October 2016

Early 1930's Oscar Schmidt "LaScala" Grand Concert

LaScala guitars are among the fanciest and most exclusive instruments Schmidt produced.  High class instruments and very, very rare.


I'm very happy to have one here in our "guitar of the month" series. It is an exceptionally beautiful example in  grand concert size. Like many grand concert guitars it has the longer scale. The scale length is 67,5 cm (26,57")

The body is made of highly figured, solid koa.  A fancy pickguard with mother of pearl inlays decorates the top.  Fancy pearl inlaied fingerboard with vine motive.

The guitar has a full bound body, neck and headplate. The binding  is  white celluloid with a black strip inlay.


Like the guitar last month, this one has 4 top braces to stabilize the top.Another remarkable detail is that both, the top and the back, kerfing lines inside of the guitar are beveled  or triangular in profil. Most Schmidt guitars have a square top kerfing line.

There is a nice 3 piece wood strip through the center of back which  is resumed on the back of the neck too.  It is 5 piece  neck with 2 pieces of mahagoni and 3 piece middle section.

The lower bout measures 37,5cm (14,76''). Body  is 51,4cm (20,24'') long,  26,3cm (10.35'') wide at the upper bout. The scale length is 67,5 cm (26,57").

This Oscar Schmidt advertisment  from 1930 shows a similar  LaScala guitar and a mandolin.

Solid koa top with fancy inlaied pickguard.

 High qualíty craftsmanship. The pickguard is inlaied with flowers made of mother of pearl.

White and black prufling all around the top and soundhole

Solid koa back with 3 piece wood center strip

5 piece mahagoni neck

Fancy fingerboard with abalon vine (tree of life) inlay and full binding.

Headstock with brazilian rosewood veneer and binding. New bone nut. Nut wide is 46mm (1,81")

Original tuners.

Soild koa sides. Body is  9,5cm (3,74") deep at the lower bout

The Sound

This one has a hughe sound with great sustain. A warm and ballanced voice with a lot of bass. Great fingerstyle guitar for various styles.

In the video you can hear a version of  an old folk blues song - "Jack O'Diamonds". Versions of the song were recorded f.e. by Bind Lemon Jefferson or Mance Lipscomb.