have been meaning to start this on ronrocos anyway; didn't want it to get lost in the original tipples thread so...hope catspaw & the rest take the bait and read this.
I have a fantastic cd on right now called "Ronroco" from Nonesuch records. On it is all original music as played by the Argentinian composer, Gustavo Santaolalla. I first heard it on NPR. The ronroco is the main instrument he plays. It sounds a little like a mando and uke and is the MOST BEAUTIFUL (this is for Catspaw, "F"ing)thing I've ever heard!
On the cover photo, it looks like what you all describe as a tipple; 5 double strings, body like a ukele though, not a baritone size. To see a picture, go to Yahoo, type in ronroco and you should get a site to click on with charango and ronroco in the title, sorry I didn't write it down.
Anyway, if this is any indication of what a tipple CAN sound like, I would humbly ask you all to give it a listen...maybe the much-maligned tipple would enjoy a renaissance?
Oh, and for any of you who like to play instrumental music on your uke or mandos, this guy's compositions are incredibly beautiful, worth a look at.