Guitar-shaped octave mando?

  1. Dr H
    Dr H
    Hello there,

    About 6 months ago I acquired an instrument from a friend of mine. He can't remember where it came from, and never played it, so he has no idea what it is (other than a "funny guitar").

    The body is shaped like that of a dreadnought guitar, a little on the small size, but I've seen guitars smaller. The scale length is about 23" (sorter than a typical acoustic guitar), and it's setup for four double-strung courses. It was detuned when I got it, but the two strings in any given course were roughly the same gauge, which suggested unison tuning for the pairs. Bridge compensation also suggests this.

    So... I cleaned it up, put new strings on it, and put it in octave mandolin tuning. It seems to be happy there, sounds great, holds the tuning, frets in tune, and the neck hasn't warped, nor the bridge ripped off, so it seems able to handle the tension.

    For all practical purposes, I am using it as an octave mandolin, but I'm wondering if that's what it was originally intended to be? Has anybody seen one of these? Are they common? This is the first I've ever come across, and every other octave mando I've seen has had an oval- or teardrop- shaped body.

    Any takers?
  2. Eddie Sheehy
    There are lots of them out there - referred to as guitar-bodied OM's or bouzoukis or Gatzouks, Boutars, GOM's, etc. Weber makes them, as does Graham McDonald, Bill Bussman, Austin Clark...
    Any pics?
  3. Dr H
    Dr H
    Thanks. So, farily common, it sounds like. Makes me wonder why the guitar-body, though? Easier to make than a teardrop mando body? Seems like it would be harder, since there are more curves.

    And leads me to ask, are there guitar-shaped mandolins and mandolas as well? Mandocellos?

    I have a few pictures, but my camera's in the shop with the SD chip that they're on. Soon as I get it back I'll post a few.
  4. Eddie Sheehy
    The guitar-shaped body is larger and provides more volume.

    Absolutely there are, Ovation/Godin make A/E guitar-shaped mandos, I've seen other acoustic guitar-shaped mandos, Eastman makes a Guitar-bodied Mandocello, as do others. Can't say I've seen a guitar-bodied mandola though...
  5. GKWilson
    Dr H. If you want to see some real eye candy. Check out the web sites of:
    Mike Black, Jim Hilburn, Andrew Mowry, Lawrence Smart
    There are many more.
  6. Dr H
    Dr H
    Ooh... I like that guitar-shaped octave by Mike Black, with the "F" holes.
  7. GKWilson
    If you mean the blonde octave with the quilt back.
    It has sold to some lucky guy.
  8. pheffernan
    I envy him.
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