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Thread: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

  1. #1

    Default Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    I was handed an old Mandolin in fair condition with Orpheum on the headstock. Pick Guard is missing. looking for model number and age of instrument. Thanks Everyone!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    A picture would help
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  4. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Rochester NY 14610

    Default Re: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    A picture would help
    It would, in fact, be a necessity. "Orpheum" was a brand used on a wide variety of instruments from different manufacturers. We've seen Kay, Harmony, and Strad-O-Lin instruments with that label. Orpheum banjos were made by Rettburg & Lange around the turn of the 20th century. After WWII it was used on a variety of arch-top guitars, made by Chicago manufacturers in the low-to-mid-price range.

    We'd need to see the instrument you were handed.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I cleaned it up and did a setup last night. Any help with history or date of this mandolin would be greatly appreciated!

  6. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    Late 1900's, most likely made in Korea, possibly Japan if it's a few years earlier. This brand has been owned by lots of people and has been applied to instruments from several manufacturers and countries.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Orpheun mandolin, model number and year

    Not bad. Got my curiosity up because it doesn’t resemble any of the other “Orpheum” mandos I could find via websearch, which tended to have the 3-cut f-holes. I doubt it ever had a pickguard, which is a matter of personal preference on an archtop. Since it’s good enough to have a truss rod it’s probably at least solid top, maybe all solid. I wonder if that bridge is original. Tacoma was using the Orpheum brand in the early 2000s until Fender bought them, but most of the mandolins they built were unconventional-looking compared to this. How are the tuners? They look like standard upgradable dimensions. I suspect this is a case of “as good as it feels and sounds”, a nice player’s instrument.
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