That is one wonderfully designed instrument. At $40 you did really well in my opinion.
That is one wonderfully designed instrument. At $40 you did really well in my opinion.
Found one. It's here. By the way, you should be able to triple your money on this on a bad day, on a good day maybe more. Beyond that, you probably won't find a form fitted case for it.
If I was going to guess at a maker I'd consider Regal. They made some really strange instruments over the years.
Nice looking mando, a bit quirky and a good price.
I'd think a set of 10-34 strings would be as heavy as you should want, though others have more experience with cant tops than me.
Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.
By offsetting I mean that I think it is odd, if you look at any of the body portions divided into four areas on either side of the two horns they are all offset from each of the other three... To me it look like a blob with two horns but I'm not telling you what to like... You've got experience with it and I've never seen one until today.
Thx so much Gents.
its alot of fun for me to learn about this thing.
and i was going bonkers before I found this site... trying to find info.
Gus... it certainly is "offsetting."
To me, it reminds me of a Sunfish.
It's quirky but...
it was that quirkieness that attracted me to it really.
there were 2 old mandolins there on the floor side by side.
the other one looked "normal" so...
i really gravitated to the abnormal one. it seemed more interesting.
its been pretty interesting so far.
every single thing about mandolins is brand new to me, in general, at this point.
i am glad this is my first mandolin and i am amused by its aesthetics.
i think i have 3 other photos that may not have posted the first time i tried.
if they did post.... sorry, in advance.
Boy, that was like Deja Vu all over again. Another previous post is here. Paul Hostetter likened the shape to that of a sunfish.
By the way, both of the headstock shapes on all the examples we have of this thing correspond to common Regal and Lyon and Healy shapes.
Haha.. that's funny Earl, I almost posted this rare fish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mneDhOtVEQw as what it reminded me of but I thought the comparison might be a little far out to remain relatable. And I wanted to make a comment that might violate the posting guidelines so I refrained... I have one mandolin that has a lot of uniqueness and character and know how that interest quality can add to an instruments enjoyment.
it seems there have been a few of these sunfish mando's around these parts before.
its so cool to see them all.
thx for pointing me to them.
even if i dont learn anything else about my sunfish,
i want you to know how much i appreciate
all the input you folks have afforded me and...
quickly too so...
thx a mill.
mine projects fairly well.
right now, (and this is beyond embarrassing)...
all i can manage is like the mandolin bits in "maggie mae" from rod stewart.
but i've never had one in hand before.
i am keen on learning some worthwhile stuff though
and i'll give it the old college try.
i do own apprx. 35 guitars.
if anyone ever cares to have a look at them...
here they are, all in one shot, basically :
my Guid Jumbo gets sorta cutoff at the end.
there's a song i wrote called "horses" on my youtube www.youtube.com/over700songs
, and it has a mandolin part in it,
i posted a link earlier. Jason Ringenberg from "Jason and the Scorchers" is also on that track.
i've written over 700 songs but i've only had a mandolin on one track.
i'm gonna try to sneak one in more often now.
- thx again
Yours looks to be a better-finished, higher grade model than usual for these things. I think for $40 you should be in jail for highway robbery You did really well. Very interesting instrument. Nice 'herringbone' binding and pearl work and seems to be in fine condition. It is not worth a fortune, but a lot more than you snagged it for. I'd like to stumble across one of these myself, one day. I'll bet it sounds pretty neat once you get it going.
Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern
Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
Jim Triggs 23 F5, Northfield Big Mon #127
Silverangel custom 'A'
'39 D-18, 1950 D-28.
This mandolin has got some damage to the top, just below the crack in the soundhole rosette. There's also a crack running underneath the pickguard.
I can't tell how far that damaged area extends. You should get the bridge cables off that thing and have the top looked at by a luthier, who should also peek inside and make sure all the bracing is tight.
I agree with the advice about using a 34-10 set of strings on this instrument. Martin makes some nice ones.
Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!
The Priest and the Publicans: Gospel bluegrass out of the box.
Emando.com: More than you wanted to know.
Donaldson • Rigel • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Roberts • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls
Like folks have said, a great buy, and obviously a fairly 'fancy' version of this very unusual design. D'Addario makes a light set - J62 - and that's where I would start out with something like this.
Thx so much, gents.
yes, it is not in perfect shape but...
its sturdy and everything functions real well.
i did have a lighter gauge string set put on and...
it sounds so nice and projects well, it has a fair amount of volume to it.
not bad, especially for my needs (beginner level.)
my tech says the woods a bit dry and he had inserted some kinda wet spongy thing in the sound hole.
he told me to wrap the whole thing in a plastic bag
with this wet sponge in it for a few days. so thats what i did.
he said the wood will take in the moisture and the crack lines should diminish then.
but he said, in general, it needs the moisture.
i can tell you this,
i've already had more than $40 worth of fun with it.
Here are the others I have in my file. I don't believe that any had IDs to them. Yours may be the first. The last one below is from Lowell Levinger but i could not find it on his site. He may have more of a clue who made it. So far I think the OP has the fanciest one esp with the fretboard inlays.
yes, the bridge did need to be moved back and it has been.
its just slightly slightly above where that bend in the top is.
there's a mark now where the bridge used to be... all those yrs.
you can see the bridge used to be where it was.
its so neat to see all these sunfish.
of note: what I thought was just a steel plate on the back of the head is not just a steel plate.
it's actually a self-contained "unit" that contains the machine heads and that whole thing inserts into the headstock.
the tuners work extremely well, i had them spruced up and they are nice and they function perfectly, which i think is strange for nearly 100 year old tuners.
Those inset tuners are very common to that period esp for mandolins that are mid to higher grades. I would still have that top crack fixed if you want this instrument to last.
I am actually quite fond of this little bugger now and...
i do happen to have an awesome luthier, as well as woodworkers in the family who do high-end woodworking.
i will 100% for sure start looking into what repairs need to be done and what's all involved with it.
if this thing has lasted a hundred years, I feel it deserves a little loving care.
and... i actually enjoy the process of looking after my instruments and i love the end result when it all goes well.
i'll give it a few more days to moisture-up, see how that affects the instrument and then go from there but...
keep in mind... right now, as we type,
its quite sturdy, it functions as intended, it sounds so nice and its a panic to fiddle around with.
nothings warped and i do believe that if the wood does take in some moisture from the inserted sponge...
it'll help the structural integrity a bit.
now, i wanna go back to the antique store and check on that other little mandolin that was adjacent to this sunfish. the other one was way old too but... looked more like what i would consider a "standard-looking" mandolin.
if i go back and buy it,
i'll probably annoy you fine folks again with a hundred questions.
When I first started looking at mandolins, back a gabillion years in a galaxy far far away, I thought anything that didn't look like a bowlback looked odd. Then I kind of got used to A styles, especially flat tops. When I saw my first F style arch top, as a picture in Mandolin World News, I thought it was just too wierd. At first I wondered if a magazine that discussed mandolins that looked like that had anything to do with my bowlback.
Eventually I really got into the wonderous shapes out there. Your listing sunfish design is pretty cool. I have only seen one in person, and it was not in as good a shape as yours.
Lots of mojo. Enjoy.
mandolins are certainly beautiful instruments, especially the fancy ones.
they are certainly functional art.
some of the stuff I have seen played on mandolin just boggles the mind.
I am merely a songwriter really. not much of a player.
I need instruments to write songs with. I have apprx. 35 guitars because they all produce their own specific sound and i'll grab a specific guitar depending on what sound I am after for any given song I am writing.
I have written over 700 songs, with absolutely and literally no musical training at all. None. Zilch. can't read a note, never took a lesson etc. etc.
That said, this little sunfish will open up a whole new world to me.
I am so looking forward to fiddling around with it and figuring it out.
you know, it seems to be strung/tuned backwards from a guitar. guitar goes... e, a, d,g ,b e. and the mandolin is in reverse from that so, already my tiny little brain is a bit twisted over this.
i had contemplating stringing the sunfish backwards to mimic the stringing of my guitars.
(embarrassing to admit, yes.) but... the heck with that, let's
have fun with it the right way.
i am totally looking forward to learning this instrument thru trial and error.
mostly error, I would think.
its a tremendous instrument, a mandolin.
The musicians who really know how to play mandolin are like gods to me.
it makes me very happy to hear them and see them play these mandolins.
some of their playing is flat-out astonishing.
well... i gotta start somewhere.. so, here I am embarrassing myself in front of experts.
but... i guarantee you I will progress on this instrument.
sorry for the length of this post, folks.