1930s Regal 0-17T-Clone Tenor Guitar

Years ago, I worked on the 6-string version of this instrument. This one is the tenor version and it looks a lot like a Martin 0-17T with its squashed body shape and 0 sizing. A customer sent this in for repair and it's lingered on the racks since December or January. He was up here camping over the weekend, so I got it buttoned-up so he could take it back on the way home.

Regals from the '30s tend to be built very light and feature "transverse-ladder-bracing" with the main below-soundhole brace tilted a bit to favor bass frequencies. This one has that bracing pattern and it sounds lush, woody, loud, and open. The stiffer mahogany top (compared to spruce) also means it's a lot more stable than the average Regal from the time despite having extra-light bracing.

The owner uses standard CGDA tuning or slacked versions of it, so I put this one a step down at BbFCG so that the poplar neck can take a bit of a break from tension. This has a 23" scale length and larger body so it could definitely do fine with octave mandolin/"Celtic" GDAE low-to-high tuning as well.

Work included: a neck reset, fret seating and level/dress, minor brace repairs, minor seam repairs, replacement tuners at the headstock (1950s nickel-buttoned tuners vs. terrible original friction pegs), modification to the bridge and a new saddle install, cleaning, replacement bridge pins and endpin, and a good setup. Action is 1/16" at the 12th fret and the neck has only the slightest relief tuned to pitch. String gauges are 30w, 20w, 14, 10.

Scale length: 23"
Top wood: solid mahogany
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: poplar
Fretboard: ebonized maple
Bridge: ebonized maple, bone saddle

Condition notes: there are a ton of sscratches but no cracks. It's all-original save saddle, side dots, and tuners.

The fretboard was frustratingly-mealy, so to set the frets nicely I had to wick-in glue and rosewood dust to keep them stable.

How about that cool celluloid pickguard, huh?

If the bridge looks odd to you -- it is odd. Regal installed the bridge a good 1/8" off from where it should be, so the saddle would've intonated the guitar quite flat when played. I had to fill the old saddle slot and then recut a new saddle slot in the face of the bridge for the saddle to line-up with where it should be. Note the small screw holding it in place. The new saddle is bone and fully-compensated.