1920s Stadlmair Tiple

This is a customer's much-beat-up tiple. It bears a "Stadlmair" mark at the headstock but I sometimes wonder if this type of '20s tiple was a higher-end Harmony product. It's clearly aping a Martin-style tiple with its ebony fretboard and nut, but the top is extra-thin mahogany and ladder-braced along the lines of nicer-grade late '20s/early '30s upscale Harmony products. It even has the "folding" issue from tension due to the too-thin wood and the dimensions and body outline recall Harmony products. I digress, though.

It's a nice instrument and has some of the best tone I've heard coming out of a tiple in a while. It's that mellow, sweet, darker Martin-style sound but with a sing-songy high-end that sounds similar to a Portuguese guitar or Latin American-variety tiple. The light build and a life of rough use has caused it all sorts of structural problems, though, which have been addressed where needed. Work included a fret level/dress, brace and crack repairs, setup, and saddle modification. I wish I could've made a 100% compensated saddle for it, but the way the saddle area was built would've meant hacking-off the "tie block" to make that function perfectly. At 85% efficiency, or so, I'm happy enough.

The instrument is all-solid-mahogany throughout except for the bridge which appears to be poplar or maple with a stain. That's pure Chicago-style craziness.

The ebony nut is 1 1/2" in width and the neck has a nice, slim, C-profile. The scale is 17" and I've gauged it 10/22w, 16/36w/16, 14/30w/14, 9/9 for GCEA tuning.