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Thread: Mystery builder

  1. #1
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Mystery builder

    Can anyone ID or name the builder of this mandolin? Got an inquiry from California Bluegrass Association that wanted to know. Instrument ws donated to their kids lending library program, something we've supported for years. Looks like a nice mandolin. Click images to enlarge.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    I know that I have seen that "H" inlay before and it is driving me crazy trying to remember where.
    I just can't seem to put my finger on it right now.
    Hopefully someone will identify it and save me burning up too many brain cells agonizing over it.

  3. #3
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    I did a search through the builder database for any builder starting with H and came up with. Some of these are easy to weed out, others not so.

    Heartwood
    Heiden
    Henderson
    Hughes
    Hora
    Hamburg Guitar
    Hans de Louter
    Hiroaki Watanabe
    Hilburn
    Hendrik van den Broek
    Holst
    High Desert
    Hirsch
    Henning Doderer
    Honest Ron's
    Hugo Valcke
    Hynek Pavlu
    HMS Music
    Harald Hougaard
    Hill
    Herb Taylor
    Hinde
    Hester
    Harlan
    Harshbarger
    Harris
    Haynes
    Harris
    Heikki Rousu
    Healey
    Hirschmann
    Hungry Mountain
    Hembry
    Hyde Made
    Hooper
    Hovington
    Haywood Music
    Holt
    Hook
    Harley Benton
    Hervé Prudent
    Hennis
    Hugh Hansen
    Hagerty
    Hatta
    Hollister Instruments

    Of course that list is just current builders still active. This could be someone no longer active, deceased or just moved on and stopped.

  4. #4
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Here's a pic of an old Henderson, but I don't think your pic is a Henderson.
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    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  5. #5
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Appears it's someone's first build. The folks that inquired thought to look inside and here's what they saw.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Hello all. I am the current manager of the California Bluegrass Association Kids Lending Library and I had a new piece of information that may help discover the builder or maybe prove that the builder may be unlikely to be discovered.

    I pulled the end pin and placed a light on an F hole to see if anything was written inside. I saw the following written in pencil on the neck block.

    A5
    #1
    WHT
    2006

    So it looks like it was somebody's first attempt at building a mandolin. I think it came out rather well considering. It has a very nice tone and it is definitely on the loud side when I compare it to other mandolins I have on hand (a couple of them really nice!).

    WHT, if you are out there thank you very much for making such a nice instrument that ended up in our program. It spent the last five years with a young girl in the San Francisco Bay Area who was taking lessons from Sharon Gilchrist. There is a another young lady that is itching to come try it out and see if it can be a step up from the Eastman she has started with for the last two years. I believe it will likely be much better.

    It sure makes my job much easier to have such nice instruments to hand to these eager kids! Mandolin Cafe has played a big role in contributing to our program and we are very grateful!

    Thanks so much,
    Randy January
    CBA Kids Instrument Lending Library Manager

    Photo is attached for those that want a peek inside:

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  7. The following members say thank you to CABluegrasser for this post:


  8. #7

    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Oops, I was a little too slow. Still glad to be able to drop in and say thank you!

  9. The following members say thank you to CABluegrasser for this post:


  10. #8
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    'Whowever' the builder was,it looks as though he did a very nice job !. The overall 'look' of the mandolin is really very nice & from the comment above,it sounds good as well.

    It would be nice if we could find out who the builder was - 2006,isn't that long ago,so who began building around that time ??. What a shame that there's no label inside - we can't complement the actual builder on a lovely piece of work !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  11. #9
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    That does look like a well built mandolin! For a #1? Kit maybe? Nice.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Mystery builder

    I wonder if the H could be from the original owner's last name, or perhaps the builder is someone who goes by their middle name?

  13. #11
    Registered User stever1422's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    This might be one of Roger Siminoff's kits. I built one of his A5s and it looks very similar.

  14. #12
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Agreed this is a build from a Siminoff plan or kit. The headstock is slightly oversized from the original. It appears to be well done, the tone bars are pretty heavy toward the neck block. It looks like a great instrument for a kids learning library.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Mystery builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    Agreed this is a build from a Siminoff plan or kit. The headstock is slightly oversized from the original. It appears to be well done, the tone bars are pretty heavy toward the neck block. It looks like a great instrument for a kids learning library.
    I was wondering about that as well. I noticed the body is about a 1/2" longer from neck joint to tail pin than my mandolin and a few others I compared it to. Is that a characteristic of the Siminoff A5?

    Here are a couple more photos. I really like the color WHT went with on this.

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