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Thread: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    Here is one of these mandolins made by United which I think might have been made with retired mariners in mind- to remind them of peering out of portholes. Anyway, it has some signs of life's travails on it. I will post up that 1959 Sorkin catalogue photo to go with this for posterity! Pickguards for these appear on eBay quite a bit whereas the mandolins themselves do not!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/20395930627...ndition=4%7C10

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    I had one of the other styles of these with the faux resonator that had the portholes. Heavily built and sold under a numner of names including Medalist, Blue Comet, Artistic and Beltone and probably a hos of others. It left quite a bit to be desired tonewise and I sold it cheap to a guy who said that Howard Armstrong (Louie Bluie) played one. I only saw him playing fiddle but no reason to disbelieve. Still I don't miss it.
    Jim

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    Jim, it is possible that this Model 507 may be a lot better tonewise- but maybe not!

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    The one I owned was all laminated wood for the body including the top.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    The cool factor for these was always the way it looked.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  7. #6

    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    Instead of a marine look, I’m thinking 50s biker chic black leather jacket or saddlebags with lots of metal bits.

  8. #7
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    The catalogue says the "fingerboard" is rosewood but the wear on the ebay mandolin shows it was a faux (painted) fretboard.

    These may have morphed from solid tops and rosewood fretboards to laminated tops and faux (painted) fretboards over time to keep prices affordable and competitive.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    I would be very surprised if the rosewood was anything more than the copywriter's artistic license but I might be surprised. I would imagine that the various branded bigger resonator styled mandolins had the same board. Perhaps, Jim can remember what his was although with an all laminated construction, I find it hard to imagine the board was genuine rosewood!

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    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    I find it hard to imagine the board was genuine rosewood!
    I was told by an adman, "All advertising are lies". However, there was a time when Stradolins were real and solid woods.

    While we're at it, there's one of those beautiful Tiger Flame high end Stradolins in the classifieds dated 1949 that is obviously Pre-War. It also has a one-piece back though it is listed as two-piece. Pardon my OCD but HELLO! I realize there is no malicious intent by the seller but if he doesn't change it soon I may start hair pulling again and I don't have much to start with.

  12. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Comet/United/ Sorkin Mandolin

    I'd hazard that one of the Blue Comet etc. mandolins would make a good Steampunk artifact.

    Not an instrument, just an artifact.
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