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Thread: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

  1. #1
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    I am thrilled to say that I just received my first tenor guitar a 2016(?) Martin TEN515.

    And I owe a huge thank you to Cafe member pheffernan, who first made me aware of this guitar and helped me throughout the somewhat arduous process of wrestling this guitar from the hands of a Guitar Center in Florida and having it shipped to where I'm currently at in Washington state. (It doesn't seem worth it to derail this thread with the full Guitar Center story, but suffice it to say that it involved a "missing case" and later a shipment that was lost in the store that failed to go out.)
    Thanks again for all the help, pheffernan.

    So, on to the guitar! I got the guitar this morning, brought it inside and gave it some hours to acclimate to the temperature and climate. Then took off the strings, cleaned it, and restrung it (when I received it, it was in Chicago tuning, but I prefer fifths). I put 32w, 24w, 14, 9 for CGDA tuning. The intonation is spot on, and the guitar already sounds so splendid to my ear. It is in near perfect condition. I really love the sound of mahogany guitars, and I noticed over the last year or so that I kept coming back to this dark wood. So it makes me really happy to finally have a mahogany instrument, and a Martin no less! As a previous reviewer of this model on the Cafe mentioned, despite the guitar's small body, there is nothing boxy about the sound. At first impression it sounds sweet and full to me.

    I may do a more thorough review of the guitar once when I've had the chance to play it more, but for now I just wanted to share it with you guys. As is probably evident already, I'm really excited to have this tenor in my hands. I'll be travelling for the next year or so, and the small size coupled with the lovely sound of this guitar will make it a wonderful travel companion!

    Below are a few pictures and a video. Unfortunately, due to the shipping delays, by the time I received the guitar I was no longer at home with my recording equipment, so a good ol' cell phone video will have to do for the time being.
    I'll be back home for a week in a month, at which point I'll record something with a better mic, which I'll add to this thread.

    Another cool thing about this guitar, it's had a pick-up installed in it! So the strap button at the end of the guitar doubles as an 1/4" output. So, when I'm back home I'll be sure to record some audio from the pick-up.

    New Guitar Day! Woohoo!

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    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
    2018 Poe Scout #76

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  3. #2
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    I’m glad to hear that the tenor has arrived safely and to your satisfaction, and I am pleased to have played a small part in helping it find its forever home. It might be time to update your signature!
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5

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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Congratulations! Sounds great!!
    Chuck

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Lovely, have you seen this https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-TEN515-Review
    My only thing would be .. I would find your chosen D string would be a little miss matched for me.
    The other string tensions are around 20lb or less but the D is 26lb, of course this might not bother you at all but I would prefer a .20 or .22.
    Great sound though .....

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    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Sounds great, congrats on snagging it!!

  7. #6
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    This tenor is actually the same one that bachettadavid posted about in that thread!
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5

  8. #7
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Thanks so much for the replies everyone! I'm having a ton of fun with it, and I can't stop playing.

    I can't wait to try recording this thing with a better mic and also to try out the pickup. That should happen in the third week of August!

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    My only thing would be .. I would find your chosen D string would be a little miss matched for me.
    The other string tensions are around 20lb or less but the D is 26lb, of course this might not bother you at all but I would prefer a .20 or .22.
    Great sound though .....
    Hmm, thanks for the advice. I assume you mean the G string (since it's tuned CGDA). I actually don't know much about string tensions, I am only following the advice of Jake Wildwood, who recently set up one of these with the string gauges I mentioned (see here: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...tom-tenor.html )
    That said, I am totally open to trying different string gauges. Do you think it's bad to have the .24 on at the moment? Will it harm the instrument?
    I haven't noticed any imbalance in the sound. So if it's not bad for the instrument, I may leave it on for the time being. I do have some .22's with me at the moment though.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    It might be time to update your signature!
    Oh you're right! Consider it changed!
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
    2018 Poe Scout #76

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  10. #8
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Oh yes sorry the G string!
    No I doubt it will do any harm especially with a .009 for the A.
    There is quite a bit of lee way with the strings but as a general rue of thumb ... sticking to around 20lb per string is the best starting point on most tenor guitars.
    .10 .14 20 .32 is my choice as a good start point but if your strings have been recommended and you like the feel ... that is great.

  11. #9
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    No I doubt it will do any harm especially with a .009 for the A.
    Just so I'm clear, you mean it won't do any harm, right??

    Haha just want to double check! I appreciate the help!
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  12. #10
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Well ok my English is not the best... let me see if I can make it more clear?

    I do not think you are in danger of damaging your guitar due to using a .24 G string.

    I do think a .22 would be a better string to use.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Two nations divided by a common language

    Nice tenor, I look froward to hearing more.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

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  15. #12
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Ha ha yes well my mother was French, my father from London but we have our own local patois in the island so I do get muddled sometimes.

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  17. #13
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    Pas de souci. Je comprends maintenant. Et merci pour tes réponses! Ma guitare est arrivée avec beaucoup de cordes supplémentaires, meme quelques .22w. Donc la prochaine fois que je change les cordes j'essaierai une corde .22 pour le G !

    Seriously, thank you for the help. For future reference, how can I calculate the tension of each string on the neck? I think this would be helpful to know, since I'll probably try out GDAE tuning at some point, which will certainly require a new set of strings and gauges.
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
    2018 Poe Scout #76

  18. #14
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: NGD: Martin TEN515 - My first tenor!

    There are several on line string tension calculators, there is some discrepancy between them but overall they give close results.
    However I have yet to find one that could be described as simple to use, not really difficult but you need to study them a bit!
    For GDAE I would recommend starting with 12 18 30 45 which is very close to 20lb of tension per string depends on what calculator you use. (Not always easy to find a wound 18)
    On the Mac Donald calculator, you need to choose the “short bouzouki “instrument, change the D for E and the scale from 22” to 23” it is a little fiddly to start ... http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html
    There is also this one http://stringtensionpro.com/Options that can be very frustrating to use until you work out the methods and shortcuts ....
    Bonne chance tu en auras besoin.

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