1930s Washburn 5255 (Regal) Carved-Top Round-Hole Archtop Guitar

I received this guitar years ago and took one look at it and put it in the "rainy day" pile of get-to repairs. It was mostly in decent order but there was loose bracing and a lot of cracks and it looked like trouble. Thankfully, however, it turned-out to be not-so-much trouble and it's now put back to rights and is a great player with a good, chunky, warm (for an archtop) tone.

This is the fourth one of these x-braced, Regal-made, 000-sized archtops that I've had through the shop and this one has Washburn branding (the others have had Regal and Bacon branding). There is a very similar-looking guitar made by Regal for the LeDomino line in the '30s but that model is much lower-grade, press-arched, and ladder-braced. This style of guitar features a carved top with x-bracing and mahogany back and sides. It's in many ways a Regal-flavored copycat of a Martin C-1.

Want examples? Click here to see a Regal-labeled version of this same guitar (with C-1 looks) and click here to see an actual Martin C-1.

Suffice to say, it does the "halfway between flattop and archtop" thing that so many players are looking for in an old "jazzy box" guitar. It's perfectly-suited to chop-chop swing use, country-blues fingerpicking, or flatpicked lead and fill work. It reacts like an archtop but has a bit more of an open, warm-sounding bottom that lets it work for a variety of non-traditional styles.

Repairs included: many crack repairs, minor seam repairs, minor brace regluing, a fret level/dress, bridge modification to adjustable, cleaning, and setup.

  • Weight: 3 lbs 14 oz
  • Scale length: 25 1/4"
  • Nut width: 1 13/16"
  • Neck shape: medium-full V
  • Board radius: 14"
  • Body width: 15 1/4"
  • Body depth: 4"
  • Top wood: solid spruce (carved)
  • Back & sides wood: solid mahogany
  • Bracing type: x
  • Bridge: rosewood adjustable
  • Fretboard: ebony
  • Neck wood: mahogany
  • Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
  • String gauges: 54w-12 lights
  • Truss rod: non-adjustable
  • Neck relief: straight
  • Fret style: medium-lower bar frets

Condition notes: it has several long cracks on the top, several small ones on the back, and a few longer ones on the sides -- all repaired. The sides also have two spots of bondo-like filler done by someone ages ago and they're holding-up. There's lots of wear and tear to the finish through scuffs, scratches, buckle rash, a little moisture damage on the back, you name it. It has unoriginal tuners (though they're nice Waverly units), bridge, and strap button at the heel. The nut and tailpiece appear original, however. There's a lot of wear on the back of the neck and the neck itself (a multi-piece laminate of mahogany and maple with 7 layers) had raised grain on its rear until Ancel trimmed it flush.

It comes with: an art-covered old hard case.

Consignor tag: UK


Mardas Thomas said…
Nice guitar. I have owned two Regal branded ones both of which were great sounding guitars. I may have traded one to you a while ago as the case looks like my son Patrick's artwork lol. Very nice indeed.
Dabluesmith said…
I just purchased the mint one of these that was on Reverb. Wonderful guitar