has a 24 7/8" scale length, and a 1 3/4" nut width with a medium V-shaped neck profile. It's a "grown man's guitar" in that respect.

The celluloid/gold sparkle celluloid headstock veneer is excellent and reads "Slingerland Songster." The nut is bone and original.

The frets are smaller, nickel-silver, and in good order. These are pearl dots and the board is bound and has side dots for reference.

The bound pickguard just adds to the classy looks.

This is a press-arched archtop guitar and has two-tonebar bracing.

I added intonation for the B-string at the bridge and also slightly adjusted the length of the adjuster-posts so that there wouldn't be any more small scratching from them on the top in the future.

These are nice-quality old machines and they work just fine.


NickR said...

What is the bracing style? I have a very similar guitar made by Regal- it has those Waverly "Yoda" tuners and segmented f holes as this one you feature. It has ladder bracing and four back braces. The same brand of guitar was sold with Grover tuners and lateral braces- Regal started making archtops in 1935. The guitars like mine were called Columbian Freshman and were sold by Selmer of London. Other Columbian models were made by Harmony for Selmer. This guitar may be by OS but it has many features that do suggest Regal.

Jake Wildwood said...

Tonebar bracing -- I'm familiar with the ladder-braced Regal archtops you're talking about, though. I've worked on the "same" model (from the outside) Regal with both versions -- ladder and tonebar -- over the years. It can be confusing!