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Thread: Flatbacks of note

  1. #526
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    This Kerman mandolin in the classifieds certainly belongs in this thread although I have a feeling it will show up elsewhere as well. I have never seen one sold used. I don’t think Aria Kerman made many of them to begin with but IIRC new they were going for about $7000 a few years ago. $21K seems a bit steep but these have a holy grail quality since most seem to be in virtuoso Israeli hands and I believe that AK is no longer making them, I think…

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    Jim

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  3. #527

    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    It has been suggested I post up this mandolin- an early 1900s Oscar Schmidt "Tremolina" a very rare and innovative design that did not catch on- there is more about that in the thread below: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...midt-Tremolina

    Here are some photos from the eBay auction and three after I had worked on it but they are a bit on the small side! Only three appear to be known about at the current time- one was probably not ever going to play- the other shown at the link, which is not such high quality- no binding and not rosewood may be a player now.

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  5. #528
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    Here's an interesting flatback, of note at least to me.

    A Leland "Brilliantone" which looks distinctly different from the many we have seen here, and the eight or so of them that I own.

    I've remained pretty convinced that the Lelands I have were Vega made despite the persistent rumors about them being Larson.

    I won't go into that again here, but this Brilliantone doesn't match with the catalog photos that Diego G and others have posted here (and are in Keef's book).

    The headstock is different, back detailing, scratchplate and likely bridge position (the Vega smoking gun.)

    The visible sliver of the label that shows appears to be different as well.

    Wondering where this might have fit into evolution of the line / brand.


    I've got a couple Wurlitzer 'Brilliantones' which are essentially identical to the Vega "Leland" ones but for one with a mahogany back (which sounds like it)

    Do I need another? Sure I do, but the $499 price tag on this one is a bit steep for me to simply check it out.

    Mick
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  6. #529
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    Another "Brilliantone" for sale on the Ebay, this one a "Piccolo" mandolin scale model.


    Make note that the seller thankfully includes a "?" after the Larson attribution. I've long held the position that these are Vega made, but that's another story.

    I believe our friend, Diego Garber, has one of these, but am not sure if it has the same bling.

    Maybe he'll join in and post a photo of his. (I know he has before.)

    None of the numerous Leland short scale mandolins I own have such.

    I can't imagine having much use for one of these outside a classic mandolin ensemble, but I love the sound of the Vega-Lelands I have played so hopefully this carries the same tonal quality.

    No straight on photos of the back in the sales ad, but the sides appear to be rosewood.

    This one also has the "Washburn" headstock, which is curious.

    The two other piccolo Lelands I have in my file have a 'broken pediment' headstock and an 'open book' style respectively.

    Mick
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  7. #530
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    Mick: I am not sure about the piccolo attribution. Seller says: 12 7/8” Scale Length “Piccolo Mandolin?”

    That is almost 13” and very close to standard mandolin scale for these. IIRC my piccolo has a 10-1/2” or possibly 11” scale. I will have to check.

    =============
    yes, check out this page which says the piccolo has 10-1/4” scale: http://www.sprucetreemusic.com/produ...ndolin-c-1912/

    another one from Jake says the same scale: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...-mandolin.html

    Then again Gregg Miner has apace about them but he shows one in the middle between a Gibson and a German pocket mandolin (13” scale) and the piccolo pictured is much shorter in comparison. https://www.minermusic.com/piccolomandolin.htm
    Jim

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  8. #531
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I can't imagine having much use for one of these outside a classic mandolin ensemble, but I love the sound of the Vega-Lelands I have played so hopefully this carries the same tonal quality.
    Hi Mick,

    This looks like a nice little piccolo, and I'd love to have a chance to hear it, or even better, play it. I'm actually quite a fan of piccolo mandolins, having built a number of them at this point. While I believe that many players wouldn't have much use for them, for those of us who do, they add an interesting and quite pretty voice to our music.

    Despite playing in a mandolin orchestra, I have never used one of my piccolos with the orchestra. In my mandolin/guitar duo, I use it for a few tunes at almost every gig. We play Renaissance era music, Gaelic and Celtic music and some South American Folk. Actually, quite a range of genres. As examples of tunes for which it works, we are playing a concert this Sunday night as part of a local concert series. It's a concert, not one of our usual gigs, so we're only playing for only about an hour-and-a-quarter and have to choose our pieces carefully. I will be playing one of my flat-top mandolins on most pieces, a Paddy Burgin Irish Bouzouki I recently acquired on several pieces, and one of my piccolo mandolins on two or three pieces. Two of these are the traditional tune Pretty Little Cat (quite fitting for me) and Pete Seeger's Where have all the Flowers Gone?. Still deciding on a third piece for it. We're not playing any South American Folk at this one, but it really works for that genre, as well.

    I don't know if we'll record anything from this concert. It's in a beautiful, historic Friends Meetinghouse dating to 1785 and I have to see how the space works acoustically. If I do record anything on the piccolo mandolin, though, I'll try posting it to show how it blends with the guitar.

    I wish you lived nearby. I'd love to have you try out one of my piccolos. I am sure we'd have fun playing together and enjoying some wine.

    Best wishes,

    Bob
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  10. #532
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatbacks of note

    Jim, you’re no doubt right here. I think I misread the ad and jumped the gun.

    The Washburn-ish headstock is what really caught my eye and attention.

    Without a bridge in place I could readily see how a measurement would be off, and if the seller was used to long scale mandolins then this might seem piccolo without being a Piccolo.

    Sorry for the errant post.

    An interesting addition the the Leland line, nonetheless.

    Mick
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