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Ike57
May-15-2011, 1:02pm
Hi All,

Recently I got an old mandonlin-banjo. Nothing special, just a restauration project for me but I would love to know the brand of this instrument. So if anyone is able to identify this mandonlin-banjo I would be very gratefull.

Here's a picture of the instrument:
http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba1.jpg

Here's the brand name stamped. Unfortunaly I'm not able to read it.
http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba3.jpg

Jake Wildwood
May-15-2011, 1:25pm
Looks Italian or... possibly... French to me.

Arbuckle
May-15-2011, 7:10pm
I've seen a Youtube clip of a guy in France playing almost the exact same mando-banjo, so I also think its probably european

MikeEdgerton
May-15-2011, 8:08pm
It wasn't made in the US. Try this. Put a piece of paper over the logo and rub a pencil across it. The logo appears to be inset, and it's the smear that is making it unreadable. That might give you the makers name.

Ike57
May-16-2011, 12:41am
Thanks all

I tried the paper/pencil trick a while ago but it didn't work. The logo is not sharp enough. It might be European, maybe Italian. It looks like the name is ending on ?????ello or ?????etto. Searched for several variatons on the web but got no results yet.

Ronny
May-16-2011, 2:38am
This one looks like my banjoline (who might be a modified mandolin-banjo : the bridge has 8 strings marks and the plastic nut has been modified).:
72227
It has been bought in France (the seller was from Lyon). It might be French.

Ike57
May-16-2011, 3:21am
This one looks like my banjoline (who might be a modified mandolin-banjo : the bridge has 8 strings marks and the plastic nut has been modified).:
72227
It has been bought in France (the seller was from Lyon). It might be French.

Definitely the same one Ronny! Does it have any markings on the heel? If so, is the marking readable?

Ronny
May-16-2011, 3:26am
I remember now that two or three months ago, I saw the same mandolin-banjo as ours for sale at leboncoin.fr (a craig-list type website).
The roads converge to France... But I saw this one too :
http://www.reallymusic.net/oth_item/m0024-1.jpg on a japanese website...
So ???

Ike57
May-16-2011, 4:08am
Looks like we have a very unique instrument Ronny :-)

Too bad they don't show the brand name anywhere.


I remember now that two or three months ago, I saw the same mandolin-banjo as ours for sale at leboncoin.fr (a craig-list type website).
The roads converge to France... But I saw this one too :
http://www.reallymusic.net/oth_item/m0024-1.jpg on a japanese website...
So ???

Not exactly the same this one (for as far as I can see). This is not an archtop like ours is it?

Ronny
May-16-2011, 4:50am
You're right...
I have sanded my banjolin yesterday (in order to revarnish and to re-upgrade it to a mandoline-banjo, because the frets height and the single strings hurt my finger tips), and it had absolutely no marking on the heel. Sorry.

Ike57
May-16-2011, 5:35am
I have sanded my banjolin yesterday (in order to revarnish and to re-upgrade it to a mandoline-banjo, because the frets height and the single strings hurt my finger tips), and it had absolutely no marking on the heel. Sorry.

Guess we just have to call it Manjo Doe :-)

I'm planning to restore this instrument and give it some of its old "glory" back. Here's a pic of the backside of mine. Does yours look the same? Looks to me that the pattern on the back is very thin. Did the sanding work out all right?

http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba2.jpg

Ronny
May-16-2011, 6:11am
The back of the resonator was totally blank, but there's a layer of black wood at the back of the heel, like yours too. I will post some pictures of my "re-mandolination" soon.

Ike57
May-16-2011, 1:09pm
Thank you for all your support Ronny !

I will post pictures of my results as well. May take a while because I'm in the middle of two restoration projects: A 1930 John Grey & Sons 5-string banjo and a 1955-1960 Weltton Guitar-banjo :-)
The mandolin banjo will be third.

Ronny
May-19-2011, 5:45am
I have post pictures of my transformation on my mandolincafe album :
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?albumid=1101
Feedback welcome !

Ike57
May-19-2011, 8:39am
Now that's a nice looking little fellow !! You did a nice job on this one Ronny!

It's a pity you had to replace those vintage tuners, but I can see you had no choice. How is the action? Seems to me that adjusting the action is done by putting a shim between the tension hoop and the neck? Looks like that's the only way as it has no dowel stick.

Most important question: Does it play and sound well?

EdHanrahan
May-19-2011, 10:14am
REAL nice!

Guessing that the one (or maybe more?) tuning post was shortened to avoid interference with the post from the opposite side. And how did you get the new post holes so clean - some kind of jig, or just a center punch?

Ronny
May-19-2011, 10:31am
The action was very high when it has 4 strings, but now its lower (because of the string pressure on the skin) and much more playable. I didn't try to adjust the action, so I don't know how to do...
Yes, the that one tuning post was shortened to avoid interference with the post from the opposite side. And I did nothing to the post hole, there was already 8 holes, the tuning machines fit well with the existing holes. It was a very easy work, in fact !

To me, it sounds well, but I'm only a beginner in the mandolin-family instruments (I played the bagpipes for 20 years, and the mandolin for 3 years only !) so I don't really know !

I'll try to post a video, one day...

Ike57
May-19-2011, 12:55pm
The action was very high when it has 4 strings, but now its lower (because of the string pressure on the skin) and much more playable. I didn't try to adjust the action, so I don't know how to do...

I didn't open mine yet but as far as I can see the neck (backside of the heel) is adjusted to the resonator and the frontside is resting on the tension hoop. Putting a shim (thin piece of wood) between the tension hoop and the frontside of the neck will change the neck angle thus resulting in a lower action. (see photo below).
Remember: This is just my theory, I will let you know once I'm working on it.

http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba8.jpg

Ronny
Aug-08-2011, 3:11am
I made a quick recording with my mandoin banjo here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXHeca-iAyI

David Marks
Feb-14-2017, 5:23am
Hi
I have just acquired an identical instrument. I intend to convert it to a uke banjo as the neck is badly warped and I need to make a new one. I am planning to make it concert scale. Did anyone ever find out who made it ?
Hi All,

Recently I got an old mandonlin-banjo. Nothing special, just a restauration project for me but I would love to know the brand of this instrument. So if anyone is able to identify this mandonlin-banjo I would be very gratefull.

Here's a picture of the instrument:
http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba1.jpg

Here's the brand name stamped. Unfortunaly I'm not able to read it.
http://www.atgp.nl/eigengitaar/maba3.jpg

Ray(T)
Feb-14-2017, 8:49am
Doubt it but I'm intrigued to know what surface the original photo was taken on. Looks like an autopsy table!