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Beanzy

Calace 58-A

Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average.
I picked up this Calace 58-A to use as my new workhorse mandolin for my orchestral playing. It's got a few issues but has a lovely sound even before I've dealt with those. Click image for larger version. 

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Someone had added a zero fret at one time to make up for a nut that had worn too low with use. I'll be replacing that soon.

The bridge is a decent enough substitute which functions but does not match the original bridge markings on the top so I'll be making a new one.

The tuners are an interesting conundrum as the turners have been replaced in the original plate housing. They are plastic and the metal plate is slightly adrift and needs a bit of a tweak. As it's to play rather than restore I'll be leaving the tuners as they are.

It cost me 295 & I've no idea if that represents good value for this particular instrument, I know It's worth it for the quality and finish alone and the sound is excellent so I think it's a bargain when I look at some of the knackered old things going for similar prices on e-bay.

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Comments

  1. Jim Garber's Avatar
    Hi: I was just wondering about the model designation, Does it say 58A on the label. I see a model 13 on the Calace site that resembles yours and have owned some older ones but never heard of a 58A. Check out the document labeled "Mandolini 13 e 15" on this page.
  2. Beanzy's Avatar
    Thanks very much for that Jim. I'd say it's definitely the original of what they've based that 13 on. Even the arm rest pattern is the same cut out and shape.

    The label says 58-A so that may be what they used to call it. I read before that they changed the numbers not too long ago. The woods look old enough and the plate housing the tuners has been removed so the plastic tuner buttons could be a retro-fit. It had a bodged zero fret and the frets are really high, straight up with no widening into the mushroom top shape like modern frets.

    I'm 90% sure this one is 1977 from that label. The tag in the shop said 1922, and it could possibly be read as that, the writing looks too ambiguous to my eye. I'm away from base this week but I'll get some clear pics on a proper camera if I can borrow one. I'd love some opinions once I get them up there.

    The top has two tiny circular ring imprints where the extremities of the bridge would have been so I think it had one of the old style bridges originally. I've seen some where there are two metal caps in the bridge which bite down when the strings are tensioned perhaps it had those.

    I've got some ivory from an old crappy 1960s ornament at home that was going to the car boot sale, so I'll use that for this and the bridge I'll be doing for the Stridente I bought for 10. A friend just gave me some mahogany from an old library shelf and he has some ebony off-cuts coming through so once I know shapes etc I'll be able to make something up in the proper material but salvaged stuff.

    There's a couple of cracks in the finger-plate but these don't go to the wood.

    I reckon once I get the action sorted it'll be a long-time workhorse this one - whatever it is & whenever it is from.
  3. Beanzy's Avatar
    I've done a bit of fret levelling and cleaned it up. Took some photos of it in the sun. It's the most amazing sound for a bowlback mandolin. I'm still trying to decide how to describe it.



    Updated May-29-2013 at 5:03pm by Beanzy
  4. CrocatoanPicker's Avatar
    Wow. that's a beautiful Mandolin....or Mandolute. i haven't seen that bowlback style in my searching for a propper mandolin ..(i'm new to the instrument, and only have a $50 Rogue Mando for now).
    You have me searching for that style now !
    it looks to be pretty old with all those alterations you speak of over the years.
    Nice find !