A sweet May- Belle

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A sweet May- Belle

Postby Lo-Fi » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:29 am

I picked this one up as few months back but needed to spend some time with her to see what the old girl good do. This is an all-mahogany concert size archtop made by Slingerland in the mid-1930s. I have never had much to do with Slingerland or May-Belles but right off the bat I gotta say this little sucker is really well built. Not even a glue drop to be seen. They even went as far as to lacquer the back brace you see through the soundhole. Nice appointments for an el cheapo guitar as well with the fully bound fingerboard and bone saddle atop the floating bridge.

This be one sassy guitar. When playing around the nut the upper end it puts out a 12 string-like chime. Good thumping bass and some serious volume. Just a blast to play.

Here is is feeling right at home with my Duolian and Schmidt-made First Hawaiin Conservatory of Music concert
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby ricbleu » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:04 am

How much is she arched, Lo-Fi? The pics make the top look flat. Those are all desirable beasts you have there. You are in Texas, aren't you? And I'm in New Zealand - a bit far to call over for a jam. :D Peace
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:39 am

That looks great! There's something very magical about an all hog guitar.
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby Lo-Fi » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:15 pm

ricbleu wrote:How much is she arched, Lo-Fi? The pics make the top look flat. Those are all desirable beasts you have there. You are in Texas, aren't you? And I'm in New Zealand - a bit far to call over for a jam. :D Peace


Not sure how to measure an arch but it is an arched top. I probably should have snapped a pic from the side. Odd thing is they put a flattop pickguard on it so it is not surprising it has lifted around all the edges. But I have a thing for these round soundhole archtops (I also have a Kay Kraft). Sound wise they fall into a category of their own.

Not in Texas but Kansas. It is OK but I find myself daydreaming more and more about returning to Mississippi. Lordy, I miss that place.
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby gaucho » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Looks nice! What year is your duolian? I have it's twin! Mine's a '32 and it was painted black too. The last owner stripped it with carburetor cleaner and now its got a dark, rusty, bare-metal look that i love. Mine is all original and sounds fantastic.
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby Lo-Fi » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:56 pm

gaucho wrote:Looks nice! What year is your duolian? I have it's twin! Mine's a '32 and it was painted black too. The last owner stripped it with carburetor cleaner and now its got a dark, rusty, bare-metal look that i love. Mine is all original and sounds fantastic.


Cool! While I ain't 100% sure, based on the serial number it appears to be a '32 as well.
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby ricbleu » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:03 am

I've seen pics of round hole archtops before and read comments like yours that they put out a big sound. Maybe the diminished opening of the f holes stifles the sound a bit. I've read that the f hole archtops are stronger on fundamentals but lack resonance and sustain. And speaking of resonance, on Boxing Day I lost the battle with GAS and put in an order with Frank at Republic for a steel bodied triolian. He had moved it to the discontinued page and discounted it heavily. She should be here in a couple of weeks. I'm not strong on bottleneck but I'm looking forward to learning. And apologies for misplacing you on the map Lo-Fi. I dunno where I got the idea that you were from the Lone Star State. :D Peace
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby guitarslim101 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:16 am

Looks nice. I'd love to get a round hole archtop some day. I've always liked the look of them.
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Re: A sweet May- Belle

Postby A J Davies » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:09 am

ricbleu wrote:I've seen pics of round hole archtops before and read comments like yours that they put out a big sound. Maybe the diminished opening of the f holes stifles the sound a bit. I've read that the f hole archtops are stronger on fundamentals but lack resonance and sustain. And speaking of resonance, on Boxing Day I lost the battle with GAS and put in an order with Frank at Republic for a steel bodied triolian. He had moved it to the discontinued page and discounted it heavily. She should be here in a couple of weeks. I'm not strong on bottleneck but I'm looking forward to learning. And apologies for misplacing you on the map Lo-Fi. I dunno where I got the idea that you were from the Lone Star State. :D Peace


I noticed you were from New Zealand, is there much of a blues scene there? I have seen some Youtube clips of a band called Blues Buffet that weren't too bad, although perhaps more along the lines I have heard described as "neo-blues". That being said I don't care much for all this labelling nonsense as it makes things too confusing!

Bottleneck is a whole new journey for myself also!

(I triedmaking a post in the introductions forum but it hasn't shown up just yet, that'll tell ya more about myself...)
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