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Thread: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

  1. #1
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    Default John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    After many years of searching I recently managed to acquire a tenor mandola to form a trio of matching instruments made about a hundred years ago in London by John E Dallas. They all share common features such as spruce flat tops, ebony fingerboards, laminated rosewood back and sides and maple/ sycamore necks. The hardware and decoration are also similar with tortoiseshell pickguards and tailpiece covers.

    The Dallas company made entire mandolin ensembles from soprano to bass, so there is room for more in my family, but I am content so far with the core trio of mandolin, tenor mandola and 'mandolo' (octave mandola) all of which I can get my fingers around. If the rather crude photos load up you will see what I mean.Click image for larger version. 

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    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

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  3. #2
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Nice collection. I'd like to hear them.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Fair play to you, Anglocelt. I've always enjoyed the look of these.

    I'm with Bill. I'd enjoy hearing how they sound (ideally together.)

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Fair play to you, Anglocelt. I've always enjoyed the look of these.

    I'm with Bill. I'd enjoy hearing how they sound (ideally together.)

    Mick
    I would also like to hear them together. Unfortunately there is only one of me and I don't have multi-track recording facilities. I can only say they sound terrific and I can't put the tenor mandola down right now.

    Kevin
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglocelt View Post
    .... I can't put the tenor mandola down right now.

    Kevin
    I can imagine.....

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  7. #6
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Now Iím not trying to dent your bank account or anything, but thereís been a mandoloncello lurking in the Cantebury Hobgoblin shop for about a year now .......

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.hobgoblin.com/local/sale...ar-shape-body/
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    I have been aware of that one for a while but the price is a little high and I am not sure I could get my fingers around the scaled-up neck. Thanks for the reminder.
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

  10. #8

    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Nice looking family Kevin!

    The nomenclature for these instruments is slightly confusing to North Americans, or at least to me. Could you please give us a rundown on scale length and tuning/register for each? Ie I expect a mandola to be about 17” and tuned CGDA but I dont know if “tenor” changes that, and “octave mandola” suggests the latter configuration but one octave lower than normal, and I dont know if thats even feasible...? Thanks.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Cameron View Post
    Nice looking family Kevin!

    The nomenclature for these instruments is slightly confusing to North Americans, or at least to me. Could you please give us a rundown on scale length and tuning/register for each? Ie I expect a mandola to be about 17” and tuned CGDA but I dont know if “tenor” changes that, and “octave mandola” suggests the latter configuration but one octave lower than normal, and I dont know if thats even feasible...? Thanks.
    The scale lengths are: 13" for the mandolin (eadg), 15" for the tenor mandola (adgc) and 20" for the octave mandolin (eadg) (called, in the J E Dallas catalogue, the 'mandolo'). Octave mandolins are often called octave mandolas, as they are tuned an octave below mandolin and the scale length can vary between about 18" (on some electric versions) to around 23". The latter sometimes double up as 'short-scale bouzoukis' just to complicate thinks further.

    Kevin
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

  12. #10

    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Hi there. Beautiful. I have a JE Dallas mandocello, but my scratch plate isnít screwed on, it is glued on. Iíve seen photos with both versions. Tuned CGDA, it is a lovely instrument and I wish I had the rest of the family. Happy playing

  13. #11
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn View Post
    Hi there. Beautiful. I have a JE Dallas mandocello, but my scratch plate isn’t screwed on, it is glued on. I’ve seen photos with both versions. Tuned CGDA, it is a lovely instrument and I wish I had the rest of the family. Happy playing
    Whoa! Bryn.

    You need to post some photos of your instrument....

    Rules of the game, amigo.

    Looking forward to seeing the JED MC.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  14. #12

    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Apologies for the delay in posting photos. I'm a daft bugger and can't work out how to add a photo, so here are a couple of links -
    Mandocello https://www.flickr.com/photos/117186...posted-public/
    Mandocello and my Mandolinetto Made by Ewald Glaesel (1905 ish) https://www.flickr.com/photos/117186...posted-public/
    Back of Mandocello and Mandolinetto https://www.flickr.com/photos/117186...posted-public/
    Close up of the back of the Mandolinetto https://www.flickr.com/photos/117186...posted-public/

  15. #13
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Thanks, Bryn. I'll upload them here for posteriority.

    Mick
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    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  16. #14

    Default Re: John E Dallas Mando Family Reunion

    Those John Dallas mandolin family instruments look great. There was one of the mandolins on ebay but I don't think it sold and in fact it now has a £499 BIN. I have two Dallas retailed Czech, Schonbach made guitars from the 1930s- they are great- one is superb and was once owned by Martin Simpson. Annoyingly, he played near me last week and I want to show him a photo but I know the provenance is for real.My one Dallas made item, is a Rangemaster amplifier made about 1960- my first amp, bought in 1976. In fact, I was embarrassed by it but I had it revamped a few years ago and the technician said it was a really great little thing. So, I am not embarrassed by my tiny old amp now. In fact, one of my friends who played for some top bands in the 60s and 70s, tells me that it has an instant Check Berry sound- but not very loud!

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