1928 Martin 5-17T Tenor Guitar
I bought this in October 2006 from Guitar Center in San Jose.
Apparently they thought it was a ukulele, and had
it strung that way. Also, it has a large (repaired)
in-grain crack on the starboard side,
so I got an amazing deal on it.
(I bought it for less than what a set of its vintage Grover pancake-style tuners go for on eBay).
It's shown here as I got it, strung with nylon as a Uke.
Hard to see, but it has original bar frets in good condition.
I showed it to
Frank Ford at
Gryphon Stringed Instruments, who
inspected it and recommended to leave it just as is, except to
re-string it with steel strings (a set for a tenor banjo works perfectly).
It plays well and very easily. The crack is stable and normally not visible to the player nor to the audience. Tuned in 5ths, the sound is wonderful, extremely bright and chimey.
A perfect "couch guitar".
The serial number (partially obscured by Photoshop
for privacy) shows that:
1) it was made in 1928,
2) it's a guitar, not a ukulele, as Martin ukes don't have serial numbers.
Close-up of the side-crack
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last updated September 14, 2011