Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

  1. #1

    Default Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    So I snapped up this little honey off a local CList yesterday. Wondering if anyone can help me dating the pickup. Can't seem to find anything on the interweb about it. The ad text claimed:

    " A Rare 1920s Regal Octophone With A Very Rare Pre WWII Kiesel Pickup And Unique Handmade Folkart Case

    It plays great and has several old repairs and folkartsy mods. The pickup sounds great. The neck is straight and the action is not too bad. It looks like it's been through a war or 2 and probably has considering it's age but it's solid and together. The homemade folkart case is seriously cool and seriously strong. The picture doesn't do it justice. Rare and cool with a lot of old soul!

    $175 Cash/Trade/Offers "

    Thanks and cheers !Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OCTOPHONE.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	58.1 KB 
ID:	165900

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,179

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Can we have a close-up view of the pickup please? It doesn't look that old to me but it's not easy to tell from the photo.

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,267

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Price is right, anyway. I'd definitely give it a thorough hands-on once-over before seriously considering purchase. This is one of the most lightly built instruments I've ever played and owned, and "not too bad" action with a straight neck may well mean a neck re-set, and "being through a war or two" -- well, who knows what that means?

    I paid about the same amount for my Octofone, and subsequently had a carbon fiber neck reinforcement and a new ebony fingerboard installed, which more than doubled its price. The neck pulled forward and warped significantly even with light stringing.

    Remember, this is an instrument that Regal offered for less than 20 buxx when it came out. Not a masterpiece of the luthier's art. An interesting and fun "mando" to play, but it did start out cheap.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  4. #4

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Has a slider volume pot on the side. Sounds great. Thinking it's actually a guitar P.U. that just barely fit into the Regal soundhole. Can barely make out the brand on the plastic, but it does read "KIESEL" Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OCTOPHONE PU's 002.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	304.0 KB 
ID:	165902Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OCTOPHONE PU's 001.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	2.32 MB 
ID:	165903

  5. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,267

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    My apologies for the purchase advice in my post; I missed the part that said you'd already bought the Octofone.

    Good luck with it, and IMHO treat it gently; it's a bit delicate. Keep an eye on that neck for warpage and any neck joint deformation. I have mine strung as an octave mandolin with "octaved" strings on the third and fourth courses. Lotsa fun.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  6. #6

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    No worries Allen, I appreciate the input. I thought it was priced fairly but the case and pickup put it over the edge for me as being a pretty good deal. She's been rode hard and put up wet for sure. No cracks, likely re-finished, add on pickguard is a little thick. Older clamshell tailpiece isn't original but nice old patina. Neck and frets are O.K.-ish. Workable anyways. With a little love I think I'll be pretty happy. It came with octave courses on the bottom end, tuned as the top 4 of a guitar. I'll play around w/gauges and probably go with the Zouk strung OM thing. Any string gauge recommendations ?? Also worked a two fer deal on a 50's Framus 3/4 guitar. Nice old guy, tube amp repairs etc. We both did well I think.

  7. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,267

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobe View Post
    ...Any string gauge recommendations ??...
    Here's what I use for GDAE tuning:
    1st .011/.011
    2nd .020/.020
    3rd .030w/.016
    4th .045w/.018

    The unwound 4th string is a little light, but that's what I'm using now. It's actually a full step lower pitch than the 2nd strings, but it's .002 lighter, whereas the unwound 3rd is a full step lower than the 1st strings, but .005 heavier. Don't know how I ended up there, but I did.

    Experiment!
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  8. #8

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Thanks ! So you like your high octave strings on the treble or downpicked side of the root course, as opposed to say a standard 12-string thing ie: .018/.45w, or am I backwards here ?

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,179

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobe View Post
    Has a slider volume pot on the side. Sounds great. Thinking it's actually a guitar P.U. that just barely fit into the Regal soundhole. Can barely make out the brand on the plastic, but it does read "KIESEL" Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OCTOPHONE PU's 002.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	304.0 KB 
ID:	165902Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OCTOPHONE PU's 001.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	2.32 MB 
ID:	165903
    Looks 1970s or '80s to me. This any use - https://www.kieselguitars.com/guitarpickups/

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,119

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    It looks like a guitar pickup from the 50's-70's. The name that I was thinking is on the tip of my tongue, but it's stuck and won't come out. Common back in the day along with other sound hole pickups.

    The slide looks like it may have originally been a wheel for volume. Most were a round disc on a volume pot.
    Last edited by pops1; Mar-15-2018 at 12:01pm.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  11. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,267

    Default Re: Octophone soundhole pickup question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobe View Post
    Thanks ! So you like your high octave strings on the treble or downpicked side of the root course, as opposed to say a standard 12-string thing ie: .018/.45w, or am I backwards here ?
    No, my listing was backwards...I have the thinner strings "up" when holding the Octofone, so my pick hits them first on the downstroke. No particular reason, but now the nut slots are shaped that way, so I'll stay with it. Guess I used my 12-string guitar as a template.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  12. The following members say thank you to allenhopkins for this post:

    Dobe 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •