View Full Version : What is this?

Jun-17-2008, 12:05pm
What is this? Looks like the strings are grouped in threes.

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Very-nice-old-mandolin-or-Lute-12strings-Guitar-shape_W0QQitemZ170230025167QQihZ007QQcateg
oryZ10179QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/Very-ni....iewItem</a>

Jun-17-2008, 12:36pm
Either a tricordia or mandriola. Tuned like a mandolin, plays like a mandolin, just 50% more vibrating metal. Since it's guitar shaped, I would normally call it a tricordia. I think that's a Kaycraft logo on it, but one of the vintage experts should know for sure.

Michael Wolf
Jun-17-2008, 3:41pm
Isn't this a Tiple?
A few days ago a similar instrument sold at ebay here in Germany: Hoyer (http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170226645495)

Jun-17-2008, 4:17pm
That Hoyer is clearly a mandriola ... four sets of three strings, and has octave strings on G and D.

The instrument pictured could be a Columbian or Venezuelan tiple, because those normally have 12 strings. Most tiples found in the US have 10 strings (an octave pair, a triple with an octave string, a triple with an octave string, and another octave pair) but some do have 12.

Here's a picture of me when I was first learning how to play my tricordia.

Jason Nagati
Jun-17-2008, 4:40pm
It appears the three complete courses are strung thin-fat-thin. Is this a mistake in set-up? I thought triple course were usually thin-thin-fat or thin-fat-fat.

The seller has it strung over the bridge in a goofy, unplayable way. It reminds me of the optical illusion of the factory with three smokestacks at top, but only two on bottom.

Jun-17-2008, 4:47pm
This one is certainly screwed up (one of the reasons it's hard to say exactly what it is without measuring the scale), but thin-fat-thin isn't too unusual. That way, you get roughly the same tone whether you pick up or down. Strung asymmetrically, you get different tones, because you will start with a fat string picking one way and a thin string picking the other. Depending on the player and the musical style, that's either a bad thing or a good thing.