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Thread: Any info on "old hickory" mandolin

  1. #1
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    I picked up an "Old Hickory" Nashville Tennesse (name on Headstock)Model M1S (or MIS) Serial # 117 mandolin at a garage sales of a music dealor. Label inside say Old Hickory, Nashville TN, USA but I'd guess it asian made. It actually sound goo and is an A style F hole. Anyone know anything about it. Thanks, Doug

  2. #2
    String Plucker
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    I was chasing info on the "Old Hickory" a while ago, after I ran across a brief video on YouTube, of a guy playing one.

    Type in "Mandolin" in the Search box in YouTube and I'm sure you'll find it.

    The only thing I could find out about it, was it was extremely inexpensive.

    -Soupy1957

  3. #3
    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Well, you have it already and you say it sounds good. Doesn't much matter what we say. I bought an Old Hickory blonde F style and it was pretty horrible. The frets were ragged, the two-piece back's seam was way off center and it had a very thin, quiet tone. You are right, it is an Asian import, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bad instrument. There are plenty of decent sounding and playing mandolins from the far east.
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

    "IT'S T-R-E-M-O-L-O, dangit!!"~Me

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Here's a recent thread on Old Hickorys -- not too positive...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  5. #5
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    I have a blonde F style that actually sounds and plays pretty good--after I got the fret wires hammered down so the neck would play below the 12th fret.

    They do have a solid top and have potential, and are about the cheapest "real" mandolins I've seen available. #The quality of the set up seems to be very variable. #My recommendation to a few folks has been to go for it if they are looking for a cheap way to get started, but assume they will have to so some revisions to the set up off the bat. #I sure wouldn't want to order one without trying it first.

    One of the stores in Paducah has a a half dozen or so A and F style Old Hickory and Washburn mandolins at any time. #I'm in there once a week and try out all their new items while I wait for my daughter to finish her lesson. #The quality varies noticibly between individuals hanging side by side.

    The trend seems to be for Washburns to sound a bit fuller, but this is not true for all the instruments in stock. #But, given the difference in the price, sorting through the Old Hickories till you find a "good" one can be worth the effort.

    They certainly aren't Gibsons, but when you compare $150.00 to $5,000.00 what do you expect?

    EDIT: I also wove some yarn through the strings on the butt side of the bridge to dampen the ringing that happens with chop chords. That ringing seems to be pretty much universal among the cheaper mandolins, but yarn worked wonders and its cheap.




  6. #6
    Registered User Hal Loflin's Avatar
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    Doug:

    An Old Hickory was the first mandolin I owned and learned to play on. I bought it at a music store in Nashville. I had the opportunity to play it before buying it and it had been set up by their tech. The frets were fine and the intonation was dead on. It was very easy to play and I cut my teeth with it for about a year. I paid $190 for it with a pretty nice hard case.

    It was great to learn on but the sound was a bit weak and not much volume. I sould it for what I had in it and moved up to a Michael Kelly that I bought at Merlefest. It played just as well and had more volume.

    Then went to a Gibson F5G and now a real keeper in a custom Weber Yellowstone...a classic case of MAS.
    2004 Weber Yellowstone Custom Mandolin
    1976 Alvarez "The Alvarez" F Style Mandolin
    1998 Guild D-40AB Westerly
    1997 Martin D-35
    1982 Takamine EF-400SC 12 String
    1976 Takamine F-360SD Sunburst
    1977 Fender F-65

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