Strad O Lins

  1. MaltyBrown
    What should a Strad go for at a local shop? All set up. Sounds great (better than my Oscar Schmidt... and i'm a beginner).

    Good starter Mando?
  2. JRG
    Howzit, I'm whatever comes before a beginner but I can tell you from experience, you can't do much better than an old Strad that's in decent shape. A very good professional player spent some time with one of mine not too long ago and was blown away by how good it sounded. Solid wood tops are good but the plywood ones sound good as well. Look for a straight neck and decent frets. You should be able to score a decent one for around $250 or so. There's a couple on eBay right now but that's really hit and miss so I'd stick with either this site or a good shop. Good luck and let us know when you find one. JG
  3. Maxwellt
    I saw a Strad-O-Lin in a shop in Austin, Texas last weekend for $500.00. It was in really clean shape and sounded great, but that did seem high to me. I insure my keepers for that much, though, so I guess it is reasonable.
  4. JamieJ
    I recently acquired an A style Strad-O-Lin from my cousin who inherited it from our grandfather who died in 1970. Our grandfather played it occasionally as a hobbyist during the 1950s, although I have no memory of him doing that, although my cousin does. My cousin gave it to me after 40 years, since I play the mandolin. It has a sunburst finish, pick-guard, and a laminated side and back, but a solid spruce top. No truss rod. Short neck which encourages playing in the "first position" only. I imagine that getting expensive tone woods, like spruce, was easy in the 1950s. Even inexpensive instruments like this, would have a solid spruce top. Two of the tuner knobs cracked when I put new strings on, and I had to replace them, and lower the bridge to adjust the action. It came with a chipboard case.

    It sounds GREAT! Loud and with nice tone. That was a surprise, I confess. The solid spruce top is the reason why.

    The origins of the Strad-O-Lin company remain a mystery, but since my grandfather lived and worked in Albany NY, it is likely that he bought it in NYC or upstate where local shops would have access to this model. I suspect that those who think the factory was in Manhattan are correct. This is an inexpensive production-model instrument for that era (1920-1960), not a high end, custom mandolin. I'm delighted to have it and use it to play Celtic songs that don't require playing bar chords up the neck.
  5. JRG
    Hey Jamie, Can you post some pics? Thanks, JG
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