Regal Resonator Guitar (RD-40)

I happened in to the Troubador Music shop one day only to find they had sold my Gibson ES-333 I had on consignment. I could have walked out with the money but then I saw this guitar. I'll admit I was attracted to the vintage Regal decal even though I knew this one was made in China and had nothing to do with the legacy Regal guitar and ukulele company of Chicago in the 1930's - 1950's. It is actually a very authentic reproduction of Drobro models from that era, and it sounded pretty good so ...

I have been trying to play bottle neck slide for so many years. My old Fender with the raised nut just wasn't cutting it. The action is low enough on this guitar so that you can play chords and notes as well as slide. It's a round neck so it can be played lap style or bottle neck style. At first I was playing it mostly lap, dobro style, but after I got my Gretch Boxcar Resonator I tuned this one to open G and play it bottle neck style most of the time.

Regal Resonator

Gretch Boxcar Square Neck Resonator (G9210)

I certainly didn't need another resonator guitar when I saw this sitting on the counter at The Fingerboard Extension in Corvallis. I was actually eyeing a cheap Lap Steel which was next to it when it caught my eye. I'm a sucker for dark mahogany for sure but one strum of this thing and I was hooked. The sound is incredable. The richest most resonant sound I have ever heard, especially from a low priced guitar made in China. I already had my Regal resonator which cost about the same and sounded nice, but this was in a whole other league.

Needless to say I bought and currently play this more than any other instrument. I still waiver between bottle neck and lap style. This being a square neck can only be played lap style. I kept the Regal resonator to play bottle neck style. I've been playing this one in open D. The sound really moves me deep inside. I hope I can get good at it and can keep playing for many years to come.

Gretch Boxcar
Gretch Boxcar Resonator
Gretch headstock

Allen Melbert Custom 8 String Lap Steel Guitar

I was looking at lap steels on eBay and one of these came up. I lost that auction but started a correspondence with Bob Allen who makes these in Tennessee. He made this one for me and gave me a great deal. I've got this tuned to C6.

Here is the Allen Melbert Lap Steels website.

Every few months I pull this out and try to play it, but I'm not making any progress. Maybe it's the C6th tuning or maybe 8 strings is too many. I may sell it and get a 6 string lap steel.

Makala Soprano Ukulele

Linda got this at a flea market. She really liked the dolphin bridge. Turns out that Makala ukuleles are make by Kala as their lower price brand. For the price this is really an great sounding instrument. My fingers are a little fat for small fingerboard so I prefer playing the Tenor ukulele.

This is now January's Uke. Wish she would play it more.

Kala Tenor Ukulele

After Linda brought home the Makala I decided to get a Tenor Ukulele. Got his one new on eBay. Came with a great case and a chord book. It has a great tone and is really easy to play.

Its very easy for a guitar player to adapt to a Ukulele. While the tuning is different (high G C E A ) the notes are relative to the 4 high strings on a guitar. So the same chord position works. All you need to know is that a D guitar position plays a G chord on the Ukulele, and then transpose from there.

Here is the Kala Ukulele Website

I sure play this Uke a lot!

Gibson ES-150

My first vintage guitar. Made in 1956, this model was the first Gibson electric first introduced in 1936. The 50's model featured a P-90 pickup which really puts out the juice.

We were in Portland visiting Adinah and we went out to a place where a guy was playing an old Gibson arch-top. I asked him what model it was and he didn't know. I liked the look and sound and decided I wanted an old arch-top and asked Andy (Adinah's boyfriend at the time) to look around for me. I looked at a few ES-175s which were all in the $1,500 to $2,000 price range. Andy fond mine at the Portland Music Co. Because it had been modified (the cut off switches are not original) it didn't qualify for the vintage market and I got it for $600 with new strings, setup, and a hard shell case. I'm pretty sure its the same model that the guy we saw was playing. Most later models had either single (ES-175) or double cutaways (like my ES-133).

I sold my ES-133 so this is the one I play when I want to plug in. Still sounds great. Love the drive on the P-90 and the warm rich sound when plugged in to my Silvertone vintage amp.

Sigma DM-1B

I got the Sigma in 1988. Its a Japanese Martin. I probably play this one the most. Its got a rich, full bodied sound, and it plays nice. Sigma guitars were based on standard Martin models and were inspected at the Martin factory before going to market. While they discontinued this line in 2007 they still have a website. Mine is a DM-1B shown here.

Still my go to guitar. Love the sound and still love playing it. I do wish I had a smaller body guitar though for times when I don't need all the sound that this one projects.

Fender F-1030

Fender acustic. My first guitar which I got in 1969. You don't see many Fender acustics from this era. Later models don't look anything like this. I once saw a Harmony that looked identical. This guitar always sounded great but the action was rather high. Eventually the neck got so out of wack that I added a filed down nail to the nut to raise it even more and I just play it with a slide. I added the Dean Markley pickup so I could play electric slide. It sounds great. Found this site which identifies this guitar as a Fender F-1030 or Harmony H165.

As of 2018 this guitar has been stripped down and is waiting until I have time to remove and reset the neck. I really hope to restore.

Gibson ES-333

I got this one new in 2004. I wanted a good blues guitar. At first I didn't think it sounded that great but then I had it setup with better pickups and now it is really hot.

Sold in 2016. I don't really see myself playing that much electric guitar in the future.


Regal Soprano Ukulele

Don't know where I got this. Its definitely old. Maybe 30's or 40's. It came with a bunch of strings and some old felt picks. I didn't know how to tune it until recently so it just sat in its case.

Here is the Wikipedia article about Regal Musical instruments.

Restored in 2016 by Kent at Troubador Music in Corvallis. I play this one all the time now.