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Thread: EM-150 questions

  1. #1

    Default EM-150 questions

    So this just came across my bench. Just looking for some validation on the year and some pickup questions. After enough searches it seems they didn't come with labels, haven't put a mirror inside yet, and the only numeric markings through the treble hole are: 24.6. C 9.
    The '9' being written in pencil. I'm guessing around 39' ? Back seam and tail block separations ,so I'm getting ready to 'bag it' for a while to see how much closure I can get on the seam.
    Also, the pickup is woefully low down in it's cavity, ant the adjuster screw are fully tight.
    Has anyone ever removed one ? I'm sure it can be done, but if there's a trick or anything I should be aware of it would be appreciated. Seems as if the mount got bend down somehow.
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    Thanks !

    Cheers.

    Dobe

  2. #2

    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    I don't think it left any factory that way. For an em-150, the pickup is wrong, the knobs are in the wrong location, we won't even talk about the screws through the top.

    Might have started life as a Gibson A, but was 'modified' somewhere along the way.
    Play it like you mean it.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    No, that's a pretty stock looking Em-150, made between 1936 and 1940. The screws in the top hold the "Charlie Christian" pickup in place, and the knobs were on the opposite sides during this period.
    Sorry, but I don't know how to adjust the pickup height. Maybe if the loosened the screw closest to the bridge, it would cause the pickup to tilt up a little bit?
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  4. #4
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Here's a picture of another pre-1940 EM-150:Click image for larger version. 

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    I think that the mandolin in question is an earlier one, because the pickup isn't bound, while later examples had the binding like this one.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  5. #5
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    The letter "C" in a factory order number indicates 1937 as the date of manufacture.

    It appears that the tailblock has come loose on that mandolin. I can't see it at all.
    It will need to be repaired by a highly experienced repair person.

    It looks like the pickup is wedged in the wrong position-- the hexagonal part should project through the cut-out in the body. You might try loosening all three screws a little bit, and see if you can wiggle the pickup into position.

  6. #6

    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Can we see some photos of that sweet pinstriped Geib case??????????
    Spruce dork

  7. #7

    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    No, that's a pretty stock looking Em-150, made between 1936 and 1940. The screws in the top hold the "Charlie Christian" pickup in place, and the knobs were on the opposite sides during this period.
    Sorry, but I don't know how to adjust the pickup height. Maybe if the loosened the screw closest to the bridge, it would cause the pickup to tilt up a little bit?
    Hadn’t seen one that early, just the 50’s and newer.
    Play it like you mean it.

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Mine is from about 1937. Looks very similar to the OP.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For Mr. Condino, here's my case:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jim

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  10. #9
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Mine is from about 1937. Looks very similar to the OP.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For Mr. Condino, here's my case:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Love this case!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Dobe: I will look at mine when I am home and let you know any further info.
    Jim

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  12. #11

    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    "Mr. Condino"????? Is my father on the mandolin cafe??????

    Case love x1000!

    I've been looking for one of those for about a decade to match my guitar cases:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Spruce dork

  13. #12
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Nice! Its a 1937. no doubt!

  14. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: EM-150 questions

    Ok. I looked into treble side F-hole and looks like the number there is 703 C 6 (6 is in pencil, others are stamped).

    My pickup has been "compensated." Yours looks like it was cut down uniformly. I assume that with these early pickups Gibson changed to height to balance the volume and strength under each string set. So the pickup probably doesn't got much higher but someone may have cut the blades down. Not sure how you correct for that.

    At one point I owned an ES-150 (6 string) and an EST-150 (tenor). I kiseed getting an EG-150 (lap steel) and borrowed a ETB-150 (electric tenor banjo) all from the same era and all with these Charlie Christian pickups. Photo below.

    Attached are some pics of the pickup on my EM-150.

    I just plugged it into my little 1980s Champ and it sounds pretty cool. Treble-side knob is volume and bass-side is tone. These pickups are not the cleanest but they have a great bluesy sound if you EQ them right.
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    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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