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Thread: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American ok.

  1. #1

    Default Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American ok.

    Greetings,

    I live in southern Indiana, and the access to quality mandolins--let alone bowlbacks--is surprisingly pretty slim around here. I am more interested in Mediterranean music than anything, and an oval-hole, bowlback just goes with the image

    Can anyone please recommend me a quality luthier/company/seller that I could trust ordering via mail? Website addresses would be great!

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    You're wanting one newly made? There are a lot of good (and not-so-good) vintage bowlbacks to be had. You can get really great deals if you do your homework. Check eBay, also the classifieds here have used instruments for sale and a 'want ad' section that may get some response. Sorry I couldn't help with links to new ones, someone else here may have some info for you.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Thank you, Mark!

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Stutzman's Guitar Center here in Rochester has several US-made bowl-backs for sale on their website. I have been dealing with Dave Stutzman and his late father Eldon for over 40 years, and can vouch for their reliability.

    Prices are around $350-400 for (current stock) a Lyon & Healy and a Ditson. Dave gets bowl-backs in and gets them sale-ready on a fairly regular basis now.

    Bernunzio's here in Rochester also sells some bowl-backs, but doesn't list a good selection currently. Worth a call/e-mail; John also sells over the internet now.

    While you list "Italian/Greek preferred," you can clearly play the kind of music in which you're interested, on a bowl-back made in the US -- and you're much more likely to find one for sale here, than an Italian or Greek-made instrument. There are dozens of bowl-backs listed on auction sites on any given day, but due to the inherent fragility of this type of mandolin, many of them have issues. If, as you state, you want to deal with "quality luthier/company/seller that I could trust ordering via mail," these are a couple suggestions.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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


  6. #5

    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Thank you very much, Allen!

  7. The following members say thank you to brajawill for this post:


  8. #6

    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    David Hynds's mandolinluthier.com site has many restored instruments for sale at very reasonable prices (as well as a wealth of information on bowlbacks). His current instruments for sale are listed here: http://www.mandolinluthier.com/mandolins_for_sale.htm

  9. #7

    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Thank you, Scot!

  10. #8

    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Thanks Eddie!

  11. #9
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wanted: Bowlback mandolin. Italian/Greek preferred. American

    Another good source is Antebellum Instruments in Vermont:
    http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/

    Looks like right now they have mostly guitars, but there's one nice Martin -- although sold under the Ditson label.
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