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Thread: Dropped mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Dropped mandolin

    Hi there,

    First time posting on here.

    My mandolin was dropped about 3 foot just now onto a hard stone floor and landed on the head, badly scuffing a corner.

    I've tuned it back up and am pretty sure there's now a buzzing on some strings/frets, that weren't there before.

    Is a drop like that likely to have an affect in any way, or am I just being paranoid? If it's likely to be damaged, what would be the best line of action to get it fixed? I've attached a photo of the the scratched head to give an idea of how bad the fall was.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Did you check the bridge? it might have been shaken out of alignment.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    I'm pretty sure it hasn't moved. But saying that the seventh fret on the A string isn't completely in tune. Might it be worth taking it for a service? To get it properly setup? I bought it really recently and it's the first decent mandolin I've owned, so I've not a lot of experience with adjustments or how to correct buzzing or intonation.

  4. #4
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Definitely take it in to have it checked out. They can ensure the neck is straight and the bridge is OK.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Where would you suggest taking it? Just to a local luthier? Or is there anyone you would recommend? I live in cumbria, but don't mind travelling to get it properly sorted.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    This guy’s great:

    He has a brilliant pdf ebook for free too, just asks for thanks.


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  8. #7

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Thanks for that!

    Do you think it's worth getting a professional to have a look as well though?

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  10. #8
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    If it gives piece of mind, yes
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    If the tuning shifted on all strings (other than maybe the one peg that might have touched down, I’m thinking that you may be right in assuming something bigger happened, so the best advice is to find a luthier, or if scarce, a musician who knows what to measure, if not how to fix it.

  12. #10
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    State College, PA
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    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Agreed on getting it checked out. It could be as simple as a $50 setup (one hour of work) or, if there's something more serious you'll be able to find out. Aside from the truss rod getting wonked loose, the bridge getting knocked out of place, and maybe the tuners of tailpiece getting banged up and rattling, the only other thing I can think of is something internal getting damaged, like may a tone bar getting jarred loose. If it has binding, maybe the binding is rattling somewhere.

    It's not likely though. I dropped my previous mandolin and it resulted in a thin top crack that was quite visible. It didn't affect the sound much, but it definitely affected my perception of the sound. I was listening closely for changes, kind of expecting to hear them. When I finally moved on from it a few years later, I recall playing it next to my new, "better," mandolin, and it had the edge on volume, although certainly didn't sound as fine as my new one. I was surprised at how loud it was and how much I was taking it for granted. It took an A/B comparison to notice. I still used it as a trade, but it had a great, loud, woody sound. The point is, I think any deterioration in sound was all in my head.

    Where do you live, just out of curiosity?

  13. #11

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    Thanks for all the advice! I took it to a local Luther today so fingers crossed he doesn't think it's too bad. Not sure about the tuning though. It was my mum who dropped it and I think she twisted the pegs a bit afterwards. There is a slight bulge around both sides of the sound hole that I only noticed after the fall. But I've only had it a week and there's no splintering at the bulge, so maybe it was there before. It's also handmade so I guess those sort of things are more likely opposed to if it was factory made.

    I do hope it doesn't affect my perception of the sound quality though. I was so happy with it, would be such a shame to lose that certainty.

    I actually live in the north of England in the lake district.

  14. #12
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Kalamazoo, MI.

    Default Re: Dropped mandolin

    I’m fairly confident that things have been “done a mischief” and your luthier will tell you it’s just a mild issue!
    Don’t worry, things could be worse.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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