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Thread: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Claims

  1. #1

    Default Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Claims

    Hello,

    I am new to Mandolins. Though not new to instruments.
    Playing for several decades. Doing light work on guitars.
    Somewhat familiar with construction materials and methods
    for instrument building. I am looking for a nice sounding
    instrument that plays well.

    What am I looking for and how do I to determine
    if someone is selling something raising claims that an instrumemt
    is what they say it is?

    How do I determine is something is carved or pressed?

    How about truss rods?

    There are probably other questions I have but,
    If some who are knowledgeable could chime in
    that would be a great place to start.

    Thanks, Just

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    The best way to find out if it's a Strad-O-Lin or Strad-O-Lin genre mandolin is to post a picture here. There were imported mandolin that came in with the Strad-O-Lin name on them. I have a post in the Strad-O-Lin Social Group that details the differences between the import and the real thing but even the real thing had a few variations. None of the Strad-O-Lin's had adjustable truss rods. Most were pressed, very few were carved.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Not everyone shops online for this very reasosn. If you are shopping eBay or someplace similar, you really don't know. Look at the pictures, ask questions and roll the dice. In most cases you will be protected from out and out fraud.

    You will pay a little more if buying from a reputible dealer, but that eliminates pratically all risk.

    Carved vs pressed. At the lowest level of "pressed", it is obvious. Things like a lack of recurve... Some instruments, you wouldn't be able to tell. They are pressing them and then doing "some" carving, then calling them carved (which isn't entirely false). Here you just need to be familiar with the models and the factories they were produced in.

    Many great mandolins were made without adjustable truss rods. You only need an adjustable truss rod, if you need a truss rod adjustment. haha

    You also want to make sure the truss rod is functioning correctly and able to induce the correct relief.
    Robert Fear
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  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    This thread has the image I referenced above in it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Thanks!

    Yeah, I will post some pics if I get some sent to me.....
    If I don't get any than that may be an indication that Someone is
    "trying to catch a fish(buyer) on their hook"

    I like what you said about truss rods.
    "Not needed, unless you need it."
    And just because there is one, doesn't mean that it is functioning as intended..

    How about proper amount of neck warp?
    What is the tolerances here and at what fret is it to be measured?

    How about some stories about some bad neck conditions?
    Sorta to give me eyes of what to look out for?

    thanks! J

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Neck relief (bow, warp), can range from perfectly flat to .010 around the 7th fret. You generally want just a slight amount of relief. Ideal relief depends on your strings, action and playing style. Most players are best served with something around .005.

    The comon neck issue is a hump at the joint. Most mandolins will eventually have this to some degree. Don't confuse this with relief and falloff after the joint. This will give the illusion of a hump, when it is actually fine.

    If you were specifically looking for a Stradolin, that is much easier, as these are well known and there are not so many variables.
    Robert Fear
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    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  7. #7

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Excellent.

    Will continue re reading the these posts . Very informative....
    Looks like I should have some pics sometime today.... From what I was told...

    Yeah, Not sure exactly and specifically what I am looking for in a Mandolin.(Type/Brand/Style)
    I am somewhat a "Tone freak"... and it has to play well... I don't want to fight with
    and instrument that doesn't play well.(there I know the difference).

    I really dig an instrument with sustain and a nice tone....(not tin-ie)

    Thanks, J

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Here is one of the Mandolins that he has...

    THis one is for $375.00
    The Head Does say Stradolin on it....
    If you can look at pictures and determine anything (details)
    Please let me know.... IE: woods fret board etc etc
    My thoughts are: Back is flat.... top might be carved.....
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    Thanks, J

  9. #9
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Yup, that's a US-built Strad-O-Lin. It's a spruce top and maple sides/back with a rosewood fretboard.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    The nice thing with Strad-o-lins is that they aren't too terribly expensive so if you do get a bum deal, you're not out too much. Are there any pictures of tailpiece/sides to see if there is any separation happening? It looks fairly good from those pictures but I'd still probably want to haggle the price down a bit from there unless there are extras like a case and so forth.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Nice!, That is encouraging.

    I will ask about a case... and see if I can get some specific pictures
    of the tail piece area .... and some side pics...
    Yeah, pretty clear is of Stradolin origin... (nice is says it on the headstock)
    Do you think there might be any info inside the body? numbers or dates????
    To indicate production period.... etc etc
    Will keep you all posted, J

  12. #12

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Here are additional pictures of the tail piece and sides to the above Stradolin

    Looks good, I think....
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    Thanks, J

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    It looks as though he is holding those strings down pretty tightly in pic 3. Is he hiding a high action I wonder; which could indicate neck problems.
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    Last edited by David Kennedy; Nov-29-2018 at 6:06pm.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Interesting, yeah why hold the instrument
    like that?
    That being, it Is the Mando which is
    priced higher than the other. I am waiting
    for more pictures of the less expensive
    one.... I will ask what the action is like
    on both instruments... Maybe even
    phrase question to : (Have him compare
    the action of the two, & ask which is
    lower)
    Thanks for interpreting the pic...
    Definitely have wonder.
    Regards, J

  15. #15
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    I don't know anything about a specific strad-o-lin stamp or anything consistently on them, but mine has a date stamp on the inside back about equal to the bottom of the fretboard that you pretty much need a strong light and the right angle through the f-holes to see but it is there. that may give an idea of what year it was made.
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    While he may be holding the neck tight to show a low action, if it is high, it can be lowered with the adjustable bridge. It's possible the owner didn't do anything to the mandolin. Looks like nice woods and not a bad price.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  17. #17
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Will not claim to be an expert here. But that looks to me like a real Strad-O-Lin. In good shape at a good price. If you look at the 2nd picture in your first set, the action appears to be okay from the photo. He's probably just holding that way in the 2nd set of photos because it was the first place he grabbed.

    The instrument looks clean and has some nice flame on the back and sides. Worth buying, IMO, if you are thinking of getting a Strad-O-Lin instrument.
    1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 2018 Big Muddy MW-0, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM, 1983 Flatiron 1N
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Thanks! for you input...

    I do feel like that too. Worth going to see the instrument and playing it.....

    Here is the cheaper on. Which is for $300.00


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    Thanks, J

  19. #19

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    now that one has some HIGH action.
    Robert Fear
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    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  20. #20
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    I wouldn't go near that second one. Honestly, I probably wouldn't go near the first one either if I were new to mandolins. I'd put my $375 toward a new Kentucky. While I would typically advocate for buying from a Cafe sponsor that does a setup, it would be hard to pass up the deals on Amazon and MF right now on the KM-272 and 252 if $375 is the top of the budget.

    Years ago I had a Strad that looked like that first one. It was OK. It was probably better than the other $100 instruments I could have bought at that time. I'm not so sure that would be the case anymore. Budget vintage instruments are a thing of their own, with a whole set of potential problems. That can be great if your goal is to learn more about working on mandolins but not so great if your goal is to play them. Just my two cents, YMMV, etc.

  21. #21
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Two Strad-o-lins by one seller, at 375 and 300... I’ll bet you live in CT! Those have been on CL for a little while.
    Blow on, man.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Yeah, I can understand all that has been said.

    Much, appreciated. Good points and Yes, when someone is so in love with an instrument.
    Perhaps, it is best they keep it rather than sell it....

    So tell me about the Kentucky's......

    I really am interested in woods..... Tone.... definelty looking for a solid top(at the very least) spruce...
    Prefer ebony over rosewood....
    And a used instrument of better value for it's price.(thinking; Due to not wanting to go over 5 hundred)
    Where should I be thinking of looking....
    And perhaps, What Kentucky models would fit the bill(if any) regarding my requests in this post.

    thanks, J

  23. #23
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Quote Originally Posted by justus View Post
    I really am interested in woods..... Tone.... definelty looking for a solid top(at the very least) spruce...
    Prefer ebony over rosewood....
    And a used instrument of better value for it's price.(thinking; Due to not wanting to go over 5 hundred)
    Where should I be thinking of looking....
    And perhaps, What Kentucky models would fit the bill(if any) regarding my requests in this post.

    thanks, J
    This suggestion is different than either a vintage Stradolin or a modern Kentucky, but if you really are interested in woods and tone in a used offering with a low buy-in figure, I always think that it's worth considering a flattop. They are made of solid woods by independent luthiers right here in the United States, but because they require fewer man hours to build, they are less costly to produce with the savings being passed on to the consumer.

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  24. #24
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    I find it's increasingly rare to see a flattop from an established maker in the sub-$500 range, but agree that one could be a nice choice. Otherwise, I'd suggest looking for an Eastman 305 or Kentucky 250 from Elderly or The Mandolin Store if you want the instrument to arrive ready to play, assuming f holes are what the OP wants. For less than $400, I'd go with a Kentucky 150. Lower prices can be had from the big box stores, but you'll need to do your own setup or pay someone to do one for you.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Stradolin -- How do I know?? Claiming it is one / False Cl

    Thanks for the input.

    Yeah, what are the options for a given price point.

    I don't necessarily have a specific price point...
    I mean well, Don't want something I have to make payments on.
    and It is the first Mandolin.....

    Here are couple of other options which I will present

    Anyone have anything to say of GoldTone Mandolins? New or old
    Particularly F style GM 70+'s.

    OR
    Breedlove Mandolins
    Anything about their Mandolins
    or (particularly crossover type)

    Thanks, Just

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