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Thread: 5 String Archtop Tenor

  1. #1

    Default 5 String Archtop Tenor

    Mostly a lurker around this and other forums, and venturing now into Tenor guitars and possibly other mandolin family instruments.

    This is an archtop nearing completion that I guess you could say is a hybrid of styles and building techniques.

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    The body is Beech (sinker wood from Great Lakes), the neck is Maple and Cherry, and the top is Western Red Cedar.

    The scale length is 22.5". It will have 5 strings and I expect tuning to be GDAEA.

    Any one have other suggestions for tuning? I don't believe I will be able to go lower than "G".

    I set it up today with one string for a test drive. I think it's gonna sound pretty good.

    I do hope to offer instruments for sale in the near future, and no, I don't have a waiting list.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Ben Vierra's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    That's the tuning I would try first, if I had a 5-string tenor. Glad you're trying the beech - I'd like to know how that works out. Looks like a fun project!

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    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    I have a few 5-string tenors with that scale. I use FCGDA and find it really accessible. Straight 5ths across the strings.

    -DJW

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  7. #4
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    I would tune it GDAEB, all 5ths.

  8. #5

    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by djweiss View Post
    I have a few 5-string tenors with that scale. I use FCGDA and find it really accessible. Straight 5ths across the strings.

    -DJW
    I'd love to see what your tenors look like. What scale length and what do you use for your F string? Who made them?

  9. #6

    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    I would tune it GDAEB, all 5ths.
    If I can ask, what do you use for your B string, and what is your scale length?

  10. #7
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    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett S. View Post
    I'd love to see what your tenors look like. What scale length and what do you use for your F string? Who made them?
    My 5-strings were all made by Paul Lestock of Arrow Guitar & Mandolin. Scale length is ~22.75" if I recall (I'm not near them at the moment).

    I generally use a regular guitar pack and drop the "D" string:

    For my acoustics (flat-top and arch-top), I currently use 0.050, 0.040, 0.023-wound, 0.015, and 0.011.
    For my solid-body electrics, I currently sue 0.046, 0.036, 0.026-wound, 0.013, and 0.010

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  12. #8
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 String Archtop Tenor

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett S. View Post
    If I can ask, what do you use for your B string, and what is your scale length?
    Sorry, I don't have a 5 string tenor, but, if I did, it would be tuned in 5ths.

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