7/19/2017

1962 Martin 5-15T Flattop Tenor Guitar





Size 5 Martins definitely win the "cute and cuddly" award as far as flattops go, and the 5-15T (Martin's "entry-level" tenor guitar) had a long and successful production run, judging by how many show-up on the market. To passers-by, they look like outsized baritone ukuleles, but these are 23" long-scale instruments and have a professional feel, tone, and carrying-power despite their diminutive size. Compared to the bigger 0-15T/0-17T models, these size 5 tenors have more bite, snap, and presence in a mix -- but still have the velvety/mwah mids that give mahogany Martins their signature tone. I like them for standard CGDA tuning (this one is strung for it) or "Chicago" DGBE tunings. A "low G uke" GCEA tuning is also nice and chimey, but I don't often like them for "Celtic" low GDAE tuning.

A customer brought this in for consignment way back and I've finally gotten around to doing the work on it -- a neck reset, fret level/dress, and good setup. The neck is straight, the frets have plenty of meat left, and it plays spot-on with 1/16" action at the 12th fret and a full-height original saddle. It's also in good order with no cracks and only a few minor nicks and scratches. The finish is quite clean and overall it has a nice "glow."


This has an 11 1/4" width on the lower bout.


The ebony nut is 1 1/4" in width and the neck has a medium, soft-V profile.


The board, bridge, and headstock veneer are rosewood.



I love the red tortoise on the old Martins -- especially bumped-up against mahogany.


I have the treble side of the saddle shimmed-up just slightly to get the action dialed-in. The pins are all original.


When I reset the neck, I aligned it via the height of the original, unmolested saddle.













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