1912 Vega Regent Bowlback Mandolin




I love Vega bowlbacks. This one is as clear an example of why as I can give -- it has a full, clear, articulate sound that also is thick with mids and round lows. It's also loud and, now that it's serviced, the playability is excellent. The quality-level is very high on Vegas and I prefer their bowlbacks to every other brand save Larsons which I put on the same level.

This fella came in unmolested via a customer for consignment. It's all-original and quite clean but it did have some setup-side issues that needed to be resolved.

Work included: removing the fretboard extension, shaving it, and regluing it to remove "ski-jump" over the body (these have a Spanish-style heel construction and bar frets so that's the easiest way to do that), a fret level/dress, side dots install, cleaning, minor compensation to the bridge, and a setup with 32w-9 bowlback-gauge strings. The neck has only a teensy hair of relief and it plays spot-on with 1/16" action at the 12th fret.

Scale length: 13 1/8"
Nut width: 1 1/16"
String spacing at nut: 7/8"
String spacing at saddle: 1 5/8"
Body length: 12"
Body width: 7 3/4"
Side depth overall: ~5"
Neck wood: mahogany
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid rosewood ribs
Fretboard: ebony
Neck shape: flat board, slim-to-medium C/V rear
Bridge: original ebony, compensated
Nut: original bone

Condition notes: minor wear-and-tear throughout but overall very clean, one tiny hairline crack (almost invisible) on the bowl under the tailpiece area, and a bridge that has been shimmed-up in the past. The last two frets of the fretboard extension curl-down and so are essentially unusable.

It comes with: an older (1960s?) case.






I have foam damping material under the tailpiece cover to cut-down on overtones.


The mandolin came with a stained-maple shim-up under its original bridge which I left in place.









The serial number stamped at the headstock points to 1912.


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