Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Short Neck Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Short Neck Mandolin

    I have recently come into posession of a short neck mandolin as per the attached picture.
    It appears to be in new condition and has no label or brand marking. The action was too high so I built a lower bridge to bring it down to a comfortable level. However it seems only playable in the first position....so maybe the string height at the 12th fret is irrelevant.
    Can anybody tell me why it has such a short neck? Body also slightly shorter. But the neck is the same thickness as my other mandolins of this type. Maybe its a junior model??
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MandoShort.jpg 
Views:	90 
Size:	156.0 KB 
ID:	176897  

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,915

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    String height at the 12th fret is not irrelevant. Is your neck flat or does it have a lot of relief. Relief in a guitar is necessary, but only a few thousands, neck relief in a mandolin is not really necessary. too much relief will make it play harder.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,174

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    It's an imported mandolin built in a similar fashion as the older Gibson A models with necks that hit the body at the 10th fret. There is nothing unusual about it. There are a few more pictures here. The body size is most likely due to the fact that the person that designed it was probably looking at a picture and not an actual instrument.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	OldAStylemandolin.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	759.9 KB 
ID:	176898  
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    The neck looks straight so I wonder if the instrument was made with a high action in mind. Its easier to play with my handmade bridge.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    Thanks Mike, seems like a good practice instrument. Although playing it may affect my "positioning" when I return to my "performance" instrument. Appreciate your response. Thanks

  6. #6
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,226

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    In my way of thinking the Gibson oval holes are joined at the 12th fret. I look at Mikes photo (and I own a Gibson too) and I see the cross-piece at the 12th fret. I also see the wood extending above the neck joint. So, we'd both look at the same photo and make two different claims.

    I play my A3 outside of first position.

    I like these sort of mandolins!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Kingston, ON Canada
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jonfranzis View Post
    I have recently come into posession of a short neck mandolin as per the attached picture.
    It appears to be in new condition and has no label or brand marking. The action was too high so I built a lower bridge to bring it down to a comfortable level. However it seems only playable in the first position....so maybe the string height at the 12th fret is irrelevant.
    Can anybody tell me why it has such a short neck? Body also slightly shorter. But the neck is the same thickness as my other mandolins of this type. Maybe its a junior model??
    I have also recently acquired a short neck mandolin. It is a Hofner 545, made in the 1960s. The scale length is 13", a full inch shorter than my Gibson F5. In addition to the shorter neck, it has other non-common features: A "zero" fret next to the nut, tuners arranged like a classical guitar and the tailpiece requires that ball-end strings are used. Oh, and this is weird....the dot inlays on the fingerboard are located at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th fret. Inlay at the 9th fret? Never saw that before. Must be a manufacturing error.

    Anyway, I had this instrument set up by a top notch luthier, put on new strings, and was very pleasantly surprised. It has a very nice sound and pretty good volume. It takes a while to get used to the short neck, but it is readily playable up the the 12th fret. It had not been played for many years and it seems to be sounding better and better as I am plunking away on it.

    ....Rickker
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1736.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	534.5 KB 
ID:	177092   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1735.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	531.8 KB 
ID:	177093  

  8. #8
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,266
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    Most all the old Gibson pre-war A+F style and even the post-war A models are short necks compared to the F-5!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,500

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickker View Post
    I have also recently acquired a short neck mandolin. It is a Hofner 545, made in the 1960s. The scale length is 13", a full inch shorter than my Gibson F5. In addition to the shorter neck, it has other non-common features: A "zero" fret next to the nut, tuners arranged like a classical guitar and the tailpiece requires that ball-end strings are used. Oh, and this is weird....the dot inlays on the fingerboard are located at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th fret. Inlay at the 9th fret? Never saw that before. Must be a manufacturing error.

    Anyway, I had this instrument set up by a top notch luthier, put on new strings, and was very pleasantly surprised. It has a very nice sound and pretty good volume. It takes a while to get used to the short neck, but it is readily playable up the the 12th fret. It had not been played for many years and it seems to be sounding better and better as I am plunking away on it.

    ....Rickker
    Zero frets usually indicate European manufacture as does a dot on the 9th fret (either that or it was built by a guitar maker).

    Fylde always put a 9th fret dot on their mandolins - no idea why - and it’s really annoying!

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Kingston, ON Canada
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Short Neck Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jonfranzis View Post
    Can anybody tell me why it has such a short neck? Body also slightly shorter. But the neck is the same thickness as my other mandolins of this type. Maybe its a junior model??
    Well, I just read a thread elsewhere on this Forum that violins have a 13 inch scale length, so this is likely the reason. Early or older mandolins were likely following violin practice.
    ....Rickker

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •