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Thread: Info on Olympic Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Info on Olympic Mandolin

    Anyone know anything about an Olympic Mandolin? My father gave me one back in the '80's. It has no serial number, no interior label, no country of manufacture, no nothing except the name Olympic on the headstock. Can't find anything about an Olympic mandolin or an Olympic music company online. Any help would be greatly appreciated
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  2. #2
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Info on Olympic Mandolin

    A photo of the back of the headstock, clearly showing the tuning gears, would be helpful to those who know.

    BTW, the tuner bushings, on the front of the headstock, appear to be white plasctic or nylon. That's unusual but not unheard of, seen mostly on economy models. (Hey, I have one!)
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  3. #3

    Default Re: Info on Olympic Mandolin

    Well, I feel like an idiot. When I flipped the mandolin over to take a shot of the back of the headstock, I did find a small stick-on label. All it says is "D 809N". I think this is nothing but a cheap mandolin. It's hard as heck to play and it takes an unbelievable amount of string tension to tune it. I've broken several strings just trying to do that. Still, I'm curious about its origins.
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  4. #4
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Info on Olympic Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by cobbo View Post
    ... hard as heck to play and it takes an unbelievable amount of string tension to tune it.
    On the other hand, geometry doesn't care about provenance, and most materials can be set up for the best playing possible, short of major surgery like re-shaping the neck. Check out Cafe member Rob Meldrum's free setup manual (download), referenced around here continually.

    As for balky tuners, another Cafe member, Paul Hostetter, to the rescue:
    http://www.lutherie.net/tuner.maintenance.html
    As a result of this write-up, Tri-Flo has become my all-purpose, go-to, new bestest friend! Even my super-cheapos (both!) have benefitted.
    Last edited by EdHanrahan; Jul-17-2019 at 5:17pm. Reason: spell!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  5. #5

    Default Re: Info on Olympic Mandolin

    It looks like a Korean made mandolin- some were sold under the Kay brand long after the original Kay company had gone under. In fact, these instruments do look a lot like the Kay pear-shaped mandolins that were made from 1939 until the company folded.

    Here is one of those sold under the Kay name but probably made in Korea: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kay...MAAOSwu~xdKOFx

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Info on Olympic Mandolin

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

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