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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bedubya BS: New tiple info!!!! (7) New tiple info!!!! 20 Mar 01


********** NEWSFLASH **********

ANSWER TO "WHY A TIPLE?" UNCOVERED!

Okay, it's not really a newsflash, and it may all just be a pack of lies, but after reading the classic tiple thread in the newcomer's section, it occurred to me that I once heard a perfectly believable explanation for the seeming excess of tiples in the world, and that nobody mentioned this theory in that thread.

DISCLAIMER: I make no claim for the veracity of what follows. It's something a drunk once told be while lolling around a campfire at a bluegrass festival.

It seems that during a certain period of the last century, the C.F. Martin Company's attitude toward dealer relations was a little on the draconian side. A dealer could not just sign a contract and order a few D-18's and D-28's, but had to carry, at least initially, a product line dictated by the folks at Martin. This line would have included not just guitars, but mandolins, ukuleles and tiples. The other instruments sold while the tiples gathered dust until the dealers finally sold them off at fire-sale prices.

This does not explain why the folks at Martin decided to make tiples in the first place, but it does explain why the number of them out there seems to greatly exceed the demand for them. Whereas Martin may have built and sold a few hundred tiples in an open market, they used their position of power in the industry to try to create a demand for thousands of them. And it just didn't happen.

As stated above, I have absolutely no idea if this is the truth. I have no desire to offend the fine folks at C.F. Martin or any Martin worshippers. I like my Martin guitars just fine.... But it's a damned believable little tale, isn't it?




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