1962 Martin 5-15T All-Mahogany Tenor

Used – Excellent
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Telluride Music Co.
Telluride, CO, United States
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About This Listing

Originally inspired by 4-string Irish banjos, the Tenor Guitar is often misunderstood and too often overlooked. The earliest origins of the tenor guitar are somewhat unclear, but by 1927, Tenor models appeared in the Martin catalog.

In those days, tenor guitars provided a familiar neck and tuning for plectrum banjo players who were hired for guitar gigs. After a burst of popularity during the folk revival of the '60s, tenor guitars were back in fashion. Even though sales dwindled through the mid-'70s, Martin has continued to build them in limited quantities. Nowadays, they have found a home in bluegrass, Americana, folk, Celtic, and many other genres where a resonant, articulate tone is desired.

The Martin 5-15T was introduced in 1949, and it features a 22" scale tenor setup on an all-mahogany Size-5 body. Tenor guitars can be tuned a lot of different ways, and the shorter scale paired with the small 11-1/4"-wide body make this model a great fit for low G (GDAE). Its size and scale are very similar to an Octave Mandolin, so this tuning gives it that octave mandolin vibe. By tuning in 5ths, you unlock a lot of two-finger chord voicings that leave droning open strings. The all-mahogany construction lends a warmer, richer tone, and low notes resonate like you wouldn't believe. With such a comfortable, compact body, a good 5-15T pulls new songs, melodies, and ideas right out of you.

This Martin 5-15T dates to 1962, and the model was only produced for one more year after this one was made. It is in beautiful condition with minimal repair history. Over the years, the pickguard shrunk and came unglued at one point (fortunately no crack involved, and it has been reglued. The body is crack-free and the original Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and bridge are both beautiful. There is of course some playwear, and at some point, a stringwinder was very unkind to the edges of the headstock. But all in all, this 5-15T has been beautifully preserved over the years.

As for playability, the action is on the high side. At present, the saddle is huge—we believe it is the factory height and has never been adjusted. Lowering the action at the saddle would be simple, but resetting the neck might be a better—albeit more expensive—means to lower the action while also preserving the factory-height saddle. We've considered that expense in setting our price. Truth be told, it's still a lot of fun to play as is, so you might not want to change a thing.

This 1962 Martin 5-15T is an inspiring songwriter that would be a fun every day player around the house. It pairs well with coffee and stormy fall mornings. Period chipboard case included.

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Product Specs

Listed19 days ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United States
Fretboard Material
Body Shape
Right / Left Handed
Neck Material
Top Material
Finish Style
Number of Strings
Back Material
Sides Material

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