The Regal Musical Instrument Company was established in 1908 in Chicago and eventually became one of the largest producers of musical instruments in America. Like many other musical instrument brands, Regal changed ownership many times. Regal was owned by Fender in the early 1960s and during this period four Regal-branded electric guitars were produced by CMI/Harmony for Fender as follows:
R-265 – A 3/4 size single-cutaway solid body; one soapbar-shape pickup in chrome with a distinctive black infill, riveted to pickguard; one volume and one tone control; two white conical DeArmond knobs. This pickup has not been seen on any other CMI/Harmony instrument (photo copyright John Sheppard).
R-270 – A single-cutaway archtop; one recessed version of the Model 210-style pickup with chrome metalwork and black coil former; one volume and one tone control. Some examples have been seen with an S-grille pickup and integral chrome bezel. This example has after-market bridge and knobs
R-272 (example 1) – A single-cutaway 1962 archtop; two ‘four scroll’ pickups with gold infill, integral chrome bezels with either two timber bases or just one under the bridge pickup; rectangular switchplate; two clear cylindrical knobs with setscrews.
R-272 (example 2) – Two recessed model 210-style pickups w chrome surrounds and black coil formers; non-standard Harmony tailpiece; non-standard Harmony knobs; non-standard fingerboard inlays. This instrument was produced as a ‘special’ by CMI/Harmony.
R-273 – A single-cutaway archtop; as Harmony’s 3-pickup H-78; three ‘four scroll’ pickups with white infill, integral chrome bezels and timber bases; rectangular switchplate (photo copyright John Sheppard).
Regal guitar headstock.
Regal R-265 pickup (photo copyright John Sheppard).
Regal R-273 pickup; 4-scroll with white infill; each pickup mounted on a different height timber base.
Two views of the Regal-270’s pickup. The black plastic top of the pickup is cambered, as in the Model 210 pickup.