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Thread: Is this how it starts?

  1. #51
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    [QUOTE=lucho;1791142]
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    So I have a new mando in my life, a craiglist Strad-O-Lin, advertised as 50's but Mike E says it could be older. I think it's solid wood, at least the top, and even though the action is about the same height as my Kentucky, it plays easier and is really loud. I REALLY like the way it looks. The color is great, the matching pickguard and tailpiece cover are really cool, and it has a cool line down the middle of the back of the neck that I like. The guy selling it was the son of the owner, it was from his estate. Armed with just enough knowledge to be dangerous (thanks, Cafe!), I negotiated him down a fair amount. I paid $275.

    I started like you from a charango to an older A kentucky ... then a Flatiron..... and now...many years later .. I have 6..... Also, I had one exactly like yours...great mando until it was stolen... Anyway, the neck of these Stradolins is chunkier than any of the more recent mandos.... so I suppose it should survive some abuse resting in storage for long time.... More trouble is if that place was affected by humidity and temperature changes.... then you might be in trouble.... Anyway, great adquisition...

    It's cool to hear there is more than one out there; I'm sorry to hear yours was stolen though. I hate thieves, it's the ultimate in selfishness.

    The temperature and humidity is what concerns me as the seasons change. The Stradolin spent the last bunch of years stored in a music room, so that is probably why it is so nice. The previous owner's son said he never played it. I heat with wood and we fired up the stove for the first time yesterday, so I'm working on setting up a controlled space for them in a spare bedroom.

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  3. #52
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Have you ever seen the stairstep before?

    Here's how much I like the Stradolin - if I had to pare my belongings down to what fits in my car, this mandolin would make the cut.
    I'm not sophisticated enough to know what the raised fretboard extension does for the sound, but I do know it looks wicked cool and the mandolin sounds excellent to my ear. It has a good amount of volume and the sound feels full and complete. I like the vibes, visual and aural.

    Sue
    No, I have never seen a stairstep fretboard extension like yours and there isn't one like it in any of the 438 Photos from the Strad-O-Lin Mandolins Group. That's the beauty of Stradolins. I've owned 20 or so SOLs and just when I think I've seen it all, something unusual like yours surfaces.

    The raised fretboard extension does let the top vibrate more freely, so in theory it should improve the sound but for me I like being able to "attack" the strings without hitting (or beating up) the top, this gives SOLs their huge volume, when wanted/needed. Also, it lets Bluegrass players get that chop (percussive sound) they need.
    Enjoy that SOL,
    Michael

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  5. #53
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    I like my Stradolin very much, but after years of playing flat-tops this arch-top design is a bit awkward for me, in terms of right-hand stability. I can see why people fit arm-rest attachments, the angle at which my arm rests on the edge of the body is a bit strange for me. Though I should add, I don't primarily play chords, I'm picking out melodies and ornaments/harmonies.

  6. #54
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
    I like my Stradolin very much, but after years of playing flat-tops this arch-top design is a bit awkward for me, in terms of right-hand stability. I can see why people fit arm-rest attachments, the angle at which my arm rests on the edge of the body is a bit strange for me. Though I should add, I don't primarily play chords, I'm picking out melodies and ornaments/harmonies.
    How's your bridge doing? Do you still have that shim in there?

  7. #55
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    I think this thread should be renamed "This is how it started".

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  9. #56
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    How's your bridge doing? Do you still have that shim in there?
    Thanks for asking. Yes, I still have the shim. I was intending to fit a replacement adjustable bridge, so far that is a work in progress. The bridge I bought had insufficient curvature to fit easily, I worked on the base of that new bridge to reshape it, but it wasn't satisfactory. I may ask a local luthier to take a look at it - someone with better skills and experience in that type of work.

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  11. #57
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    My husband and I got together with my brother and his wife this past weekend. My brother brought his guitar, and I brought my Stradolin. It was my first time to play my mandolin with someone else. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!

    My brother played around with the mandolin some and had a smile on his face the whole time. I told him he could borrow the Kentucky and he said he may take me up on that. He may have caught a case of MAS

    I tried out his guitar. It was very large.

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  13. #58
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Hey Ma... Look what followed me home.

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    Can I keep it, Ma, pleeeeeze? I promise to learn how to play it

    https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...uddy-m-15.html

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  15. #59
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Oh, dear! The slippery road to MAS rears its head, Sue. I can feel the effect even across here in Scotland.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  17. #60
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Sue -- you sayin' you got a Mid-Mo mandola? OMG, I was playing mandolin for 10+ years before I bought my first 'dola. I foresee octave mandolin, mandocello, mandolin-banjo and even more in your future...
    Allen Hopkins
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  19. #61
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Sue -- you sayin' you got a Mid-Mo mandola? OMG, I was playing mandolin for 10+ years before I bought my first 'dola. I foresee octave mandolin, mandocello, mandolin-banjo and even more in your future...
    What can I say? It followed me home

    They all look fun; so many instruments so little time. I've messed around with it a few times already, and it's a blast and sounds different and excellent. I've ordered a DVD and a book to help me.

    But.. I will have to restrain myself for awhile because of what pheffernan said after the Morris:

    Sue, now that you have reached your third mandolin, it is probably the appropriate time to warn you that one's fifth mandolin typically costs as much as the previous four put together.
    I may have mentioned before that mandolin stuff has already severely eroded my antique pickup truck fund.

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  21. #62
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Hey Ma... Look what followed me home.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mid Mo 2.jpg 
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    Can I keep it, Ma, pleeeeeze? I promise to learn how to play it

    https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...uddy-m-15.html
    How fun! I've only been at mandolin for a year and I'm not sure what a mandola is but after listening to the video I want one!

    Rob
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  23. #63
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    My brother and I went up to Vermont last week to visit Jake at the Wildwood Flower. Just to visit, I swear
    We spent a couple hours playing with different instruments on his wall and shooting the breeze while he worked. Very fun. He had a baritone ukulele converted to a mini tenor guitar tuned CGDA that I liked alot, but thought it might sound pretty similar to the mandola.

    Now this is rural Vermont. We didn't lock the car.

    On the way home, this turned up in the back seat.

    Jake calls it a 1920's Slingerland Maybell 4-String Banjo Mandolin Conversion. I call it a Resto Mod. You can hear it here https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...-4-string.html

    It's very fun, but I need to learn some new methods and get a different pick.
    Oh yeah, and the cat runs away when I (try to) play it
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  25. #64
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post


    Oh yeah, and the cat runs away when I (try to) play it
    See what good sense your cat has!
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

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  27. #65
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Conversion from eight strings to four will -- to some extent -- tame the raucousness of a mandolin-banjo. And I love the shiny "resonator" back.

    Let's agree to all get together in five years and see how many instruments you've acquired. I think you should investigate an Octofone next.
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  29. #66
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    These four string, mandolin-scale banjos were actually made by Weymann, Vega and probably a few other companies. They usually called the lead or piccolo banjos and are sometimes mistaken for ukulele banjos but have longer scales. Attached is page from 1924 Weymann catalog.

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    Jim

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  31. #67
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Conversion from eight strings to four will -- to some extent -- tame the raucousness of a mandolin-banjo. And I love the shiny "resonator" back.

    Let's agree to all get together in five years and see how many instruments you've acquired. I think you should investigate an Octofone next.
    It does look really cool, doesn't it? It sure sounds a lot different from my Strad-O-Lin!

    In 5 years I might actually be able to play them all decently as well! Sounds like a plan!

    Octophone, huh? 8 instruments in one, one of which is a "Taropatch" whatever that is. There's actually an octophone for sale not too far from me in Jaffrey NH

    Actually I am at my limit for the moment, as my husband has informed me that my grouping is getting to be like his childhood collection of glass insulators. Obsessive, I think he means, but I beg to differ, as he had a wooden case plus several bags of unsorted insulators while I only have 5 instruments and one mandolin doesn't fully count because I lent it to my brother. Plus, he had lots of multiples. In addition, I take my instruments out almost every day. His insulators have been in the attic for 30+ years.
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; Mar-17-2021 at 4:48pm.

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  33. #68
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    It took them almost a year to come up with a COVID vaccine. Your MAS vaccine may take a bit longer!
    Ratliff R5 2007, Capek A5 2003, Washburn M5S-SB Jethro Burns 1982, Mid-Mo M-2, Epiphone MM 30 Bk mandolins, Harmony Batwing 1970's, George Bauer bowlback early 1900's Philadelphia.


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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gnann View Post
    It took them almost a year to come up with a COVID vaccine. Your MAS vaccine may take a bit longer!
    Actually, after they sequenced the mRNA in early 2020, it took about a week. The rest has been human trials.

    I don’t intend to be contentious, but it’s been a sucky year, and I give much respect to the immunologists and biochemists who made this work. Truly amazing...

    And, to date, there is NO vaccine for MAS . I’m living proof...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    I might have to decline the MAS vaccine, if one is ever developed. It might make me reject my instruments....

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  37. #71
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    I might have to decline the MAS vaccine, if one is ever developed. It might make me reject my instruments....
    ... or make one lose interest in perusing the classifieds ...

  38. #72
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    ... or make one lose interest in perusing the classifieds ...
    Perish the thought! Oh the horror of it!
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

  39. #73
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    ..Octophone, huh? 8 instruments in one, one of which is a "Taropatch" whatever that is. There's actually an octophone for sale not too far from me in Jaffrey NH ...
    I know something about collecting -- my instruments, my wife Joan's dolls -- and I guarantee you'll get more enjoyment out of your mandos than you would from a bag of old insulators.

    On the Octofone; it's basically a short-scale octave mandolin, IMHO. At least that's how I have mine string, with the 3rd and 4th courses strung with octave strings, like a 12-string guitar. The Regal Octofones are neat-sounding, for cheaply-made instruments -- originally listed for less than $20 in the 1930's. They're light as feathers, and prone to neck warpage; pegs and tailpiece are really cheap-o, as well, but they can be a lot of fun. I had the headstock on mine repaired, the fingerboard removed and replaced with real ebony, and a carbon-fiber reinforcement installed in the neck after it was planed flat. Even so, I ended up with less than $400 into it, which is pretty much a bargain...

    A "taropatch" is a double-strung (8 strings) ukulele; I have an 8-string Regal tenor uke that I refer to as a "taropatch," though actual taropatches were usually soprano size. Here's a concert-sized one that Jake W posted. You'd really struggle to get an Octofone tuned like one -- maybe an "octave taropatch?"

    Sorta interesting name derivation: when the ukulele was developed in the 19th century, Hawaiian farm workers apparently took their instruments to the fields of taro root, to play on their breaks, or whenever the fancy took them. Thus, the instruments were found in the "taro patches," and came to be called "taropatch fiddles" as a nickname (why "fiddle?" I dunno.). The shortened version of the name got applied to the double-strung ones, to differentiate them from standard ukuleles.
    Allen Hopkins
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  41. #74
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    Ha ha, for sure. Those insulators are a thorn in my side. I tried selling some on ebay for awhile. Still tons of them left.

    Now you have me thinking about those octofones. They look pretty cool, but they don't seem to come as reasonably as yours must have (probably many moons ago), and they do seem to generally need a fair amount of work. Sounds like yours is kind of a resto mod itself. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for a bargain.
    At least I know where to bring one to have it fixed up.

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  43. #75
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    Default Re: Is this how it starts?

    OK, I admittedly have a hard time getting past the basic mandolin. Octave mandolins, mandocellos, bass mandolins, tenor mandolins, etc sorry I'm lost too easily.
    Octaphone, taropacthe ukelule?
    Thankfully we have Allen Hopkins to explain these things. Carry on all!
    Ratliff R5 2007, Capek A5 2003, Washburn M5S-SB Jethro Burns 1982, Mid-Mo M-2, Epiphone MM 30 Bk mandolins, Harmony Batwing 1970's, George Bauer bowlback early 1900's Philadelphia.


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