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Thread: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for information

  1. #1

    Default Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for information

    Hey,
    I bought this mandolin in a craigslist sale for $50 and I'm looking for some information about it. The seller didn't know its history. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Can anyone I.D. it? Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Very interesting and quite beautiful! But I have no idea who made it. It does look as if it needs a better-fitting tailpiece. A luthier could help you. Good luck with it! I hope it sounds as great as it looks.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Thanks! I agree about the tailpiece. I haven't put much tension on the strings because it looks like there's something wrong with the way the tailpiece is attached. I plan on bringing it to a luthier.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Show the tuners as they may help date its era. It appears to have been inspired by Martin archtop two point mandolins. It may be one that has been modified.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    https://i.imgur.com/65z6RYj.jpeg

    Here's a shot of the tuners. Tried and failed adding it to the original post.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    I have seen a set of tuners with many similarities but not the same advertised as 1970s units on eBay but this seller is not always correct with his attributions. Here is the headline:

    Vintage 70's Gibson Mandolin Kluson Tuners Set for Project Upgrade

    The tuners appear to be fairly modern which suggest the mandolin is not that old. A bit of a mystery. The tuners may not be from Kluson- I don't know if that style was copied in the Far East.

  8. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Here ya go. Yes, inspired but not a modified Martin 2-20 or 2-30. Different proportions (see below).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jim

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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    WoW I'm in lust-I love those old OddBall Mandolins! I should be getting my Sept.1934 Joe Wilson back very soon! The tuners look to be wartime or directly postwar gold plated Kluson A style tuners!

    Its a very interesting build. I'm impressed with the whole vibe of her! Love the TS headstock faceplate! It looks very well made, the carving, wood selection well overall craftsmanship! I've never seen another like it so its probably someone in the violin worlds attempt at a custom mandolin for himself or client? Can you tell where this bad boy surfaced and is there any label or writing on the inside? Thanks in advance! Its VERY KOOL

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    The tuners are much newer than post war and they are Klusons. Somebody did some nice work but that is probably going to need a custom tailpiece or at least a modified tailpiece. Obviously built by someone with some skills in lutherie but I don't think it came out of a factory. It would appear they built a nice custom case for it as well. If I had run into that I would have had to buy it. Nice snag.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Some more information about the instrument:
    There are some minor checks in the lacquer. The bracing looks to be tone bar. The neck is straight and the fretboard seems fine. No wood cracks or separation that I can feel anywhere on the body. The only flaw I can see is around the missing tailpiece screw. There's a little chipping around the screw hole.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    I assumed that thing didn't have enough room for the screw. If the hole is just enlarged it should be an easy fix with wood glue and some round toothpicks and a new screw. Healing a hole under the metal plate won't be too tough.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    That is an awesome find. I agree with Jim Garber that it looks to be inspired by that model Martin. Even down to the one piece bridge. Hopefully an easy fix to get it up and strumming.

    Case looks to be well made, too.
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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    That is a wonderful buy. Enjoy your mandolin.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    I thought the problem with the tailpiece was that the back screw was near to the edge of the mandolin and from the photo looks like it would screw into the binding. Then again can’t really tell from the photos.
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  19. #15

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Here's a better view of the tailpiece
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    If it was mine I'd have to see her in hand to see what I wanted to do so the job looked and fit with that really fine mandolin! It looks scary where the bottom screw would go in the above photo.

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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I thought the problem with the tailpiece was that the back screw was near to the edge of the mandolin and from the photo looks like it would screw into the binding. Then again can’t really tell from the photos.
    I think it's hitting the seam and not the tail block. If it was me I'd sculpt the bottom of the tailpiece a bit to shorten it up, drill a new hole and have the base replated.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I think it's hitting the seam and not the tail block. If it was me I'd sculpt the bottom of the tailpiece a bit to shorten it up, drill a new hole and have the base replated.
    Or replace the tailpiece altogether. I wonder, though, if the depth of the sides is non-standard or at least a bit less deep than most mandolins. That looks like a standard clamshell TP.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    The tailpiece is a standard sort of Waverly Cloud. I don't think there is anything shorter. If you simply duplicated the contours on the bottom above the lowest screw hole and then drilled the hole above it would probably be fine and it would look pretty normal at the same time.

    I don't know why but I think we've seen this same caliber build, not the same shape but a similar finish that popped up being used by a midwest mandolin orchestra. I just can't quite place it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  26. #20

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The tailpiece is a standard sort of Waverly Cloud. I don't think there is anything shorter. If you simply duplicated the contours on the bottom above the lowest screw hole and then drilled the hole above it would probably be fine and it would look pretty normal at the same time.

    I don't know why but I think we've seen this same caliber build, not the same shape but a similar finish that popped up being used by a midwest mandolin orchestra. I just can't quite place it.
    Interesting. If it comes to you, please let us know.

    Today I brought it to Retrofret in Brooklyn. The luthier, Harry agreed with others in this thread who said it was likely built by an independent builder. It was the opinion of Harry that the materials were good quality and that it was produced by an experienced builder of instruments. Harry is repairing the tailpiece and setting up the instrument for me. I'm looking forward to hearing how it sounds. I'll be sure to report back to the thread with a recording.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Yeah buddy, if you can post a video demo of it so we can all get an idea of its tonal voice! I still really like this one for its serious odd ball factor! One has to love the old mandolin oddities!

  29. #22
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    On a side note Mike, what makes you think those Kluson tuners are 70's? I had a 1949 all original F-12 and it had the same gold plated plastic button Kluson's? Just curious buddy?

  30. #23

    Default Re: Vintage Two Point Carved Top Mandolin - Looking for informati

    Hoping to get this mandolin back from the luthier this week. Looking forward to hearing how it sounds. I'll post some videos and record some high quality audio.

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