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View Full Version : NUD - Blueridge Tenor Guitar (DGBE)



Ukulele Eddie
01-29-2017, 04:53 PM
Technically this is a tenor guitar, but it's tuned DGBE so it's along the lines of a Pono Nui and will be of interest to uke players who like baritone and deeper sounds.

As I understand it, tenor guitars were popular in the 20's and 30's and have been making a come back of late. Traditional tenor guitars have banjo-style necks, as they were designed to help put banjo players back to work as banjo had fallen out of favor.

Summary specs:


Steel strings, tuned DGBE
22 7/8 scale
Banjo style neck (1 9/32 width)
Solid spruce top
Laminate Santos rosewood sides/back
Forward X bracing


Below are pics, including one next to a Collings tenor for size comparison.

I read quite a few reviews on Blueridge and they are generally very, very positive. Many people say this is on par with the Martin at a fraction of the cost (MSRP ~$900 but street price is mid $600's).

My initial impressions:

Really handsome instrument
Shockingly good build quality
I think it's a very handsome instrument
Steel strings give a very different feel and sound
Did I tell you much I like the looks
The 7-inch longer scale and narrow fretboard definitely take some getting used to
A real looker of an instrument


I think it's a heck of a instrument for the price point. Nevertheless, I'm leaning toward returning it within the trial period as I think it's just too big of a jump for me in scale.

If anyone in SoCal wants to check it out, let me know. If I do return it, I will get tagged for return shipping (which is only fair), so happy to pass it along to somebody for $600 for cash-n-carry and I'll include the stand I bought for it, too.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/430/32448219412_475f497f7e_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RrkB9Q)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/482/32478387761_c13a4747c1_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Ru1e9M)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/643/32448219622_8ea90d29ae_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/RrkBds)

Griffis
01-30-2017, 02:23 AM
Oh, that is quite beautiful! I have thought highly of all the Blueridge guitars I've tried out.

I did try my hand at tenor for awhile. I inherited a 1933 Gibson tenor banjo from my grandfather, and several years back scored an old Regal tenor guitar, then later a Harmony one.

Similarly to you, I found they were not my thing. I could chord around on them okay, but could never manage to flatpick or fingerpick them well. Those fingerboards are just far too narrow for me.

Still love the instruments, their history, what other people can do with them, but they aren't for me.

OhioBelle
01-30-2017, 02:42 AM
Is that laminate back really mahogany? Wow, it's stunning! I've never seen such gorgeous lines on mahogany. Looks like rosewood.

Good luck with your decision. I would totally be in your shoes - wanting to keep it for its beautiful looks and sound, yet just not comfortable with the neck. Perhaps you just need more time?

Ukulele Eddie
01-30-2017, 03:15 AM
Is that laminate back really mahogany? Wow, it's stunning! I've never seen such gorgeous lines on mahogany. Looks like rosewood.

Good luck with your decision. I would totally be in your shoes - wanting to keep it for its beautiful looks and sound, yet just not comfortable with the neck. Perhaps you just need more time?

Good eye, OhioBelle. The side/backs are Santos rosewood (aka Pau Ferro). I updated the specs. It's the lower model BR-40T that has mahogany back/sides.

bacchettadavid
01-30-2017, 03:19 AM
That's a beautiful tenor guitar, Eddie.

I picked up the Martin tenor that was for sale in the marketplace. The longer scale and narrow neck are definitely major changes (I'm coming to it from soprano and tenor ukes), but after comping chords to Dixieland albums for a couple of hours last night, I'm committed to adapting to the longer scale length. This thing can go toe to toe with the ukulele in the comping department.

If anyone else is considering getting one of these, I think Eddie has hit on a winner with that Blueridge.

DownUpDave
01-30-2017, 03:21 AM
OK Eddie time for my "Enablers pep talk".........keep it.

I have the BR40TCE and at first it was difficult for me to play as I don't come from an established guitar background. I even went so far as to buy the Pono UL4-20 which is a steel string large baritone/small tenor guitar type instrument. It is easier to play because it is so much smaller but the Blue Ridge has that full on acoustic guitar sound that the Pono just can't match.

I even put the Blue Ridge up for sale as soon as I got the Pono........I'm so glad no one bought it. After two weeks of A/B ing them I pulled the ad because I love the sound of the Blue Ridge

If you like the sound and love the looks keep it and spend the time getting use to the instrument. I have a "tenor guitar day" where I just play the Blue Ridge and 2 to 3 songs in I am comfortable and playing well.

Blue Ridge tenor guitars are great instruments

Rakelele
01-30-2017, 05:59 AM
Congratulations, Eddie! Glad to hear you joined the Tenor Guitar Brigade. As you know, I too, am struggling with the longer scale and the narrow fretboard common to most specimens of the genre. The one you got looks great, though, so you might want to hold on to it and deal with the challenge of getting along with it.

Jim Yates
01-30-2017, 10:15 AM
There are two common tunings for tenor guitars, standard tuning is CGDA and Chicago tuning is DGBE. It seems that they are about equal in popularity.
Nick Reynolds, the tenor guitar player from the original Kingston Trio, started out as a ukulele player, but wanted a guitar sound, so he tuned the tenor guitar in Chicago tuning and put a capo on the 5th fret, making it GCEA.

97424

Ukulele Eddie
01-30-2017, 10:34 AM
Jim, since DGBE is readily familiar to me, I chose that. I wondered, however, if same strings can be used for CGDA and DGBE.

Jim Yates
01-30-2017, 01:06 PM
I wouldn't use the same strings. A string meant for A would be pretty loose tuned to E. I'd be tempted to use the first four strings of a guitar set or, if you wanted really light gauge, the first four of a five string banjo set for Chicago tuning.

Ukulele Eddie
01-30-2017, 02:10 PM
I wouldn't use the same strings. A string meant for A would be pretty loose tuned to E. I'd be tempted to use the first four strings of a guitar set or, if you wanted really light gauge, the first four of a five string banjo set for Chicago tuning.

New territory for me, but today at lunch I found the below on the Elderly site and also found a reference that .010, .016, .024 and .036 are commended for CGDA. So I think they're close enough to use, no?

It comes strung with .010, .014, .022W, .032W and these strings work quite well tuned like the top 4 strings of a guitar, or like an octave mandolin (in 5ths).

cb56
01-31-2017, 10:19 AM
Maybe helpful?
97465

Ukulele Eddie
01-31-2017, 01:56 PM
Maybe helpful?
97465

Thank you for the reference.