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Thread: What kind of Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default What kind of Mandolin

    Hi there, having trouble identifying an old mandolin. Anyone have a clue?

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  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    For posterity:
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Post some more pics. We can't even tell if it is a bowlback or a flatback and I have a feeling those may be banjo-style tuners which would be unusual. Show us the side and any details that might give us clues. I have no guesses but that headstock configuration is common to both Italian and American mandolins. I am guessing it is a flatback due to its unusual shape.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Never seen anything like it. I would bet it is very difficult to tune with those tuners.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  8. #7

    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Indeed. It plays beautifully but tuning is frustrating 🙃

  9. #8

    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Looks like a cross between a mandolin and a balalaika
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by zgraft View Post
    Looks like a cross between a mandolin and a balalaika
    Too many strings!

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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Too many strings!
    Well, they both have strings right?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Well, they both have strings right?
    So does a tennis racket! It’s not really pointy enough to remind me of a balalaika.

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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    So does a tennis racket! It’s not really pointy enough to remind me of a balalaika.
    Yup. The only similarity I see is the fact that they both have strings.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    It looks like a mandolin to me and the tailpiece resembles those made in Germany so it is possible that is where this was made. The headstock does not resemble the Italian or American vintage mandolins but is similar but more triangular.

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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    The tailpiece looks German to me as well. Those banjo pegs would be a bear to keep in tune.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    I love oddball mandolins but I was going to suggest you replace the banjo tuners. Actually, now that I look at the headstock it is probably way too narrow for any tuners except maybe Pegheds, Wittner violin tuners, or possibly Planetary banjo tuners—anything with internal gears. An example of a non-functional design.
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Janet Davis Music (before they went out of business) used to sell these small diameter geared banjo tuners. I believe they were made in Germany. They probably would have fit.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  21. #17

    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Looks like good sonic potential with that big ol’ sound chamber. Too bad about the disastrous peghead design. Guess the designer missed “peghead do’s and don’ts” day at luthiers school. If the neck is otherwise good, as you imply, I’d be tempted to pull the tuners, fill the old holes completely with a drillable hard compound, trim the excessive paddle ends, and even stick on a bit of nice veneer to hide the inevitable ugliness—then drill all new holes in a configuration that makes some sense. (Parallel if not snakehead.)
    And oh yeah, install actual mandolin tuners.

    I mean, I wouldn’t actually do that, but I’d think about it.
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  22. #18
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    I suspect there are times when the outter E and G tuner buttons (knobs closest to the nut) don't quite clear each other?
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  23. #19

    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    I was considering replacing the tuners, but also hoping to figure out if it has value before I start altering.

  24. #20

    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0wO-...L31CuXLLy3RQjQ

    Spacing does not seem great if I want to use the existing holes

  25. #21
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Think about Pegheds -- geared tuners disguised as friction pegs. Might fit your existing holes. One concern is that they're basically designed for violin and/or ukulele, and mandolin strings may exert higher tension. Here's the Peghed website.
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoKranz View Post
    I was considering replacing the tuners, but also hoping to figure out if it has value before I start altering.
    The value isn't anything to worry about. It's rare but that doesn't make it valuable. In this case it's worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

    Gotoh apparently is making a geared uke peg that might work on this as well.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I love oddball mandolins but I was going to suggest you replace the banjo tuners. Actually, now that I look at the headstock it is probably way too narrow for any tuners except maybe Pegheds, Wittner violin tuners, or possibly Planetary banjo tuners—anything with internal gears. An example of a non-functional design.
    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Think about Pegheds -- geared tuners disguised as friction pegs. Might fit your existing holes. One concern is that they're basically designed for violin and/or ukulele, and mandolin strings may exert higher tension. Here's the Peghed website.
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