11/03/2018

1920s Stromberg-Voisinet/Kay 2-Point "Princess" Parlor Guitar




The last time I worked on one of these was back in 2010 and I haven't seen one since. They're not the most widely-seen variant of the Kay Kraft shape, I suppose. They do pre-date the Kay Kraft models, however, by a few years, and are otherwise-similar in sound and bracing to "standard-fare" SV/Kay parlor models save the 2-point body shape.

This one has fancy appointments which include the curvy, pyramid-style bridge, checker binding on the top, back, fretboard, and soundhole edges, the "Gumby" headstock shape with half-slotted cut, and an attractive mix of natural (top) and sunburst (sides and back) finish.

Tone-wise this guitar is forward, gutsy, and punchy with that "little old woody blues box" sound. A friend of mine was playing it in a jam on Thursday and it really dished-it-out in volume and cut well in that situation.

A Canadian consignor dropped this by for resale and it's been sitting until I could get-around to solving some of its issues before sale. It's good to go, now, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned-out.

Specs are: 24 5/16" scale length, 1 11/16" nut width, 1 7/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 5/16" spacing at the bridge, 13" lower bout, 9 3/4" upper bout, and 3 1/2" side depth at the endblock. The neck has a medium-big, hard-V back shape with a flat fretboard. Action is spot-on at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 gauges. The neck is straight.

Materials are: solid spruce top with ladder-bracing, solid birch back and sides, poplar neck, ebonized maple fretboard, and perhaps-real-ebony bridge. The nut and saddle are new and bone. The pins are newer ebony. All binding is celluloid.

Condition issues: there's general use-wear throughout and weather-check/finish crackle here and there, but overall the guitar is very clean for its age. There's one tiny (repaired) hairline crack under the fretboard extension and a cleated/repaired center-seam at the top below the bridge. There's also some old-fashioned capo-rubbing on the back of the neck near fret 3. All of the components save the nut, saddle, and bridge pins are original.

Work included: a fresh neck reset (as I had to reset the angle of the fretboard extension anyway), a fret level/dress and fret seating work, saddle-slot widening and new, compensated saddle install, general cleaning, and a good setup. It's playing on the dot and has a nice, tall saddle.




The dots in the board are pearl and the frets are the typical, low/small-style frets of the time.





While the saddle is still on a "straight" slot, I did widen the slot to afford a bigger saddle that could be cut at the top for proper compensation.



The tobacco sunburst on the back and sides is way-cool.










1 comment:

Unknown said...

How cute...the world's first mini guitar...