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Thread: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

  1. #1
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    First, let me once again state that I am not shilling for John Bernunzio; strictly no financial interest (well, he's been known to give me a "good customer" discount on strings and Stetson hats, but that's it -- I swear!).

    Stopped in today to look at his "big mando" inventory, and saw a couple that were really interesting to me -- and I'm not including the Martin D-28 guitar-to-4-string-mandocello conversion, Brazilian rosewood, nicely re-done headstock...

    First is a bowl-back octave mandolin built in 2004 by a luthier named Ken McBride. There ain't too many bowl-back OM's, and this one's nicely made out of atypical woods, pearwood body and cedar top; it has a fixed guitar-style bridge, fairly lengthy but not bouzouki scale, a little tasteful mother-of-pearl on the bridge and around the soundhole, and a comfortable neck. The main drawback -- to me -- was the proliferation of quasi-Irish ornamentation on the body and headstock; I could do without the shamrocks and leprechauns etc. If someone wants a uniquely designed OM, this is one.

    Second is the Gelas double-topped mandocello: Bernunzio's willing to break up the Gelas "family" he was selling only as a unit, and has put the instruments on sale, though they're still really pricey. This one's the most thunderous 'cello I can remember hearing, and whoever gets this one will have all the low-end he/she will ever need. Big wide neck, little bit of finish wear but no repairs I could see, "strikes like Thunderball" IMHO.

    Escaped the store with my wallet intact, but the McBride tempted me. If it only didn't have the leprechaun...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    The mandocello is on consignment by a fellow MCer, Matthew, who goes by the screen name gweetarpicker or something like that. There have been other discussions about these particular instruments. He also IIRC has a collection of Bohmann instruments.
    Jim

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  4. #3
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    You're local to Bernunzio's aren't you, Allen? Have you checked either of these out in person?
    Would enjoy an earful of your relatively appreciation.
    The Bowl-oc-tavey is one muy funkatitiosus looking piece of design work. Yikes.
    The Gelas m'cello looks like a smooth stretch of highway Provencal.
    Eyes only....
    Mick
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  5. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    You're local to Bernunzio's aren't you, Allen? Have you checked either of these out in person?
    Would enjoy an earful of your relatively appreciation.
    The Bowl-oc-tavey is one muy funkatitiosus looking piece of design work. Yikes.
    The Gelas m'cello looks like a smooth stretch of highway Provencal.
    Eyes only....
    Mick
    Look at his first post.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  6. #5
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Look at his first post.
    Doh. Do I have to?

    "The main drawback -- to me -- was the proliferation of quasi-Irish ornamentation on the body and headstock; I could do without the shamrocks and leprechauns etc."

    And I'm Irish.......

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
    ______________________

    '05 Cuisinart Toaster
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  7. #6
    Registered User gweetarpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two interesting instruments at Bernunzio's

    Video of the Gelas mandocello:

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