1925 Martin T-18 Tiple

(Serial #23197) Think of a tiple as an ukelele with 10 steel strings and is tuned A-D-F#-B. The first and fourth strings are double, like a mandolin, while the second and third are triple with the center string tuned an octave below the outer strings in each group. The firsts are tuned in unison. In this standard tuning you can play harmonies to everybody else’s guitar and make a major contribution to the ensemble. If you have never heard swing jazz on a tiple you are missing a treat! Natural lacquer finish, Adirondack spruce top, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, original ebony nut. No peghead decal as Martin did not use decals until the 30s but it does have the Martin stamp on the back of the peghead. While not well remembered now, numerous small African-American string-swing ensembles of the 1930's and '40's made extensive use of these small but loud instruments for fast melody work and rhythmic strumming. Two of the best known were the Spirits Of Rhythm (featuring guitarist Teddy Bunn) and Cats and the Fiddle, where Tiny Grimes got his professional start. Overall length is 27 1/2 inches, and the nut is 1 1/2 inches. Has the typical nicks and dings of a well played instrument with some finish checking. A couple of top cracks at either end of the bridge have been glued and cleated, and the bridge has also been reglued. Neck is straight, frets are fine. Plays well with a nice low action as it was just set up by luthier Marty Beeson. Has the cool jangly sound you are looking for. Comes with a recent hard shell tenor uke case that fits well.

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