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Thread: Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

  1. #1

    Default Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

    I have a The Loar LH-300 acoustic archtop guitar that I picked up recently, and since purchasing it, value of the instrument plummeted for unknown reasons. I intended to just use it to trade or sell, but I wouldn't be able to come out even. However, i had an idea; being an arch top, it seems like an ideal choice for a guitar conversion. It has a lot of punch and seems decently voiced for a mandolin family instrument. My question is whether or not it's as easy as I think it should be. Your typical flat top would require a lot of work, but the way I see it, a new nut, tail piece, and bridge should be fine for most of the work. The main bit of work seems like it would stem from filling the old holes from the old tuning keys and drilling. I've looked into a few mandocellos on the market, and the scale length and nut width seem perfect. It has a really thick neck with a v profile. Would my accessment on the ease of such a conversion be correct?

    EDIT: Well, I just realized that I didn't take string tension into account, I didn't realize mandolin string tension was so much higher than a guitar, and I have no clue whether or not this guitar could handle such an increase in tension without ripping itself apart.
    Last edited by DrDizzleFrizzle; Oct-07-2019 at 11:19pm.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

    You might be better posting this question in the builders & repair section.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

    I'm trying to remember, I think Bernie Daniels did this conversion using an arched top guitar.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

    I bought a big Epiphone conversion dreadnaught just for travel (I have a 1911 Gibson K4 I would never take on a plane); it was in the case, the case tipped over at a train station, the head snapped off. Tension is a major factor. Truss rod?

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar to mandocello conversion idea

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I'm trying to remember, I think Bernie Daniels did this conversion using an arched top guitar.
    He did it on at least two. One was a Vega and I think also on an Epiphone archtop.

    I think the LH300 would probably be an excellent conversion candidate. Solid top, too. Probably would sound very nice. The neck does have a truss rod and the scale is close to the old Gibson MC scale: 24-3/4".

    Here is Bernie's Vega conversion video:



    Here's his conversion of a 1951 Epiphone Zenith (two parts):



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