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Thread: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    I don't have much information except the pictures.

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    These were sold under several brand names. That one looks like it was labeled Medalist. There is a video on Youtube of someone playing this same model labeled Medalist. The more common brand names were Beltone and Blue Comet.

    Every mention of Medalist of the Cafe is here.

    Every mention of Blue Comet on the Cafe is here.

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    Thanks. I have tried every way I knew to figure out what brand it was.

    I already put some new strings on it but the action seems really high and really hard to play. I am interested in learning to but should I put this on the wall for show and just buy a modern mandolin to learn on or is it worth trying to get the action set properly and learning on this old one?

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    These were generally cooler looking than sounding and you're missing some parts there. If it was me I'd look at something a little newer that was playable.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    Noah who posts here has said these were made by United in New Jersey and sold mainly by Peter Sorkin. It is a Medalist.
    They were also sold as Royalist- a brand for RCA which makes me wonder if there is a connection: Here's a Royalist.

    https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/prod...olin-wow-52344

  6. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ99 View Post
    ...should I put this on the wall for show and just buy a modern mandolin to learn on...
    I'd say "yes," basically. The action can be adjusted, but in my (limited) experience these "faux resonator" mandolins weigh a ton and never sound that good. A decent student-level mandolin might be more satisfying.
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  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Noah who posts here has said these were made by United in New Jersey and sold mainly by Peter Sorkin. It is a Medalist.
    They were also sold as Royalist- a brand for RCA which makes me wonder if there is a connection: Here's a Royalist.

    https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/prod...olin-wow-52344
    That mandolin is the same mandolin with a different branding. Whomever built them built for the trade and as almost everyone did at one time or another it's not shocking.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #8
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Identifying Grandfather's Mandolin

    AJ99, I can understand that you might want to fix her up since it was your Grandfathers, this comes down to a personal decision and you certainly could and no one would hold it against you. But for the sound, you will eventually want something else. So you need to decide to get Grandpas running or gets so something with a much better tone and probably more enjoyable to play. I had an old clock my dad had repaired to the best of their ability to repair and it cost me and still won't keep the time, it was a cheapo he picked up as a souvenir but I have little of his so I kept it. Sometimes we make our choices with a fair amount of sentiment involved.
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