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Thread: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

  1. #1

    Default Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    While looking for the info about Martin tenors (and specifically 0-18T) I've found that there're five 8-string tenor guitars made by Martin. I recall that I've already seen this information somewhere before, but I haven't seen the pictures.

    So I've found that one of them was sold quite recently - https://reverb.com/item/36523872-mar...tural-ohc-rare. The price is quite high but probably justified for such a rare instrument. Not sure if one of the cafe' residents have it now but I'd not be surprised

    I'm not sure how you should call this instrument cause it's probably more 'octave mandolin' in modern terms, but I also wonder how does it sound. It probably should sound close to guitar bodied flat-top octave mandolins, like Northfield for example.

    Have you ever seen one? Have you ever tried one? What is your impression?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Hi Roman,

    Wow - Nice Martin Octave Mandolin! $5k seems fair for one of only five ever made.

    According to Martin Guitars: A Technical Reference: 2 were made in 1969, 3 in 1970.

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    Never seen or heard any played.


    Steve Pyott created a list of Martins tenors here: http://www.tenorguitar.com/martin.html

    Specifically 0 sized tenors: (Bold emphasis is mine.)

    • O-18T (1929-present), spruce top, now available only by special order from the custom shop. 31 were made in 1930 under the Carl Fisher brand. This instrument is commonly associated with Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio, who also played an O-17T (later converted to an 8-string, something he had done to an O-18T as well) and occasionally a 2-18T.
    • O-18KT (1997), part of the Kingston Trio Limited Edition, consisting of 40 sets of three instruments (the others being the D-28KT six-string, and a Deering Vega long neck banjo).
    • O-18T8 eight-string version of O-18T (five made, 1969-70)
    • O-18TE electric version of O-18T (two made, 1959 and 1962)
    • O-18TD (one made, 1976)*
    • O-17T (1932-1960) all mahogany, rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
    • O-28T herringbone (1930-31; one each made, 1941, 1961, 1964) spruce top, some have banjo style tuners
    • O-21T (three made, 1929; two made, 1930 and 1935; one made, 1961) spruce top
    • O-15T (1960-63) all mahogany, rosewood fingerboard and bridge.


    With the 1976 - 0-18TD, the "D" designation is unknown.
    In 1980, one Koa Topped Tenor: 0-18TK2 was built.


    Not a Martin, but this has caught my attention as I have a few FT-28's.:

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    1964 Epiphone FT-28 Octave Mandolin Conversion
    https://www.folkwaymusic.com/museum/...t-28-1964-0812

    http://www.tenorguitar.com/epiphone.html
    Gibson made a flattop under the Epiphone label called the Caballero (1963-68) model FT-28; all mahogany, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, very similar to Gibson's own TG-0.

    If you are interested in other Epi tenors:
    https://dutcharchtopguitarmuseum.nl/...-archtops-new/
    https://dutcharchtopguitarmuseum.nl/...lection/tenor/


    So you can see conversions are possible as well. If you search this forum, I believe you will find a few tenor guitar to octave mandolin conversions done by Cafe members.

    Huck
    Last edited by Huck; Nov-05-2020 at 8:30am.

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  4. #3
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    yeah its funny how some need to refer to it as an eight string tenor... and i've actually had people firmly correct me when i point out it's a GBOM (Guitar Bodied Octave Mandolin in case you don't know that one Roman!)

    I'd be tempted to play it with only three courses and call it a trichordo or a tres or saz just for the devilment of it all.

    nice though!
    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".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  5. #4

    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman Pekar View Post
    I also wonder how does it sound.

    Roman check this out. May give a good representation of the sound.



    A few other posts, etc.

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    https://www.gbase.com/gear/martin-s0...ing-tenor-1969
    Sold in July. It was estimated to sell for $800-$1200.


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    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ith-8-STRINGS-!

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ly-conversions


    Badger Rob- I'd love to find a Martin Tres.

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    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk...artin-lxm-tres

    Martin LXM Tres Tuning
    Bass to Treble:
    .0115" Octave g
    .024" Low G

    .014" c in Unison
    .014" c in Unison

    .024" Low E (Alternate F)
    .0115" Octave e (Alternate f)

    Huck

  6. #5
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck View Post


    Badger Rob- I'd love to find a Martin Tres.

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    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk...artin-lxm-tres

    Martin LXM Tres Tuning
    Bass to Treble:
    .0115" Octave g
    .024" Low G

    .014" c in Unison
    .014" c in Unison

    .024" Low E (Alternate F)
    .0115" Octave e (Alternate f)

    Huck

    Ha! Who knew?!
    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".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  7. #6

    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck View Post
    Roman check this out. May give a good representation of the sound.



    ...
    Yes, but Pono has more shallow body and shorter scale length. I can't say I really like the sound though.
    I'd probably expect more bouzouki / Andy Irwine sound from longer scale and deeper body of Martin.
    May be something similar to this (but here it with capo so harder to judge):


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  9. #7

    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Btw, what's your opinion - did Martin reinforce these tenor guitars to accommodate 8 strings or were they built sturdy enough to work well with double tension?

  10. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    With the courage of the ignorant I was building these from Harmony arch top and flat top tenor guitars in 1967-68 using off the shelf Harmony mandolin parts. All I was trying to get was the high four strings of a 12-string guitar. I'm amazed that I could have simply dropped a ton of money and bought one.

    I thought it was a unique idea at the time.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Martin 0-18T8 8 string tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    With the courage of the ignorant I was building these from Harmony arch top and flat top tenor guitars in 1967-68 using off the shelf Harmony mandolin parts. All I was trying to get was the high four strings of a 12-string guitar. I'm amazed that I could have simply dropped a ton of money and bought one.

    I thought it was a unique idea at the time.
    as far as I know they made only 5 of them, but as it was the custom shop you probably could've bought one indeed. Not sure if they had to reinforce the top though

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