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Thread: What the heck is this?

  1. #26
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adwell View Post
    I recovered from my inexplicable desire to make unique instruments and went on to make some 800 ukuleles and guitars in Hawaii, and sold them all (except for eight or so, which for one reason or another I decided were too bad to sell, and my personal instruments). I just recently decided to make something after 17 years in retirement in New York and Florida, so I am making a pancake style mandola, which is now receiving many coats of oil varnish. Wish me luck!
    Can you post some pictures in the http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...tures+progress thread? I know it's a Mandola, but would still like to see it.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Mr. Adwell thank you for enlightening us. You told us what it isn't not a mandolin not a uke. But what is it really? And how would it be tuned? What kind of strings? What scale length? Even though you say it sounds like crap I have to admit I'm still inexplicably intrigued!
    Don

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  3. #28
    Registered User Bill Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    For those that thought this might be a Shmergel you can see (well sort of see) a photo of one HERE.
    Bill Snyder

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  5. #29
    Registered User Jim Adwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Mr. Adwell thank you for enlightening us. You told us what it isn't not a mandolin not a uke. But what is it really? And how would it be tuned? What kind of strings? What scale length? Even though you say it sounds like crap I have to admit I'm still inexplicably intrigued!
    The answers to your questions are lost in the mists of time, IOW I don't remember. I'm pretty sure it sounds like crap, though. I am speculating that it would be tuned like the highest four strings on a guitar, since I was playing guitar at that time. It also seems to have seven sides (probably because at that time I had no idea how to bend wood), so I guess it's a Septaphone.

  6. #30
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Aha. That makes sense. Based on the overall length I estimated the scale length at 21 or 22 inches or so. That would make it a tenor guitar in "Chicago" tuning. With the appropriate string gauges I should think it could be made to play in CGDA or GDAE. I LOVE the name "Septophone"! Perfect name! I did not bid on it but there is some interest. It will belong to someone tomorrow.
    Don

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  7. #31

    Thumbs up Re: What the heck is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adwell View Post
    More weirdness, as I've just remembered that the tailpiece for the not-Shmergal was made from a piece of metal I got from dismantling an Epson dot-matrix printer I had lying around (before I made unique instruments I was a computer programmer/nerd).

    Now that I think of it, there may be a steel rod from said Epson printer embedded in the neck... What the heck was I smoking back then?
    I was bidding on this instrument just a few minutes ago on Shop Goodwill. Decided to Google your name, as the maker. Had bid it up to $80, when I decided to check. Fortunately I got outbid while I was doing the search.
    Thanks for giving your opinion of the sound when you did!

  8. #32
    Registered User Jim Adwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by carver60 View Post
    Thanks for giving your opinion of the sound when you did!
    I COULD be wrong about the sound... it's been a few years.

  9. #33
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Who cares about sound? I just want it so I can take it to a gig and have somebody ask "What the heck IS that"? so I can answer, oh so condescendingly, "That's my Septophone! What did you think it was?"
    Don

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  10. #34
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    You do realize that if the intonation is correct, you can just slap on a pickup or two and wail on it. It could be a beast as an electric. It's still too bad the tuning pegs are on the wrong side. Oh well!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  11. #35
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Well the auction is over and the Septophone went for $101. I hope someone here got it so we can hear what it sounds like and what was done with it.
    Don

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  12. #36

    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    No more suspense ...... new member here, and new owner of Septophone. I, too, was curious when I saw the listing and Googled the maker's name. When I happened upon this thread, I suffered a sudden onset of recurring GAS. I justified the expense by knowing that I would likely have the only one in existence and that alone imparts great value. It didn't hurt (or rather, help) that I could avoid shipping costs by picking it up on an upcoming trip to Spokane.

    So ... now I will save up for a reconstruction job so that if Jim Adwell is willing, he can put the tuners on the right side, upgrade the dot-matrix-puter-printer tailpiece to a color-laser model, remove and bend the sides and then sign the interior before reassembling it. Of course, keep the number at 7 .... else, a new thread would have to be started to come up with a new name.

    And maybe, just maybe, whatever Jim was smoking back then COULD have affected his hearing.

    Cheers.

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  14. #37
    Registered User Jim Adwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Although I made two Septophones, the other one had an...accident... with a band saw and is thus no more, so ptferris' purchase is indeed the only Septophone in existence, at least on this planet.

    Making changes to such a unique object would be sacrilege, so I must politely decline any modifications to your Septophone. It shall and must remain a one of a kind musical instrument, standing apart from all others, even the fabled Shmergel.

    Cheers, Jim

    PS: If the thing is actually playable and sounds at all like a stringed instrument I expect a recording of ptferris playing the Septophone to be posted here forthwith, although I am cringing slightly at the thought.

  15. #38
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Welcome to the Café! And congratulations. I hope this works out for you. Waiting to hear your report on its sound. As remember - if it doesn't work, consider the electrifying method I proposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptferris View Post
    ... I would likely have the only one in existence and that alone imparts great value.
    Well ... Value, perhaps, but great value? We shall see.

    I have two, um, artifacts from this maker, and I seriously doubt they have much value, either as instruments (utterly unplayable) or folk art. I just found them irresistible, ugly ducklings that they are.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    My favorite bluegrass band

  16. #39
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Welcome to the Cafe pt. Maybe it "opened up" and sounds amazing now. If it doesn't sound good acoustically I'd take journybear's advice and electrify it. Just do a search for "pick-ups" and you will be busy reading for awhile.

    Took too long to post Thanks for the input 'bear.
    Last edited by Rodney Riley; Jun-18-2013 at 7:04pm.

  17. #40

    Default Re: What the heck is this?

    Well, with Halloween nearing, it's time to resurrect, from a coffin, no less, the ghastly ... er, ghostly Septaphone. TBT ... I have not opened this thing up since I purchased it in 2013.

    I'm cleaning house and getting rid of a couple of dozen guitars and the Septaphone was hiding among them.

    If anyone wants to upstage a Shmergel owner, this is your chance to get a real unicorn.

    <Removed by Moderator. Posting Guidelines Please limit commerce to the classifieds.>

    Also ... the tuning keys are not on the wrong side. This is a lefty that got strung wrong
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Sep-23-2021 at 8:06am. Reason: As musch as I'd like to leave it here I can't

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