Electric Tiple

Please call 773.489.4830 or email info@specimenproducts.com to discuss details and make arrangements for your commission.


The traditional acoustic tiple is a small instrument in the guitar family, similar to a ukulele or a taropatch. It has its earliest roots in 16th century Colombia where instrument makers adapted the design of a Spanish vihuela. Since then, numerous variations sprang up in Puerto Rico, Spain, Venezuela, and eventually in the United States during the 1920s when Martin and Regal introduced their 10-string version.

  • Neck

    Bolt-on mahogany

  • Scale Length


  • Truss Rod

    Non-adjustable steel bar

  • Fretboard


  • Body

    Honduras mahogany with tortoise shell binding on front and back (28" overall length with the lower bout measuring 9" wide)

  • Pickups

    Custom made single-double-double-single polepiece pickup

  • Controls


  • Bridge

    Custom made rosewood, brass and bone bridge

A couple years ago I was lucky enough to acquire a beautiful Regal 10-string tiple. I became intrigued with it and its possibilities as an electric instrument. I created this Specimen Tiple using my Regal as a template. It is tuned to A D F# B. The inner courses are triples and the outer courses are doubles. This instrument can cut through just about any orchestral setting and as a solo instrument it is a commanding and complex voice. I do not know of any one else making electric tiples; this may be the only one.

In the spring of 2012, Fiona Applereturned to the stage for tour that kicked off at South by Southwest. Playing in her band is Blake Mills, a guitarist/singer/songwriter with phenomenal talent (pictured here, photo courtesy of JL Hopper Photography). Blake also plays a mean Tiple and with his Specimen Electric Tiple, he coaxed a cocktail of strange and beautiful tones that added sublime complexity to Apple’s music. Check out our Blog post for more info and to watch a video of Blake playing the Specimen Tiple on Apple’s “Fast as You Can”.

Specimen Custom Electric Tiple
Specimen Custom Electric Tiple
Specimen Custom Electric Tiple Headstock back
Photo Courtesy of JL Hopper Photography

Blake Mills and Fiona Apple with the Electric Tiple