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Thread: Vintage Identification

  1. #1

    Default Vintage Identification

    Hello everyone, I just purchased this vintage Mandolin from a local Antique store. I have in mind to learn how to play, and I had to have her. There are no identifying markings that I can see (other than zooming in on the inside, there seems to be a logo rubbed away of sorts). Any ideas on what make or how old this may be? It's not in perfect condition, I know...but she needed some love, and I have tuned her up just fine already (it's all I can do so far).

    Thanks all! Looking forward to learning more.

    Sue

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  2. #2

    Default Anyone Recognize Possible Vintage Make?

    Sorry for the cross post over in the vintage section, I am new and just found this information section, so I thought I'd plop this over here too.

    I just got this from a local antique store, and am in the process of learning to play, but I'm curious about her history...I see no markings save a rubbed away partial "logo" inside, and when I search around, I don't see one just like this anywhere. They could only tell me it was from an estate sale and was "vintage".

    I was able to tune her nicely, and I got her because she looked like she needed some love...lol I know she ain't perfect, but she's pretty cool to me.

    Just curious as I know nothing, and looking forward to learning!

    Thanks! Sue

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  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recognize Possible Vintage Make?

    It's not as vintage as you might think. Circa 1980's, imported from Japan and then Korea. The tailpiece and tuners show that it's basically a round hole version of one of these. The body is a slightly different shape but it's the same origin. I'm not sure the healing plate on the back of the neck and the back of the body are original, I'm sure they were added to resolve a structural issue and you might consider replacing the cardboard under the bridge with some thin wood shims.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

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

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Identification

    I merged the two threads.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone Recognize Possible Vintage Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It's not as vintage as you might think. Circa 1980's, imported from Japan and then Korea. The tailpiece and tuners show that it's basically a round hole version of one of these. The body is a slightly different shape but it's the same origin. I'm not sure the healing plate on the back of the neck and the back of the body are original, I'm sure they were added to resolve a structural issue and you might consider replacing the cardboard under the bridge with some thin wood shims.
    Ahhh, so it appears that I am indeed more vintage than the mandolin. I was wondering what I could do about the cardboard under the bridge as well...and I'm hoping she serves as a launch for me to get the feel for the instrument, and have a little fun. I appreciate the information, and for merging the threads. It's been awhile since I've wandered into a forum like this.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Vintage Identification

    That cardboard was put there to get the strings raised to a playable height, so before replacing it, you need to measure the height above the metal at the middle of the vibrating part, which is fret # 12. If more than about 1/8” at the thick or thin string, you are going to have a difficult time. If too low, the strings will buzz. Then use a bit of wood as needed. Unfortunately, you have to loosen the strings to move or remove the bridge.
    The good news is that the amateur repairs means that someone was actually playing it! The little repair plate at the bottom end looks to be in an area where the back has separated. Don’t worry about that yet. Same with the plate near the neck. If you can get the strings reasonably low, you’re good for learning mode.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone Recognize Possible Vintage Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by SueP View Post
    Ahhh, so it appears that I am indeed more vintage than the mandolin. I was wondering what I could do about the cardboard under the bridge as well...and I'm hoping she serves as a launch for me to get the feel for the instrument, and have a little fun. I appreciate the information, and for merging the threads. It's been awhile since I've wandered into a forum like this.
    You might consider stopping at a hobby store and grabbing a Popsicle stick or two and some sand paper and wood glue. Don't glue the bridge to the top, it should float to allow you to set the intonation. You can however stack thin slices of wood and glue them to the bottom of the bridge.

    Here is Frank Ford's method of raising a mandolin bridge that is too low.

    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luth...andoshim1.html
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

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

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Identification

    I also found some iron on hardwood veneer that works very nicely to raise the action of a bridge and allows it to follow the slight curved contour of the top. This is one type and they have other woods: https://www.homedepot.com/p/EDGEMATE...7608/202843396

    I cut one or two layers down to almost fit the base of the bridge then iron both on and see how high it goes. Might add another. When it is at the proper height then trim it and if I have a black bridge use a black Sharpy to color the edges.
    Jim

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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Vintage Identification

    A, now retired, luthier friend of mine recommended placing a slightly larger shim beneath the bridge after covering part of the mandolin top with clingfilm. Stringing the mandolin up to make sure the shim is the right depth and then wicking “chair repair” glue into the gap between bridge and shim. The clingfilm avoids yiu sticking the bridge to the top and chair repair glue is intended to seep into narrow gaps.

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