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Thread: What do you know about the Gibson Big Bell Maandolins? scale?

  1. #1
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default What do you know about the Gibson Big Bell Maandolins? scale?

    I have seen a couple and it seems they have a 14" + scale. Made in 30's and maybe early 40's.
    How do they sound?
    What strings would one use on that scale mandolin? Still tuned GDAE?
    I'm curiious

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: What do you know about the Gibson Big Bell Maandolins? scale?

    I haven't measured one, or played one either, but according to my Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, the big Gibsons have a 14 1/2" scale.
    To quote Joni Mitchell speaking about guitars and dulcimers, you can tune it any way you want.
    But if you want to tune it normally, I recommend a slightly light set to start, such as the D'Addario J73's. The longer scale will create a higher tension at concert pitch.
    If you want to tune a step low, which might be interesting, you might get better results with a medium set.

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