Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

  1. #1

    Default My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    Hey guys, I thought I'd share some pictures and the story of my little bowlback family with you.

    I'm actually a guitarist/violinist. The first mandolin I ever got is an undated "Sternberg Armin", apparently from Budapest, Hungary. My dad bought it as a present for me last year, for 50 bucks on a flea market. It wasn't in very good condition. The frets were very worn and stood out of the fretboard, the tuners didn't work properly, and the action made it almost unplayable.
    Some time passed, I barely played on it - but with the possibility of playing the mandolin part in an opera production this year, I got motivated and started to work on it in my free time to make it more playable, since the actual sound of it was very sweet and the neck wasn't warped from what I saw. I gathered some tools, ordered new tuners, some fretwire and a new bone nut, new strings and got to it... it was a lot of work, but also really fun - I never did something like this before. Here's the result... before and after:



    I'm really happy with the result - the playability is really good, and the intonation is spot on with the new frets.

    The next mandolin I got was from a private seller, it's an undated "Mario Casella" from Catania, Sicily. Got it for 80 bucks, it was in quite good condition. I brought to a luthier just for a new nut and for lowering the action a bit. It's a nice instrument, unfortunately the neck seems to have warped over time, or the frets were poorly placed in the first place; even when it's perfectly in tune with itself (plus bridge intonation properly adjusted), some notes on the fretboard are noticeably flat.
    I replaced the frets like on my first mando, which made it a little better, but still not good. Playability is nice, the sound is a bit nasal for my taste. But I like to look at this instrument. A lot.



    Next up is my latest addition, a Calace from 1926, which I already have posted in the Vintage instrument subforum here. What can I say about this one? I think I'm in love :-)


  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Valbert For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    700

    Default Re: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    very nice!
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  4. The following members say thank you to tmsweeney for this post:


  5. #3
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,303
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    I love 'collection' pictures . . . thanks for sharing the pics and the stories.

  6. The following members say thank you to MikeZito for this post:


  7. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    Welcome, to the Loyal Order of the Bowl, Valbert. I have never seen any mandolin made in Hungary. That one looks simple but nice. BTW where are you located? I assume sine mentioned "bucks" that you are in the US?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  8. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  9. #5

    Default Re: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    Thanks guys!

    Nope Jim, I'm actually located in Austria
    Concerning the hungarian mandolin: It seems that "Ármin Sternberg" was an Austrian-Hungarian instrument builder and factory owner with establishments in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest.

    https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thre...ames.sternberg

    So he apparently built and sold instruments - from what I've found out there are some Sternberg violins out there. No info about mandolins though...

  10. #6
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,303
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: My bowlback collection - story and pictures...

    Quote Originally Posted by Valbert View Post
    Thanks guys! . . . I'm actually located in Austria
    Well, no wonder he plays guitar, violin and mandolin . . . he lives in the country where the hills are alive with the sound of music, with the songs they have sung for a thousand years!


    Sorry - I couldn't help myself . . . I just HAD to do it.

Posting Permissions

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