1940s Regal Bobcat Carved-Top Archtop Guitar

I was psyched when buddy Brad told me he was sending-in a Regal Bobcat. I'm a big fan of Regal carved-top guitars (see this one, see also this one, see also this one) as they have a "Gibson-y" sound to them that's mixed with a little more of the cut and growl of an Epiphone carved-top from the same period. They also always look gorgeous and their handling is nice, too.

But, back to the Bobcat -- these models are absurdly-rare and they tick all the boxes -- pro feel, deco-lovely looks, and pro sound. Did I mention the looks? The deco block inlay in the board? The two-tone-blue headstock veneer? Good for me... he's getting it sent back home, so I won't have to think about buying it.

After ironing-out its smallish issues, this thing plays like a gem and sounds twice as good as I was expecting. It sounds a lot like a good Gibson carved-top but I find the woodier and punchier top-end a little more fun to play lead work on.

Repairs included: neck reset, fret level/dress, bridge mods (reinforce saddle and compensate it), reinforce damaged pickguard (added layer of tortoise material behind it), setup.

Made by: Regal

Model: Bobcat

Made in: Chicago, IL, USA

Serial number: 191 (back of headstock)

Top wood: solid spruce (carved)

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: tonebar

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Tone: chunky, woody, good solid mids, good punchy/full highs

Suitable for: trad jazz, old time backup, blues, country-blues, vintage popular

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w-12 lights

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: ~12"

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-big

Scale length: 25 3/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

String spacing at nut: 1 3/8"

String spacing at bridge: 2 1/4"

Body length: 20 1/2"

Body width: 16 5/8"

Body depth: 4"

Weight: 5 lb 5 oz

Condition notes: all-original, no cracks, quite clean save for minor usewear, playwear, and the usual age-related finish checking. The outgassed original pickguard is damaged but I reinforced it. Likewise, the too-thin original saddle/bridge topper got a layer of rosewood reinforcement added to it to stiffen it up. 

It comes with: a presumably-original semi-hard case in good order. Check out the lining!


Nick R said…
Jimmie Vaughan had a Bobcat and he is holding it on the front cover of his 1994 album Strange Pleasure. I seem to recall at that time he was featured in a magazine- probably Guitar Player and he discussed the Bobcat.
Nick R said…
All being well this should bring up a page which is probably from the article. I have the magazine somewhere- finding it may take time- lots of time!

Brad Smith said…
A the owner of said Bobcat, I recently bought that very poster of Jimmie Vaughan's Regal Bobcat on eBay! TheBobcat can also be found in Carlin's Regal book (pp. 236-7) and in an 1940 Southwestern Music Corporation Catalog on the Vintaxe.com site. I had the archtop sent directly to Jake and will get my first taste of it in a few days.