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Thread: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

  1. #1
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    This caught my eye because it has a uniquely shaped elevated fretboard, as mine does. It's in rougher shape than mine, though, for sure. Needs a bit more than love. Pretty interesting nonetheless.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Yours has the Kluson tuners with the cover plate over the whole unit while this appears to have lost them and has 1960s Waverly units in their place.

  3. #3
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Unfortunately, it looks like the top collapsed. Scroll through the photos and the bridge has a couple of feet added to it to raise it up enough to be playable. Cool solution, but makes me think something happened to it.

    Otherwise, that's a cool one. I think the tuners are original to the instrument.
    Peter Coombe #248, Strad-O-Lin, Northfield F5SA, Gibson A Jr., Mid-Mo M1, Eastman MDO-305
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Jake W. told me that those Kluson tuners were only used for a short period of time. That's why he felt pretty sure that mine is 1941. This could be a bit earlier or later? It has the comma shaped holes as well, which I think is earlier? I saw the fretboard and thought, it could be that this was made by the same people that made mine. Too bad it's not in better shape.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    There's some major top issues there but the matching pickguard and tailpiece cover would be enough to grab for me to put on a Strad that was missing them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    It looks like the back may have already been taken off, perhaps to attempt repair of the sunken top.

    It one could get the back off it might not be all so difficult a task to fit a brace to reshape and strengthen the top once again.

    I've done that type of repair on a KM-11, which, of course is a flat top, not a formed top like the Stradolin. It was pretty straightforward.
    The unbound back made is easier for a brownbagger like me.

    If the price stays around $100 this might be a fun adventure. Maybe.

    Mike...you've seemed to think in previous threads that Favilla was behind at least some of the Stradolin production.
    Are you still of that opinion? I've got an old Favilla bros. bowlback that I'm very fond of.

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    I agree with Mick, looks like the back has been off. The problem this poses, what kind of glue was used to put it back on? I bought a 2 point Strad some years ago with the same issue and took the back off and re-glued the brace. There's a picture of it somewhere here on the Cafe. As Mike points out, those pickguards and tailpiece covers don't come around often.

  9. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    It looks like the back may have already been taken off, perhaps to attempt repair of the sunken top.

    It one could get the back off it might not be all so difficult a task to fit a brace to reshape and strengthen the top once again.

    I've done that type of repair on a KM-11, which, of course is a flat top, not a formed top like the Stradolin. It was pretty straightforward.
    The unbound back made is easier for a brownbagger like me.

    If the price stays around $100 this might be a fun adventure. Maybe.

    Mike...you've seemed to think in previous threads that Favilla was behind at least some of the Stradolin production.
    Are you still of that opinion? I've got an old Favilla bros. bowlback that I'm very fond of.

    Mick
    Considering we have a few Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins that are labeled Favilla in the social group and most of them have this same pickguard/tailpiece cover combo I suspect that at least some of them came out of Favilla. When I conversed years ago with Tom Favilla he identified a Favilla branded mandolin as a model they had been making since the 20's. He also said that they hadn't made any for any other brand name but Tom entered the business in 1957, well after the Strad-O-Lins that can be identified were built. There is also a mention on Mike Holmes site about someone that was in a Strad-O-Lin factory in New York. I don't buy the Homenick things as most of those that I've seen haven't been spectacular in any way. I think they bought them from the Favilla folks and did some really bad inlay to the most part. Favilla had the capacity to build these instruments and the problem is that nobody will ever be able to prove or disprove it in any way. One of the great mysteries of the ages.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Nine watchers and already a bid ....
    Is someone thinking of fixing it? Or is Mike looking to harvest the pickguard/tailpiece cover?
    Questions, questions

  12. #10

    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Since Favilla and Strad-O-Lin have been mentioned, here’s an in-process photo of the Favilla Aquila (early trademark) canted top flat-back rescue I’ve been working on, mentioned because I haven’t found references to this model yet. This one should be pre-WWI and arrived with a moderate case of bent neck, open seams, and a celluloid pickguard inlay that completely fractured and curled. So far the fretboard is adequately flat, seams tight, the pickguard replaced with vinyl 20 mil, and a run of tuner buttons is in process since I couldn’t source any. Ignore the bridge, please. Tuners are stamped Waverly underneath.
    As you know, I’m no musician, but I really like the way this small thing plays.
    And that shabby-chic Strad: a hard life somewhere in Brooklyn, but might be worth reviving.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    For historical purposes...

    I don't know... that fretboard looks odd. Certainly the ending is nothing like any S-O-L's I have seen and though I have seen two dots at the 12th fret markers on higher end mandolins, they seem larger and also the 12th fret is further into the body putting the bridge way down near the bottom of the f-holes.
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    Last edited by Jim Garber; Dec-09-2021 at 1:34pm.
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    For historical purposes...

    I don't know... that fretboard looks odd. Certainly the ending is nothing like any S-O-L's I have seen and though I have seen two dots at the 12th fret markers on higher end mandolins, they seem larger and also the 12th fret is further into the body putting the bridge way down near the bottom of the f-holes.
    Well, mine has the bridge down by the bottom of the f-holes. No double dot.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Peter Coombe #248, Strad-O-Lin, Northfield F5SA, Gibson A Jr., Mid-Mo M1, Eastman MDO-305
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Mine also has the bridge toward the tail, and a plethora of dots.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that bridge position was a characteristic of the Strad-O-Lins.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    I know there are prob dozens of variants of these but the fretboard looks like it was replaced.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Possible it was replaced, but looking at the elevated part of the neck, it appears it was cut to follow the fingerboard.

    My own take is they were experimenting with fretboard ends, so nothing is etched in stone. Mine wasn't done the cleanest and has some filler at the end. Almost like a pre-war bondo/epoxy.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Possible it was replaced, but looking at the elevated part of the neck, it appears it was cut to follow the fingerboard.

    My own take is they were experimenting with fretboard ends, so nothing is etched in stone. Mine wasn't done the cleanest and has some filler at the end. Almost like a pre-war bondo/epoxy.
    Most of the SOLs have straight cut across and some of the upper levels have a slight extension on the treble side but none with the cutaway that the OP's has, or at least I have never seen any like that.
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Mine also has the bridge toward the tail, and a plethora of dots.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that bridge position was a characteristic of the Strad-O-Lins.
    There is one model Strad-O-Lin that had a centered bridge. The rest were located at the bottom of the f holes with the exceptions of the ones people sell that have the bridge in the wrong position. I suspect but have no way of knowing for sure that this model may have been manufactured by a different builder than the rest. Eric posted this image of one on the Strad-O-Lin social group.
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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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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    For historical purposes...

    I don't know... that fretboard looks odd. Certainly the ending is nothing like any S-O-L's I have seen and though I have seen two dots at the 12th fret markers on higher end mandolins, they seem larger and also the 12th fret is further into the body putting the bridge way down near the bottom of the f-holes.
    If you look through the headstock shapes over the years you see some strange cut off designs that at first I thought were modifications done by an owner but later realized there were many examples of. With that said I have never seen this fretboard end but I have an open mind that someone may have tried to introduce it as a design or said "Crud, the end of this fretboard is messed up and we need to get this batch shipped out. I know, I'll just cut a corner off it." Kind of like when you hit a wrong note and call it jazz. Regarding the dots, I'm not too concerned about it and everything looks right. I'll bet there's a round indentation from the clamp on the back of the neck block.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Mine also has the bridge toward the tail, and a plethora of dots.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that bridge position was a characteristic of the Strad-O-Lins.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	stradolin in case.jpg 
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    The bridge on some of the comma shaped f-hole models was more towards the center of the f-holes. Isn't the consensus those are the earliest versions?
    Peter Coombe #248, Strad-O-Lin, Northfield F5SA, Gibson A Jr., Mid-Mo M1, Eastman MDO-305
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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    There is one model Strad-O-Lin that had a centered bridge. The rest were located at the bottom of the f holes with the exceptions of the ones people sell that have the bridge in the wrong position.
    Mine (now long gone) had the centered bridge. Also a nicely figured one-piece maple back. Heck of a good mandolin.

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    The 'thirties catalogue pages posted by Jim long ago show both styles, with the name 'Artist' for the centered bridge model.

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  27. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    The bridge on some of the comma shaped f-hole models was more towards the center of the f-holes. Isn't the consensus those are the earliest versions?
    From what I can see they are right smack dab in the middle of the production years. I think it was built by a different builder though.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  29. #22
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Clausen View Post
    Mine (now long gone) had the centered bridge. Also a nicely figured one-piece maple back. Heck of a good mandolin.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The 'thirties catalogue pages posted by Jim long ago show both styles, with the name 'Artist' for the centered bridge model.
    Yours was the first of that model I had ever seen. Over the years we've seen more, most weren't in as good shape as yours was.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  30. #23
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Went for $280 shipped. I'm guessing at that price it is to fix vs. for parts. Anyone here the lucky winner?

  31. #24
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Went for $280 shipped. I'm guessing at that price it is to fix vs. for parts. Anyone here the lucky winner?
    I was watching this from a distance... not a big Strad fan... but they are neat and definitely have a place in Mando history. Wasn't me.

  32. #25
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool looking Strad-O-Lin on Ebay

    I know that in excellent condition this would be an upper end SOL but I have a feeling that it will end up costing as much to restore it as it would be to buy a one in better condition. Maybe a luthier bought it?
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