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Electric tenor guitar build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bobbytouche, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. bobbytouche

    bobbytouche Tele-Meister

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    I didn't see the picture last time I looked at this. Your tenor is gorgeous!! Very well done! Btw, jayyj, did you design yours from dimensions and your own designing, or did you use a blueprint of some sort. I'd love to build an SG tenor as well.


    And whoa, whoa, whoa!! Where on earth did you find the hardware for it????
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  2. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks very much!

    The body was bought as an unfinished, unrouted blank from somewhere that wasclosing out what I think were old Samick Epiphone parts. I reprofiled the contours to early 60s proportions, then someone on Mandolin Cafe kindly posted some great pictures of Neko Case's guitar (evidently Elderly Instruments had it before Neko, so there's a set of their photos available) I could copy the modified neck join and cutaways. The neck was from scratch and to make up for cheating a bit on the body I made a bound Rosewood pickguard for it. I'll have to get some better photos of it.

    Regarding trussrods, the SG has a truss but I made a smaller, octave mandolin sized tenor before that with just an aluminium bar for reinforcement, and I've renecked an old archtop as a tenor with no reinforcement at all, just a three piece neck with Padauk centre to add stiffness. I probably wouldn't go without anything again but the bar worked fine.
     
  3. bobbytouche

    bobbytouche Tele-Meister

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    Where did you find the pickup, bridge and bigsby?
     
  4. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    The pickup was made by Soarsy, who sell various tenor guitar conversions and parts on Ebay. The bridge is a standard Schaller tunomatic with the outer saddles removed and the inner ones renotched, and the Bigsby is the standard B5. That's pretty much how Gibson did it back in the day, often using standard P90s with pearl dots filling the outer holes on a six string pickup cover.

    I really want to do a five string tenor but that's going to take a little more lateral thinking! For my band I' ve played the SG tenor a lot in the past but actually now use six string Duo Sonics / Musicmasters in a five string tenor derived tuning (FCGDGA), which feels better again.
     
  5. bobbytouche

    bobbytouche Tele-Meister

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    So the body is standard SG size? Not scaled down at all?
     
  6. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Standard size, yes. Gibson only made electric tenors to special order, so when someone put in a request they simply adapted whatever they had. SGs and Les Paul Specials are the most common, but there are 335s and various jazz guitars out there with tenor necks as well. The ideal Gibson for me in terms of adapting for a tenor would be a double cut Special or Junior: the body would be identical so you'd just need to rout the tenon for the narrower neck and relocate the bridge / pickup.

    Here's a useful gallery of electric tenors - you can see that Gretsch did the same thing, simply adapting standard bodies with a tenor neck.

    http://www.tenorguitar.com/pyott.html
     
  7. bobbytouche

    bobbytouche Tele-Meister

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    Hmmm I feel a new project culminating. Thanks for the info, dude!
     
  8. vuduchild

    vuduchild TDPRI Member

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    That's a cool collection!

    I tried to get into Grinderman, I really did :p

    Have you ever been a headless, fanned fret tenor? Lol, prolly not but it does seem neat as an idea :eek:
     
  9. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I liked the first album, thought it had worn thin by the second... there was a brief period at the beginning with the Grinderman lineup playing Bad Seeds material - those were really spectacular shows.

    Ultimately though Dirty Three are my favourite Warren project - in fact, probably the best live show I've ever seen was Dirty Three in London 7 or 8 years ago with Nick Cave tucked away in the background playing piano. Much though I love tenors and mandolins, in Warren's case he's really at his best when the violin comes out.
     
  10. vuduchild

    vuduchild TDPRI Member

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    New baritone version

    Have you seen this?

    http://www.eastwoodguitars.com/warren-ellis-signature-tenor-baritone/

    I believe the scale is going to be about 26" - which would be great! One of the things, besides the shorter scale, that struck me when I tried this guitar was that some of the strings were more taught than the rest.

    This reminded me of the fanned fret benefits - and I was wondering if the mixed scale would benefit a four string as much as a 6 string.

    If you use narrower string spacing will the width at the nut be smaller as well?

    How about a mixed spacing, like on this

    http://www.zitherusa.com/products/zither-wizard/

    I think that would be cool.

    I'll make the time to give them another listen. I've never seen the violin come out. I want to believe :p So much awesome music so little time.
     
  11. bobbytouche

    bobbytouche Tele-Meister

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    Quick update. Been super busy lately, but got the sanding sealer on! A rare low humidity day for my area.

    image-1568537400.jpg
     
  12. mcsmitty

    mcsmitty Tele-Meister

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    Just found this thread, I'm now following along and cheering you on. Working on an Warren Ellis model-inspired "build" (by which I mean putting various premade parts together) myself. Curious to see how this one comes (came?) out.
     
  13. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd like grinderman a whole lot more if I'd never heard the birthday party. That's what you want to listen to if you want to hear nick cave on a rampage. Pay comparison, grinderman just sounds phoned in.
     
  14. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does the bigsby make the string spacing weird?
     
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