I am starting the post to give owners in the group an idea of the Date in which their instruments were built. Mid Missouri started up Circa 1995, the change to Big Muddy came about 6 or 7 years ago.
These are approximate, so if anyone can give the exact dates, please do so. Also if you know when your instrument was built or purchased, please post it here and include how the date is known or surmised.
About 10 years ago I emailed the Mid Missouri Company to inquire about getting a new bridge to lower the instrument's action. At the same I asked about when my instrument was made. Within a year or 2, I read on the Mandolin Cafe Forum that Mid Missouri had suffered a Computer Crash by which it's Serial Number Records were lost.
The date for my Mid Missouri M-4 was given to me from the company records. When I bought the M-1 from the Cafe Classifieds, it was listed as being 2001 by the seller. Of course the company record is more accurate, I do not even have the M-1 seller's address to ask him how he came up with the date.
I welcome anyone to post here in order to get a record of serial numbers by date. if you do wish to post, please give an idea of where the information comes from, ie:
From the builder himself,
From a bill of sale,
Quoted by a previous owner etc.
My own 2 serial numbers:
Mid Missouri M-4, Serial Number 1557, Shipped from maker in Jan 1998, as quoted by Builder.
Mid Missouri M-1, Serial Number 5346, Listed as 2001 by former owner in Cafe Classified Ad.
This shows a production of 1789 instruments in a period of 3 to 3 1/2 years.
I've got 2 Big Muddies.
MW-OW (walnut/spruce wide neck) ordered and made in March of 2009, purchased directly from Mike Dulak. serial #0431.
M-0 (mahogany/spruce no binding) ordered and made in October of 2010, purchased directly from Mike. serial #0670.
(typo?) 3789 in 3 to 3 1/2 years. We could assume that the current production rate slowed a bit, 239 in 1 1/2 years. Mike did tell me that at the peak of production he had 5 or 6 employees and over 20 dealers that he was supplying. Now it's just him and a part time helper.
Yes sorry, I hit 1 instead of 3 the serial numbers are correct. Mr Dulak had several employees at Mid Missouri, I believe Big Muddy may be his alone.
Thanks for the response Dave.
Gosh, I can't even remember when I purchased my M-1... probably 2001 or 2002 but it was used at that time (though like new so I presume it's about a 2000 or a 2001). It's serial number is 2176 and it is marked "Blem." It has become quite "blemmed" since I've had it Great mando!
Thanks for the response, I would like to get Serial Numbers across the history of Mid Missouri/Big Muddy so we can date them.
I have a M0 with the serial #1285 I purchased at Dusty Strings in Seattle in 1997. It's a dandy little mandolin with big sound!
Oh, I forgot, as if the year wasn't enough. . .it's a Mid Missouri.
Mine is an M-4W serial 5675 bought from Folk Mote music in Santa Barbara, 2004.
8 String, is yours a Mid Missouri or a Big Muddy. I am not sure when the date of the change was.
It's a Mid-Missouri. Sweet sound and the wide neck makes it easy on the fingers.
An M-0 serial no. 4170 is in the classifieds. The seller says he bought it in 2001. If that is the case then my M-1 with serial no.5346 is later than the 2001 that the seller quoted in his classifieds ad. I believe he bought it used.
Serial numbers for Mid-Mos at least are very strange -- don't know about Big Muddy. Look at this discussion thread from 2006, at the time Mid-Mo went out of business (Link). As reported in that thread, there are at least four different Mid-Mos all with the same serial number #3345, and the years and numbers don't add up for anything like chronological numbering. So, these numbers may mean something or may be randomly allocated but only Mike Dulak himself will know.
For what it's worth, my Mid-Mo M-0W is from around 2004 (I bought it used in 2006 and the seller said it was two years old) and has #4328.
Thanks for the link Martin, It establishes Mid Missouri's demise as Oct 06 and Big Muddy's startup as November of that year. Also some more serial numbers. If i can gather another 20 or so, it should give a good basis for a chart to give a ballpark for build dates.
I think, despite the irregularities, Mid Missouri serial numbers are generally sequential. perhaps the duplicates are from various workers getting the same number from the register for instruments that each of them had finished around the same time and inking the number in by hand without adding it to the register.
Mike Dulak's reputation for customer service is a refreshing feature of owning one of his instruments.
Mine is a Big Muddy M-0w with serial number 0044. I was fortunate enough to receive it as a gift this last Christmas. From the serial number and the amount of fret wear (it's a used instrument), I'm guessing it's been around for a little while.
I own a Mid-Missouri M-4, 1075 mandolin. I purchased it in Moscow, Idaho at Guitar's Friend and have owned it for long time...it is my main mandolin. Dulak used to live in Moscow and worked on guitars. He moved to Missouri and started to make mandolins. I purchased my Mid-Missouri a year or two after he left Moscow...my guess is about 1996 or 1997. My Mid-Missouri is SWEET! It has a Brazilian rosewood body which really warms up the tone. I did have to do some work on the string height...the outer (G and E) strings were higher than the inner strings (D and A). When I played the mandolin, it felt like there was a trough in the middle of the fretboard and is was like my pick would "get stuck" in the middle. The Hofner mandolin I played previous to Mid-Missouri had a radius neck and this probably accentuated the problem for me. We lowered the outer strings by filing the nut. I purchased a spark plug gapper and laid that across the fretboard to know when to stop filing the nut to avoid fret buzz. After a little unauthorized mandolin repair, it played like a charm! I completely agree...Dulak is a great guy and I think his mandolins are some of the best instruments available for the price. P.S. This is my first post on the Mandolin Cafe! This site looks like a lot of fun.
Hi again, by the drop in Serial Numbers for METCALFINATOR's Big muddy M-0W at 0044, it looks like the serial numbers from Mid Missouri were stopped and then Big Muddy Instruments started up again. Thanks everyone for posting, it is gradually getting there.
Possibly this can serve as somewhat of an end date. I purchased Big Muddy MW 0 in mid April from Dusty Strings in Seattle. Not sure when made, but they do turn over inventory pretty quickly SN is 0854. Hope that helps.
FWIW, my new-to-me Mid-Mo M-O is SN 4882. The logo on the label is different than yours, dougiebe, in that it's a partial outline of a mando laying on it's side, showing the internal bracing. It shows the company name as "Mid-Missouri Mandolin Co, Inc". Hope that helps.
Kinda cool, I'm seeing a little pick wear on the top near the bridge, and that's about it for wear.
That will date the instrument c.2003, by my calculations based on the serial numbers submitted here so far. Thanks for posting.
My new one, MW-0 (May 2012) is sn# 0886.
My new (August 2012) Big Muddy mandola, an MW-14, is serial number 889.
Sorry I didn't see this thread before. My three instruments were all purchased secondhand, so I'm unsure of their building dates. I have Mid Missouri M-2 mandolin #3083 (with ebony fretboard, bridge & headstock veneer, as well as a custom dark stain overall). And my mandolas are Mid Missouri M-16 #072 and Big Muddy M-11M #0605 (a mandola version of the M-11; I don't know if it's one of a kind - obviously it was a special order, originally).
I have a Big Muddy M-1, serial #0134 made in 2007, according to Mike Dulak who built it. I've had it since April 2010.
Bratsche, your M-16 is really early, probably about 1995, the M-11M is likely 2007. The M-1 would be about 2000.
Thanks for posting everyone.
This won't help with dating of the older instruments, but perhaps it will be of use moving forward.
I purchased a new M-11 from Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, N.C., just a few weeks ago. It's serial number is 0916.
Could someone help date this Mid-Missouri mandolin bought second hand in Australia.
Solid Santos rosewood back and sides, Englemann spruce top, Gabon ebony fretboard and bridge.
Custom M4-W Serial 4842 with chrome Grover tuning gears and tail piece, and herringbone side and back centre strips.
Thanks everyone. But got my answer from Mike Dulak who says it is likely 1998.