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  #1  
Old 09-18-2018, 09:19 AM
Bunnyf Bunnyf is offline
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Default Tenor guitar recommendations?

Iím looking to add a tenor guitar to my little group of instruments. Im mainly a guitar player right now but im also working on mandolin. Ive played ukulele too for about 10 years. Im a singer/strummer playing mixed genre but mainly old country, roots, bg, and blues.

Ive had a Harmony in the past, and it was just ok. I didnt hang onto it. Didnt like the tone. Tinny to my ear. I like to get a nicer one this time around. My budget is 1-2K.

Open to new or used. Kinda love the look and feel of archtops but I play flat tops too. Not real knowledgeable on vintage though and would be a little nervous (made bad choices in the past) unless it was a trusted source. What suggestions do you have for what I might be looking for?
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:47 PM
Ukulele_Eddie Ukulele_Eddie is offline
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I had for a brief time a Blueridge tenor guitar and while I was very impressed with the craftsmanship and tone, I could simply not get used to a tenor guitar neck (super narrow, as you know) and so didn't keep it. They make them in several different trim levels (BR-40T, BR-60T and BR-70T). They range in price from about $475 to $700 as I recall.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:10 AM
redir redir is offline
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I love the tenor guitar. It's got such a unique tone to it and I think it helps in guitar playing in general and certainly mandolin too especially if you tune it in 5ths.

Anyway I have one, a hand made one, that I could part with that is in your price range. Figured sinker mahogany with red spruce top. It does have a few dings as is in used condition. Anyway if interested IM me and I can send pics and so on.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:51 PM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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The absolute best tenor I've had was a 1930s Martin 0-18T. It played and sounded great. I sold it because I felt it was going to get expensive to maintain, no truss rod in neck for instance. I've seen 1960s Martin 0-18 tenors within your budget. Also had a 60s Gibson B25 style tenor which played great and sounded nice, but it was a little on the quiet side, so mostly for solo or amped playing.

I still have a Blueridge 40-T but don't play it much since I got a Bouzouki. The BR is a very decent tenor and is a lot less than your budget, but it's not anything like the Martin or anything else you are likely to find in your budget. Personally, I'm enjoying the Bouzouki and octave mandolins nowadays, more than tenors.

I've even seen a few Collings' tenors around. There are a few custom builder's too.

If willing to go used, check out Intermountain Guitar and Banjo, or Lowell Banana Levinger's site http://www.vintageinstruments.com/tenors.html

They usually have a good inventory of older tenors. Gruhn's or Carter's in Nashville occasionally have a tenor.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:58 AM
tdq tdq is offline
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I have an old Stella tenor, it's not really very good but fun to noodle on. I have played the blueridge models, i actually liked the cheaper of the two I tried.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2018, 12:47 PM
norseman norseman is offline
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Default Prefer Gibson tenor

I own three tenor guitars - a vintage Regal, a new Blueridge 40T and a vintage TG-25-N Gibson. I once owned a Harmony tenor guitar that my son-in-law now plays.

I'm currently experimenting with different tunings (there seems to be dozens of them), but haven't decided which I like best.

I prefer my Gibson tenor over the other two. Gibson tenors appear on Reverb.com with some regularity and usually fall within the price range you stipulate.

At the moment I find my long history with six string guitars (tuned to standard) interferes with learning to play tenor guitar tuned differently, of course. My old brain can't seem to make the transition - but it's fun to try.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:46 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyf View Post
Iím looking to add a tenor guitar to my little group of instruments...I've played ukulele too for about 10 years. I'm a singer/strummer playing mixed genre but mainly old country, roots, bg, and blues.

I've had a Harmony in the past, and it was just ok. I didn't hang onto it. Didn't like the tone. Tinny to my ear...My budget is 1-2K...What suggestions do you have for what I might be looking for?
Our band's vocalist (also a uke player) bought herself one of these about a year ago - and as an experienced uke player I'm sure you'll recognize the name:

https://kalabrand.com/collections/gu...s/tenor-guitar

Surprisingly good for the price, comparable IMO to the Blueridges tonally but with a bit more treble emphasis, and the satin finish gives it a vintage vibe - Moral of the Story: Inexpensive does not automatically mean "cheap" - and since you're a uke player:

Quote:
Originally Posted by norseman View Post
...I'm currently experimenting with different tunings (there seems to be dozens of them), but haven't decided which I like best...At the moment I find my long history with six string guitars (tuned to standard) interferes with learning to play tenor guitar tuned differently, of course. My old brain can't seem to make the transition - but it's fun to try.
The late Tommy Tedesco - guitarist extraordinaire for the renowned Wrecking Crew - built a highly-successful (and lucrative) career by adapting his instruments to take variations on standard guitar tuning, in order to facilitate rapid transitions in a pressured studio setting without the need to rethink scale/chord fingerings. While I'm certain you're familiar with "Chicago" DGBE, I currently use drop-G tenor uke tuning (GCEA low-to-high, like the top four strings of a guitar capoed at the fifth fret) on my Deering Boston tenor banjo; in a group arrangement it cuts through like a straight razor (remember how Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio used to capo well up the neck to achieve much the same effect), covers much of the main register of both mandolin and fiddle (great as an alternate lead instrument), uses standard uke/guitar chord fingerings, and when played with other instruments (especially large-bodied guitars) you'll never miss the missing lower notes (and neither will anyone else). You'll need to use a custom-gauge set though, since a standard tenor set tuned up will create too much tension - I'd recommend using the first (A) and third (G) strings as your first and fourth respectively, and selecting appropriately-gauged strings for your C and E...
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2018, 06:49 AM
norseman norseman is offline
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Default Alternate tunings.

When I first owned a tenor guitar (long before the internet provided such easy access to information about all manner of topics) I was too ignorant about the musical landscape to realize alternate tunings were even possible. I tuned my Harmony tenor to standard guitar (E to e) and played every chord in open form. I owned a capo, of course, but seldom used it on my Harmony. Looking back, I wish I'd been exposed to more skilled and knowledgeable players who might have helped me spread my wings. I've still enjoyed my musical journey, but it has been stunted by my isolation. Ah, to be young again and active in jam sessions with others. There is a lesson here for those of you who toil alone in your living room instead of finding playmates.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2018, 11:58 AM
hippychip hippychip is offline
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Tenor guitars are a lot of fun---here are a couple of my homebuilt ones.
This one is a cigar box I built for my son a few years ago.



This one is a humidor I built for my wife.

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  #10  
Old 02-23-2019, 11:24 AM
TheJackal TheJackal is offline
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I just got an email promoting Larrivee's new T-40 Six string tenor guitar. Their website shows information about the mahogany model retail price around $1,600. The email indicated that there were plans for a rosewood model. Specs show 1 3/4 nut width and 22.8 inch scale. Slightly smaller than their parlor model.

Interesting. I'd have to play one before buying one but interesting to think about.
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