View Full Version : Help with stradolin
On an unfamiliar website I found a 2 point Strad for sale. #This instrument is in my price range but I'm not knowledgeable about these mandos. #Would you guys take a look and weigh in on the pros and cons. #The website hasn't returned my email inquirey.
This is the link: #www.junkwhat.com/Antiques/Stradolin%20Mandolin.htm.
From the photos it looks a little rough, so I would appreciate any expert advise or observations.
The pickguard isn't original (no biggie), the cover on the tailpiece is still there (good thing). I don't know what that stuff all over the top is. The two pointers are more rare than the plain A's. The fingerboard isn't spruce, the top is. The pointed fretboard end usually showed up on the nicer models. The picture isn't clear enough to identify the binding material (I've seen them in tortoise and also painted on). It would be nice to see the back and the back of the peghead.
$300.00 is more than I'd pay but seems to not be out of line for the rest of the world. I'm going to guess it may be gone before you get back to buy it.
to me, it does look rough, and are those stickers on the top?
I did a quick ebay check and there are a couple of stradolins in the $300's, at least one of which seems to be in better shape. Elderly has a used stradolin for $225, although it is not the same model.
Stradolins can be really great mandos... but as with all used and especially "vintage" purchases, condition is everything. I strongly recommend that you ask a lot of specific questions about the condition of the instrument (frets, any cracks or separations, condition of the finish, nut and saddle, neck, hardware, etc.)... and if you don't get answers that are clear, and to your satisfaction, skip it. You don't want to spend your budget on an instrument that ends up needing a lot of additional work. There will always be another mandolin.
Is that electrical tape on the top? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
If you click on the picture itself a bunch of additional detail pics display, you can see more detail including the headstock, front and back, etc. #The back of the instrument looks ambiguous, in that the grain is weird, maybe not solid? #I think the stickers on the top are like stick-on numbers or something. #And as I mentioned, I actually did ask some detail questions, but haven't had a reply yet. #Unfortunately this person is very careful not to give too much info about reaching him/her, via phone.
I don't know what that stuff all over the top is.
Appears to be stick-on letters, someone's initials no doubt. Should be removable, hopefully without too much work.
Looking at the additional pix, appears to be painted binding, and a possible (hard to tell) headstock repair. Whoever owned it obviously played it hard and put it away wet. You also get a fine selection of old Hamilton lever-action capos, always the first choice for removing finish from the sides of the neck, and an electric pickup of indeterminate origin and usefulness.
Having said all that, Stradolins are neat, sturdy, decent-sounding mandolins. If you go for it, be prepared to sink another couple hundred into set-up, clean-up, possible repairs that aren't evident from the photos. You'll be at the high end of market price, but you may have a good instrument to play with.
OK, I wish I had seen that before. The tuners aren't original, it doesn't have a hardshell case, there is a strap button on the back of the headstock, I don't know (as Allen pointed out) if there was a headstock repair or not, that might just be the finish screwed up. I'm gonna guess there's some fret ware, it looks like it was played a lot and the binding was painted. The front shot was the cleanest. As someone else pointd out, be prepared to have some work done if you can't do it yourself. I'll be honest, if I stumbled on this at a flea market for $50.00 I'd snap it up. At $100.00 I'd walk on. YMMV.
The treble side stick on letters appear to be a radio station's call letters (WWVA) and the year 1936.
I'd like to hear the story behind that.
Caution: scale length is nine inches! The pickup seems to be a DeArmond, much sought after by a tiny number of people.
Thanks to everyone for your input. Still waiting for an email reply from JW.
Caution: #scale length is nine inches!
That's what it says, but that is clearly wrong.
Agreed-- the scale is probably 13-3/4 in. Does WWVA still exist? My brother and I (in Bethesda, Maryland) used to pick up live country music broadcasts from there centuries ago.
WWVA on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVA_%28AM%29)
Again thanks to everyone for advice on the Stradolin. As a follow-up question, are there any sites on-line where I can research various models, their build characteristics, and quality levels? I understand that they were made by "everybody" and depending when they were made, or by whom, you can get a real dog or a real nice basic mandolin. If I understand correctly there are all solid wood, some solid/laminate combinations, and some all laminate. There are oval,f-hole, and A-style and two-point, etc. I would appreciate any further recommendations.
They really weren't made by everybody. I'm pretty sure they were made by one company up into the 50's. When it became an import it changed. Up to that point they were pretty much the same. Honestly, this site probably has more Strad-O-Lin information than any other. There isn't one spot that is the definitive site. There is no real published information.
The majority were A style, there were f hole and oval hole models. The two points are fairly rare. For whatever reason I've seen several that were converted to electric.
It has been pointed out that they had two styles of f holes, the round segmented hole and the comma shaped segmented holes. If you have one that doesn't have segmented F holes chances are it's a later import.
I've seen two that had two piece backs, I have one and Jim Garber has the other. I'm sure there are more.
I describe these as Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins because many were not all branded Strad-O-Lin, they were branded with other makers names like Orpheum and Weymann as well. Strad-O-LIn as a brand name was owned by a company that didn't build instruments, they farmed them out.
Chances are pretty solid that the maker was based in the New York metropolitan area.
In one of the threads here there is a catalog page that shows their Artist model, the only model I ever saw that didn't have the bridge on the southern end of the F holes. That model has the bridge placed in the normal center of the F holes position. One member here has one.
Check out these (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=Search&CODE=02&SID=4763df4d295a4569) links to old Strad-O-Lin threads.
Well I've bought a Stradolin(it's on the UPS camel), but there is a bent tuner where the button attaches. I don't know how or if to repair(rebend?) it back without potentially more damage. Are those old tuners Klusons? would it be better to find the proper tuners than to try and bend back the knob extension?
I should add some more info about the tuners. They are open machines so I guess that would exclude Klusons, would it not?
I have a much nicer Stradolin than that and id be willing to sell it to you for $300. I paid much more cos i live in NYC and everything is over priced here, but $300 is a fair price for the one i have. Solid top, sunburst straight neck, easy action nice loud sound. It has a couple of repairs in the top which dont seem to be a problem.
Let me know if youre interested.
I should add some more info about the tuners. #They are open machines so I guess that would exclude Klusons, would it not?
Before Kluson made closed tuners they made open tuners. I'll be honest, I haven't had real good luck straightening out bent tuners. Most of them that I've tried have broken. I'm sure there are others that have done better. Post a picture of the tuners and let's see if anyone happens to have a similar set in the event that straightening them doesn't work.
I have a much nicer Stradolin than that and id be willing to sell it to you for $300...
Why not post this in the cafe classifieds?
im not necesarilly going to sell it unless Dorenac shows an interest. Its on the
wall and looks quite nice there. I figure it will go when its time for it to go.
Ok i just saw that Dornac bought one so...... back on the wall.
Okay here's the link to the pictures:
Scroll down the page, you'll see it. Just click on the photo.
I really do appreciate all this help and interest!!
Your link is no good. you mis-typed guitar in guitarbarn.
It looks like they took the page down that has the bigger pics, the only thing is this thumbnail.
It looks like the thumbnail is gone this morning as well.
It's the 5th string-D-, top left as you look at that thumbnail. #You almost have to see it from the back, definitely not from the angle in the thumbnail. It came yesterday and after acclimating I played a bunch last night. The condition was much better than I expected, very tight all around, the finish is suprisingly good, action is fantastic(almost too low) but that can be adjusted. #Tuners do work very well, even the bent one, although I will eventually try and replace with proper ones. The top for sure is solid spruce, who knows about the back and sides? #The back is a nice one piece birds-eye maple sunburst. # #You know sometimes sellers overstate an instruments condition but I would say this is a very good one. #Put my tonegard on and it sounds great already. I'll take some pics this weekend, including the tuners. My expectations were exceeded with and I can see now why people still like to collect and play these humble mandolins.
There is a new question I have. There seems to be a dirt,tobacco smoke, hand/body oil film on the wood. What is a good method to clean that?