View Full Version : c.1890/1900 12 String Bowlback Mandolin

Jake Wildwood
Aug-12-2009, 8:21pm
Here's one "hot off the presses" -- a bowlback that's had a number of issues fixed (seam repairs, rib reglues, top entirely reglued and all "starboard side" binding, among other stuff + setup) and is now strung in octave tuning, sort of like a tiple, but GDAE. I like it! Sound clips will follow, but here are the "money" (long unmown green grass) shots:

Jake Wildwood
Aug-12-2009, 8:23pm
Mahogany neck, spruce top, rosewood ribs, and aluminum buttons... and this thing is built like a bear underneath... but somehow still manages to sound like shimmering thunder with quite the sweet voice. Love it!

Aug-12-2009, 8:28pm
Another nice one Jake. It looks to be a Oscar Schmidt brand, hence the O S inlaid in the pick-guard.

Jake Wildwood
Aug-12-2009, 9:05pm
Thanks Michael for the info!

It's also about an inch narrower than a typical bowlback, too, which is curious to me.

Bob DeVellis
Aug-13-2009, 6:20pm
Do the aluminum tuner buttons suggest a later date than 1890s/1900?

Jake Wildwood
Aug-13-2009, 9:24pm
Bob: Yes, definitely -- more like late teens or early to mid 20s. I didn't realize it was an OS. :)

Aug-27-2013, 10:59pm
I have the same mandriola!

Mine is handed down from my great x3 grandparents who were part of a German band at the turn of the 20th century. It's not in very good shape, though.

I'm hoping you may have a suggestion as to what I might use to replace the tuning machines. The ones on it are original, but they're steel and even after a thorough cleaning I can barely turn any of the pegs. Someone suggested I might be able to find some guitar tuners that would work, but if you know what works, I'd love to hear it.


Aug-28-2013, 3:13am
Very nice work as ever Jake - I've not yet managed to get my hands on a decent 12-string so I'd be interested to hear what yours sounds like!

Aug-28-2013, 7:45am
How is the intonation on that thing? I picked up a 12 string bowl on ebay a while back, and there are issues up at the octave frets.

12 strings are a hoot. I have to try tuning the unisons in octaves as you mentioned.

Jake Wildwood
Aug-28-2013, 11:31pm
Wow, old post revived. Intonation seemed fine as I recall, but that was a while ago... :D