3/11/2018

1920s Oscar Schmidt-made Tiple




I've worked on a number of Oscar Schmidt-made tiples in spruce-over-birch, but this is the first one I've seen in spruce-over-mahogany and with a nice mahogany neck, too. It's definitely a step up but still in the same vein as the woody, mellow, jingle-jangle sound of the usual OS tiple.

I'd mentioned that this was available on eBay and a customer bought it and sent it here. I squeezed in the work on it between working on other, more intensive instrument repairs, and it progressed pretty quickly. It received a neck reset, fret level/dress, crack repairs to the back, a saddle-slot-recut, and a new compensated bone saddle and bone nut. I also popped-on side dots. It's playing perfectly with a straight neck and 1/16" action at the 12th fret. I've used a custom string set for GCEA tuning gauged 10/22w, 16/36w/16, 13/30w/13, 9/9 low to high.

It's pretty-much a tenor uke in size and shape, though much more stiffly-braced, of course. Specs-wise it has a 17" scale with a 1 5/16" nut width and 1 1/8" string spacing at the nut and 2 1/16" spacing at the bridge. The lower bout is 8 3/4" across and the sides have 3 1/2" depth at the endblock. The neck is fast, comfortable, and has a medium-sized C-shape to its rear. Most tiples have much clunkier necks but I can do sliding, closed-position chord shapes on these a lot easier than on other brands. Ringing, open chords still sound best, though.



Rosewood is used for the fretboard and bridge.



How about all that purfling and the three-ring rosette?


Note the extra compensation for each string at the saddle -- this hurts the ears much less than the usual straight-saddle bridges found on most tiples.





There's some residue from past "neck reset" glue work done next to the heel.




No comments: