c.1925 Regal Fancy Rosewood Tenor Guitar

How rare is something like this guy? Pretty rare, indeed. I've only seen a handful of mahogany Regal tenors pop up now and then and these rosewood ones are even rarer. It's a shame, too, because these really are top-crust player's instruments for those looking for a loud, punchy, gutsy small-body tenor guitar. There's a reason Regal kept this same general body-size model in production for two decades.

Anyhow, this is a customer's instrument that was in for repair. He'd bought it recently and wasn't happy with the setup on it... and no wonder...! While there were nicely-done crack repairs and a decently-done neck reset, the fretboard extension had actually been reglued with a twist in it which meant that it would buzz like mad on frets 7 and up. Furthermore, the frets needed a good leveling and dressing and it needed a setup in general. After reprofiling the extension and gluing it back, I tackled those frets and everything's done... she's now a quick little charmer.

Everything appears original except for that funky pickguard which was unfortunately glued down to the top. Oh well...! It at least looks vaguely like something someone might have done back then.

Bone nut and nice pearl-inlaid Regal logo. I like the bound headstock, too.

Those tuners are funky 2:1 banjo units... and note how they tune "backwards" from normal! I just say "the heck with it" and tune up in standard banjo fashion, hence the reversed windings around the shafts...

The dyed-maple fretboard has some great pearl inlay as well as some white inlaid striping on its edge. Fancy!

Regal got a lot of mileage out of this cool multicolored purfling...

Originally this bridge had slots in its rear to keep the strings aligned. Unfortunately they were a little chewed out and had too-narrow spacing. That style of bridge tends to develop weird overtones and buzzing, too, so it's better just to remove the back-edge slots... which I've done.

I only see these cloud tailpieces on the earlier Regal tenors (from my experience) so I'm guessing this places production somewhere in the mid-20s.

Hubba-hubba rosewood!

Overall: I love it! If you see one of these rosewood models out there and you're thinking on tenor guitar... snag it! These only get harder and harder to find and the prices just keep going up...


Anonymous said…
Wow Jake.
That's a Beauty in looks and sound.
You know the story. If it does come up for sale at some stage, you better let me know.
Keep up the good work.
All the best
Alex From Oz