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Thread: eBay flat tops - would ya?

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    Default eBay flat tops - would ya?

    My search for a good deal on an oval-hole flat top has led me to a couple of interesting eBay listings. I'm probably shooting myself in the foot by posting them, but...hey, gotta see what the wiser folks of the hive mind know.

    First up: A "Selah," American luthier-built. I can't find any info on the builder (the instrument was built in '99), but it appears they were based out of Stewartstown, PA. Solid woods. Looks like some fret lift. Anyone know this builder? Would I be crazy to buy this and put some money into fret repair?

    Second up: a no-name slotted headstock. Also looks to be solid woods, a tailpiece that I can't identify, and a rosette around the hole. Maybe German in origin? Look familiar to anyone?

    My budget is pretty low, so I'm sort of trawling for diamonds in the rough--if a used Big Muddy popped up for the right price, I would go after it as a surer thing, but if I can find something similar...
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    The Selah looks like quite a nice mandolin. You might want to follow that auction- have an upper limit. I can't comment about the frets but others may. The other mandolin is a bit more of a puzzle. I can't say I am in love with the screws- or lack of them on the tuners. This makes me think it is a bit more of a cheap and cheerful item from somewhere in central Europe. That does not mean it is junk or does not sound good. I am afraid as my guitar/mandolin man says to me "You blokes are totally crazy buying instruments that you have not seen or played" but we do it all the same! I would be tempted by the Selah but wait for others to comment on the frets- they don't bother me.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    The other mandolin is a bit more of a puzzle..
    Is it from Paracho, Mexico? It looks like some I've seen from that guitar-making town.

  5. #4

    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    It has a case with a red interior- and that often is a good way of identifying a Mexican case- so you may be right about the mandolin being Mexican.

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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Now that you say it, that rosette does have a bit of an Azteca flair. Interesting.
    Crestwood A-Style M106 Mandolin
    Ohana BK-70R Bar. Uke, cust. nylon string set in GDAE
    Hadean U-Bass
    Krappy Guitars Custom Radiused Fretted Electric Upright Bass

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by blaise.douros View Post
    ...I'm sort of trawling for diamonds in the rough...
    Funny, I've been mining for codfish -- no luck so far...
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Funny, I've been mining for codfish -- no luck so far...
    I considered using that mixed metaphor too, as well as "farming for loose change," "dialing for unicorns," and "scouring for flavors."

    ...Also, it took great strength of will to not respond solely with the incredibly-far-reaching Jaws/mining/metaphor-mixing pun "We're going to need a bigger bit."
    Crestwood A-Style M106 Mandolin
    Ohana BK-70R Bar. Uke, cust. nylon string set in GDAE
    Hadean U-Bass
    Krappy Guitars Custom Radiused Fretted Electric Upright Bass

  11. #8

    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    I thought this looked like an Asian import (the Selah), but it does look like a domestic handmade instrument. Odd that the Internet Archive and Google have no other mentions...

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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    I thought this looked like an Asian import (the Selah), but it does look like a domestic handmade instrument. Odd that the Internet Archive and Google have no other mentions...
    I thought the same thing, looking at the headstock, but it seems it's just a little benign 90's cheese I may just call the number on the label and see who picks up!
    Crestwood A-Style M106 Mandolin
    Ohana BK-70R Bar. Uke, cust. nylon string set in GDAE
    Hadean U-Bass
    Krappy Guitars Custom Radiused Fretted Electric Upright Bass

  13. #10

    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    yeah call the phone number

  14. #11
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    No answer to the phone number (717-993-6818), it seems to have been reassigned. Also, the website doesn't exist anymore. I wouldn't worry about those frets, although I have a repairman who touches them up very cheaply. Anybody notice it say "Psalms 92:1-4" above "Handcrafted by". Newbie serial number - hope he had a good teacher. Nice woods but Flame Maple Binding wouldn't seem wide enough to show flame. How it plays is the unknown. All in all you might be safer with this 1933 Levin...
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Lev...0AAOSwr-Vc1JIB

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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    All in all you might be safer with this 1933 Levin...
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Lev...0AAOSwr-Vc1JIB
    Great suggestion, I'm adding it to my watch list If the Selah ends up inflating to a ridiculous price, I may bail and pivot to the Levin.
    Crestwood A-Style M106 Mandolin
    Ohana BK-70R Bar. Uke, cust. nylon string set in GDAE
    Hadean U-Bass
    Krappy Guitars Custom Radiused Fretted Electric Upright Bass

  16. #13
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: eBay flat tops - would ya?

    Quote Originally Posted by blaise.douros View Post
    Great suggestion, I'm adding it to my watch list If the Selah ends up inflating to a ridiculous price, I may bail and pivot to the Levin.
    There is also a Vintage Levin Mandolin Model 340 (1945) on ebay. It's going to sell very cheap because it has a top crack. If you have a good repairman it can be repaired for $50 to $100 (so the other Levin might be the better bargain). However, if you can fix it yourself...

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