1940s Regal Junior Jumbo Flattop Guitar

I worked on one of these just recently and this one is much the same tonally -- it has a wide, sweet, warm, old-timey "open" tone to it. A lot of folks compare these to a Kalamazoo KG-11 and I do, too, because it's an easy reference point -- both have a "squashed" body shape, ladder-bracing, and 14-fret neck joints. The big difference, however, is that Regal used lighter bracing and a less-stiff overall design which removes some of the overall forward punch and clarity of the guitar, but yields a folksier-sounding, mellower tone that's still loud but different.

It's also 1" wider on the lower bout and, combined with the 25 3/8" scale length, that gives this a "squashed OM" vibe. A wider 1 3/4" nut width and thinner-to-medium D-shaped neck profile with a lightly-radiused fretboard retains a vintage feel, too, though the neck is not as clunky as earlier versions of this model (with their big, V-shaped profiles).

My work included a fret level/dress, bridge clean-up and saddle work (it'd been shaved a hair before but poorly-done), brace reglue jobs on the back, replacement ('50s-style, Kluson-repro-ish) tuners, a replacement endpin, an "insurance bolt" at the neck joint on the inside, side dots, and setup. It has an unreinforced neck and so I strung it with 50w-11 strings. While the neck deflects 1/64" under tension (something most folks won't even be able to measure while checking), it's stable and plays perfectly with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. About 1/16" of saddle is exposed at the bridge and I string-ramped behind it to keep the back-angle on the saddle nice and tidy.

The solid spruce top is crack free and looks great! There's use-wear, mild scratching, and mild dings here and there throughout, but overall the guitar looks loved but not abused.

The guitar is mostly original, too -- the exceptions being the pins and tuners. The finish hasn't been mucked-up and the only crack is an old-repair hairline on the back. Speaking of older repairs -- it looks like the bridge was reglued and the neck was reset some time ago. The back seams were also all reglued and then sanded-down to fit the sides. None of that was my work but it's all "good enough for gov't work."

The nut is original and bone.

The fretboard and bridge are both rosewood and the dots are pearl.

I love the simple rosette and coffee-colored pickguard.

The screws in the wings of the bridge are 100% original -- Regal did this quite a bit in the '40s and early '50s. They have a thicker-than-average, lightweight, spruce "bridge plate/brace" that they bite into.

The celluloid heel cap has some cracks in it.


Dave said…
I have one of these as well. I think it is a similar age. Any idea what the value of this guitar is?