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Thread: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

  1. #1
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    We talk alot about the Gibsons and Lyons and Healys, or Martins and Vegas here

    But what about the Kays and Stradolins? or Stellas and Stromberg Voisinets?

    Do you have a funky vintage mandolin that you love?
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    Yes, I love my Kamico (Kay). It isn't a great instrument but I am not much of a mandolin player and it does what I need it to.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    I have a number of lower end mandolins. My current go to mandolin is a Kay made of mahogany and a solid spruce top known as a model Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20181003_124005 Old Kraftsman Front.jpg 
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ID:	17277066 and a half- that's quite a number. It was made in the late 1940s and sold by Spiegel as an Old Kraftsman. I bought it for parts but it turned out to be a player, and a surprisingly good one, so it's being spanked and has appeared in public where other folk have fallen for its charms!

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    Well I'm a for sure Gibson man but I do have a mandolin thats getting some serious treatment from the man David Harvey a mandolin that floated around the cafe maybe 10 years ago, there are some threads here on the forum about it. It came up for sale and I got a killer deal on it that one of a kind 1934 Joe Wilson F-5ish type copy. Its a for sure 1934, I thought so and Mr. Harvey said yes its that old. The workmanship is really good and may be the first Gibson style copy? It has a longer scale and will not fit into a Loar case/Paganoni case. Almost like he used an old 3 point/ H-5 mandola to build this the way the body looks. When it came in the mail I set her up and it sounds fantastic! But it needs a bit of work like, deep neck set, a riser block as there isn't one, a carbon fiber type truss rod as there isn't one in the neck, new fret board with replica inlays, pearl nut, full contact bridge, new/old traditional tailpiece assembly, also it needs tone bars as there isn't any bracing in it whatsoever! "I heard or read here Mr. Wilson was a violin builder and this mandolin shows it!" I talked with David last night and we both couldn't believe the fact there isn't any bracing and its held up all these years! Also he'll put a nice F-5 guard on it as the original is warped and quite flimsy. Also it'll need new tuners F-5 style as A are on it and no room really to tune, the endpin will need redrilled out and put back in. I have no pix yet but if you can find it here in the forum it'll give an idea of what it looks/looked like. David will email me progress photos. Its defiantly worth fixing and putting the $ into as it sounds great and will only be better after David is done with it! David said its awesome sounding right now and that he's never seen anything like it or heard of anything like it, a truly 1 of a kind. Its an oddball but a really KOOL oddball.

  6. #5
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    I personally do not but Micheal Daves apparently does...........

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTe71PBiyAE

    I believe that is a Harmony Shutt model he is playing and I must admit is suits the tune.

    Poky Lafarge is also known for playing old Harmony and Kay guitars.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  7. #6

    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    The mandolin is the Supertone Viol made by Harmony. It sold for about $20 in the early 1920s and at that price was not a cheap instrument. If you work on the basis that the Ward's version of the Gibson Nick Lucas model sold for $45 when the original Gibson was $120 although that price was cut, you realize how the mail order giants offered excellent value and it demonstrates that the higher quality instruments from the Chicago makers were good quality. Most were made for the masses at the low end but certain models were very well made. In fact, my 1942 Cremona IV which was repaired recently (requiring the removal of the back) elicited the response from my guitar man that the quality of the build was as good as any hand-carved archtop he had ever seen- and he has seen many from the inside since 1966. He said he was surprised- as he assumed it would be less than impressive which was so far from the reality he found inside. He can repair my other example now without giving me grief about always dumping junk on him!

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    Harmony Batwing.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    Unbranded, but a version of the the somewhat common Strad-o-lin/ Orpheum/several other brands. Same construction, but w/o f holes and has a pickup. I'm not much of an electric guy, guitar or mando, but I like this pickup. That said, I love this mando unplugged.

  11. #9
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    I have a number of lower end mandolins. My current go to mandolin is a Kay made of mahogany and a solid spruce top known as a model Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20181003_124005 Old Kraftsman Front.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	597.4 KB 
ID:	17277066 and a half- that's quite a number. It was made in the late 1940s and sold by Spiegel as an Old Kraftsman. I bought it for parts but it turned out to be a player, and a surprisingly good one, so it's being spanked and has appeared in public where other folk have fallen for its charms!
    Yeah this is the stuff im talking about. ive always been attracted to these
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

  12. #10

    Default Re: Funky Vintage Mandolin Appreciation?

    I think the frets are original- but they are wider than the brass frets Kay often used at that time. I think this is one of the reasons it feels so good to play- and it is also loud with a pretty good tone. I would not use it if it was a penance and hard work to play- in fact, it is quite easy and delivers the goods. That's why it still has that tailpiece on it- it should be now on a Gibson made instrument- which is why I bought it! They can share the cover plate! This is what it looked like out on ebay- not very promising!Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	172787

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