9/02/2016

1940s Regal "Junior Jumbo" Flattop Guitar





Regal's "Junior Jumbo" is a model that features a copycat body-style of the venerable Kalamazoo KG-11, though many have wider 15" lower bouts. This one doesn't (it's 14 3/8" and close to the K'zoo). It also has a copycat 24 3/4" Gibson-style scale length and so it handles in the lap a lot like a KG-11, too. Where it's different is the "Martin-y" natural face and pickguard, wider D-shaped neck profile (though the 1 3/4" nut width and 12" radius are the same), and a lighter overall build and bracing.

The bracing change (lighter and with a slightly "transverse" main brace) gives the Regal a bit more bloom and rich openness, though it loses a bit of headroom as far as heavier-handed flatpicking goes. I think these are very successful guitars, though, especially for an advanced fingerpicker. They sound a lot larger than they are.


Work on this one included a neck reset, new rosewood bridge (compensated), a fret level/dress, some crack cleating on the top, new tuners, and general cleaning/setup. It plays great with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. Because of the unreinforced necks on these, I string them with 50w, 38w, 28w, 20w, 16, 12 -- a hybrid of "11s" and "12s" -- just to be on the safe side.


Both the nut (original) and saddle (replacement) are bone.


The fretboard is Brazilian rosewood and has nice, large, pearl dots. The original frets are also jumbo-sized, have great height, and I've added side dots, too.



The original pickguard is pretty cool, no?

There's only one "real" crack on the top -- to the left of the pickguard's edge. I cleated that and chose to also add small cleats along the lines of some cracks that look like finish hairlines right now but may become true hairlines come the dryness of winter (I couldn't see/find their seams on the inside of the guitar).


My replacement bridge is a bit oversize and rosewood (to add a bit of extra top stiffness at the bridge). I've fully compensated the bone saddle and added ebony bridge pins and an ebony endpin.


While the top is solid spruce, the back and sides are solid mahogany. The neck looks like two-piece poplar or maple with a center-strip.



The guitar originally had older Kluson-style tuners (missing when this came in), and I've replaced them with 50s-style Kluson repros.





There are some white scuffs along the sides.




There's also some moisture/water/wear damage to the finish near the endpin, but everything is good to go.

No comments: