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Patrick Madsen
01-23-2014, 03:03 PM
I am missing the sound of steel strings lately and am thinking on a tenor guitar.

I play from a wheelchair and have had balance problems with a guitar (played for 55 years) which is why I went with the uke. Best decision I've made in a longtime.

I just sold my Martin Baritone and own a Webber bari. I like the size but am missing that steel string sound.

My concern is the length of the neck of a regular tenor guitar but have heard of a short scale model.

I know Martin made a 0-17T which is supposedly a shorter scale. Are there any others.

Would love to have a baritone sized steel string but haven't heard of any.

Any suggestions?

hmgberg
01-23-2014, 03:14 PM
I picked up a vintage Stella tenor guitar that was about the same size exactly as a baritone uke. It has a pearloid fingerboard. Really a very nice instrument. I've been looking for one myself, but not so diligently. I think I paid about $450.00, near mint, with the original case.

PhilUSAFRet
01-23-2014, 03:21 PM
Saw a vintage on ebay not long ago, was much shorter than the standard 36" length. Easier to find short scale Irish tenor banjo's (17 frets)

hmgberg
01-23-2014, 03:25 PM
I picked up a vintage Stella tenor guitar that was about the same size exactly as a baritone uke. It has a pearloid fingerboard. Really a very nice instrument. I've been looking for one myself, but not so diligently. I think I paid about $450.00, near mint, with the original case.

Jake wildwood had one like it. 21" scale:

http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2012/07/c1925-oscar-schmidt-stella-tenor-guitar.html?m=1

southcoastukes
01-23-2014, 03:50 PM
Patrick,

Hmgberg's suggestion is a good one, but those instruments were even more commonly offered under the Regal brand. The usual configurations had a 20" scale, and the body is similar in size to a Baritone (longer and narrower). Unfortunately, every one I have seen (& I owned a couple) were birch bodies and the sound wasn't great.

They also made a much smaller number of spruce topped Mahogany bodies (I had one of those too), which were obviously a higher grade of instrument, and sounded wonderful. Unfortunately for you, while they had the same small body, they had the standard 23" scale.

If they made a Spruce/Mahogany 20" scale it would be ideal. I don't know if they did.

p.s: I just happened to think that we have a set of "metal" strings that give a very "steel string" sound. On a Baritone, though, they'd give a B flat tuning.

Kevdog
01-23-2014, 04:14 PM
I am missing the sound of steel strings lately and am thinking on a tenor guitar.

I play from a wheelchair and have had balance problems with a guitar (played for 55 years) which is why I went with the uke. Best decision I've made in a longtime.

I just sold my Martin Baritone and own a Webber bari. I like the size but am missing that steel string sound.

My concern is the length of the neck of a regular tenor guitar but have heard of a short scale model.

I know Martin made a 0-17T which is supposedly a shorter scale. Are there any others.

Would love to have a baritone sized steel string but haven't heard of any.

Any suggestions?

Check out a "size 5" guitar sometimes referred to as a "terz" guitar as it's tuned a third higher than a normal guitar and is sometimes strung up in Nashville tuning.

John S. Kinnard is scheduled to be build one for a uke customer who wants a smaller body, smaller scale, steel string guitar. It's slightly larger than a Baritone and the scale length is around 21.5".

hmgberg
01-23-2014, 06:52 PM
Check out a "size 5" guitar sometimes referred to as a "terz" guitar as it's tuned a third higher than a normal guitar and is sometimes strung up in Nashville tuning.

John S. Kinnard is scheduled to be build one for a uke customer who wants a smaller body, smaller scale, steel string guitar. It's slightly larger than a Baritone and the scale length is around 21.5".

Yeah, the terz guitars are cool, too. Martin made a 5 size guitar. Marty Robbins, famously, played one. Eventually, Martin reissued it as the Marty Robbins 5-18 (18 refers to the wood and appointments). It has a 21.5" scale length. Hard to come by. Also, it is a guitar.

SonSprinter
01-23-2014, 07:13 PM
http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/for-sale

http://guitarz.blogspot.com/2009/08/jupiter-creek-electric-baritone-ukulele.html

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/BSBK-BLUB-RSWD.htm

Patrick Madsen
01-23-2014, 07:51 PM
Thanks guys, I'll check those out. Dirk, is that set the HML-RW's?

Teek
01-23-2014, 08:06 PM
I bought a Kala baritone second from Butler Music awhile back for around $69 shipped. I put super light steel strings on it. For a cheap laminate it put a big grin on my face! I can tune it up and play it and when I am done I de-tune it to take all the tension off the bridge and top. So far it has not cracked or popped it's bridge. When I left it tuned up it did start to belly and after a few weeks I did have some bow in the neck. With the tension off completely it went back. I had to take the saddle down a lot and probably will take it down some more, which will ruin it for uke strings since the steel are so thin, but it's a blast and so cheap. I had a sweet old Harmony tenor guitar, mahogany with a spruce top but like Dirk noted it had a 23" scale which I can only reach say three frets on.

So this 'disposable" uke is my short scale tenor guitar solution until I find a 20" or less scale 4 string that can take steel strings in uke tuning. I got my strings mostly out of a D'Addario 12 string set.

Patrick Madsen
01-23-2014, 09:42 PM
Sounds pretty cool Teek. I'm looking for a little higher level mostly cause we have a family instrument library for the younguns coming up and future generations.
Think I'll ask David Webber if he could make a smaller scale steel string.
Didn't Rick Turner just make a steel string baritone?

mds725
01-23-2014, 11:02 PM
Sounds pretty cool Teek. I'm looking for a little higher level mostly cause we have a family instrument library for the younguns coming up and future generations.
Think I'll ask David Webber if he could make a smaller scale steel string.
Didn't Rick Turner just make a steel string baritone?

Rick Turner just made me a steel string baritone. It has an approximately 20" scale, a little smaller than my Blueridge tenor guitar, but because it's a baritone ukulele it has a wider neck and larger spaces between strings. It's a wonderful instrument. Here's a photo of the two of them together.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=62402&d=1388250284

ralphk
01-24-2014, 02:11 AM
If you can handle the Bb tuning for your needs, I recommend checking out the metal strings from Dirk (mentioned above). They do give a steel string sound to a uke, and their tension is correct for the uke too.

Cornfield
01-24-2014, 02:48 AM
I have a 1928 Martin 2-18T. The size 2 guitar specs:
Tenor Flat top Guitar; 12” body width, 4” body depth, Adirondak spruce top; mahogany body; 12-fret mahogany neck; ebony fingerboard w/ three dot inlays; bar frets; Grover Pat. ‘banjo’ tuners
I find that it is a very nice size for me. The nut is wide enough for my fatty fingers. It can be tuned DGBE or like a standard tenor tuning.
Someone mentioned an Irish tenor banjo. They are widely available but they do sound like a banjo. As we all know "The road to Hell is paved with banjos".
I also have a 1930 National Tenor (Pear shape) that feels a lot longer and has a narrower nut.

seonachan
01-24-2014, 04:51 AM
There are a few options out there for a short-scale, small-bodied tenor guitar. The vintage Stellas and Regals have been mentioned - and for the record Regal did make their short-scale tenors in a variety of woods: all birch, spruce top with birch back/sides, spruce top with mahogany back/sides, etc. Another vintage model is Harmony/Supertone. I had one that I just traded to Jake at Antebellum (the trade is done so NFI on my part). He hasn't posted it yet but should soon. Here's a similar one he had a few years ago: http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2011/11/c1925-harmony-made-supertone-tenor.html

If you want to go new instead of vintage, pretty much the only option I know of is the Fletcher, which isn't cheap but sounds fantastic.

All of these models have roughly the same specs: 21" scale, 11" lower bout, etc. - just a shade bigger than a baritone uke. The Martin 0-17T, by the way, is the same size as the 0-18T. The small bodied Martin tenors are the 2- and 5- models, but as far as I know they all still have a 23" scale.

For the ultimate short-scale small-bodied tenor, check out the "Dredge", a custom model made for Eddie Davis by Joel Eckhaus of Earnest Instruments. I think it's roughly a tenor uke scale, and size-wise it looks about like a tenor as well (or smaller than a bari at any rate).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXo4ApKfcuU

allanr
01-24-2014, 05:02 AM
Not easy to come by, but available from time to time, the Kay Keycord. Originally made fretless, with a steel chord-player attached, they were often modified with a fretted neck. Beautiful mandolin shaped body, and only about 30 inches long. I just sold mine.

allanr
01-24-2014, 05:09 AM
you could try to modify a baritone uke, especially if it has a deep neck profile, by putting on a mandolin style string attachment at the end pin, and then running the strings over the existing saddle; or replacing the bridge with a floating bridge/saddle.

Patrick Madsen
01-24-2014, 05:47 AM
Boy , sure a lot of things to think about and am going to check them all out for sure. John, that Martin sounds right on. Thanks for all the input.

MDS your Baritone build is what got me to thinking on a small scale TG lol

southcoastukes
01-24-2014, 12:19 PM
Thanks guys, I'll check those out. Dirk, is that set the HML-RW's?

Almost! It's the HML-CM set (Heavy Medium Gauge w/ Classical Metals). The 1st string actually is a steel string. We can get away with that because it is so small and the tension's not high. It really gives the set that bright "steel string" sound on the finish.

Cornfield
01-24-2014, 04:34 PM
Boy , sure a lot of things to think about and am going to check them all out for sure. John, that Martin sounds right on. Thanks for all the input.

MDS your Baritone build is what got me to thinking on a small scale TG lol

I was in Nashville a week ago. Whenever I took the 2/18T out of its case someone would ask me "What size ukulele is that?"
Martin didn't make a baritone uke that size in the 20's so I guess you could call it a baritone.

JonThysell
01-25-2014, 06:34 PM
Another option, if you're willing to play with open tunings (or even if you aren't, I'd take Dirk's advice on it) are Southcoasts nylon wrapped steel strings. They completely transformed my Kala tenor - makes me wish I had a nicer tenor to put them on.

hilot.h.
01-27-2014, 01:08 PM
Yeah, the terz guitars are cool, too. Martin made a 5 size guitar. Marty Robbins, famously, played one. Eventually, Martin reissued it as the Marty Robbins 5-18 (18 refers to the wood and appointments). It has a 21.5" scale length. Hard to come by. Also, it is a guitar.
I saw one of these Martins this weekend,a guy at our Leilani Kanekapila group was playing it.I am no springchicken ,but I don't remember ever seeing that model before.Nice little Martin with a lot of sound.
I know this sounds amatuerish,but that thing was one CUTE little Martin.

cb56
04-28-2014, 04:27 AM
Coming soon? This is not me btw. Just sharing the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrhQ-wqpXio
Shorter than a standard tenor guitar.
" Published on Apr 21, 2014

Kala Brand introduces a Tenor Guitar and I get to try it out. Wonderful instrument. Sweet sound, low action, light gauge strings, clean look, cool headstock design, excellent intonation, unique size - about one inch taller than a baritone ukulele and about four inches shorter than a Martin size tenor guitar. A welcomed new option for tenor guitar players and those thinking of playing tenor guitar. This one is tuned CGDA."

Osprey
04-28-2014, 04:50 AM
Wow!! What a surprise. Great sound, and great looking instrument.
Cliff