Museum: Other Acoustic Guitars

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1930's Bronson Honolulu Deluxe

Serial # 1547. An offshoot of the Oahu Publishing Company, the Bronson brand was created after a parting of ways of Oahu's two founders. Both companies offered instruments built by one of the larger Chicago instrument manufactures, and most of these guitars were square-necked. The Honolulu Deluxe offered here began life as a Hawaiian square necked instrument, but has since been converted for standard "Spanish" playing.

Built by Regal in the mid 1930's, the Honolulu Deluxe features a deep-sided 00-sized body, dimensionally similar to a large body Gibson Nick Lucas. The back and sides are straight-grained Brazilian rosewood with spectacular spider-webbing and deep reddish--brown color. The spruce top features the double-X bracing pattern Regal used for their Dreadnoughts and Jumbo flattops, and has a faded sunburst finish and Washburn-esque pickguard. The body is finely built, with multi-layered purflings and soundhole décor.

Recently converted from square-neck, the current neck carve is round and medium full. In feel its closest comparison would be a mid 1930's Martin. The bound ebony fingerboard and neck finish are new, and the tuning machines are 1960's issue. Long 25.4" scale length, 1-3/4" nut. Since acquiring the guitar we have replaced the frets, saddle, and bridgepins, and the guitar is set up with a hybrid fingersytle/flatpick action and light-gauge strings. The ebony bridge and maple bridgeplate were likely replaced at the time of the conversion.

The Bronson offers an interesting tonal twist on the Regal/Tonk/Washburn sound. The deep body and rosewood combined with the robust bracing create and instrument with a darkly colored tone, strong low-end and midrange response, and good headroom. The treble strings have a thick and round sound and good snap. All together, a versatile guitar capable of ragtime and blues, but equally G-chord ready.

With newer hardshell case

Original Price $5145 Reduced to $3999

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