Friday, 2 March 2012

G L Stiles electric hollowbody mandocello or 8-string tenor guitar
Chris writes:
This is an 8 string, double course, 23" scale, Semi Hollowbody, Tenor I have.

It's a Stiles and I have not been able to find any real information about it. Perhaps you would be willing to post this on your site?

Let me know if you have any questions about it. I've been playing it and it has a really wonderful sonorous and unique voice.

Thanks for all those photos, Chris! However, it's really difficult to find out specific information about individual Gilbert Lee Stiles' guitars because - for the most part - they were one-offs, many being totally unique. Stylistically, yours doesn't really resemble the solidbodies we've looked at before (here, here and here) other than having similar pickups, but if you check out this blog post showing a collection of G L Stiles guitars, you'll see that the hollowbody electric 2nd from the right does share some features in common with your tenor guitar.

Actually, because of its 8-string nature, I'd be inclined to refer to this as a mandocello (a mandocello is to a mandolin as a cello is to a violin) rather than a doubled-course tenor guitar. However, I guess it's up to you and whatever tuning you decide to use.

Although it is undoubtedly a G L Stiles guitar (or mandocello or whatever), I'm slightly puzzled that the headstock seems to show the name "J L Stiles", but maybe the "J" and the "L" are just design elements of the headstock inlay and are not supposed to represent letters.

G L Wilson

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  1. Stumbled on this page and had to say I am a 5 string picker who has had a number of tenor guitars. Two have eight strings and I string them like a "twelve" with octave courses on the third and fourth strings. One is a special order Gibson acoustic from '61, based on the LG-3 flatop that came strung in Mandocello style and the other was from Soarsey Guitars and is a resonator type. Try stringing your Stiles in an octave fashion some time for additional surprises. My tuning is DBGD or an open G chord.



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