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Thread: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

  1. #1

    Default Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    I found an "Avalon" tenor for sale. I'm almost 100% sure it is rebranded - possibly Oscar Shmidt?

    Can anyone date this instrument, know what type of wood it is made from or add any other details?

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  2. #2
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    It's a Harmony creation, 1930s or 1940s, solid birch all around with the "flame" painted on.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    Looks like it is in lovely condition!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    I think it just sold on reverb for $200. That seems like a pretty good price.

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    Well if it is any consolation, it might (would) sound great if it were being played by an expert but, probably very limited in full sound potential!
    The birch soundboard & thick, oil based finish, is not really conductive for the best tone, sustain & volume.

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    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    FYI, I bought the Avalon for $190. It actually dates from 1924-1929, when the Henry Stadlmair music company existed, a NY distributor. It's in amazing condition, hard to understand how it is so clean. In size it's similar to a 60s Harmony I used to own. 23 inch. I strung it up last night GDAE and am still playing around. The finish is in fact thin. It's quite loud and sounds good. It does sound like other birch instruments I've played, a bit funky for lack of a better word. I'm pleased with it. The original case is in very good shape and has 4 clasps, making it more secure than some. With me instruments come and go, so we'll see if it's a keeper but it might be.

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  9. #7
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    It actually dates from 1924-1929, when the Henry Stadlmair music company existed, a NY distributor.
    The guitar is not that old; this finish was not used at that time. Stadlmair went back at least to the 1910s, and continued at least through 1939.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

  10. #8
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    That's interesting and makes sense but I've read that Stadlmair began in 1923 or 24 and ended at the start of the depression. It was known for tenor banjos and also ukes under the Avalon name. I'm curious where your info comes from. My info comes from these sites:
    https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/151495
    https://sites.google.com/site/ukulel.../rst/stadlmair
    http://jedistar.com/avalon-2/
    http://www.horn-u-copia.net/pubtrade.php
    http://www.lockyphoto.com/triplexbanjo/

  11. #9

    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    I hink the first tenor guitars came out in 1927 from Martin and then other companies followed. Steve Pyott probably knows all regarding ancient and mysterious history of tenor guitars.
    All that not withstanding, I'm glad that you like your Avalon. One time I told a Texas car salesman that I thought a particular car was UGLY. He told me "There is an ass for every saddle".

  12. #10
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    I'm curious where your info comes from.
    Articles talking about Stadlmair in the 1910s are available in the MTR archives,
    and there is a 1939 Stadlmair catalog on Vintaxe.com.

    But generally, the whole style of instrument is mid '30s to early '40s.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

  13. #11
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Information on "Avalon" tenor...

    Thanks, NM. I don't see the Stadlmair catalog on Vintaxe.com but you are right about the look.

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