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Thread: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 1000$

  1. #1
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 1000$

    Hello All !

    Hard question...
    Firstable accoustic please
    (without pickup)

    Thank you very much by advance for all your advices and pictures...

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    There may be others I am not family with but it will be hard to beat the Blueridge BRT range as a 23” scale steel string tenor guitar.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    ... Are-they so good ?

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    I have never been able to find much information about the Blueridge factory but I would assume it operates very high tech machinery to be able to produce such superb guitars.

    All thier range has jumped up in price in recent years, some of the six string guitars are now very expensive.

    I have worked on many Blueridge guitars and I have never seen a bad one although I have read that some people have had problems!

    The tenor guitars are very well made but have quite heavy bracing that the importers say is suitable for up to 100lbs of tension but there a few around that have been converted to 8 strings and operate with 150lb of string tension and still stay together!

    So yes they are very good tenor guitars but if anything they are overbuilt.

    If you want a light, smaller, shorter scale tenor guitar then there are others available.

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    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Thank you for answer Fox

    What I want and need today -because mandolinist - is a big projection and loud Tenor guitar (in CGDa and/or GDAe) which cut over among other 6 string guitar in session...

    Is-it the case with this one ?

    Regards,

  8. #6
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    That also means that it is better to tune it in GDAe and string it with bigger gauges ?

    What gauges (for more projection and louder sound) do you advice Fox on this T.guitar ?
    Regards,

  9. #7
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    I don’t think you would be disappointed with the sound or volume.

    Similar size tenor guitars that I have built are generally speaking slightly louder and have a different tone but not a by a huge amount!

    Apart from looks my guitars perform best with slightly lower tension stings than I would recommend for a Blueridge but for the price they are fantastic value.

    There is potential to improve the overall performance of a standard Blueridge by having a pro set up and good quality strings or even going further and adjusting the bracing.
    There is not much, if anything, out there than can compete at that sort of price ... only my opinion of course.
    They work well in any tuning as long as you use the right tension string but CGDA will stand out amongst a crowd.

  10. #8
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Thank you Fox,

    What brands or Luthier's they are from ?
    Do you have pictures about ?
    Last edited by Irénée; Jun-11-2020 at 1:47pm.

  11. #9
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    ... improve the overall performance of a standard Blueridge by having a pro set up and good quality strings or even going further and adjusting the bracing...
    What do you mean by "adjusting the bracing" please ?... How is-it possible to "even... adjusting the bracing..."... on a finished guitar you have purchased and received at home ?

  12. #10
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Well the bracing under the soundboard is accessible through the sound hole and can be altered to allow more movement but any such work would immediately remove any guarantee the guitar might have.
    You would have to discuss this with a luthier and listen to his (her) opinion and also decide for yourself if you think the relatively small gains are worth it.
    Having said that I have done that sort of work to many different instruments, mainly six string but also on two Blueridge tenor guitars.

    String gauges can be changed around to discover what suits your own playing style , there are certain limits you can work within.
    On this Forum there are thousands of words written about the Blueridge tenor guitar and the best gauges people prefer.

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  14. #11
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    I am not afraid to do that myself...
    I have some experience in this job...
    I would be (when I will have my instrument used or new) interested to follow your idea...
    with what kind of tools you do that ?
    ... send me please picture of the tools used by yourself to do that operation, to complete my toolbox...
    Thank you by advance

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  16. #12
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Ha ha nothing special, craft knife blades and course sand paper glued to different shaped wood blocks then with smooth sand paper.
    I put in the biggest mirror i can fit and a bright light and work a lot by feel but keep checking in the mirror.
    I cant remember exactly but I think i scalloped the Blueridge bracing.
    You can practice on a cheap six string .....

  17. #13
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    OK!.... Understood...
    Light, miror, and the hand in the hole ... I know, very easy
    Thank You

  18. #14
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    What brands and Luthier please ?
    Put here some pictures about instruments please
    Last edited by Irénée; Jun-11-2020 at 5:12pm.

  19. #15

    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Blueridge unless you can find a used Collings. I played a Collings Tenor once and it was a very loud guitar (in a good way) with an exceptional tone.

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  21. #16
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Thank you very very much for your suggestion
    ... what is its current price for a good used model ?

    Is-it this one which seems playing great (but the micro looks working well too) ?


    ... This one looks sounding good too !

  22. #17
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    I don’t know why you are so interested in volume but the second tenor guitar in the video is the loudest one I have ever built but the first guitar is still louder than a standard Blueridge I know this because I had them together on that same day but did not film the Blueridge

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Irénée View Post
    Thank you very very much for your suggestion
    ... what is its current price for a good used model ?
    Well, they’re now running $4300 new:

    https://reverb.com/item/33569852-collings-tenor-1

    They rarely come up used, but when they do, the cheapest I’ve seen was $2500:

    https://reverb.com/item/3595302-coll...-mahogany#full

    Most have been north of $3K.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  26. #19
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Hi pheffernan !

    Thank you for your remark ...

    ... But... Which one comparing with these 2 Collings above with https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...g-Tenor-guitar could be the best one please ?

  27. #20
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Irénée View Post
    Which one comparing with these 2 Collings above with https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...g-Tenor-guitar could be the best one please ?
    Respectfully, you are asking for an objective answer to a subjective question.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
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    2010 Black GBOM
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    2018 Vessel TM5

  28. #21
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    I don’t know why you are so interested in volume but the second tenor guitar in the video is the loudest one I have ever built but the first guitar is still louder ]
    Because I like to be heard when I play accoustic with Piano, Violin or Banjo, amplified mandolin or big Jumbo 12 string heavy amplified

    What do you think about this last one comparing wit the 2 precedent ?

  29. #22
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    There will always be a limit as to what can be achieved with a small body and four strings, I don’t think tenor guitars are about huge volume.
    The session king tenor guitars offers a large body and a 24” scale, if you are comfortable playing that sort of size and scale I would say that will be about as Loud as you can expect .
    You could just plug in any tenor guitar fitted with a pick up and go as loud as you want?
    Last edited by fox; Jun-15-2020 at 4:09pm.

  30. #23
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    ... I do not like piezo pick up (sound resonning like in bathroom)... It's why I prefer (well constructed instrument with) natural loud accoustic sound with big projection... Comparing with an italian bowl back mandolin (or greek bouzouk 8 string) which has a smaller body (exemple: Embergher 5 bis, Cristofaro 1906, Egildo Emmanuele or the Kerman's) wich is impossible to cover even by a Steinway (concert piano elonged)...
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    ! The probleme is not the body size, but the architecture with (correct geométry & proportions, and) the minimum thinest soundboard with the lighter bracing organisation... and correct back and side...

    Thank you to have mentioned the Gollings (very good and well constructed) I thing good choice for CGDa !... NK Forster also for GDAe could be a great option

    Must find (in Paris... it will be hard...) one good Martin 0-18T... and test, compare with Blueridge BR-70T (hard to find)
    ... And after at the end to go upstair and test Collings vs NK Forster... Hard Job factually...
    Last edited by Irénée; Jun-15-2020 at 5:26pm.

  31. #24
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Irénée View Post
    ... I do not like piezo pick up (sound resonning like in bathroom)... It's why I prefer (well constructed instrument with) natural loud accoustic sound with big projection...
    Some of us have a drummer to fight with onstage
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    OM: Paul Shippey Tone.
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  32. #25
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is Today the best Tenor guitar between 500$ => under 100

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    I don’t know why you are so interested in volume
    Good point. We all have to be careful not to equate loudness with quality. Unfortunately i do see that a lot in the four string/four course world - probably not helped by some builders pushing the idea that loudness = best selling point.

    Helpful in a session, yes, to have volume. For me, TONE is everything when I’m sat at home.

    What does “best” mean too? I think you mean best value
    Best value for me is a more expensive instrument that is second hand and you love it from the get go - money saved and desires satisfied

    Best = Most expensive? Buy that d’angelico that was on eBay i think... sure, that’s a beautiful thing... but...
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, ‘59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: ‘57 Gibson ETG-150, ‘80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    OM: Paul Shippey Tone.
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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