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Feb 24, 2024 - 11:35:46 AM
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513 posts since 11/27/2014

I would appreciate any input here as I'm not that sharp on the pre-war dobro details. Maybe one of the Marks or Steve T. will have the time to post. I have here a 1935 Dobro Model 66B (I think!). I have only seen a few of these depicted and have never seen one with a neck that wasn't blasted with the scroll pattern as was the body. Nor have I ever seen one with the rounded slots in the headstock. I first considered that the neck had been changed but, after really close examination, I am very certain that this guitar is completely original and has never been disassembled. All of the components are correct and original and not even a coverplate screw has been disturbed. The serial number is correct for 1935, the last year of this model, the tuners are correct and lack of coverplate or other wear (including the condition of the case) tells me that this guitar has had very little playing time on it. It has a soundwell with parallelogram holes, original bridge, nut and cone and the neck appears to be dark-stained mahogany. I have read about a transition period in 1935 when Dobro shared the factory with National in California and had made headstocks with the rounded slots...I don't know. Perhaps, was this one of the last model 66's produced and Dobro just used a standard neck rather than going to the expense of creating one with the sandblast pattern? Input and opinions are appreciated! Thanks....

Edited by - docslyd on 02/24/2024 11:41:32

Feb 24, 2024 - 2:23:05 PM

4692 posts since 7/27/2008

Eric, I'm thinking this guitar is a Los Angeles/Chicago "mongrel." Sandblasted L.A. Model 66 body with a Regal Dobro Chicago neck with the rounded headstock slots as opposed to the California squared off slots.

You will recall that the first few years the Dopyeras brought Regal on board they were shipping parts back and forth between Los Angeles and Chicago. It was getting too expensive to continue the practice, and the big mail order retailers like Sears, Montgomery Ward, etc. were based in Chicago, so the Dopyeras pulled the plug in winter 1936 and moved the California operation to Chicago to be close to Regal.

In Steve Toth's Dobro Roots there are two guitars which happen to be Model 37s with serial numbers on either side of yours. #6051 is Circa 1934, and ther other one is #7771 Circa 1935.They are both Los Angeles guitars with squared off headstock slots. 

My theory is that the neck on this mongrel Model 66 was shipped from Regal/Chicago to L.A. and for whatever reason they didn't have any sand blasted necks at the time to make the guitar a true Model 66 so they attached this Regal neck and gave it a period correct serial number as a California built guitar.

Feb 24, 2024 - 2:49:48 PM



513 posts since 11/27/2014

....thanks Mark. With my limited knowledge, that's kind of what I was feeling....though with less factual information.  If anyone has any information regarding the "transitional" headstocks of Los Angeles in 1935 I would be interested.  That could also be an explanation if it is, in fact, true.

Edited by - docslyd on 02/24/2024 14:51:16

Feb 24, 2024 - 6:26:45 PM

4692 posts since 7/27/2008

You're welcome Eric. It's a cool old Dobro and looks to be in very good shape overall.

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