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Thread: Catalog search

  1. #1

    Default Catalog search

    Forum members. I believe that my dobro mandolin was made in Chicago around 1937. I later learned that these were lower quality instruments that may have been sold through catalogs. I'm particularly interested in acquiring catalog page from sears or m. wards that shows dobro moon and stars. I'm still searching but have only found Gibson, Kay, harmony, etc. Thanks In advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catalog search

    Look for Regal. They were the ones that were selling the cheaper models.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catalog search

    Not sure where you got the idea that the Chicago Dobro mandolins were "lower quality." Once the Dopyera brothers, who had left the National Guitar Co. to start Dobro around 1929, returned and merged the companies in 1934, both National and Dobro instruments with wooden bodies, had them built by other Chicago makers -- Harmony and (more often) Regal. Merged National-Dobro Co. made the metal-bodied instruments, and, I believe, the resonators.

    You can find "Dobros" marked "Dobro" and "Regal," but while they may differ in details (soundhole design, e.g.), they are of equivalent quality; there are differences among models, higher and lower priced, but National, Dobro and Regal all put out catalogs, though largely selling through distributors.

    Having said that, neither National nor Dobro instruments were of the quality of, say, Martin or Gibson, especially in regard to wood-work. Necks often warped, and, especially, interior work was generally much rougher. I have a National Havana wood-body from the '30's, and it sounds great, but in many ways it's pretty crudely made. My Dobro mandolin, with the "moon and stars" coverplate, needed a neck re-set, largely due to the soft wood used for the neck block.

    Better-made Dobro mandolins, oddly enough, probably came later when the Dopyeras were building through companies like OMI.
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  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catalog search

    A quick look through things and I'm only seeing that cover on the Dobro branded items.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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