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Thread: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    It's a renecked restoration by idiosyncratic Washington state luthier Ron Hyde. He also added X bracing! Worth $3K? Who knows?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-GIBSON...0AAOSwggJexBwa
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    Registered User Steve Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Could someone please explain this for me:

    FINGERBOARD SET FORWARD 1 FRET

    Id rather not watch a 15 minute video on the chance that I could find out.

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Looks cool, but if I had the money: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-The-Gi...53.m1438.l2649
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  4. #4
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    Looks cool, but if I had the money: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1924-The-Gi...53.m1438.l2649
    I know that instrument, the current owner, the previous owner, and its history going back to the late 1980's.
    The current owner will accept an offer, perhaps lower than one might consider to be polite.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the Hyde mandola, it appears that Hyde installed new wood on top of the neck and reinstalled the fingerboard 3/8" closer to the tip of the peghead than the original factory position. I watched the first couple of minutes of the video, which is as out of focus as the ebay pictures, but it appears that the neck was broken up pretty badly, and he installed the overlay to give it some more strength. Why he decided to scoot the fingerboard back, I don't know.

    When I opened my Gibson mandola many years ago to repair a cracked tail block, I installed tone bars as then suggested by Tom Morgan. I might not do that again, but the instrument sounds good and has held up. I remember that I paid $350 for that mandola in the early 1980's. We didn't worry so much about originality back then.
    Last edited by rcc56; May-19-2020 at 11:11pm.

  5. #5
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I know that instrument, the current owner, the previous owner, and its history going back to the late 1980's. The current owner will accept an offer, perhaps lower than one might consider to be polite.
    Paging William Smith!
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Those Tenor Lutes make GREAT Mandolas, I have one that Gary Vessel did for me, it was a basket case when I found it! It was in terrible shape so I didn't feel too bad about getting it converted as it had a busted neck, poor sanding, all hardware was toast, it had many little brad nails nailed into the back and sides going into the neck block, looks like a kid dragged it around on the back, it had some cracks, also it looked like it was in an attic or barn for a very long time.

    I had Gary fix all the cracks and holes, he made a snake head neck with the original "The Gibson" pearl inlay from the TL neck in the peg head, also pearl block board inlays, a black top, Sheraton brown on the back and sides, varnish finish, I found a very rare 1923 A-3 white/cream pickguard, and a rare prototype set of pearl button arrowhead tuners. The results were amazing in looks and has a very darkish tone/voice to it. I don't regret having the conversion one bit, if it was nice or wasn't so beat when I found it I would've left it alone or had it fixed to original since there is only maybe 35 original T. Lutes!

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    I actually tried to buy that conversion a few years ago but my offer wasn't accepted, I wanted to redo that one myself as I'm pretty sure it has a busted neck if I remember correctly, so I wanted to put a real snake head neck on it as what's on it is a Moccasin type peg head like some of the Gibson banjo's/ banjolins. It's too bad that Siminoff is no longer making parts and necks! Years ago I bought a snake head neck from him and installed it on a 1936/37 Gibson A-1 that I re-graduated.

    Is there anyone or a shop that makes necks? I need a few for some conversions I'm doing and I really don't want to make a snake head neck!

  9. #8
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Those Tenor Lutes make GREAT Mandolas, I have one that Gary Vessel did for me
    I have one that Gary did for me too!

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    That's the Vessel Dola he was selling awhile back correct? That's superb man! I think Gary used a TL as a guide for that gorgeous beauty. I really think Gary is a top dog builder, there's no doubt in my mind! Very nice indeed.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    That's the Vessel Dola he was selling awhile back correct? That's superb man! I think Gary used a TL as a guide for that gorgeous beauty. I really think Gary is a top dog builder, there's no doubt in my mind! Very nice indeed.
    Yes, I believe that this instrument is the first scratch build of the tenor lute body as a mandola like God and Lloyd originally intended.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Vessel-Mandola
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    Could someone please explain this for me:

    FINGERBOARD SET FORWARD 1 FRET

    I’d rather not watch a 15 minute video on the chance that I could find out.

    Thanks!
    My guess is that he splined the neck and extended it about one fret's worth so that the bridge would be centered on the top to take advantage of the x-bracing. The guy is a real character but I think it is possible that it actually sounds pretty good. Or, for the same price you could buy his 2 point original design, IIRC, he has had for sale at that same price for years.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    ...the tenor lute body as a mandola like God and Lloyd originally intended.
    As a TL owner, I (mildly) demur. 'Tis what it is, and has its own niche in the mando-family lineup.
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    As a TL owner, I (mildly) demur. 'Tis what it is, and has its own niche in the mando-family lineup.
    Respectfully, I have no umbrage with the tenor lute. I simply believe that the bodies were originally intended for A-style mandolas with f-holes before the mandolin boom collapsed, the banjo market expanded, and the tenor lute was born.
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  19. #14
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: We got your Gibson snakehead mandola right here!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Respectfully, I have no umbrage with the tenor lute. I simply believe that the bodies were originally intended for A-style mandolas with f-holes before the mandolin boom collapsed, the banjo market expanded, and the tenor lute was born.
    I know a few years ago there was a similar thread but I believe it was shut down to a few saying this is what the TL's were and the conversions sold for a bunch of cash and some buyers were not happy! Sure its possible that they may have been for Mandolas? They were a LLoyd Loar design according to David Harvey and some other Loar obsessed individuals? Case in point Dusty Strings right now has a 30's Gibson Mandola for sale "I tried to buy/trade for it but they won't budge on price as I'm a fan of the 30's Gibson's and TL's!" and its clearly a leftover Tenor Lute body but with the typical 30's short neck! It has the same body carving, F-holes, birch back and sides and a very nice sunburst top etc..I've only seen maybe 3 1930's Mandolas with the leftover TL bodies! The fret board is glued flush to the top however instead of raised off the top like a 24 TL. Dusty Strings has had it for many months now and I was hoping they would take my offer?

    I've heard/read that the bodies of these TL's are carved and the same internal air chamber as the coveted H-5 Loar Mandola? They are the only unsigned Loar with a Master Model label also! The banjo boom was on and mandolins were a tough sale in the mid 1920's so it's very possible that that's why they slapped a tenor banjo neck on a Mandola body to appeal to the new banjo type market? I have an original TL and my resurrected TL to Mandola conversion and I must say the TL-Mandola is a far superior instrument! I do know for a fact during the 30's Gibson used parts from the teens thru the 20's on different models like leftover necks from F-2's/ F-4's for the F-7's, 10's and 12's also a recently discovered Feb.18th 1924 Loar that was finished with "floor sweep" parts in the early 1930's! The same can be said for countless banjos-many of the same models but with loads of different inlays, plating etc... I know there are some 30's Mandolas floating around I've seen that look nothing like a TL body! Its all very interesting to me anyway! I don't see nothing wrong with selling a TL to Mandola conversion but please don't say this a long lost Loar idea or what he was going for! We weren't there so its all speculation! It makes sense but until say a note/diary or spec sheet is found its just speculation!

    Here is the link to the 30s TL-Mandola Dusty Strings has, I'm positive its a 1924 leftover Tenor Lute body! They call it an H-O but with the body binding it should be an H-1?


    https://store.dustystrings.com/p-659...0-mandola.aspx

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