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Thread: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Just finished this one off, I rather like it, better than your average Italian bowl:

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    Has the usual Ceccherini double top - in this case the second top extends from the sound hole to just short of the main cross brace (other models they run the full length). Probably about the same size as a Virzi, but attached by 4 posts in each corner rather than 2 in the centre:

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    Bridge was missing, so I made a replica (with thanks to Peter Kalmeta for supplying images of his) complete with metal saddle:

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    And the usual demo:


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    RedKnucklesUnclesCousin GKWilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Another fine restoration John.
    Gary
    vincit qui se vincit

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    That's a superb piece of work there Tavy,& on a very beautiful instrument indeed. It looks as though the original bridge was in the wrong position for quite a while,or is that due to your restoration ?. Your 'replica' bridge is in itself a lovely piece of craftsmanship.
    Very well done,
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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    That's a superb piece of work there Tavy,& on a very beautiful instrument indeed. It looks as though the original bridge was in the wrong position for quite a while,or is that due to your restoration ?. Your 'replica' bridge is in itself a lovely piece of craftsmanship.
    Nod. Original must have been incorrectly placed for some time - not uncommon on these - sometimes I wonder if they *ever* played in tune when new! Metal nut's on these are typically too high and incorrectly placed for correct intonation too - in this case forewarned is forearmed (caused no end of trouble on the last Ceccherini I restored) and I re-shaped the nut's zero fret before fitting which seems to have fixed things.

    BTW those bridges are easier to make than they look - they have to be, given that they were mass-manufactured "back in the day" with virtually no power tools. The trick is to inhabit the Zeitgeist of the 100 year old workshop and figure out how they would have done it... I notice I left the end of the bridge-points sticking up off the top though These bridges flex so much that even when perfectly fitted (and it was, honest 'Gov!) that they tend to curl up at the ends once all the strings are on. Even if you cut the arch in the bridge base too deep they still do it!

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Metal nut's on these are typically too high and incorrectly placed for correct intonation too - in this case forewarned is forearmed (caused no end of trouble on the last Ceccherini I restored) and I re-shaped the nut's zero fret before fitting which seems to have fixed things.
    Yes, I've posted about that in the past. On every Ceccherini I've seen, the metal nut/zero fret is slightly too far away from the first fret for correct intonation. I've ended up moving the nut by about a millimetre closer to the first fret, which fixes it. It's strange, given that the frets on Ceccherini boards are actually in precisely the right positons (unlike with some other Neapolitan makers).

    They are wonderful instruments, though, and this one looks very nice. Although the absence of dates on the label makes it difficult, I think this style of tuners and fret markers are the older Ceccherinis -- the later ones have a slightly different look.

    Martin

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Yes, I've posted about that in the past. On every Ceccherini I've seen, the metal nut/zero fret is slightly too far away from the first fret for correct intonation. I've ended up moving the nut by about a millimetre closer to the first fret, which fixes it. It's strange, given that the frets on Ceccherini boards are actually in precisely the right positons (unlike with some other Neapolitan makers).
    Thanks for confirming what I thought. It is strange given that these were obviously at the quality end of the Neapolitan makers, that they didn't get the nut right. In point of fact the end of the fretboard is about in the right place if you're fitting a regular nut, it's just that the zero fret on the cast metal nut has a very rounded shape so the point of contact is way back from the edge. So for the record there are 3 fixes:

    1) Fit a regular nut.
    2) Move the metal nut forward by approx 1mm.
    3) File the metal zero fret down until the point of contact is on the front edge, then cut the slots in the nut deeper to match. Requires that you're going to be lowering the nut.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Thank you for making another fine old mandolin live again, particularly an usual design like that one.

    Ti saluto.

    Do you think the material of the strings used back then compared to that used now makes any difference in the nut intonation?

  10. #8
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Do you think the material of the strings used back then compared to that used now makes any difference in the nut intonation?
    No none, some were built with the first fret too short - presumably to compensate for an over high nut - but if the first fret is too long there's no excuse really!

  11. #9

    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Lovely Job

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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    I have always wanted a double top Ceccherini, but they don't pop up too often in my neck of the woods and when they do I don't have the cash. Funny how that works. That one sounds great in the vid you posted! Looks Great!
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    I am sure it is also long gone. Thread from about 4 years ago.
    Jim

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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I am sure it is also long gone. Thread from about 4 years ago.
    Didn't even notice that! Still nice work and a lovely tone. Do all of these double tops sound like this?
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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umberto's Mandolin (Ceccherini, double top, restored)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Didn't even notice that! Still nice work and a lovely tone. Do all of these double tops sound like this?
    I'm pretty sure this particular Ceccherini is now with our group -- four of our members now have Ceccherinis, two of them restored by John and two by me. All of them great tone.

    Martin

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