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Thread: Recording King Tenor

  1. #1
    Registered User Ed McGarrigle's Avatar
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    Default Recording King Tenor

    Anyone have any experience with the Recording King series 7?
    Iíve been vacillating between a tenor banjo or guitar. I think I prefer the guitar sound over the banjo. Those darn Jill McAuley videos have gotten me all fired up ( but Iím a mere beginner and will never approach her musicality. Still, one takes inspiration when it comes along)

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  3. #2
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Other members have, but I personally haven't. I've heard decent reports

    Ps musically, if we all arrived fully formed would it be as much fun? Learning & exploring - that's my idea of fun!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, Ď59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: Ď57 Gibson ETG-150, Ď80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  4. #3

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed McGarrigle View Post
    Anyone have any experience with the Recording King series 7?
    I’ve been vacillating between a tenor banjo or guitar. I think I prefer the guitar sound over the banjo. Those darn Jill McAuley videos have gotten me all fired up ( but I’m a mere beginner and will never approach her musicality. Still, one takes inspiration when it comes along)
    Yes, I own one and like it a lot. If you are interested in exploring, you can't beat the price. If you are planning to tune GDAE, I recommend using octave strings - that'll be the first upgrade (and best) that you can make. Shoot for something like a 46 on the G string. It'll really help with overall intonation. I upgraded tuners ($50) not necessary but definitely nice. The setup as I received it was horrible. I almost returned it but glad I did not. I messed with it and got it to about 85% of potential then took it to local luthier (who is outstanding) and he did some work with leveling frets. Huge difference. So, all told, without tuners, invested about $250. It's a lot of fun. I do like to capo at 2nd fret to give my hand a break and when I do, I get a little buzzing on the high string. A minor annoyance. Basically, the experience has me now on the fence between a custom octave mandolin and custom tenor. I come from 6 strange guitar and having a "Collings-quality" tenor guitar has a lot of appeal. I could save myself a lot of stress by buying a Collings tenor but they are very hard to find. I do have a tenor banjo too but I always reach for th tenor guitar first.
    Girouard A5
    Girouard F5
    Eastwood Mandocaster
    Fender Tenor Telecaster (GDAE)
    Collings O1A
    Recording King Tenor Guitar

  5. #4
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Yeah I always think you need something pretty decent to make CGDA not sound too plinky - GDAE is a very forgiving tuning. Just my opinion not necessarily a fact
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, Ď59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: Ď57 Gibson ETG-150, Ď80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  6. #5

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    I recently got one. Paid 189, free shipping. No case. Put some heavier .40-.13 strings (GDAE) on it, lowered the saddle and adjusted the truss rod. Plays and sounds nice. A different perspective for a guitar/mando player/ I can see where this will help my understanding of different mando voicings and stretch my fingers out.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by steve in tampa View Post
    I recently got one. Paid 189, free shipping. No case. Put some heavier .40-.13 strings (GDAE) on it, lowered the saddle and adjusted the truss rod. Plays and sounds nice. A different perspective for a guitar/mando player/ I can see where this will help my understanding of different mando voicings and stretch my fingers out.
    Definitely. You can go heavier on the lower end and it gets even better. My G string is a 46. I did the same mods you did. Had an uneven fret issue around 13th fret that caused buzzing on the E string (GDAE) and that seems to have settled down after some work. The one other thing I did was to upgrade the tuners - 18:1 Grovers from Stew Mac at right around $45-$50. A very nice visual and functional upgrade but by no means necessary. Have fun!
    Girouard A5
    Girouard F5
    Eastwood Mandocaster
    Fender Tenor Telecaster (GDAE)
    Collings O1A
    Recording King Tenor Guitar

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  10. #7
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    I bought A Kala tenor guitar (KA-GTR) a few years ago. Very nice guitar and well made with a solid spruce top and ebony fretboard. I see now they are listed at $219 on the Kala site. Very lightly built and a bit smaller than most tenor guitars. Fun to play. I do tune mine in the typical CGDA. I always tune all my stringed instruments in their normal tuning. Really fun to play and sounds very nice. BTW, also comes with a nice gig bag.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by shaundeane View Post
    Definitely. You can go heavier on the lower end and it gets even better. My G string is a 46. I did the same mods you did. Had an uneven fret issue around 13th fret that caused buzzing on the E string (GDAE) and that seems to have settled down after some work. The one other thing I did was to upgrade the tuners - 18:1 Grovers from Stew Mac at right around $45-$50. A very nice visual and functional upgrade but by no means necessary. Have fun!
    I have a set of Grover Minis that I robbed one out to repair a 12 string. If they go weird, I will do the swap, but for now they are holding fine. One other thing I did was to apply lemon oil to the fretboard and bridge. Had to do it twice as the wood was extremely dry. Had to adjust the truss rod twice so far with the heavier strings.

    If I was going to sink any more time and effort in this thing I would replace the nut, saddle and bridge pins with bone.

    For now, it serves the purpose.

  13. #9

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by steve in tampa View Post
    I have a set of Grover Minis that I robbed one out to repair a 12 string. If they go weird, I will do the swap, but for now they are holding fine. One other thing I did was to apply lemon oil to the fretboard and bridge. Had to do it twice as the wood was extremely dry. Had to adjust the truss rod twice so far with the heavier strings.

    If I was going to sink any more time and effort in this thing I would replace the nut, saddle and bridge pins with bone.

    For now, it serves the purpose.
    I did replace the bridge pins, forgot to mention that. Personal preference but I got to the point that I used "no more than $250 invested" as a target. No particular reason. What it has done is to convince me that I really like tenor guitars a lot so now, considering this that come up for sale but probably, down the road, looking at something customer made. Not sure, still noodling.
    Girouard A5
    Girouard F5
    Eastwood Mandocaster
    Fender Tenor Telecaster (GDAE)
    Collings O1A
    Recording King Tenor Guitar

  14. #10

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    I have got one too, and just like everyone: terrible state when received (1st batch), buzzing around fret 12, rotten strings and one tuner broken.
    But, after a jump to a luthier, new tuners and new strings, it does have a nice sound.
    I tuned it GDAE, with John Pearse Tenor Guitar Strings (013 020w 030w 042w), new rosewood pins + pickguard (just for the look) and it sounds really good.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #11
    Registered User Ed McGarrigle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Thanks
    To all for responses. I’m still undecided. In part I’m afraid of getting distracted from mandolin.I’ve been a returning beginner since February, 2020 playing exclusively Irish Trad on mandolin. I kind of prefer the tone of tenor guitar but the banjo is more a Trad instrument. Whatever I do will be a GDAE tuning. I’m thinking maybe I need to continue with the mandolin exclusively for another year but probably need to get hold of both instruments to see how they feel in hand.

  17. #12
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    What you need Ed is to get Jill to put up a few more sound clips so you can get fired up again!

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  19. #13

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    My wife and I would like to order one of these Recording King tenors for my brother-in-law who lives in Michigan. I am hoping that by buying it through Elderly Instruments in Lansing that they will take care of the buzzing, intonation, sharp frets etc. because we can't drive out there from Minnesota to pick one out.

    I really hate buying instruments online but that's the deal.

    I have bought things from Elderly before and been happy.

    What do you all think?

  20. #14

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Tug View Post
    My wife and I would like to order one of these Recording King tenors for my brother-in-law who lives in Michigan. I am hoping that by buying it through Elderly Instruments in Lansing that they will take care of the buzzing, intonation, sharp frets etc. because we can't drive out there from Minnesota to pick one out.

    I really hate buying instruments online but that's the deal.

    I have bought things from Elderly before and been happy.

    What do you all think?
    I purchased one from Elderly a couple of months ago and couldnít be more pleased. I think this Recording King is exceptional for its price point and itís become my favourite daily player. It was perfectly set up, no buzzing, no rough fret ends and the intonation is great. The large-ish body projects well for finger picking and lighter touch playing.
    Donít think you could go wrong selecting this tenor from Elderly.

  21. #15
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed McGarrigle View Post
    Anyone have any experience with the Recording King series 7?
    Iíve been vacillating between a tenor banjo or guitar. I think I prefer the guitar sound over the banjo. Those darn Jill McAuley videos have gotten me all fired up ( but Iím a mere beginner and will never approach her musicality. Still, one takes inspiration when it comes along)
    I recently worked on one and had some time to play it a bit. Itís not bad for the $ but had some issues; either the bridge was out of place or the neck was mounted crooked resulting in the treble e string was too close to the fb edge. The choice of wood for the bridge was a bit soft; it was not rosewood. The tuners needed to be a higher ratio as it was difficult to get tuned accurately. A setup was needed but thatís pretty std.
    Question: I have another one coming to convert to left handed play and am wondering does anyone know the dimension of the tail Lock?? Clamping the saddle slot routing jig to the guitar might mean staying REAL close to the edge so as not to crack the top or back if the tail block is small. Thanks for any help contributed.

  22. #16

    Default Re: Recording King Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by mogunn View Post
    I purchased one from Elderly a couple of months ago and couldnít be more pleased. I think this Recording King is exceptional for its price point and itís become my favourite daily player. It was perfectly set up, no buzzing, no rough fret ends and the intonation is great. The large-ish body projects well for finger picking and lighter touch playing.
    Donít think you could go wrong selecting this tenor from Elderly.
    Thanks mogunn

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