1940s Regal-made A. Rogers No 1 Electrified Archtop Guitar


This old Regal-built archtop is a heck of a looker and plays great as well, though it's got a bigger C-shaped neck profile. It's clean, all-original save '50s/'60s tuners, has its original case, and is fairly lightweight for its size, too. It even has the nice-looking "fiddle edges" ribbed edging below the binding that Regal usually reserved for fancy, carved-top models.

Despite its bling, however, the body is actually all-ply and so the guitar itself actually sounds acoustically more like a late-'40s Kay archtop rather than what I usually expect from a Regal. It's a more-compressed, midsy sound than their carved models (which sound just as good as Gibsons) or their pressed-solid models (which are choppy but have a good chunk like your average Harmony archtops). It's got a big body with a lower-bout just under 17" and deeper sides than normal for an archtop.

Just recently, I decided to electrify the guitar with a Charlie Christian-style pickup. It turned it from a gorgeous-looking but lackluster acoustic into a perfect old-style electric jazzbox. The pickup itself is a Korean-made (probably by Artec), high-quality unit. These are sold under the "Premium" brand on Reverb. It's got a pair of Alnico II magnets (in P90 fashion) alongside the typical CC-style bar pole that's wrapped roughly similar to the originals. The best bit is that it sounds really close to the real thing. It's clean, clear, open, has decent output, and when hit with a bit more drive from the amp it has that lovely slur that you hear on countless old CC recordings.

Strings are 48w-10 D'Addario Chromes (flatwounds) with a wound G. It can take heavier but I why work hard? What's nice is that because it's also acoustic, if you jam with folks in a quieter environment you could chug along with chords acoustically and then just snap the pickup on with an A/B or on/off pedal for lead or fill work.

Repairs included: neck reset, fret level/dress, bridge saddle reinforcement, pickup and wiring harness install, setup.


Made by: Regal

Model: A. Rogers branding, Model No 1

Made in: Chicago, IL, USA


Top wood: ply spruce

Back & sides wood: ply maple

Bracing type: tonebar

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany


Tone: midsy, punchy, clean

Suitable for: big-band chord chomp, old-time fiddle backup, vintage popular, blues


Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (and adjustable)
String gauges: 48w-10 D'Addario Chromes flatwound

Neck shape: medium-bigger C

Board radius: ~10-12"

Truss rod: N/A

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-big


Scale length: 25 3/8"

Nut width: 1 3/4"

String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"

String spacing at bridge: 2 1/4"

Body length: 20 1/2"

Body width: 16 7/8"

Body depth: 4"

Weight: 5 lb 2 oz


Condition notes: it's all-original save for slightly-later '50s/'60s-era tuners and, of course, the wiring harness and pickup. The pickup's mount hole is not as perfect as I'd like but it looks authentic, anyhow. I did have to cut through the tonebars to fit it, but the guitar itself is overbuilt in the top and that poses no structural issues setup this way. There are no cracks. The finish shows plenty of weather-check throughout but that's normal for an old guitar. The rear of the headstock shows finish "graining-up" around the center-seam, but it's just visual. The tuners have a number of bent shafts for the knobs but they all work alright.


It comes with: a '50s/'60s Guild hard case, worn but in good order.














    




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