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Thread: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

  1. #1

    Default A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Here's one that I've never seen before!


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    It's... different... I'll say that for it.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Don't like the look of that crack. How do they know it sounds sweet if it has no strings?

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    How do they know it sounds sweet if it has no strings?
    My buddy was a big eBay seller of used guitar parts. I would chuckle at his descriptions of items such as guitar pickups as having "sweet blues tone" or "classic Beatles sound" -- when, in fact, they came from who knows where? Probably some repairman's parts box from a back room of an old music store. I told him he had a rare talent for being able to assess the tone of a pickup by merely looking at it! Rare indeed.........

  4. #4
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    The “moustachio with hanging comma” sound holes are interesting but the top failure is far more disturbing.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    . . . How do they know it sounds sweet if it has no strings?
    It was used as a percussion instrument?
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Those ff-holes are similar to Guseto-style violins. I believe that they also were used on some viols.

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    Jim

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    I assume they were competing with Levin or else made by Levin.

    Here's another Crafton mandolin.

    Early 50's Crafton Mandolin / When first introduced this model was top of the line / Ebony fretboard, ebony adjustable bridge and maple back and sides / Pristine condition / Low action and strong sound.

    Crafton made instruments between 1946-1962 in Gothenburgh Sweden. They made about 40.000 instruments, all handmade with selected wood
    Here's an archtop guitar which looks like they copied Epiphone.
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    Last edited by Jim Garber; Feb-11-2018 at 3:40pm.
    Jim

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    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  9. #8

    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Cool! I'll have to do some research. Guseto-style!
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    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    The headstock shape mimics the sound holes too!
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  11. #10

    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Those ff-holes are similar to Guseto-style violins.
    Come to think of it, I've noticed Darol Anger playing fiddles with similar ff-holes (LL-holes??). So maybe not as odd as I'd thought.

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  12. #11
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    if only it was setup when bought!

    Tough crack!

    not for me. . .

    My collection's complete!

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  13. #12

    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Here's an archtop guitar which looks like they copied Epiphone.
    I wasn't actually encouraging anyone to BUY that mandolin. Just thought it was interesting. But if you have not clicked on that link above, here's the instrument - a lovely european take on the archtops of the day. And lots of good info on the fairly esoteric topic of Swedish 20th c instrument makers.

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  14. #13

    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    What everyone is calling a crack is probably just a crack in the thick lacquer that was used by many European makers in the 50's and 60's, I'm guessing. It is different looking than the typical fine lacquer checking we associate with old Gibson and Fender guitars. Working at a vintage guitar shop, I saw this type of "lacquer cracking" on many Hofner, Framus, Hagstrom, and Goya instruments. I would put this brand in that same category as far as quality and manufacture. Most of these were laminated instruments, so the crack would not be a structural issue -- NOT THAT A CRACK IS EVER A GOOD THING! But, it probably does not require repair. Plus it looks ugly. Some of the guitars I've seen had as many as 20 or 30 of these crack lines on a guitar top and most buyers don't seem to be bothered much by it! (or at least they know it is typical and goes with the territory, if you are a fan of such guitars! Try finding one without the cracks -- as they like to say.) The "bound" f-holes were sometimes used to conceal the fact that the tops were laminated. And some were not actually bound in the traditional sense, but were actually molded plastic "cups" for lack of a better word that were quickly glued into the "f-hole" openings to save time in manufacturing. I agree that it is an unusual mandolin, but nothing to get excited over, IMHO.

    At first I thought the tailpiece was a ripoff of a Gibson pineapple tp, but it might actually be a nod to the Swedish crown, I'm guessing.
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Feb-12-2018 at 5:27pm.

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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    Thanks for that Jeff. The worse looking one may well be limited to the finish - I thought it was peculiar that it didn't follow the grain - but the other one? Do I detect the early signs of a gassing pickguard? Look at the adjoining frets. This may also explain the colour of the "cracks".

  16. #15
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Surprising ff-hole Design!

    I agree, they're probably finish checks. That's a common problem on many older European instruments (Hofner, Framus, Burns, etc.).
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

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