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Thread: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

  1. #1

    Default Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    Locked down here and was thinking it would be easier to convert my Gibson Epiphone MM-20/BK mandolin to left handed rather then go out and buy a new one.

    Is this mandolin a good candidate to reverse? Neck solid? Pick Guard looks like it reverses? Bridge adjustment works lefty? Nut easy to remove? Replace? What skill level for a Luthier should I seek out?

    I like the action on it and tried to be right handed but the years of being lefty are too strong. Thanks for your advice.

    Ken

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    It should convert pretty easily.
    The reversed pickguard might look a little funny, depending on what the used for the back side. But it will work.
    It's best to have the job done by someone who is reasonably skilled. The nut may have to be replaced, and I wouldn't count on it being easy to remove.
    And the intonation will be better if you have a new lefty bridge saddle installed. Perhaps one can be purchased, but the repair man may have to make one from scratch.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Zakreski View Post
    Locked down here and was thinking it would be easier to convert my Gibson Epiphone MM-20/BK mandolin to left handed rather then go out and buy a new one.

    Is this mandolin a good candidate to reverse? Neck solid? Pick Guard looks like it reverses? Bridge adjustment works lefty? Nut easy to remove? Replace? What skill level for a Luthier should I seek out?

    I like the action on it and tried to be right handed but the years of being lefty are too strong. Thanks for your advice.

    Ken
    You'll need a new nut and bridge top (saddle). Beyond that the dots along the fingerboard will be on the bottom instead of the top. People have been reversing A's for years to make them lefty. Don't just reverse the bridge as the intonation wont be right.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You'll need a new nut and bridge top (saddle).

    The lock down has reduced access to the big diseased city. I am going to use the local luthier and furniture builder in the next town. We can walk there for drop off and delivery.

    Senior Real builds entry level guitars and violins. Nice shop, the sons speak some english, help and sell furniture made from parote wood. His style of saddle on the guitars or violins are not like the adjustable on the Gibson.

    I see the grooves for the strings to rest, nice wood saddle? The hardware in that saddle (thumbscrew affair) would need to be reused I guess they are threaded inserts (metric or english). They would need to be broken out of the stock saddle?

    Do I use bone for the nut saddle? No suggestions for an off shore, mail order, after market builder for lefty MM20 saddles?

    Thanks,

    Ken

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    The saddle can be wood the nut can be bone. The thumb screws aren't glued it. That bridge comes apart. The bridge base has to stay fitted (not glued) to the top. Left handed bridges are available at Cumberland Acoustics. You would have to contact them. There may be other sources. A good luthier should be able to make that top.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    Thank you very good to know.

    Newbie question. Isn't the mandolin tuned like a violin? That is reversed to a guitar. So if I just turn the standard tuned mandolin upside down it has normal guitar tuning. So I can use regular guitar chords on this mandolin?

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    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    You are right in your thinking, but you will have only the bass strings of the guitar so the chords will be a little different. Think about your chords without a E or B string. You will like the mandolin tuned in 5ths instead of the guitar tuned in 4ths.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM20, convert to lefty

    That question comes up from time to time and as a guitar player for over forty years before I took up the mandolin I can tell you that it's actually easier to deal with the mandolin fretboard.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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