Vintage Instruments: Resonator & Steel Guitars

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1937 Dobro Model 32 Metalbody

This Metalbody Dobro Model 32 was built by Regal in Chicago in 1937, soon after all of Dobro’s production and distribution was transferred to Regal. The guitar features a gold dueco finished steel body with ‘fiddle-edge’ rims, V-shaped sunburst maple neck with gumwood fingerboard and solid headstock. This guitar was built as a Spanish style instrument and played with a nut-riser overtop of its nut for what must have been most of its life as there is no fretwear to speak of, and the top’s worn areas line up with lap style playing. A beautifully aged guitar with the kind of patina other vintage guitars dream of having, this guitar just looks heavenly. It was brought to us by the niece of the woman who played it since the late 1930’s; lots of great vibes going on with this one.

The guitar has a warm and somewhat compressed Dobro tone. In open D its immediately reminiscent of the opening bars of the Allman Brother’s Little Martha (which wasn’t recorded on a Dobro, but all the same...). It’s a soft, expressive, and fairly mellow resonator; not at all like the steel bodied Nationals which have much more bark and dynamics.

Set up with light gauge strings the guitar plays comfortably in the first position. The action rises to a highish 7 to 9 64ths at the 12th fret, which works well for a hybrid slid/fingerstyle style of playing. The neck has a full carve with a softened V profile, a nut width of 1-3/4” and a scale of 24.75”.

Modern Stewart Macdonald Golden Age tuning machines, and a very old replaced tailpiece. The original broken tailpiece is in the case pocket. The guitar’s only repair is very shallow/slight tangential crack at the base of the headstock. It’s been glued and shows perfect structural integrity.

With hardshell case

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping – all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!

Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424.

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