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Thread: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

  1. #1
    Registered User Bill Bradshaw's Avatar
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    Default Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    Saw this in a local pawn shop. It seems reasonably well made and actually doesn't sound too bad. I didn't see anything inside.

    Any ideas? Thanks,
    Bill

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  2. #2
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    From the front it looks carved, from the side it looks rather flat. The sides seem very deep. Perhaps home made?
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    It's a shame the photos are not bigger and we could see more detail. In motor cycle circles in the UK 50 years ago, it might be described as a "Bitsa". That is one marque's frame or engine (BSA) crossed with a whole load if bits from other makers but it's hard to tell what it is.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    That is an interesting top configuration. It appears to be flat in the middle with a partial recurve carved around it. It would make bridge fitting easier and give you some of the string angle improvements that a canted top does. I am not sure there are any other benefits. Kind of a hybrid between a canted top and a carved top.

  5. #5
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    I suggest hand made, by someone with some cabinet experience, loosely based on a Gibson design for inspiration.

    The finish suggests an age of at least 50 years, probably much more.
    Durn, 50 years would be early 1970's, which doesn't seem so long ago.

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    Hard to tell from the photos but I am less optimistic or forgiving than my colleagues here. That sideview photo looks like it has considerable sinkage on the top. Some more photos might help. Were you planning on buying it? I would be wary, even if very cheap.
    Jim

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Hard to tell from the photos but I am less optimistic or forgiving than my colleagues here. That sideview photo looks like it has considerable sinkage on the top. Some more photos might help. Were you planning on buying it? I would be wary, even if very cheap.
    Agree, Jim…
    Chuck

  8. #8
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hoping someone has seen one of these before

    Yeah, I speculate that the "flat in the middle, recurve around the edges" that CarlM noticed above, actually is the result of an arched top flattening out in the middle. Non-luthiers building arched-top instruments may not be completely cognizant of the bracing that's needed to withstand the tension of mandolin strings -- lots more than what violin tops need to take -- and over the decades even arch-tops by Gibson and other major manufacturers often flatten.
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