1920s SS Stewart (Regal) X-Braced Conversion Parlor Guitar

This has an SS Stewart brand stamped in the back of the headstock and dates to the early-mid 1920s. It was made by Regal in Chicago, however, and this same style was found with rosewood back and sides marketed as one of the Washburn instruments from the time. I've seen this exact same style with American Conservatory branding as well -- both marks used by Lyon & Healy who gobbled-up a lot of Regal's output during the period.

Its original bracing pattern was "transverse ladder-bracing" (a dead giveaway to a Regal build if you're not paying attention to other stuff) with an angled main brace. Ancel has done complete rebuild on this guitar, however, and he removed the back and rebraced the top in a simple X-pattern using carbon-fiber-reinforced cedar braces that are lower and rectangular shaped. The carbon fiber adds a lot of stiffness, though, which means the bracing can be kept very light.

The result is a guitar that's outsized in sound and volume -- this thing sounds much fuller and "larger" than its size would indicate and it has a smooth and even response that is vaguely Martin-like but with thicker mids and a little more clarity overall. It's pretty-sounding but accurate.

Ancel also refretted it and took care of all of its other woes and now it's playing spot-on, sturdy, and ready to serve.

Repairs included: a rebrace to a simple x-pattern (carbon-fiber-reinforced bracing), new bridge, neck reset, refret, new saddle, new pins, replacement tuners, crack repairs, cleaning, and setup.

  • Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz
  • Scale length: 24 1/4"
  • Nut width: 1 3/4"
  • Neck shape: medium-big hard V
  • Board radius: 20"
  • Body width: 13"
  • Body depth: 3 3/4"
  • Top wood: solid spruce
  • Back & sides wood: solid mahogany
  • Bracing type: x (rebraced!)
  • Bridge: ebony
  • Fretboard: ebonized hardwood
  • Neck wood: mahogany
  • Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
  • String gauges: 52w-12 custom lights
  • Truss rod: nope
  • Neck relief: straight
  • Fret style: medium modern (refretted)

Condition notes: there's a lot of wear and tear via small scratches, scuffs, nicks, scrapes, etc. throughout the finish. There are several repaired hairline cracks on the top-lower-bout and one or two small repaired hairline cracks on the back and sides. The bridge and saddle and pins are replaced. The tuners are replaced. It has new frets and, of course, it's been rebraced!

It comes with: sorry, no case.

Consignor tag: FNHS