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Thread: Fender sb-4 (or sb-8?)

  1. #1

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    Anybody know anything about these? They are fairly literal reissues of the Mandocaster sold in the UK a few years ago. I just picked up the 8 string variant. Its cool, but a bit odd... no serial number, wierd one-color logo, ###### tuners... but cool in its mandocaster-ish-ness for a fraction of the cost of a real one. Are these common, rare, whats the body wood, pick-up, year of manufacture, etc...

    Thanks!

    BTW... I'm new here...

  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Rare, rare, rare. Imported, branded, and sold by Arbiter Group, Fender's UK distributor. Not sure how "official" they were. Is yours red or blue?



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  3. #3

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    Its red. NOS. still had the plastic on the guard, which was a bit of a problem to get off since it was on for so long... it sounds cool to me, but i'm more of a guitarist/bassist.

  4. #4

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    ...meaning that I might not be a conneseuer of electric-mandolin tone, not that I prefer guitar or bass.

  5. #5
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Can I get a photo for emando.com? I've never had a photo of an 8-stringer.

    And where the heck did you find a NOS SB-8? They came out about 4-5 years back, and I've heard (but couldn't confirm) that only about 30 were made...
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  6. #6

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    won it on ebay last week. #if its that rare, i suppose the price was fair. how would i get you a pic?

    auction

  7. #7

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    ooops... cut and paste problem...

    try this

  8. #8

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    i can take a better pic though...

  9. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Ah, here it is:

    If you can take a better pic, please post it here as an attachment. Thanks!

    These were made in 2002. I didn't see this one because I usually check only the U.S. eBay site. I don't know what they sold for originally, but 179 strikes me as pretty fair considering the scarcity. That's $358 in those miserable Yankee dollars.

    There was a somewhat-similar 8-string sold in the States, the FM-61E. Same general body shape and hockey-stick headstock, but the FM-61E was a sunburst, semi-hollow, had a single bass F-hole like some old Telecasters, & different pickup and placement than yours. Imported from Korea and made out of nato wood (whatever that is). My guess is that the Arbiter batch were also imports from the same Korea factory, with different specs that made them look somewhat more like old Mandocasters.

    Info here, but out of date, since all these instruments have been discontinued. I should really stop writing those pages in present tense.



    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  10. #10

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    yeah, i'll take a few. i'll post them tomorrow. the camera needs charging...
    thanks for the info...

  11. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    A solid body variant with the 12 string villager, Smurf cap style headstock.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  15. #15
    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
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    Interesting string spacing.

  16. #16

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    The string spaing at the bridge is somewhat variable. The bridge seems to be a 4 string bridge, in that it only has 4 holes for strings to go through. It looks just like a miniature Fender Bass bridge. The strings go through each hole in pairs. The saddles are threaded. I could adjust the spacing by moving each string to a different thread. The saddles are height adjustable, but the allen key required is smaller than any I have ever come accross.

  17. #17
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    And here, all of a sudden, is an SB-4 that somehow got finished in seafoam green and ended up in the States.

    It's already up to $1K ... I'm not sure it's worth it in terms of quality, but perhaps it makes sense in terms of rarity.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  18. #18

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    Wow! 1K... I feel really good about my purchase price...

    ...is there an extra string tree on that one? Also, is it possible that it is the standard blue color, but yellowed with age, making it look seafoam? I took the guard off mine to see whats doin in there, and was suprised how much of a pickguard-tan-line there was on an instrument only 5 years old.

  19. #19
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    I dunno ... I have seen pix of the blue ones; it was a pretty bright blue. This one somehow got tagged as a second, sent to a reconditioning center, and sold to this dealer. Maybe it was a second because it was finished in an unapproved color? Or maybe the reconditioning center did a complete refin for some unknown reason.

    The second string tree also appears on the red SB-4 pictured at emando.com. Apart from the color, this one matches the SB-4 in every detail, so I agree with the eBay seller's claim that it is one of them.

    If the current high bidder expects to get something of the same quality as an original Mandocaster, I'm thinking he/she will be disappointed.

    This is another ad that violates my copyright by republishing content from emando.com without my permission. If only that entitled me to seize the item being advertised ...



    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  20. #20
    Registered User Jim MacDaniel's Avatar
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    <a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/FENDER-Electric-Mandolin-MANDOCASTER-Reissue-RARE_W0QQitemZ110212097558QQihZ001QQcategoryZ
    &lt;br&gt;10179QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewIt em" target="_blank">Here</a> is another Seafoam SB-4 on eBay US, this in Georgia.
    "The problem with quotes on the internet, is everybody has one, and most of them are wrong."
    ~ Mark Twain


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  21. #21
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Well, it makes you wonder just how many of those seafoam SB-4s exist, and why they're cropping up in the States 5 years after they were built.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  22. #22
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    firebot, here's a question: Does the model number, SB-8, appear anywhere on your instrument? Maybe inside the neck joint (have you taken it apart?)?

    I just wonder if there's any way to confirm my suspicions about these here seafoam-green ones.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  23. #23
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Maybe a crate of them turned up in the back of some wharehouse?

  24. #24
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    The plot thickens. A seafoam 8-string has surfaced...
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  25. #25
    Registered User Jim MacDaniel's Avatar
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    Martin -- do you know if that short run of SB-4's and SB-8's had contoured bodies or were slabs? (I ask because these are shaped like the pre-58 slab-style bodies.)
    "The problem with quotes on the internet, is everybody has one, and most of them are wrong."
    ~ Mark Twain


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