View Full Version : 1920s Sovereign branded Oscar Schmidt Tiple

02-01-2013, 11:53 AM
This is a rare Oscar Schmidt tiple, most likely from the mid 1920s. It has a spruce top, birch back and sides, rosewood fingerboard, nice binding (bwb top, b sides). I’ve had a bunch of tiples over the years, including a couple of Regals and a couple of Martins, and this is much closer to a Martin than a Regal! It’s long been one of my favorite instruments, but I recently got a T-18 and just can’t afford to keep them both. I had the bridge re-glued when I first got it, many years ago, and also had the neck reglued at that time, since it was loose. Amazingly it needed no adjustment – it’s very straight and the action is extremely comfortable (even my T-18 required a neck reset, and Regals are pretty much hopeless). This tiple has a much more open sound than a Martin, probably due to the birch, and also has a neck that feels more like a mandolin neck than a guitar neck, as is the case with Martin. This instrument is a nice condition – some play wear on the upper bout below the sound hole (where you’d expect it, I guess), a bit of wear at the bottom, and a cosmetic scratch on the back, lower bout. There’s a crack between the sound hole and the bottom on the sound board, but it has been glued (honestly can’t remember if I had it done or not) and is stable. I gigged with this instrument for years, and it's served me very well - a very solid, reliable, and wonderfully made instrument. Finally time to let it go, though.

This is a great looking, great sounding, and very rare instrument. If you’re looking for a tiple that won’t need work, plays well and sounds great, but aren’t ready for a Martin yet, this is it.

$400 + shipping

02-01-2013, 12:04 PM
I was wondering, is this tiple a tenor or concert scale ?

02-01-2013, 12:19 PM
The body size/scale length is the same as a Martin. I reckon that corresponds to a tenor, right? I know Martin actually based the tiple on their 1/4 size guitar, so that's really what it is. After all, they invented the instrument as far as I know. The neck width is a bit narrower than a Martin, though, as I noted.

02-02-2013, 02:57 AM
After all, they invented the instrument as far as I know.

Martin didn't invent the tiple! It has been a traditional Columbian instrument for centuries. What Martin did was shrink the traditional tiple down to ukulele size.

The traditional tiple has a scale length of 50-55cm, and the Martin tiple has a scale length of 43cm, the same as a tenor ukulele.

02-02-2013, 09:11 PM
Martin also put steel strings on what had been a gut strung instrument.