View Full Version : Mandolone, Regal Prince Tenor, MB-Jr, Lange Jo-Mando, Sov Jo-Mdo

Jake Wildwood
Jul-31-2016, 8:08pm
These are all recent repairs with the exception of my weirdo mandolone (Google it!).

First, the 1925 Gibson MB-Jr -- click here for the blog post/soundclip (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2016/07/1925-gibson-mb-jr-banjo-mandolin.html):




Next is that awesome Regal Prince carved-top tenor -- blog post here (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2016/07/1930s-regal-prince-carved-top-tenor.html):






Here's a 1920s Lange-made (heavy tonering) jo-mando -- blog post here (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2016/07/1920s-lange-made-rex-banjo-mandolin.html):





Here's a fancy 1910s Oscar Schmidt Sovereign jo-mando, too -- blog post here (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2016/07/1910s-oscar-schmidt-sovereign-banjo.html):




Last but not least, my 70s Yamaha "classical" mandolone -- blog post here (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2016/07/19782016-yamaha-classical-mandolone.html):




The last one is hilarious and wonderful. I spent ~30 mins converting it -- so please don't look too closely. :)

Aug-01-2016, 1:09pm
Both that tenor guitar and the um.... Yamaha... are something else :)

Nice work!

Eric Foulke
Aug-02-2016, 6:55pm
That Prince tenor is insane! How does it sound?
I can't see how four thin strings would move that 18" wide soundboard in any meaningful way. However, looking at the wear pattern, somebody obviously loved to play it.
Thanks for posting.

Jake Wildwood
Aug-03-2016, 12:34pm
Agreed with both of you guys -- the tenor is wild!

It has a ton of punch/volume but obviously the box was made for a 6-string and if you had 6 strings running light/medium it would be thunderous. It sounds a whole lot better out front than it does from behind and the A string on it (the owner had me restring it CGDA) isn't zippy at all -- it's nice, round, and full. It's a really interesting thing to hear because I'm absolutely not used to that from that tuning.

Apparently it's had a few shows under its belt since pics (and I installed a K&K pickup in it, too) and it's doing swell and blends into the mix perfectly.

Aug-03-2016, 6:14pm
Nice work, as always, Jake. I enjoy your regular posts and insight into these often under-the-radar models. A goldmine of neglected instruments your are invested in.

On your blog you say:

"I made an adjustable bridge from scratch for this asyour average banjo-mando really does need a nice long foot to dampen the tone and increase tuning stability. Regular banjo bridges are almost always far too bright in tone to make these sound "right.""

Which sounds right to me. A "far too bright" mandojo is like an ice pick in the ear to me.

But you've left what seems to be the original bridges on the GibsonJr and the Rex. What are your thoughts on this?


BTW I'd enjoy meeting your sosia Italiano. There's bound to be a Sicilian Jaco Boscoselvaggio digging into these nutty Puglisis (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?125776-Mandolin-G-Puglisi-Reale-amp-Figli-1925-Need-help). At least there ought to be. The typical sniffing shibboleth is "Well, Puglisi was okay, but not comparable to Embergher or Vinaccia or Calace." Sure Regal wasn't Gibson or Martin, but they made some stuff. Same with Puglisi Reale e Figli. I know you've worked on a bowl or two of theirs, but their scope of experimental design work went way beyond the bol ordinaire.
Referring to them as the "Sicilian Regal" isn't fair to either, but also isn't too far off the mark for those interested in the curious and musical.

Jake Wildwood
Aug-03-2016, 7:40pm
1) But you've left what seems to be the original bridges on the GibsonJr and the Rex. What are your thoughts on this?

2) Referring to them as the "Sicilian Regal" isn't fair to either, but also isn't too far off the mark for those interested in the curious and musical.


1) It's because both of those mando-jos were actually way too dark off-the-bat and I wanted them to have some increased volume/punch for their owners. I almost always use a heavy, mandolin-style bridge on jo-mandos but when you see a banjo-style one, that's the reason. The Gibson is mellow due to small head and no tonering and the Lange's massive brass ring was actually dampening the sound despite adding a lot of sustain -- and the Lange is going to go to work in Celtic sessions, as I recall, so it needs the volume.

2) I have a huge love for old Regals. The issue is they made SO much stuff and in such varying quality grades, that it's hard to pin them down as "good" or "bad." Even their cheap stuff, however, was pretty nice for its pricing and often holds-up better than their competitors over the years. Their necks are pretty stable despite being made of some questionable wood, at times -- hee hee -- so if I made instruments and was called the "Vermont Regal" -- I'd be much enthused... :)

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p.p.s. I've liked the Puglisi mandos I've had the chance to encounter. I really want to meet one that's in great shape to really dig into what they can be like...!