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Thread: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

  1. #51

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Good for you! I’m predicting that you may not have much to do, and now have an interesting looking and decent enough instrument. A shop wouldn’t have re-strung it if in bad shape. And don’t pay any attention to the anti-laminate snobs. Just check the inside with a mirror if you can, and pay attention any changes in the action height over time.
    I’m getting two (more or less blind) purchases coming in this week and will only be slightly disappointed if there are no big problems with them.

  2. #52

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    It will be interesting to get your feedback on this mandolin. Likewise, I cannot understand the laminate prohibition. I have just acquired a 1940 Kalamazoo Oriole with a laminated back and it sounds great. The sides are solid- as is the top, of course but laminates were used long before Kay became a laminate bastion and many Gibson instruments used them, as well- possibly starting with the Oriole branded guitars and mandolins.

  3. #53
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Another one who wants to hear what you think of the Orpheum. The two point models look cool to my eyes.

    Yes, laminates were not uncommon. Owned a 1964 Epiphone Texan that had laminate back and sides. It had been poorly repaired, that's why I knew it was laminate. Sounded really good.

    Have also wondered in the past if maybe laminates were easier to steam press into an arch? For mandolin, guitar and acoustic basses.

    Huh, looking at the Orpheum models as well as the current SOL folks are talking about on eBay. They all have the same neck/body joint and pointed end of the fingerboard. Maybe same factory? Obviously a lot of other things are different, but it makes me wonder.

  4. #54
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    I came *that close* to offering $160. I'd offered $135 last time and didn't hear. Just as well, though, as I just spent some $$ today on repairs and my instrument budget has about had it for now. My SOL got a nice modification to the bridge and a setup with all the fixins, so it's playing real well and I am happy.

    I'm betting you will like it alot. My thought is there isn't wear like that on an instrument neck if someone isn't playing it alot, and they wouldn't be playing alot if it didn't make them happy

    I'm also looking forward to the report.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

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  6. #55
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    It could be then- if this binding rot is seen on United products- and Sorkin bought from United that this mandolin was also made by United as Strad-O-Lin was a Sorkin brand.
    Jake W is a big believer in the United theory. To the point that when he saw my shirt design with the Mike E quote, his response was "But we dooooo know who made them..."
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

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  8. #56
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Jake W is a big believer in the United theory. To the point that when he saw my shirt design with the Mike E quote, his response was "But we dooooo know who made them..."
    Of course we know who made them... Aliens made them!
    Pyramids (both Egyptian and Incan), The Nazca lines and Stradolins all made by Aliens.
    Although, The Aliens that made Stradolins may have been Ukrainian Orthodox Jews. They could have worked for United or maybe Oscar Schmidt, who at that time had 7 factories turning out cheap instruments for others to label and sell... or Favilla or more than likely, all of the above plus others.

    I have a recurring nightmare, China starts cranking out Stradolin copies.

    Congratulations Madphingers, can't wait to hear about it.

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  10. #57
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    He just messaged me back. NO CASE with this one! How did it stay so clean??? www.ebay.com/itm/385200714140? She's nice, but overpriced IMHO ($395 with no best offer option) pricy for a laminated Orpheum mandolin. Nut width 1 1/8”, lower bout 10 1/4” wide.

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  12. #58
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Perhaps the seller (above) saw this Orpheum Mandolin that sold for $406.01 www.ebay.com/itm/165604851508?
    I don't know who made this one but it is NOT a Stradolin though it looks pretty fancy.

  13. #59
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    As to the rotting binding issue - one of the "Sold" items on Reverb had really bad binding. It also has the raised fingerboard with no support underneath, which I associated with later, all ply body models. However, the missing binding shows the top is solid. Another one of those "go figure" instruments. Maybe like Gibson, we could call each Strad-O-Lin a "transition" model.

    https://reverb.com/item/61566626-str...show_sold=true

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  15. #60

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    Perhaps the seller (above) saw this Orpheum Mandolin that sold for $406.01 www.ebay.com/itm/165604851508?
    I don't know who made this one but it is NOT a Stradolin though it looks pretty fancy.
    The last photo shows the serial/model number which appears to be a Harmony font, but a search of Harmony H327 or H827 doesn't show anything similar to it. So...not sure?

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  17. #61

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Yes, it is definitely a Harmony from about 1940 or 1941 when the company began using Kluson tuners. You can see the imprint of those tuners but they presumably got button rot and were replaced with those Waverly made items. Here is another Harmony made Orpheum- a couple of years earlier- pre-Kluson tuner time and far less ornate. Some helpful fellow has told the poster he's got a Kay- which I assume means he knows nothing much about either Kay or Harmony!

    https://www.mandohangout.com/archive/37189

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  19. #62

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    I had an Orpheum Ideal archtop guitar with that same overlay that was definitely built by Harmony as it was exactly the same spec as a Cremona and had a fall 1937 Harmony date stamp in the f-hole.

    Orpheum was owned by Maurice Lipsky by the 1950s and they sourced instruments from several makers, including United. I think they probably bought it directly when Lange went bankrupt as I remember that they owned Paramount as well, so probably owned it from 1937ish. Here’s a United built archtop with early 1950s Orpheum branding:

    https://bernunzio.com/product/orpheu...archtop-28952/

  20. #63

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    Link please.
    https://shopgoodwill.com/item/154268242

    Looks like a fun project!

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  22. #64

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    I think the Shopgoodwill one offers better value than this complete example! https://www.vinegarworksguitars.com/...ctric-mandolin

  23. #65
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Had a chance to poke around and take some more detailed pictures of the 2-point Orpheum today.

    Firstly, you all are right, I DO like this Mandolin. It isn't super loud, but it has a very clear and sweet tone with really good sustain. The frets are in really nice shape and the board is straight too, I am almost certain this was refretted at some point during its life.

    The neck wear would indicate that it has definitely been well-played, but I believe it spent the last few decades as wall decor, given the homemade wire hanger wrapped around the tuners, and the noticeable discoloration on the top and sides. Look at the color difference when compared to the back! The more Les Paul Cherryburst-esque finish was definitely the original color, and this is confirmed by what I found while checking the intonation. The area under the bridge has the same color as the back!

    The scratches on the top have me a little puzzled... I wonder if this was played as a lefty for a time? Either that or some kid was beating on the thing, but it doesn't really make sense to have that kind of scratch pattern from a right-handed player...

    As for the construction, everything is nice and sound. No major cracks or glue failures. It looks like the back is laminated ply, but the top is solid wood. Check out the end grain viewed along the inside edge of the f-holes! Is is common to have a combination of laminate and solid wood on these instruments?

    The tuners are in decent shape, but I think some bushings would allow for less laborious operation. The action is spot on as well. I was secretly hoping for a bit more of a project, but I think a little fret dressing and maybe a bit of work fitting the bridge more snugly to the top and I will have a really nice player here!

    Also, the binding appears to just be painted on, and the position markers are definitely aluminum! I did not catch that at first.
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  25. #66
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Madphingers View Post
    It looks like the back is laminated ply, but the top is solid wood. Check out the end grain viewed along the inside edge of the f-holes! Is it common to have a combination of laminate and solid wood on these instruments?

    The tuners are in decent shape, but I think some bushings would allow for less laborious operation. The action is spot on as well. I was secretly hoping for a bit more of a project, but I think a little fret dressing and maybe a bit of work fitting the bridge more snugly to the top and I will have a really nice player here!
    Solid top with laminated back became common as a more affordable price point. If you look at NickR's listing on page 2 of this thread, the Pmico Catalog from 1941 shows A "New Model" Stradolin Special No. H-2011 at $13.50 which, I believe, was the first laminated back Stradolin. IT SHOULD BE NOTED: $13.50 seems cheap but a good used car sold for $50 in 1941.

    Before you put bushings on her, pull the tuners apart, oil them (machine oil or Teflon lube, your choice) some parts might need swapping around or spare parts from another set of tuners if you have a parts bin. My repairman has been doing this for years with great results (unbeknownst to me, took it for granted because he has such great results). Hopefully, you will have great results, too... if not, then try the bushings.

    Seating the bridge properly can make all the difference in the world. Should get louder when done right.

    I once had a laminated back Orpheum SOL that sounded better than any other SOL, even better than my solid Artist (2 piece back, 3 piece neck, real binding top & back). We have all heard stories of expensive instruments that didn't sound that great and less expensive ones that sounded fantastic. It happens. A top gets carved and comes out easy and perfect (no knots, tight grain), just another top (or is it). That is why you got to play them and see just what you've got. Sometimes you've got to tweak them (seat the bridge, etc.).

    Let us know how she turns out and welcome to "The Stradolin Experience". lol

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  27. #67

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Those superficial scratches might largely clean up with a little solvent wipe, especially if it’s shellac, but an application an oil or wax would make them permanent. The only wrong-side scratches on my SOL were when I handed it to my college friend, who definitely was not a player and more or less kept banging the pick on that side. A kid might do that too.
    The collectors here might not approve of adding bushings, as destruction of originality, and I think you’ll get adequate tuner operation once they’re cleaned, lubed, and check for interference in the holes, which also could be needing some cleanup if you remove the tuners. Since they’re ‘worm-over’, the gear will jam against the worm from the post tilting toward the body, and in one this heavily used, wear on the south sides of the holes is possible. I just use thin teflon shims to correct this. Drilling for a bushing around an elongated hole is not trivial.

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  29. #68

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    That Premier Marvel, mouthless electric I mentioned earlier was sold on SGW. For not much, and I was not too interested based on uniqueness. Electrics have pretty well unlimited uniqueness generally.). But looking at the top wood and finish, I think the top is actually the same veneered ply as the back as it would not need to be a soundboard. If correct, a nice example of design on the fly! A compliant top would be a bad idea.
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    And just looking into the same bazaar, another creative take on the overall shape. Nothing on the web about this brand though.
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Those superficial scratches might largely clean up with a little solvent wipe, especially if it’s shellac, but an application an oil or wax would make them permanent. The only wrong-side scratches on my SOL were when I handed it to my college friend, who definitely was not a player and more or less kept banging the pick on that side. A kid might do that too.
    The collectors here might not approve of adding bushings, as destruction of originality, and I think you’ll get adequate tuner operation once they’re cleaned, lubed, and check for interference in the holes, which also could be needing some cleanup if you remove the tuners. Since they’re ‘worm-over’, the gear will jam against the worm from the post tilting toward the body, and in one this heavily used, wear on the south sides of the holes is possible. I just use thin teflon shims to correct this. Drilling for a bushing around an elongated hole is not trivial.
    More than you ever wanted to know about tuners...
    http://www.lutherie.net/tuner.maintenance.html

  31. #70

    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    This one has a pickguard that would have suited the one with the celluloid tailpiece. Tuners suggest 1950s:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/19544485806...Bk9SR_Co1JWHYQ
    This one ended today at $233 plus $14.85 shipping. Not sure how he can ship for $14.85 -- it usually costs me more than that. Plus missing tailpiece cover and binding issues -- than again, real binding, not painted...

    As so often the case, I like the case better than the mandolin! (pun intended...)

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  33. #71
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    This one ended today at $233 plus $14.85 shipping. Not sure how he can ship for $14.85 -- it usually costs me more than that. Plus missing tailpiece cover and binding issues -- than again, real binding, not painted...

    As so often the case, I like the case better than the mandolin! (pun intended...)
    The seller paid $81 to ship the mandolinetto I bought recently from Ohio to New Hampshire (USPS retail). He charged me $25 for shipping. When I thought about that, plus ebay and paypal fees, I just shook my head at how little he got for the instrument. Too much $$ goes to middlemen in these kind of scenarios; shipping is risky and expensive.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

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  35. #72
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    This one ended today at $233 plus $14.85 shipping. Not sure how he can ship for $14.85 -- it usually costs me more than that. Plus missing tailpiece cover and binding issues -- than again, real binding, not painted...

    As so often the case, I like the case better than the mandolin! (pun intended...)
    We'll see what happens. I'm the auction winner. Have a replacement tailpiece someplace, and am hoping the binding rot isn't too bad. Agree, the case is cool. Be interesting to see if it's a Geib or something else.

    Looking forward to this one as it has the larger body. And for those wondering, it appears to be extremely similar to the A-15 "Professional" model shown in the 1952 and 1953 catalog pages in the SOL Social Group.

    The neck joining the body on this one (as well as the Orpheum models) really makes me think these were a different factory.

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  37. #73
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    We'll see what happens. I'm the auction winner. Have a replacement tailpiece someplace, and am hoping the binding rot isn't too bad. Agree, the case is cool. Be interesting to see if it's a Geib or something else.

    Looking forward to this one as it has the larger body. And for those wondering, it appears to be extremely similar to the A-15 "Professional" model shown in the 1952 and 1953 catalog pages in the SOL Social Group.

    The neck joining the body on this one (as well as the Orpheum models) really makes me think these were a different factory.
    Congratulations Eric!

    Looks like it might be the same factory that made the SOL Artist H-2014 (2 piece back, 3 piece neck). Binding is the same, Headstock shape and logo's... same, I think the neck length is the same (1 piece Poplar).

    I'm curious if that back is solid. Nice catch, either way.

    It's surprisingly easy (most of the time / old glue) to remove and replace binding... unless the back is off (or loose on one side) and the back is beginning to flatten out.
    There is a bunch of binding for sale on ebay, though there may be cheaper places. It is difficulty to match color on top and back binding if you have to replace only one.

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  39. #74
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    The SOL arrived last night. Had to do a bit of cleaning to it and especially the soft shell case. After stringing with non tetanus strings, am impressed. Fairly close to the 1941 I used to have. But that wil be for a separate post.

    Yes, it does have some binding rot, although not nearly as bad as expected. Will just let it be for now and see how it goes. Could very well have been from humidity and possible gassing off of the pickguard.

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    Default Re: 2-point Orpheum branded Strad-O-lin on eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by eric platt View Post
    impressed.
    SOLID??? Any date in there?

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