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Thread: possible new mando

  1. #1
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    Default possible new mando

    an acquaintance of mine is trying to find a good home for a mando her uncle has made. i'm heavily considering adopting it as it feels like a really nice instrument, much better than my cheapo starter at any rate haha. but it plays soooo nice. here are some pics, what do you guys think?

    2 points of concern of mine are that it feels almost plasticy, could that just be the finish? and in the image closeup of the strings behind the bridge the D course strings are really close together.... more so than id say is normal. is that something to be concerned about? it doesnt seem to effect anything

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  2. #2
    mandolinist, Mixt Company D C Blood's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    Is it possible one of the tailpiece hooks might be broken off, and the two strings are coming off of one hook? Looks like it could be a very nice mando. How's the sound?
    D C Blood Mixt Company
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    Yes, take the tailpiece cover off.... Almost certainly there is a reason for of the two strings on one hook. But that may not effect tonality... The string spacing at the bridge is the major factor and you can correct that if there is a problem.

    Some folks have the philosophy that more varnish is better. I find super thick varnish looks a bit plasticy and offensive.

    It looks like a nice instrument, but who knows... The photos don't tell much but you can't argue with the price.

    When changing strings make sure the string is properly seated under the tailpiece cover. If not seated all the way on the hook it can bend and break the hook, as may have happened. You see this often on old mandolins because the string tension is very strong.
    Bart McNeil

  4. #4
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    If it's free, I'd take it. What have you got to lose?

    Is there something under the bridge feet, between the feet and the top plate, or is that an optical illusion?
    Chronic MAS

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    What kind of wood are the sides? I can't tell if they have grain painted on or what.
    Jim

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    ill have to ask about the string/hook issue, didnt think to take the tailpiece off myself.
    as for the bridge, its pretty tall but it is secure, some light does come through under it, but in the image i think thats just a trick of the lighting
    i dont know what the woods used were, and i do plan to ask, she had a family emergency this weekend, so i was able to test play but not ask questions

    the sound.... well, to my still mostly untrained ear, its wonderful and like i said, it plays so much easier than my starter mando. unfortunately it isnt free, but i was planning on spending 350-500 on my next one anyway and i think this one is in that range

    if the hook for the string is broke, would that be a hard/expensive repair?

  7. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    Quote Originally Posted by wommbatt View Post
    if the hook for the string is broke, would that be a hard/expensive repair?
    Not worth repairing. Just replace the tailpiece.
    Jim

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  8. #8
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    From the "wommbatt" screen name, might we infer an Australian location? And, if so, that might be an Australian wood used for back & sides; it surely doesn't resemble the generally familiar woods.
    Allen Hopkins
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    nono, i just like wombats i'm actually from US Midwest

  10. #10
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    Re.the 'D' strings being close together,it may be as suggested that one of the hooks is broken off & that the 2 strings are on one hook. Or,it may be as in the case of my Weber "Fern",that the strings are just running close together.Once the strings leave the string pins on my Mandolin,there's nothing to stop them either running close or running wider apart - they find their own path.If i think that don't look right,i slacken the strings off & spread them a little. Some tailpieces have 'string guides' that keeps the strings apart so that they hit the bridge at the correct positions,but it's not a real 'necessity' to have them.
    If one of the string hooks is broken,then i'd replace the tailpiece with a new one.The type of tailpiece that's on it could be replaced for a very small sum of cash. For my part,i think that the instrument looks really nice,& if as you say,it plays nicely as well,then i'd go for it,replace the t/piece if necessary & you'll have a lovely instrument to enjoy,
    Ivan
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  11. #11
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: possible new mando

    It could be an Australian wood I'm not familiar with, but could also be Zebrano or Zebrawood (usually, but not always Brachystegia spiciformis ). This has frequently been used on acoustic instruments and is very hard.

    Example of Zebrano

    The top may well be western red cedar, or possibly redwood, but can't be 100% from the photos. Looks to be a good self-build mando from interesting materials. I'm sure with a bit of setup it is well worth grabbing!
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
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