1930s Regal "American Conservatory" parlor guitar COOL

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Nov 29, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House
Another fine Regal from the 1930s, this one built under the "American Conservatory" brand. Some resources attribute the American Conservatory brand to Lyon and Healy but this guitar shares some significant features (such as bridge shape, heel shape, neck profile and pickguard shape) with many Regal guitars I've owned in the past and hence the attribution to Regal. This little box has a 14 fret neck with a 00 size body (14 1/8" lower bout width and body depth of just under 4" at the lower bout) and a body shape that is very reminiscent of the Gibson built Kalamazoo KG-11. The burst color and pattern on the top are also somewhat similar to Gibson's burst color and pattern. It seems as if perhaps Regal was aiming to take a bite out of Gibson's audience with this guitar. That being said, I personally think that this guitar sounds better than most Gibson KG-11s I've played. It has a solid spruce top, likely red spruce, solid mahogany back and sides. The fretboard is brazilian rosewood and the bridge ebony. The top is ladder braced. The original bridge plate (which was heavily damaged) was removed and replaced but otherwise all of the interior structures are original. The bridge plate, bridge pins and saddle are the only non-original things on the guitar, all else including finish is original. The original pickguard is flat and secure to the top having just been reglued in my shop. The back and sides are crack free, the top has one very tiny and tight crack just below the bridge (1/2" in length) that was repaired during a recent bridge reglue in my shop. Cosmetically the guitar is in excellent condition with only slight handling and play wear, much less than is typically seen on guitars that are half as old. T is a small amount of finish chipping on the top at the front edge of the bridge, most likely from a previous bridge removal and reglue. The back finish shows a little surface belt buckle rash but it is in the surface of the finish only with no finish loss, not into the wood at all. The back of the neck is very clean with no finish loss or capo divots. The frets and fretboard and in excellent condition as well. The neck angle is good (might have been reset at some point but if so the work was done cleanly and professionally with no sign that it was done) and the top is very flat under tension of standard light gauge strings (.012-.054"). The neck of the guitar is substantial in it's profile with a prominent V shape and the neck shows typical relief under tension. The action is currently set up at 7/64" at the low E 12th fret and 6/64" at the high E with about 1/8" of saddle showing so t is room to lower the action if the new owner would prefer. The 1 3/4" nut width combined with the chunky neck profile make this a guitar for the robust player, that being said it will feel familiar to those accustomed to playing some of the 2nd tier collectible guitars of the 30s (like Regals, Kalamazoos, Stellas, etc). The most surprising thing about this guitar is it's tone, which is really very good. It has a great woody edge to it (typical of quality mahogany guitars) and very good projection. It has a satisfying voice for old timey vocal accompaniment but in my opinion the guitar was made for blues fingerpicking. Plenty of bass (with a good "whomp" that vibrates the back of the guitar), and great clarity in the mids and trebs coupled with very strong volume for a small box. Did I mention the great sustain yet? Surprisingly good guitar overall and very cool to look at. The guitar comes with a newer hardshell that fits with a small amount of wiggle room and provides good protection for the guitar. A perfect guitar for these times...cool and good but cheap, no reserve and a low opener. Offered as-is, so make sure you want it before you bid. I will only take the guitar in return if it is demonstrably different than has been described. Questions? Email me. But please do so as early in the auction as possible. I answer all inquiries but cannot guarantee you will receive a reply before the close o...