View Full Version : Soares'y tenor tele

Roger Kunkel
Jun-02-2008, 4:10pm
Any impressions on the Soares'y Tenor Tele?

I'm looking for something in this vein.


Jun-05-2008, 10:33am
I took the plunge- on a leap of faith, and ordered one of them. I figure it's a $400 gamble, based on the guys good reputation. Hopefully it's a decent instrument and not a $400 toy. Will let you know the resuilts when it comes in.

Roger Kunkel
Jun-06-2008, 6:54pm
ah, I was thinking along the same lines, but cooled my heels for the time being. A report back would we appreciated.

Jun-07-2008, 1:20pm
Will give a full report when I get it in a few weeks. I can't wait! My inner rock and roller can finally come out.

Jul-05-2008, 2:18pm
Well I got my Soares tenor tele, and it seems to be fairly well made. I have to say that I don't know much about guitars at all- tenor or 6 string, as I'm a fiddle and mandolin player that wanted to expand my horizons. It weighs a ton- especially compared to my mandos. I haven't had too much time to fool around with it yet, as I've had some big gigs with my band, and have been concentrating on my present instruments. The one thing I've noticed is that 2 of the strings seem kind of dead- in that they have a much lower volume than the other 2 strings. They are not together- they're the G and the A. I've read that people often change strings when they get an imported pac rim instrument, in that the ones that come with them are cheapies. I assume that I can use regular electric guitar strings for this. Can someone tell me the proper gauges that I should use for this? I have it tuned C-G-D-A.

Jul-05-2008, 2:43pm
Here (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=Search&CODE=02&SID=486fceb55c8f35eb) are some previous threads.

Cliff D
Jul-06-2008, 4:15am
Chief: I note we seem to have similar interests/tastes, inasmuch as you have acquired the Soares'y tenor which I was interested in & have also ordered a John L Smith which much impressed me. So please continue to report your progress & the string gauges that you find work best. Invariably when I am deciding which individual gauges to use I hone it down to the best compromise. I tend not to throw out strings but keep them around with a note of their gauge so I can stick them on another instrument should the need arise, & it permits me to experiment with different sizes without having to rush out & buy more strings every time I think a size up or down might work better. I have seen tension calculators, which can provide a starting point, but have found them no substitute for banging a different string on, making a few adjustments & seeing how well it all works.

Oh, & a little codicil that may help. Guitars often have adjustable pole pieces on the pick ups, so the closer the slug to the strings the louder the signal (not much help if the adjustment is only from one side to t'other!). Guitars can be fitted with either a plain or wound third (G) so being able to adjust out-put string by string is generally desirable. If you are into string bending (1-3 semi-tones is electric guitar "stock in trade") a plain 3rd (usually a 0.17) would be fitted to the usual electric six string.

Again, just in case you were not aware Ernie ball do individual guitar strings (nickel plated & plain, amongst other types) at virtually every gauge going, that you can purchase singly, rather than have to buy sets (& if that's available in the UK I would have thought there is even greater range your side of the pond). My apologies if all of the fore-going is ancient history to you!

Jul-06-2008, 2:35pm
Yes Cliff, I've been on kind of a buying jag lately. My wife isn't thrilled, but she says at least it's a healthy addiction. I do try to sell things occasionally so it doesn't get out of hand. As far as the pole piece being adjustable, I'll have to check that out when I get home. It may be a combination of that and the lousy strings that came with the instrument. When I get everything figured out, and have some time to give it a good tryout, I'll report back with the verdict. I'm not sure if Mike has any more of these. He had 2 left when I bought mine.

Jul-15-2008, 10:34am
Well, I got the Tele Tenor rigged up properly with new strings and adjusted pick-ups (thanks Cliff), and it now works quite well. Again, I'm not really a guitar person, so I'm probably not the best judge of this guitar. However, it seems to be everything an electric guitar should be, with great tone. I haven't tried it with my old Fender tube amp yet, but it sounds great through a Kustom and a Ultra Sound. It's quite a stretch for leads when you're used to a mandolin and fiddle, but I'm sure that will improve with practice. At any rate, I give it a thumbs up. For $400 you can't go wrong.

Cliff D
Jul-16-2008, 6:25pm
I'm sure it will sound better again thru a tube amp. My guess is that as time goes by you will probably use it (the tenor) more for solo work than chords & you will manage some bigger finger stretches comfortably over time as you learn the best way to place your hand for a given chord shape: starting with fairly light strings & upping the gauge sizes as you become more proficient is the best way to go. When starting a new instrument & trying to evaluate tone most of the journey to my mind is establishing what you like the sound to be, & then finding out how to move it further in that direction - develop your own sound & style, rather than aping other players! Keep the progress reports coming, please.

Incidentally I know next to nothing about fiddle tones although
I've been playing an electric violin for a while now! I did see some discussion in another thread about how the instrument's design seemed locked in a time-warp. Any suggestions to help grow my understanding of this instument would be welcomed.

Jul-17-2008, 10:41am
Cliff- funny you should mention an electric fiddle. After using the same 2 fiddles (one acoustic, and one acoustic with a pick-up) for about 25 years, I recently bought a Skyinbow 5 string electric fiddle made in the Shetland Islands. It's pretty awesome. Obviously, this doesn't have anything to do with tenor guitars, but I thought I'd mention it. I still use the acoustic for recording projects and acoustic jams.

Cliff D
Jul-17-2008, 6:00pm
Five strings sounds way out of my present league! I've only been at it for 3 years, & I still occasionally touch a string with the bow that I wasn't aiming to. Electric guitar is really what I know, but violin & mandolin have provided a fresh breeze of inspiration thru tuning in fifths, & 4 strings is enough polyphony for me: I tend to bust extended chords down to four notes when I'm playing keys. I'd have to import the Soares'y into the UK if I were to lash out on one, & I still really haven't broken in the Risa tenor (I've set it up as a mandola) so I have enough to chew on for the minute. I am flirting with the idea of acquiring a Theremin, but that would be purely to see if I could tame the beast or no!

Nuttysadguy, have you made any progress with tenors since initiating this thread?('http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif')

Jul-18-2008, 10:28am
The 5 strings require a little adjustment. Especially when you've been playing 4 for 40 some #years! I also have a couple of 5 string electric mandos- a Blue Star Mando Blaster and a Mann EM-5. And another one ( a John Smith) on the way. Once you get used to the extra string, and its increased range, you never want to go back.