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Thread: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    Hi!
    Mandolin is a secondary instrument for me, but I enjoy playing. A few months ago Iíve replaced my first mandolin (a cheap generic Made in China no name instrument) by a Seagull S8. Iím happy with it, but recently, it started acting weird. When I strum it, the sound is distorted, almost like a distorted guitar (itís 100% acoustic, not plugged in). What should I look into to see if I can solve the problem?

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    Some years ago, I bought a new Seagull guitar and after a short time experienced a rattling problem.
    The truss rod adjusting nut had loosened up. I snugged it up with an allen wrench and the problem went away.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    Loosening wrap on a wound string, truss rod, loose brace. Maybe a tailpiece?
    I would also double check it isnít fret related or nut slo and bridge slot related. Maybe even a bad tuner.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    If it happens whether strings are fretted or "open," I'd guess there's something loose and vibrating. I've had tuning pegs that were a bit loose, tailpiece covers that worked loose, and -- of course -- top braces that loosened, especially at the ends, and "buzzed" a bit when the instrument was strummed hard.

    Check if it's all strings or just one course, and if it occurs when strings are fretted, or when they're not. Hold the mandolin next to the ear, and see if you can locate the source of "distortion." As John B suggests, strings that aren't firmly held within nut and bridge slots can also buzz a bit.
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  5. #5
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    I would also find the thread about the mandolin s book in set up. It will help you also.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    I did a quick check up with the info you gave me, and the rattle seems to come forme inside the mandolin, under the bridge. I guess maybe a loose brace. Is it expensive to repair?

  7. #7
    Dan Scullin dscullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    You said you bought it a few months ago. Did you buy it new? If so, it may be under warranty and up to the manufacturer to replace the mandolin or repair the loose brace. Just a thought…
    Dan Scullin
    Louisville, KY

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    No, I bought it used… and not from a store. I’m surprised something came loose… it’s in a great shape. Maybe the humidity level at the original owner’s place was way different than my place. I try to keep my environment as stable as possible.

    Anyway, I guess it’s off to a luthier to get it looked at!

  9. #9
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    I bought a Mid Mo mandola with a loose brace. It did not turn out to be an expensive fix.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a problem with my mandolin

    In Episode 166 of Brad Lairds "Grass talk radio" podcast Brad does a wonderful job discussing rattles, buzzes, twangs. It would be worth a listen whether you are of the Bluegrass persuasion or not. Grasstalkradio.com
    Honestly there is something to be learned by listening to them all. Steve

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