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Thread: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

  1. #1
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    Saw some on Reverb and I just got curious...what makes a "lefty" a lefty?

    Is it the bridge and the nut being the other way? I'm guessing that is the only difference?
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    I made an A model left handed; the tone bars were reversed from the right hand version. Nut and saddle were also for left handed to be correct. Now if it was an F model, there’s a lot different.

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  4. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    Irregardless of body style a left handed mandolin will have a bridge that is a mirror image of a right handed bridge and a nut cut exactly the opposite. The dots along the top of the fingerboard will be on the opposite side of the neck.

    If it's an F style the body will obviously be a total reverse of the right handed mandolin. The tone bars have a slightly different placement for the bass and treble so those would be reversed on a truly left handed instrument.

    With that said, you can generally take a right handed A style and cut a new bridge top and nut and convert it to left handed playing. You won't have the dots on the top of the neck, they will be on the bottom. You and 99.9% of the people in the world will never hear the tone bar difference.

    Some people mistakenly feel they can just reverse a standard right handed bridge top but that is wrong. The intonation wouldn't be correct.

    Left handed A style mandolins have no real problem finding a case that fits. Left handed F styles are limited in their selections.

    There is a difference.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #4

    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    The person playing it.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  6. #5

    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    It sings the internationale?

  7. #6

    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    I converted a new KM-171 (discounted discontinued old stock) for a total investment of $160 including the new Nut & Saddle and I'm super happy with the setup and its sound.

    Beyond a preference for Oval Sound Hole instruments, I chose it for its completely symmetrical appearance, the only thing I gave up was the dots on the neck.

    This choice was maybe reflective of one of the biggest differences in left-handed instruments. Being in shorter supply they tend to command more of a cash outlay. Conversion is something of a way around that truth and a way into a decent solid wood instrument that might've otherwise been out of reach.

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #8

    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    Mike -

    Thanks, I just might do!

    I found tweaking and working on an instrument, though a tiny bit nerve-wracking, both compelling and fulfilling.

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Em Tee View Post
    It sings the internationale?
    No, no, no. It supported Eugene V. Debs 5 times.
    belbein

    “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a "lefty" mandolin a lefty?

    Being left handed, it would be unplayable for me!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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