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Thread: Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

    I'm just sharing this as it may be of interest. I bought this mandolin in about 1980 from a shop on Deansgate in central Manchester. If I recall correctly it cost 70. At that time the annual rate of inflation was pushing 18%. An online calculator gives today's (2019) equivalent cost as about 300 or roughly $400.

    I think the alternatives at the time were typically 30 Eastern European imports.

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    The label reads as follows:
    VENTURA
    Fine Fretted instruments
    Model No. V-900
    Designed in USA
    built in Japan
    The top is soft, presumably cedar. It does have a truss rod. The sound - just ok, with some bass response, but not outstanding in any way. I've had cheaper instruments that sound better. The main virtue is that it tends to stay in tune and is playable right up the fretboard.

    It was played a great deal, not my first instrument, I'd played another mandolin for a dozen or so years before that, this was my main one for about fifteen years or so. It is quite worn and battered. My experience here convinced me that a decent case, preferably a hard case was a necessity.

    The frets wore down until it became unplayable, it didn't seem worthwhile to spend money on it, so I changed the frets myself, a couple of decades ago.

    The saddle of the original bridge collapsed - the wood cracked near to each end and it sank until one end was resting on the base. I recently replaced it with an ebony bridge.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

    Cool looking mando! One of my friends has an old Ventura guitar with a similar 'burst.

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  5. #3
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Cool looking mando! One of my friends has an old Ventura guitar with a similar 'burst.
    Yes, it does (or did) look cool. It often drew admiring glances - until I started to play

    It did influence my later choices though, nowadays I tend towards instruments which look somewhat more plain, and let the sound tell its story instead.

    I think Jethro Burns had a "real" instrument of a similar style/colour, and I heard (apocryphal or not?) he liked it as it looked good on television.

    In the above-linked thread, someone mentioned a "Kiso Suzuki V900" which sounds like a close relative of the Ventura (both V900, and the 'S' tailpiece).

  6. #4

    Smile Re: Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

    I've had a few of these going back to the 1970s/1980s. Ibanez, Susuki,Antoria, Washburn etc. Probably same factory. Played well but pressed top so no real carrying power.

    I had a magnetic pick up fitted to one and used it extensively in the north east social clubs.

    With the scroll headstock someone once suggested that I could have a luthier put a scroll on the bass side of the body and turn it into an F4 which was my desire. Never got round to that .

    I've had a few of the much later versions but they still sounded weak in terms of volume/projection.

    I once came into contact with someone through work who happened to say a relative had left a mandolin and no one wanted it and was for sale at 100. This was in the 1990s I think. I was 99% certain it would be a bowl shaped Italian one but low and behold, it was the Artist version of an Ibanez A5 like this. It also had a case. Very very classy and I bought it. Long since now sold.

    JimmyP
    UK
    Last edited by jimmy powells; Apr-19-2019 at 4:31am. Reason: Typo

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Ventura Two-Point Mandolin

    I love the style. I dig 2-points in general and really like the burst on this piece. The oval hole is pretty cool too. Most entry models these days seem to be F-hole models.

    I'd say for a 70 pound investment you got a good return if you still have it 40 years later!

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