I got this tenor guitar off of the dump a few months ago. I've wanted a tenor guitar for awhile now and to get one that's vintage for free, well, that's a pretty big score. Tenor guitars became popular when tenor banjos became unpopular. Tenor guitars were made so that a banjo player could still play in bands that were decreasingly interested in having a banjo in their group. It is tuned the same as a tenor banjo. While you can tune it to lots of alternate tunings, the most popular for this instrument are CDGA and, like a mandolin and fiddle, GDAE. I decided to restring it and clean it up a bit.
The strings go into the tailpiece, pictured below. I hadn't seen one like it before.
Loop end strings. That's another new one to me. From what I understand, very similar to the tenor banjo. My wife and I had to search a bit to find loop end guitar strings. Ultimately, we had to special order them from England.
As you can see below, it has a cover piece that slides over the loop ends. Took me a minute to figure that out.
Whenever I change the strings, I also scrub the fretboard - especially if I don't know who has been playing the instrument.
The picture below is a good representation of why I always scrub the fretboard.
I noticed a few cracks. Nothing horrible, but I'll have to keep an eye on it.
A bit of cleaner. I used to oil the fretboards of my guitar with bore oil for brass instruments. I need to get more, especially in the dry climate of Colorado.
I usually leave this much play when winding the strings. You want a bit wrapped around the stem of the tuners.
There were lots of options for spacing. It took me a few tries to see what worked best for the guitar and my fingers.
The bridge is a floating bridge. The intonation is a bit out and I'm wondering if the floating bridge is set up incorrectly.
Slight separation where the neck meets the body.
If I want to keep this guitar (I think I do, it plays and sounds great), I'm going to have to sink some money into it. The intonation is out, the tuners need work (falls out of tune) and it has a few separations. I want to find a good luthier in the Denver area and have it fixed right. It's a beautiful guitar. My estimate is that it was made somewhere between 1920 and 1950. There are no markings on or in the guitar.
I'll keep you posted.