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Thread: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

  1. #1

    Default Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Hi,

    I recently got this lovely Mandolin from a family friend, it has no strings but I have a set of new strings still sealed which I was going to use to restring.

    If anyone can help with provenance on this, so who made it, what year it may have been made and any value it may have it would be appreciated.


    P.S: I don't really have any idea on wat strings would be suitable but if anyone can confirm that the ones I have would be suitable it would also be greatly appreciated.

    Finally I can't wait to get using this beautiful instrument!

    Kind regards
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Michele Marano. The label states he was a Vinaccia student. Get the lightest gauge strings you can find- GHS do an ultra light set- medium is asking for trouble on an old bowlback. I found this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...arano-mandolin

    Strings via mail order: https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/ghs...ight-9-32.html

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  5. #3
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Nice mandolin. Fair play to you.

    What Nick said.

    Do not use those strings on this mandolin.

    Mick
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Does it have a bridge?
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  8. #5

    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Hi,

    Many thanks for the replies, I will certainly look for a new set of strings!

    It does have a bridge, it has fallen off looks like the original adhesive material has just dried out, not sure what adhesive to use to stick back on bit will do a little research.

    Kind regards

  9. #6

    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Conmai View Post
    Hi,
    It does have a bridge, it has fallen off looks like the original adhesive material has just dried out, not sure what adhesive to use to stick back on bit will do a little research.
    The bridge should not be glued it place. It is just held in place by string pressure.

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  11. #7
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Interesting label in that Signore Marano claims not only to have been a pupil (allievo) of the Vinaccia workshop (then the poshest mandolin makers in Naples, with endorsement by the Queen of Italy) but also to be using the "Sistema De Meglio" just to cover all the bases. De Meglio were probably the highest volume mandolin makers in Naples at the time and used a distinctive construction system which they had patented. Their labels warn against imitators of which there were many.

    From the photo of your mandolin, it is of the Vinaccia type, not the De Meglio type.

    As others have said, use ultra light strings (GHS ultra lights are a good set for initial setup as they're fairly widely available). There is a skill in setting the bridge position correctly for good intonation and ensuring clean contact at the bridge and nut slots. If you're not experienced, you may want to seek local advice with the setup.

    Martin

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Interesting label in that Signore Marano claims not only to have been a pupil (allievo) of the Vinaccia workshop (then the poshest mandolin makers in Naples, with endorsement by the Queen of Italy) but also to be using the "Sistema De Meglio" just to cover all the bases. De Meglio were probably the highest volume mandolin makers in Naples at the time and used a distinctive construction system which they had patented. Their labels warn against imitators of which there were many.
    Martin
    Martin and alll...here is a Michele Maratea with the Sistema De Meglio label.

    I've sometimes wondered whether some of these mandolins made with the "Sistema" weren't indeed made by folks who might also have worked for DeMeglio. Given their high volume of production perhaps work was jobbed out to various shops rather than done exclusively at a central atelier.

    This one looks very much like the proper DeMeglios but for the slightly heftier tulipwood (?) banding around the top.

    The small bit of gap between the end of the fretboard and the soundhole might not have passed muster on Vico Lungo Gelso.

    Mick
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  15. #9
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Michele Maratea perhaps had a brother, Raffaele, who was also an allievo di Vinaccia.

    From the few examples I have, Raffaele's mandolins were a bit more luxurious than il suo fratello's.

    Raffaele Maratea also included a "Sistema DeMeglio" on his labels even if some of his instruments showed a Calace influence.

    FWIW, I've never been a big fan of the more ornate DeMeglio sistema mandolins, preferring their more classic almost Martin-esque simplicity.

    Other RM mandolins are very Vinaccian, as one would expect from an allievo.

    Mick
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  17. #10
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Martin and alll...here is a Michele Maratea with the Sistema De Meglio label.

    I've sometimes wondered whether some of these mandolins made with the "Sistema" weren't indeed made by folks who might also have worked for DeMeglio. Given their high volume of production perhaps work was jobbed out to various shops rather than done exclusively at a central atelier.

    This one looks very much like the proper DeMeglios but for the slightly heftier tulipwood (?) banding around the top.

    The small bit of gap between the end of the fretboard and the soundhole might not have passed muster on Vico Lungo Gelso.

    Mick
    Very interesting De Meglio clone. However, the label on the OP's mandolin doesn't say Michele Maratea, but Michele Marano (or possibly Varano -- the printer used a very abstract capital letter font), so we're talking about a different Vinaccia pupil.

    Martin

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  19. #11
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Some mistaken labeling in file folders on my part....And the curse of failing eyesight.

    I do have a number of Marano mandolins in the files...all in a rather straightforward and modest Vinaccia style.

    Marano's actual role in these would be anyone's guess.
    No real reason to doubt other than we've seen these kinds of "Fabbricante" often.

    The Marateas: Michele, Raffaele and Domenico seem to have been better students.

    Mick
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  21. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    All good recommendations above from my esteemed colleagues. My only additions would be to have the mandolin set up properly by a pro luthier. Also, I am not a big fan of GHS strings except for those on a budget. Yes for the ultra light gauge but I much prefer the tone from Dogal Calace RW92B Dolce strings. Much better tone for these Italian bowlbacks. I usually try the GHS A-240 set for a test initially since they are inexpensive.

    As others have noted those D’Addario strings will destroy this old mandolin.
    Jim

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  23. #13
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with new Mandolin - Allieno Di Venaccia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    All good recommendations above from my esteemed colleagues. My only additions would be to have the mandolin set up properly by a pro luthier. Also, I am not a big fan of GHS strings except for those on a budget. Yes for the ultra light gauge but I much prefer the tone from Dogal Calace RW92B Dolce strings. Much better tone for these Italian bowlbacks. I usually try the GHS A-240 set for a test initially since they are inexpensive.

    As others have noted those D’Addario strings will destroy this old mandolin.
    I agree on the tone point, but I was recommending the GHS A-240 for precisely that reason: as an inexpensive test run to see whether the mandolin is actually playable. Until it has been strung up, we won't know if there are significant setup or even structural issues that need to be addressed.

    Martin

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