Bargain Bin Strad-O-Lin

  1. jimmando
    I picked up this Strad-O-Lin last week for $80 not knowing what I was getting. Seems like a good deal (I hope) based on discussions in this group, which I'm happy to find! Wondering whether anyone could tell me more about it. I'm a mandolin novice but it doesn't seem like a plywood model (no layers visible in the f-holes). Has the curved headstock with curved cursive Strad-O-Lin name and treble clef design. Everything looks original. Black plastic tuning keys, no grommets on the tuning pegs, one piece back, cloud tailpiece with plastic cover and pickguard (cracked, but it's all there). No date I can find, but a sticker inside says "Inspected by Madeline". Seems in pretty good condition. Plays well, but needs new strings. Photos show condition as purchased. One thing I don't know is how to change strings. Looks like the rusted metal cover on the tailpiece should pop off but I'm afraid to try. Any thoughts?
  2. bart mcneil
    bart mcneil
    Sounds like an interesting one. You are correct to be cautious as you can do damage to the tailpiece by forcing it the wrong direction it should slide up so don't pry it from the cloud. that will bend the tailpiece cover and they are too rare to damage one. You will see the joint on the bottom end and that is the area to apply force to slide it off Best to use a block of wood or something which will not damage the metal tailpiece. Keep in mind that it slides off and does not "pop" off. It may be tight, or loose, but it will slide off.

    $80 is a good price for one in the condition you describe.

    Normally the front and back are solid wood with the sides being plywood. but of course some have more plywood than mine. But apparently the plywood ones sound decent too Perhaps it is the thin steam pressed arch in the front and back which gives it its interesting tone. has good information on how to change string. Follow the instructions carefully and you should have little trouble Medium or light weight strings are probably best for an old mandolin. heavies will put additional stress on it.
  3. jimmando
    Thanks! The tailpiece cover slid right up without much effort. I didn't even need the block of wood, just my thumbs. Now I just need to pick up some lightweight strings.
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