Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29

Thread: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

  1. #1

    Question Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Hi folks,

    I'm a long-time guitar player but a rookie to mandolin. In the new year I'd like to have a mandolin in my armory so I went out for a hunt. Not quite a lot of mandolins in the local stores (well they are actually guitar shops so I don't blame them for it). In my budget range it seems the only choice is an old stock Epiphone mm-50. While I do appreciate its f-5 resembling style, the reddish finish was rejected by my eyes.

    So the shop owner says he has access to a batch of D'Angelico mandolins, not in the shop though but he showed me some pics on the phone. They look quite good, but $349 for an D'Angelico? What kind of gimmick is this?

    It's so suspicious. I searched the whole Internet but found no trace of this model. Although I do learnt from the D'Angelico website, they have some inexpensive guitars and ukuleles in the same price range, so it's actually possible they have these entry-level mandolins too, just for some reason they are not listed anywhere.

    On the other hand, if I'm going to make some counterfeit mandolins, why do I invent a model? Why do I want to make a counterfeit D'Angelico? Or, why do I want to make counterfeit mandolins at all - given that I could sell much more quickly and make much more money by making guitars with the same resources. So I tend to believe these are genuine.

    My best guess is, they did produce a small batch of them, maybe by a China OEM, but never bothered to promote them and probably have already cut the production due to low demand.

    Anyways, they seem fairly priced, look stunning, and have a pickup! What else can you ask for? So I pulled the trigger and asked the shop owner to bring me one. We'll see what's going on in days!

    Happy new year!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3.jpg 
Views:	239 
Size:	132.2 KB 
ID:	198424   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2.jpg 
Views:	208 
Size:	147.3 KB 
ID:	198425   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.jpg 
Views:	173 
Size:	148.5 KB 
ID:	198426  


  2. #2
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bloomington, IN / USA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Please keep us posted on this.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    12,708

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Sigh. I owned a real D'Angelico once.

    That little piece of foam under the bridge means it hasn't been set up. Is your guy offering you a setup as part of the deal?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  4. The following members say thank you to mrmando for this post:


  5. #4

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Sigh. I owned a real D'Angelico once.

    That little piece of foam under the bridge means it hasn't been set up. Is your guy offering you a setup as part of the deal?
    They should be coming out directly from a warehouse, so yeah I'd expect them not set up. I'm quite familiar with guitar setting up, is mandolin any different?

  6. #5
    Teacher, repair person
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    2,968

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    We handle the nut and frets the same way. Perhaps we go for less relief in the neck. The action at the 12th fret should be 4/64" between the top of the fret and the bottom of the strings on the bass side, a shade lower on the treble.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One of the best mandolins I ever played was a 2 point oval hole built by John D'Angelico. Big fat sound. Jethro Burns would have loved it. A hint for any builders who want to try something like that: D'Angelico placed his transverse brace a bit farther back than what we find in oval hole Gibsons.

  7. #6
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,919

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Let´s not confuse John D´Angelico´s instruments with the current brand. This is what Wikipedia has to say (I took notice of the relaunch back then):

    "In 1999, Brenden Cohen, John Ferolito Jr., and Steve Pisani purchased the D'Angelico Guitars trademark from John Ferolito Sr., cofounder of Arizona Beverages.[3][11] In 2010, Cohen and Pisani began constructing a new showroom for the brand.[3] D'Angelico Guitars was officially launched in 2011.[5] That year, original D'Angelico guitars were honored at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of an exhibition titled "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York."[15]

    D'Angelico began broadening their product line, first starting with reissues of original John D’Angelico designs, and then introducing new semihollow and acoustic models.[16][17]

    By 2014, the brand had 125 partnerships in the United States and an additional 200 international dealers.[15]

    In 2014 D'Angelico Guitars sponsored Mountain Jam, a summer music festival in eastern New York.[18]

    The brand launched its first line of acoustic guitars in January 2015 when it displayed 150 guitars at the National Association of Music Merchants' annual trade show in Anaheim, California.[2][5]

    In 2016, D'Angelico Guitars won the award for Best in Show for Companies to Watch at the NAMM show.[19]

    In 2020, D'Angelico Guitars acquired Supro USA and Pigtronix.[20]"


    So the mandolin pics that you posted concern an east asian product that is modeled after the famed D´Angelico instruments. As far as I know, John D´Angelico never made an F-style mandolin. I have ben wrong before though.
    I´d be interested to know if the product flies. I wouldn´t be able to identify the customer group that this type of instrument is aimed at.
    Olaf

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to grassrootphilosopher For This Useful Post:


  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,328

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Everything you always wanted to know about D' Angelico mandolins *

    *But didn't know who to ask (If you're young you won't get this reference)

    He did make at least one F style that wasn't real pretty. I don't have time to peruse the entire thread right now.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  11. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    12,708

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by hillin View Post
    They should be coming out directly from a warehouse, so yeah I'd expect them not set up. I'm quite familiar with guitar setting up, is mandolin any different?
    You may need to fit the bridge to the top; if you've done that an archtop guitar, you can do it on an F-style mandolin.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  12. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    29,239

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    He did make at least one F style that wasn't real pretty. I don't have time to peruse the entire thread right now.
    This one: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...l=1#post943112

    Really, this is a lump scroll with binding added to disguise the lump. Clever luthier trick!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1940DAngelicoFStyleMandolin019.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	38.3 KB 
ID:	198436   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1940DAngelicoFStyleMandolin013.jpg 
Views:	42 
Size:	27.2 KB 
ID:	198435   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1940DAngelicoFStyleMandolin006.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	37.8 KB 
ID:	198434  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1940DAngelicoFStyleMandolin001.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	32.6 KB 
ID:	198433   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1940DAngelicoFStyleMandolin030.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	33.3 KB 
ID:	198437  
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  14. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    29,239

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    As for the OP's $349 D'As. I wonder if they are all-solid or laminated in any way. I would think these were a test and they decided not to market them. They look pretty decent for the price, though.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  15. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,328

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Most likely ordered by the current company that is importing the guitars with that brand name and for some reason not sold. I remember when Michael Lewis was making the guitars. Obviously that stopped when the name was sold. Like many things it's just a brand name now.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  17. #12
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,328

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    This one: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...l=1#post943112

    Really, this is a lump scroll with binding added to disguise the lump. Clever luthier trick!
    Yup, that's the one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  19. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    East Concord, NY 14055
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Bob Page, frequently lists in Cafe classifieds, has a nice looking 1938 D'Angelico on his Gbase page. Hard to not collect more at times.!

  20. #14

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    You may need to fit the bridge to the top; if you've done that an archtop guitar, you can do it on an F-style mandolin.

    By fitting do you mean I need to file or sand the bridge to make it in a good contact with the top, or its simply a screw driving thing?

  21. #15
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    NO SCREWS ! !

    Heavens please no screws.

    Yes, the underside of the bridge foot must perfectly match the radius of the face of the mandolin. The result should have the bridge perfectly at right angles to the face of the mandolin. This is master-luthier finish work.

    The saddle should be 'compensated' in the usual way. Again, a master luthier finishing touch.

    PLEASE...no screws. The pictures look to be a decent copy which would be at it's best with the above finish work done correctly

    Billy

    (I'm not a luthier but rather a very fussy player...)
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Stiver Fern, 1990
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  22. #16
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    If that’s a solid wood carved instrument, requiring a set up, and it doesn’t sound like a tin can, $350 seems like a steal.
    Since you are new to the mandolin world, $350 doesn’t go far there days!
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  23. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    There's a bunch of this style mandolin for sale new in UK at the moment under various brand names, They usually run about £350, which is often the equivalent instrument buying power of about $350. I wonder if they're all the same thing with different names on the headstock, like the 'mandocasters' in music stores here?

  24. #18
    ************** Caleb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    3,531

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    That's a cool mandolin: sort of reminds me of the very plain "Fullerton" F-style that came and went very quickly a few years ago. They got great scores from the people lucky enough to have bought one (for something crazy like $200 IIRC?). Now and then there are gems for very little money.
    The only way to love anything is to realize it might be lost.
    -GK Chesterton

  25. #19
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Washington
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    That's a cool mandolin: sort of reminds me of the very plain "Fullerton" F-style that came and went very quickly a few years ago. They got great scores from the people lucky enough to have bought one (for something crazy like $200 IIRC?). Now and then there are gems for very little money.
    I regret not buying one of those blue Morgan Monroe F styles (all solid) from a couple years ago. They were going for like $299 if I remember correctly.

    I'm sure I could have done the set up required to get it playable... enough anyway.
    Worlds okay-ist mandolin player

    Relative newcomer

    Weber Yellowstone F ('15)
    Red Valley EM ('18)
    Flatiron 1N ('82)
    The Loar LM170 ('14)
    Martin 000cjr-10 ('19)

  26. #20
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alvarado/Mansfield, Texas
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    In the photo it appears to be a solid carved top, due to the ridge in the scroll, most laminated pressed tops that I’m aware of are flat in that area, though I’m no expert.
    WWW.MARKGUNTER.NET
    ----------------------------------
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN

    ----------------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Blues Mando
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  27. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    29,239

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Many of the better Asian shops have become quite adept at luthiery skills and I am guessing these were intended to compete with Eastman instruments with the marketing strength of the D’Angelico label. The mystery is why they abandoned this. Maybe they figured that D’A was more famous for guitars and they would be stretching themselves too thin with mandolins. Plus, I would have liked it if they came up with decent copies of historic D’A mandolins similar to the Eastman ones of a few years ago.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  28. #22

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    So it has arrived! I took it home, did a brief check and played for a while. I'm new to the mandolin realm so I tuned it to G-C-E-A for a quick pickup. Here are some thoughts (from the perspective of a guitar player who is used to quality guitars, namely some Gibsons and a Santa Cruz, so the following contents are obviously biased, YMMV):

    It has solid spruce top and solid maple back from what I can tell, but I doubt they are carved. Ebony fretboard and bridge. Neck and headstock looks like maple but I'm not sure. The wood is definitely not top grade but overall it looks quite good. The workmanship was mediocre, but still much better than the Epiphone mm-50 I saw in the shop.

    It looks like this little thing has been sitting in a warehouse for some age. There is rust on the bridge adjustment screws, a pinch of WD40 got them treated well. The strings are old and rusty, got my new strings ordered online.

    Action is good even before setup. I did a brief setup by adjusting the truss rod and sanding and fitting the bridge as suggested mrmando and Billy Packard above. It's quite easy to play, but I do feel it has some intonation issues. This could be partly due to the stale strings, but I feel the bridge should be moved back a little bit to make it perfectly octave intonated. The bridge was not fixed in place so I can move it, however there is a piezo cable restricting the movement. I'll try to get it addressed when the new string arrives. It also does not keep in tune very well, which I think is largely due to the old strings too.

    Sound-wise it is not as satisfying as expected for now. This is because, again, the old strings, plus I'm not yet used to the less resonated sound comparing to the guitars. Surprisingly, it sounds quite nice when plugged in.

    As a conclusion, although there are still some issues to address, I think it's a decent entry-level mandolin, especially for the price I paid for. Also I believe it is a genuine D'Angelico, I think they just built a small batch of these mandolins years ago, but somehow decided not to market or sell them, leaving them sitting in the warehouse ever since. Anyways, I'm happy with this new year's gift. Happy new year!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	da1.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	600.7 KB 
ID:	198471   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	da2.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	582.5 KB 
ID:	198472   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	da3.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	369.0 KB 
ID:	198473  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	da4.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	219.3 KB 
ID:	198474   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	da5.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	389.8 KB 
ID:	198475  

  29. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,590

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    You said you were new to mandolin, tune it G D A E. that might be some of your intonation issues. Yes the bridge is supposed to be moveable to intonate, similar to an archtop guitar, feel free to move it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  30. #24
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    29,239

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    hillin: I wonder if you have a mandolin playing friend nearby who can access it from a mandolin players point of view. The uke tuning is probably ok but after new strings and adjustments might be useful for you and for us. I still wonder how you get that ridge on back and front from steam pressing the top. I would guess to compete with other Asian imports D’A company would have had made it with carved tops and back.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  31. #25
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Washington
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Cheap D'Angelico F-Style mandolin - what?

    Nice looking Mandolin!

    Congrats and happy pickin'
    Worlds okay-ist mandolin player

    Relative newcomer

    Weber Yellowstone F ('15)
    Red Valley EM ('18)
    Flatiron 1N ('82)
    The Loar LM170 ('14)
    Martin 000cjr-10 ('19)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •