First mandolin

  1. fishinmusician
    So here I am, another guitar player who thought, "I think I would like a mandolin." My local music store carried nothing but a couple of A-style Epiphones. After taking a couple of strums I felt that these instruments didn't have much "Jump", if you know what I mean. I started looking online and found Mandolin Cafe and I was so glad I did. This site is a great source of info for all things mandolin. After lurking around I decided I would like to find something vintage but I didn't feel like paying $2000 for a vintage Gibson. I set my sights on a few different brands: Howe & Orme, Lyon & Healy, Stradolin, etc... So, I started searching ebay, but being of Scottish descent I have a hard time paying shipping fees.
    Then, this mandolin showed up in the local classifieds.

    The lady selling it said it was left to her by a lieu of rent. Now there's a surprise. She had it listed for $250 but said that the guy only owed her $200, so she sold it to me for that amount.
    I got it home, put on a new set of strings, tuned it up, fine tuned the bridge placement, retuned it, and give it a couple of strums. I love it! It has bark, bite, and growl, as well as a lovely chime and pretty good sustain.
    For you Stradolin archivisits, the lady said that the instrument had been in the gentleman's family since new and was told that it dates from the forties. The top is solid spruce,

    the back is a nicely figured maple that I believe to be a laminate.

    The neck is mahogany and the scale length is 13 5/8 inches.

    Now I'm just starting to figure out that there is more to playing mandolin than thinking of it as the top four strings of a guitar turned upside down.

  2. Cary Fagan
    Cary Fagan
    Congratulations for finding yourself a nice Strad. Definitely better than anything new for that money.
  3. bmac
    I agree.. It is a beauty and I think you paid a fair price for an instrument in that condition. Maybe you even got a bargain. Enjoy it!!

  4. DerTiefster
    That looks to me like real curly maple on the back, not painted-on, and I personally haven't seen curly maple plywood on such instruments so I'd -expect- it to be a solid wood back, too. (Mine looks like it has solid wood sides, as well.) If yours plays like mine, you got a bargain and you should play, play, play it. Congratulations.
  5. bmac
    Mine, dating approx 1935 is solid wood front, back and sides. I have no idea what wood though.... the front and back are incredibly hard wood... very difficult to work with. The tone bars are very easy to work with and I would guess something like bass wood.
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