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Thread: Gibson Tenor Lute

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Is the tenor lute and the tenor guitar the same instrument with a different sized/shaped body?

    Phil

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty76 View Post
    Is the tenor lute and the tenor guitar the same instrument with a different sized/shaped body?

    Phil
    For all practical purposes, yes.

  3. #28
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Well it seems I won this tenor lute for a pretty cheap price and I will convert it seeing its beat, and I already have a real nice original one so I'll have a killer mandola player with vintage vibe, cracks and wear don't bother me as long as it sounds good and I have a feeling this will! Just waiting to pay the bill something that they need to calculate because of shipping to good ole Pennsylvania? This I don't get! Nothing wrong with a conversion, and this will make a fine mandola for around 3500 all together? This I'm guessing on from price quotes I received from a well known luthier. Not a bad price to pay considering what some mandolas cost. I think I did great, others may disagree but I'm thrilled!

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  5. #29
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Congrats! Let us know how it turns out.

    Phil

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  7. #30

    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    congrats as well, a decade ago i would have been all over that but i am heading in a different direction now. but i bet it will sound great as a convert, and the price seemed great to me for a vintage and rare instrument.

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  9. #31

    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Congrats, I agree that price is quite good, so, yes, you did great. I thought of bidding for a moment, but I don't like instruments lying around and not being played and I already have one lute

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  11. #32
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Thanks, I'm still waiting for the invoice to pay, I don't get that I hope I don't get screwed out of it somehow? One thing I hate about evilbay, years ago I won a very nice 36 F-7 at a spectacular price and there was a mishap with paypal and was on the phone all day with paypal security, they for one could barely speak English and they couldn't figure it out, So I cancelled my paypal account! I couldn't use a credit card for that purchase, I was so mad I had to forfeit the F-7! BUMMER I hope I won't have to forfeit the Tenor Lute? Something about they need to figure out shipping from Texas cause it says they can't ship to PA? That is the dumbest thing I've heard, last I checked PA is still part of America! I do think this will make a fine mandola, it has the old wood pedigree. And for the complete project it'll be a great deal and I know it'll sound better than any oval hole Gibson, no matter what anyone says, it'll have the power! and correct longer scale. May not be pristine but that has never bothered me, Pristine isn't my cup of tune!

  12. #33
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Well the Tenor Lute is on her way, Hope the back aint too bad since they didn't show pix but anything can be fixed! And this one will make a fine player mandola for me and I guarantee it'll sound and have more power than an oval hole H-1 or 2 or even 4!

  13. #34
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Your enthusiasm and confidence are infectious, but the proof of that pudding will be after the conversion's complete.

    Gibson did make an f-hole, carved-top "A" mandola in the '30's, the H-0 -- not many of them, but I did play one years ago as a "loaner" when my bowl-back Washburn was in for repairs. My (somewhat fuzzy) memories was that it was undistinguished. Hope yours is distinguished in contrast.
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  15. #35
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Quote Originally Posted by Seter View Post
    Windsong Estate Services is a large operation here in the Houston area, they probably have some employee that just enters in items with a basic description. In college I worked for the local PBS station and my job was to enter into eBay all donated items to raise money for the station, I definitely was no expert on the items I was entering. When the seller doesn't know much about what they're selling, sometimes you can get a great deal, sometimes not so much. It's part of the fun I suppose.
    bluegrasser78 Congratulations on your purchase! I hope the shipping wasn't too much.

    When it comes to shipping, they are all over the place.
    I won the auction on their 1984 Dobro. I think it's a model 60 http://r.ebay.com/7z7W1M . Shipping on this item was listed as $106.11 Economy Shipping... I asked why & they said it would be $63.99... when I went to pay, the shipping was listed as $45.43... might be too many employees & the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    For $525.43 total with shipping, this 1984 Dobro with original Hardshell case could be a nice deal... we will see.
    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Yes Allen it is infectious! I have a gut feeling that it'll be a good one when completed! It'll have the longer correct scale maple neck, So it'll have the power of an H-5! Also with ebony board, dot inlay also fluer-de-lis in peg head, vintage original pearl button worn silver plated bump end Waverly tuners unless I can find some arrowhead pearl button tuners???? I think it'll be a goodun considering the wear and tear on this TL, also the back cracks. Then I'll have a really great shape original TL to play, I was originally going to convert that but not now its too nice.
    Also just talked to Randy Wood and after a year my 34 F-7 is about done, that baby was just getting a new 5 scale small rounded maple neck, with radiused ebony board with scooped florida, replica 7 style pearl inlays in peg head and board, pearl nut,big frets, radiused RW ebony bridge, tone bars shaved down, "same graduations as a 34 F-5 that a friend had down there, so no re-graduation" deep neck set Duffey style so from top of mando to top of bridge 1 inch, most are 3/4 of an inch or less! And an old pickguard I had.
    He hasn't started on my 58 F-5 that will be getting some serious treatment and a "VIRZI-YAH" always wanted one in a 5. So yes love me some conversions. Can't wait to send off the Tenor Lute. funny thing I've never even played a mandola! NUTS huh!

    I think shipping was 60 bucks? I can live with that as long as the top doesn't arrive caved in

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  18. #37
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    I think shipping was 60 bucks?
    $60 shipping for a super light weight Gibson lute &
    $45 shipping for a much larger & heavier (non-Gibson lol) Dobro.

    Dylan -- I know my song well before I start singing. Me -- sometimes

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty76 View Post
    Is the tenor lute and the tenor guitar the same instrument with a different sized/shaped body?

    Phil
    The short answer is yes. The tenor lute and tenor guitar are typically tuned the same with a similar scale length. However, I have used heavier strings (.048W, .034W, .022W, .012) to tune my TL-1 like an octave mandolin which actually works pretty well.

    Even though the tuning is the same, (C3, G3, D4, A4), tenor guitars typically have larger bodies and a longer scale length than mandolas. Also tenor guitars use lighter gauge single strings instead of string pairs, another important factor that contributes to the very different timbre of these two types of instruments. The Gibson tenor lute is caught in between with a mandola size body and a scale length more like a tenor guitar. Given its demure voice, perhaps it is too heavily built for tenor tuning with typical tenor guitar string gauges. D'Addario EJ76 medium gauge mandola strings exert about 102 lbs of pressure on a mandola with a 15.875" scale length while D'Addario EJ66 tenor guitar strings exert about 83 lbs of pressure on a tenor guitar with a 23" scale length.

    www.vintagefrettedinstruments.com

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Yes I don't get their shipping logic, don't know where the dobro went? But I'm in PA and that's a good bit far from Texas? I told them to take bridge off and pack real well so that may have added weight if they did it right! I can't hardly wait to get the TL so I can look her over and see how beat it truly is but for a conversion it'll work nicely. Then I need to send her to someone for the neck job? I'm waiting to hear back from Mr.Vessel. He has done these before and they looked great granted the other ones he did were really clean T. Lutes.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    OK kids, just received the Tenor Lute and WoW I might've bitten off more than I can chew! I still think its worth the 750 bucks I paid but terrible shape there is old small brads nailed into her at various spots, top cracks and back cracks, original finish is shot/don't know if its original, very dark and dirty! The back crack repairs if that's what you'd call it were sanded terrible! To restore back to original would cost a bunch-It would need a total refinish! So a beat mandola conversion may be the answer for sure! I don't care about looks, I'm sure it'll sound great fixed into a mandola, She sure is dried out!!!! Lets hear some opinions, good or bad?

  22. #41
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    bluegrasser78: sounds like you gave us the most important opinion, at least for the immediate one—yours. I assume that you were not planning to do the restoration/conversion/whatever yourself. Maybe you can find a pitying luthier who all his/her life wanted to work on one of these babies. As far as biting off more than one can chew, I would say that the prior owners did a lot of that biting and chewing.

    As far as potential for a good-sounding and playing something: I would examine the arch of the top and the bracing above all since that would be potentially the source of proper tone, etc. Neck angle would not be important if you were not converting it to a mandola.

    Here's a dumb question though (pardon me if someone asked this in this thread already): for a lower budget conversion and to avoid making a whole new neck would it be possible to cut the neck down to mandola length? It might not be all that pretty but might work functionally. Personally, it would not be my choice, but if done by a skillful luthier might work?
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  23. #42
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    The original neck isn't wide enough for a mandola. I just can't believe all the old brads in this thing, unbelievable and KRAZY! I have done a few old Gibson A model converts but this thing is outta my league! Too many cracks, the finish/cracks are terrible but that doesn't bother me, as long as it sounds decent, I'm still waiting to hear from Gary Vessel as he told me a while back he'd love to do another one of these conversions so the waiting game although he may run when he sees her!!!LOLoud big time!

  24. #43
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Well, my first mandolin -- found in my grandfather's attic -- was a 'teens Gibson A-1, with a big top crack that had been "repaired" with adhesive tape. Then it was stuck in the attic to bake for a couple decades. Needless to say, though I had the crack fixed, the finish where the tape had been was somewhat compromised.

    Some owners were sure that any problems with their instruments could be fixed at home. Why not put a screw-eye into the headstock to attach a strap (my TL has one)? Why not use finishing nails to reattach a separated seam, or put a wood screw through a cracked neck heel, or use a couple small bolts to secure a lifting guitar bridge? I mean, you already put your name on the top with stick-on letters from the hardware store!

    Now you've inherited the result of DIY luthiery, what Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers used to call "reptile dentistry." There's a usable instrument lurking somewhere in that TL; good luck coaxing it out.
    Allen Hopkins
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  26. #44
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Not to add any more confusion to things but since these are converted to an instrument that didn’t really exist has anyone ever considered converting one to an octave mandolin?

    Phil

  27. #45
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty76 View Post
    has anyone ever considered converting one to an octave mandolin?
    I'm told there are 8-string versions of the tenor lute in existence. If you had one of those you could string it up as an octave without changing it at all.
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  28. #46
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    Default Re: Gibson Tenor Lute

    My original TL, Is 4 strings and I tune that same as a mandolin, so kinda octave?

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