Regal resonator guitar Modifications performed by Mitch Nelson, Chicago, IL Mitch is a player/luthier/repairman and available for mod-jobs Contact: [email protected] Regal – before modifications Saddle is critical to transferring string vibration/energy to cone!
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Regal resonator guitar
Modifications performed by Mitch Nelson, Chicago, IL
Mitch is a player/luthier/repairman and available for mod-jobs
Contact: [email protected]
Regal – before modifications
Saddle is critical to transferring string vibration/energy to cone!
Note the relatively low height of the maple saddle which results in less than
ideal string tension and does not maximize the load on the cone. Saddles
with an ebony or synthetic cap (e.g. ebonex) are harder and more
consistent than the maple saddle used here and improve transfer
of string vibration to the cone resulting in better sound.
Regal before modifications: notice relatively low action at nut; s/b
3/8” or 7/16” from underside of strings. Low action makes it difficult
or impossible to use dobro capo!
Quarterman cone, ebony capped saddle, bone nut
Remember – it’s not all about the parts! Attention to detail is critical.
Assuming a professional set up costs around $225, it’s around $75
for parts and $150 for knowing how to put them together!
Removing coverplate and tailpiece
Regal before modifications – think of the cone as a speaker which
operates most efficiently when it receives maximum energy via
string vibrations. Both the height and composition of the saddle
play a critical role in “loading” the cone.
Note the relatively low height of the maple saddle!
That’s one “sorry” looking saddle!
Removing assembly which attaches spider
Regal before modifications
Notice that the soundwell (made of plywood) on this
guitar was delaminating
Clamping soundwell after applying glue
Regal before modifications – relatively low height of nut
results in less-than-ideal playability and responsiveness;
action best described as “mushy”
Removing old nut
Sanding down new nut for a snug fit into guitar. Note – the sanding
process is not the most pleasant experience. Sanding down a bone
nut creates a strong odor which is unmistakable! It’s a time
consuming process to get just the right fit for a bone nut!
Hand sanding bone nut for a snug fit into the guitar
New bone nut is snug fit and 3/8” high, which reduces the “mush”
factor! The next step in the process is cutting string slots.
Cutting a good string slot is not as easy as it might seem! Attention
to detail is absolutely critical; requires “know how” and the
right set of tools
before/after - ebony capped saddle (on right). Ebony is harder/more
consistent wood than the original maple saddle. Improved height
dramatically increases angle/tension of strings going to the
bridge which effectively “loads” the cone
Re-threading spider assembly
Final assembly – it is absolutely critical that the edges of the cone
be in a relaxed state, and sit on the internal ledge of the guitar
without being too snug – and that each of the spider legs lay
perfectly flat on the cone. The edges of this guitar had to be
routed in order to fit the Quarterman cone!
Regal – post mod-job
Results are vastly improved playability and responsiveness, as well
as significant improvements in volume & tone, especially
clarity and definition of notes