View Full Version : Case for small Martin Tenor Guitar needed - ideas?

Dec-06-2005, 9:13pm
This time last year, I went downtown to buy a new computer and came home with an instrument instead - shows where my priorities lie, eh?!!

Now I want a better case than my tenor came in (Original, pressed cardboard) . Trouble is, it's a really small and odd size: 1927 5-17T. The 5 designated the smallest guitar size Martin ever made - Lower bout 11.25 "; upper bout 8.125"; waist 7"; depth 4"; body length 16"; overall length 33".

I tried a hardshell Baby Taylor - quite a good fit EXCEPT the neck heel of my Martin wouldn't clear the case padding - the Baby T has a bolt-on neck and the void this creates means the dedicated thermoplastic case for a Baby T has padding where my Martin needs space to accommodate the neck heel.

I'm wondering if a baritone uke case might fit - anyone know the dimensions of one? Or, anyone know of another travel/parlor guitar that would A) be similar in size AND B) also have a HSC made for it? Or, is there maybe a case available that allows the owner to custom cut the foam interior?

Maybe I should have "modified" (with a chisel!) the Baby T case - anyone ever done this?

Thanks for any help! [BTW: Playing a tenor is a LOT of fun if you are a mandolin/guitar/banjo player - different tunings can easily satisfy all three, and the unique scale length makes for a GREAT lateral thinking exercise!]

Dec-06-2005, 10:08pm
I have a Larrivee parlor guitar - just measured the case and it should do just fine. #It will be a little big (36" long inside, 17 1/2" long body, 13" wide at the lower bout, 8 1/2" upper, 4" deep) but that will give you a little #room to work with. #You can get them from Elderly or I think a lot of other places - made in Canada, and about $85 for a hardshell case. #Before Harptone was bought by TKL they would make you a case for nearly anything (I have a case for an open back A scale banjo, my son got a case for his Vita Uke), but I don't think so any more. #Too bad, but try the Larrivee case. #Now that I have mine out I think I will play it for a while. #It is a neat little really flamey maple one - sounds great. #Ooooops, bact to guitars.


Dec-07-2005, 5:29pm
A baritone uke is usually about 30-31" long. Close, but just a little smaller than the size 5 Martin guitars. Martin has recently reintroduced their size 5 guitar, so must make cases - but these would be 14-fret style and probably too short for the 12-fret body. Carving out the baby Taylor case padding does not sound like a bad idea to me.
Seagull/Simon&Patrick/Art&Luthierie parlor guitars (made by Godin) are 12 frets, and may have slightly smaller dimensions than the Larrivees, so the body shape and waist position of these cases could be a good match. I don't know the source, but I assume Canadian.

Dec-07-2005, 5:40pm
I've heard rumors that national tenors fit a les paul case.. worth a shot but I've not tried yet

Dec-09-2005, 4:29pm
off the wall but hows the guitar sound? My martin sounds great but i prefer my bacon tenor. Tenors rule tho!!! Most fun a mando player can have with 4 strings! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-10-2005, 12:59am
Why don't you try contacting customer service at Martin. They may have a solution for you.

Charles E.
Feb-22-2008, 7:57pm
The Taylor Baby soft case fits my National perfectly and it sure is handy at festivals. It is light weight, offers good protection from bumps and scrapes, and affordable.


Jim Garber
Feb-22-2008, 8:16pm
I have a parlor-size Yamaha guitar that I love. It was only made for a few years and was a relatively high-end model. I wanted a hardshell case for it and found one at Cafe sponsor, finecases.com (http://www.finecases.com/browse/canadian-case/canadian-case-3280.html).

It looks like the measurements might be a little large but you could contact the folks there to measure and see if it would work.

Feb-22-2008, 9:42pm
Larry White at Thin Man Music in Alameda, CA often has cases to fit small-bodied instruments. (NFI.) I'm sure he'd be happy to check for you.


Feb-25-2008, 2:44pm
A suggestion regarding a 'potential' case. Fine Cases has an assortment of Baritone Uke cases and the ProTec version is pretty interesting. I've had a few of them and they are really well built for the money, are useable for both Bari's which I have and a few old parlor guitars. At this time ... I don't have one around here to give you measurements.

I'd get in touch with them regarding your specifics. Both Ameritage and Guardian also offer Bari Cases.

Hope this helps.

Pete Martin
Feb-25-2008, 4:02pm
Try Greg Boyd www.gregboyd.com. He always has hand a suggestion for me, good guy!

Michael Wolf
Feb-29-2008, 7:11am
There is a Gator case for 3/4-guitars that should fit the Nationals very good. I'll try it next time.

Feb-29-2008, 7:52am
tkl has several old body style cases. just got a style 1 case that fits my 12 fret 0-18 like a glove. this is a purchase to be made at a store if at all possible.

Feb-29-2008, 9:02am
I got a really well-made, well-padded gig bag for $50 new from Taylor (for their Baby Taylor). It fits my Regal tenor that's especially small (32"). It's perfect and may just work for you. Check their website:
https://www.taylorguitars.com/taylorw....&page=1 (https://www.taylorguitars.com/taylorware/Item.aspx?itemid=1016&categoryid=1004&page=1)

Folks with a Regal, by the way, don't give it a second thought-it's what you've been looking for.

John L
Mar-01-2008, 9:23am
I am not sure what mine is, but I bought it "off the shelf" at Long & McQuade in Toronto. Good fit for my '29 T-18 except a bit longer than necessary. Fits body and supports the neck well.