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Regal Bassoguitar

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Joe Basso, Feb 18, 2017.


  1. Joe Basso

    Joe Basso

    Feb 18, 2017
    Hello, I recently acquired a funky old Regal Bassoguitar. It's in rough non original shape and needs some serious TLC, but I''m going to get it back to playable condition. Does anyone know if this originally had a soundpost or benefits from the addition of a soundpost? Does anyone have specs/photos/measurements on the original bridge? This one already has a replacement back, and some very questionable repairs, so I'm not looking for a historically accurate resto, but interested in making something that sounds good enough to gig with on special occasions. Any advice on strings, setup? My main bass is an old kay with gut on the D & G and Zyex on the low strings, so I have extras of those lying around, but wondering how much pressure the top on these things can take... bass setup seems to really be a magic combo of strings, bridge hieght/thickness and soundpost location, so wondering with this oddity if anyone has had any luck making a playable novelty out of one? I saw an old post that mentions one of these being on tour with Ben Harper... is there any youtube footage of that?
     
  2. The first things MIA on these instruments seem to be the original bridge (too tall) and endpin (too short), although these can be played comfortably across the lap. Steve Bassman hosts a Bassoguitar website. The Bassoguitar in my avatar came with its original bridge, and I quickly discovered that I could either stick with the original bridge or have an instrument that was playable, but not both.

    The tops and backs of these are ladder-braced, so a soundpost may or may not be an improvement. Try it and see.

    Strings: light-gauge DB flatwounds. I like the LaBella black tapewounds for these; others might prefer steels. If you look closely at the instrument in my avatar you will see that the bridge actually rests on a platform. This is partly for the sake of a good set-up but more because most Bassoguitar tops are two-piece with a center seam, and down-pressure on that old glue can cause the seam to separate. The platform discourages this from happening. That bridge, incidentally belongs with another Bassoguitar that needs a fingerboard replacement and is only "on loan" to the avatar instrument.
     
  3. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  4. Joe Basso

    Joe Basso

    Feb 18, 2017
    Thanks guys! I have taken the tuners off and decrusted them and am currently looking at the stability of a questionable neck repair. I hope to put it back together next week, and will add some photos and as I go. I'm planning to order some strings, as the ones on it were a mis-matched nd quite crusty set of steel strings... GretschWretch, thanks for the tip on the Labellas. Steve - do you have any experience with strings for these? In general would tighter strings or looser strings be best for tone? I'm guessing lighter strings would be better for not pulling/pushing the darn thing appart, but wondering what people have found works best. I'm leaning t'ward zyex, as that's what I have liked on my regular bass, but I get that this is a very different sort of beast...
     
  5. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    The original Bassoguitar strings were bronze wound and probably similar to the Mandobass strings still produced by La Bella and D'Addario. However, every Bassoguitar I have ever seen has had double bass strings on it, usually something low tension like gut or nylon. Mine had Corelli tungsten strings. I think this is the best route given the way these instruments are constructed and the fact yours has had a neck repair. Perhaps something like Innovation Silver Slaps or some solo strings tuned to standard pitch would be a good idea.

    - Steve
     
  6. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    just passing this along...spotted at a store in tulsa, ok.

    20170315_160432.
     
    Joe Basso and Steve Boisen like this.
  7. Don't hold back!
     
  8. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    That looks really clean. How much are they asking for it?

    - Steve
     
  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    i was casually quoted a price of....wait for it....$7.5K but i am inclined to believe that is a method for weeding out tire-kickers like me.
     
  10. Joe Basso

    Joe Basso

    Feb 18, 2017
    Wow, That's a beauty!
     
  11. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    they fairly disclosed the split in the top that needs repair. you can see it in the pic right down the center. also, your sig made me chuckle :cool:
     
  12. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    regarding the op's question about strings--the tulsa bassoguitar had transparent nylon strings. perhaps these are called weedwhackers? it played reasonably well; the tone was 'soft' and quieter than i expected.
     
  13. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Wow, that's more than twice what these have sold for recently. Thanks for the info though

    Glad you liked it!

    - Steve
     
  14. $7, 500 is nuts for one of these; so is $3,750. Unless it is museum quality, prices should go no higher IMO than $1,700.

    On the Tulsa instrument, neither bridge nor endpin are original. And that "center crack" really is the center seam opening up. Old hide glue does not last forever. My avatar instrument has the same affliction.