1920s/1950s/2022 Schmidt/Kay Hollowbody Electric Tenor Guitar

My friend Jon dropped this off some time ago. At that time, it was acoustic and just as strange (in its way) as it is now. It consists of a 1920s Oscar Schmidt-made tenor guitar (or banjo?) neck that's been mated to a 1950s/60s Kay, all-ply, archtop guitar body. Someone stuck a new ebony fretboard (plus binding) on it at some point but left the terrible original friction pegs. It was vaguely setup this way when it arrived.

After much fussing structurally (a heavy-handed fret level/dress, new 4:1 Gotoh pegs, install of a Bigsby tailpiece and adjustable Gotoh ABR-style bridge) and then wiring-wise (fitting two Epiphone Swingster humbucker pickups and installing the harness -- 500k pots and orange drop cap as well as a 3-way), it's now turned into an exceedingly-cool hollowbody electric tenor guitar. It's a lot happier in this role, too, and sounds the biz

It's funny how much work is actually involved in modding a "plain Jane" into an electric. In my mind it always seems fast and easy and in many ways it sort-of is compared to doing a lot of structural work and repairs, but I think part of the hard part on these is making sure everything is aligned correctly when you start cutting it up to fit everything. There's a lot of double-checking to do.


Oscar Stern said…
It's also tuned down a step from CGDA, which is BbFCG like what John Lawler played cause his Tenor Guitar was a converted 6 stringer w/ an Extra Long Scale Length.