Preliminary Announcement - 31/12/2016 - showing photos of the guitar, prior to restoration, as it came to me.
A Rare animal....amazing how time flies....can't believe that the last one of these I had was restored & sold in 2011!
"FAUX RESONATOR"? - Wooden bodied Guitar with metal cover plate, so looking virtually identical to a wooden bodied Dobro of the period, but without a resonator cone under the cover - Google "Faux Resonator" and you will find plenty of information - "A poor man's Blues instrument" - "faux" literally from the French - false or fake - but I do jib a bit when I see these described as fake resonators - nothing fake about them! They are not just some modified acoustic - people have copied the idea, by adding a cover plate to adapt an acoustic for slide playing, but these 1930s instruments are purpose built, authentic guitars, and the "Faux" only refers to the lack of internal resonator cone.
Stock Number: VTG1542.
A Really Characterful and Historic Guitar! - Complete and Original 1936, 12 Fret Body Faux Resonator Guitar, which will be fully & sympathetically restored, in conjunction with the highly experienced professional Luthier I work with.
In the past nearly ten years, I have only come across two of these before. One was sold to a pro Guitarist, and joined his collection of high-end guitars, replacing a similar one he had lost contact with many ears ago.
The components are all original, and the guitar already playable as it is, but does require some restoration. It will e fully inspected in conjunction with the professional luthier I work with and, as with all my restorations, all work identified will be completed, either in his workshop, or under his supervision, to ensure the guitar is in fully functional, excellent playing condition.
The wooden body of this has the same "faux flame" ( yes, that word again (it does crop up fairly frequently when dealing with my favourite Harmony/Stella guitars!) finish with the painted "bindings", all solid Birch construction, that you would expect it to be on a 30s Chicago made acoustic. The neck has a lovely rounded "V" profile and is a pleasure to play, with approx. 43mm. (original 1-11/16") nut width, therefore just a tad narrower than what later became standard Harmony width of 44.5mm./1.75". The wooden nut, tuners with original ferrules/bushings, whih Harmony often omitted on later guitars, tailpiece, cover-plate, etc. are all original....see condition/restoration details below.
The dimensions are typical for this type of guitar - overall length - 37.5"/94.5cm., body width lower bout - 14"/35.5cm., upper bout - 10.25"/26cm., body length - 19"/48.25cm., body depth front - 3.25"/8.25cm., rear - 3.75"/9.5cm., scale 24.25"/615mm.
The excellent YouTube clips of similar 1930s Faux Resonators from BottleneckJohn do demonstrate the sound of these classic blues instruments excellently. If you want a fully functioning piece of American Musical History, this is it! An ideal addition to any collection of Blues/Vintage Guitars!
The condition is, to my way of thinking, excellent for an 80 year old guitar - inevitably there is edge wear, and slight finish loss to the painted bindings, and other area, but minimal for a guitar of this age, as I'm sure you will agree the photos confirm. The three-on-a-square-ended-plate tuners show a little age-related discolouration, but work fine.
There is very slight separation of the back/side seam, and it will be necessary to take the back off, as I can see through the f-holes that one or two of the back braces are also separating from the back & will require thoroughly cleaning off to remove all old glue before re-fixing/gluing. This will enable a full inspection of the interior, so we can be absolutely sure, when the back is re-fixed/glued, that the structure is good for another 80 years!
I will be consulting with the luthier regarding the set-up, and all the issues relating to it, including saddle, cover plate, original wooden nut, and the fingerboard/frets....the frets are low & flat-topped, but the fingerboard is in good shape & looks fairly straight. Accordingly I am hoping we can achieve set-up we are happy with, without undertaking "major surgery"! I will update details after consulting the luthier in the next few days.
The current 12th. fret action is not exceptionally high, certainly not for bottleneck, at around 4mm., but ideally on completion of the restoration & set-up, would be nearer to 3mm., which with just a tad more string height at the nut/first fret in order to aid bottleneck play, which I reckon is ideal for a a Faux Resonator, as for a Stella "all-rounder", good for Bottleneck play, but with fretting aided by the shorter scale length and consequent lower string tension, therefore ideal for a mixture of finger-style and bottleneck play.
Additionally it could also be used for full-time slide with a nut riser costing no more than a few pounds - a great Bluesy voice! Unless otherwise requested, it will be strung with Martin Bronze Light 12-54 strings, and already, even with antique strings, really sounds tremendous - and loud!
The period case the guitar came in is included. It may or may not be original to the guitar, but looks the correct age, being the design with the handle on the flat/top side & the catches on the curved underside, which seems fundamentally unsafe to me! Having said that, with some material tears, it is more or less all together & the catches work. If however you need a case offering much better protection, I may be able to supply a Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case, at modest additional cost.