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Thread: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

  1. #1
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    This is the beginning of what will likely be a short Registry of Vivitone Mandolins.
    Mandolin #338
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    Last edited by Benjamin T; Oct-27-2013 at 2:21pm.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  2. #2
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    #39 Electric Mandola from University of South Dakota

    http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/ElectricInst...arMandola.html

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Those are nifty instruments!!!
    Bart McNeil

  4. #4
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Whhhh???

    Scotty, you better take another look into these transporter issues before beaming again.
    F-holes in the back, tailpiece halfway up the top - can we have a pickguard on the headstock, please?
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Those are Mr. Lloyd Loar's creations.
    Bill Snyder

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Benjamin:

    Here are a few I found online -- these should keep you busy.

    Vivi-Tone Electric Tenor Guitar , c. 1933 - RetroFret

    Vivi-Tone Electric Lute-Body Tenor Guitar , c. 1933 - RetroFret

    Vivitone Mandolin (from Lowell Levinger's museum pages)

    Group Shot from Lowell -- Impressive!!

    ViviTone Guitar from Folkway Music museum page

    Vivitone Acoustic Guitar at Spruce Tree Music

    Check out this guy playing a tenor guitar:
    Jim

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  8. #7
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Thank you, Jim. The first one I played was the electric lute at retrofret, then I played a guitar in a guitar shop on Woodward Ave. in Berkley, Michigan. I look forward to keeping you all in the loop on some more of my research.
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I just realized that this is the Vivitone mandolin registry. So, no guitars, keyboards or stringed instruments?

    Siminoff info - scroll down for ViViTone.
    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post

    Check out this guy playing a tenor guitar:
    Sounds like rubber bands on a cigar box.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    Sounds like rubber bands on a cigar box.
    You do realize that this is one of the earliest electric instruments, pre-dating Gibson by a few years.
    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    You do realize that this is one of the earliest electric instruments, pre-dating Gibson by a few years.
    No, I had no idea. Thank God for Les Paul.

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    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I like the tail piece on #338. Looks more suited to a banjo though.

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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    No, I had no idea. Thank God for Les Paul.
    I wonder if that wood bar on the back that runs in the longitudinal plane of the instrument is for structure or is actually the world's first hummbucker!

    Whatever dismissive comments can made about Loyd Loar's idiosyncrasies no one can deny that he was not a brilliant, imaginative, and insightful man.

    I well expect that Les Paul, who also a brilliant man and also "ahead of his time", knew and learned from the earlier work of Loyd Loar.

    Every long journey to a prize starts with a single step -- but to even start each journey someone has to have the imagination and, yes the clairvoyance, that allows them to take that first step.

    I think the efforts of pioneering geniuses should be lauded not derided - but that is just me.
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  15. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I believe that in this patent he explains some of these electric, structural and acoustic designs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Loar_vivitone_US2020557.pdf  
    Jim

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    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    There's a lot of debate about who really came out with the first electric instruments. Most give credit to Adolf Rickenbacker for his "frying pan" electric lap steel, some give credit to Loar, but Gibson did introduce their first electric archtop in 1933, which pre-dates their lap steels by a few years. Here's an ad from Metronome for this guitar. Les Paul was certainly an innovator, but did NOT invent the electric guitar, contrary to popular believe.

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    Visit www.fox-guitars.com - cool Gibson & Epiphone history and more. Vintage replacement mandolin pickguards

  17. #16
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Paul: I think you are referring to electric stringed instruments. There were electrified keyboards and synthesizers back even in the 19th century.

    BTW has anyone actually seen the guitar and amp in that ad? Does it exist or was it just an artist's rendition.
    Jim

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    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I believe that in this patent he explains some of these electric, structural and acoustic designs.
    This seems to be the missing link between the virzi and the piezo pickup.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  19. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    This one by LL has something similar to a Virzi. Also attached is the actual Virzi patent.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails loar_US2046331.pdf   Virzi_US1412584.pdf  
    Jim

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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by pfox14 View Post
    Les Paul was certainly an innovator, but did NOT invent the electric guitar, contrary to popular believe.

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    I think what most people credit Les Paul with is aiding in the invention of the Solidbody electric guitar.

    Phil

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    BTW has anyone actually seen the guitar and amp in that ad? Does it exist or was it just an artist's rendition.
    I believe a Gibson L-4 with a crude pickup surfaced at one time.
    Visit www.fox-guitars.com - cool Gibson & Epiphone history and more. Vintage replacement mandolin pickguards

  22. #21
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I just realized that this is the Vivitone mandolin registry. So, no guitars, keyboards or stringed instruments?

    Siminoff info - scroll down for ViViTone.
    I am interested in all the instruments created under the Vivitone name. I just thought I'd keep it "mandocentric" in this preliminary stage. Let's open it up!
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  23. #22
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Jim's post #6 is Vivitone #31 , 1933, Electrified Tenor Guitar.

    On a side note, I went looking for 6321 Gratiot, Detroit, MI today and found an empty lot where the Vivitone Corporate Headquarters were. Any one have a metal detector?
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  24. #23
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Click image for larger version. 

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    From Jim's post #6. Acoustic Guitar. "small body (13" lower bout), spruce top with TWO small soundholes beneath bridge, carved spruce back with f holes, back set 1/2" into sides, 3 piece mahogany neck, bound ebony freboard. Two repaired back cracks, no top cracks, some cosmetic repairs to back of peghead, peghead overlay replaced, tailpiece is WW II era replacement, old refret."
    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  25. #24
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    I found this in another thread,http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...on-a-bowl-back, but here is one of the other ViViTone partners, Lewis A. Williams.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

  26. #25
    Registered User Benjamin T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vivitone Mandolin Registry

    Raphael Ciani Galiano circa 1920
    Gibson F-5G FB 2003
    John D'Angelico 1933
    Vivitone Acoustic #338 circa 1933
    Gibson F4 1915 Blacktop
    Shutt/ Harmony Viol Mandolin circa 1930

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