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Thread: Stradolin?

  1. #1

    Default Stradolin?

    This may be a simple restoration. The f holes are not as stylized as one tends to expect on a Stradolin but that is my best guess. It may just need tuners a bridge and tailpiece- it might need more.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/25558934424...EAAOSwhBRirm1t

    If anyone has any other ideas then fire away. I don't know if the headstock shape is the result of some doctoring or if anybody can pin it down to a third party.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins came with at least three different style segmented F holes. The elevated fretboard and neck heel look right. Most likely is. Somebody reshaped the headstock.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    The flamed back was a nice surprise!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    I was wondering if this was one of Peter Sorkin's many brands- Nobility came to my mind but there are others and there were various Stradolin derivatives sold by his company.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    I suspect that whomever manufactured them may have sold to others. Sorkin could have had his other brands but I've seen these with too many known brand names on them. I have a two piece-flamed maple back on mine and when you look inside it has corresponding markings. The problem with flame is that some of these builders actually got pretty good at faux finishes. You need to look inside to verify it's real.
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    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    My guess is that the flame is a veneer as opposed to a faux finish. The mandolin has four marker dots- Stradolin Jr territory and it may be mostly or all laminates.

    I will add in a Peter Sorkin ad which shows some of his brands- Nobility, a Stradolin Jr and a Santacilla. My guess is it is from the late 30s or possibly very early 1940s.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    The lower position of the bridge would make one think Stradolin, also.

  8. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    I wouldn't go by the fretboard dots. The ad says that it has a white top edge. I'm assuming that would have been painted on binding on the top. The one you linked to is bound and has an elevated fretboard. They didn't put the elevated board on everything and I'm sure they wouldn't have put it on a low end model. I don't think it's a junior.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  9. #9

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    This Stradolin Jr has the elevated board but no binding. I have always tended to think that Stradolins had an excess of dots in many cases! https://retrofret.com/product.asp?ProductID=7613

  10. #10
    Registered User Denis Kearns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    My two Stradolins have position dots that look like they’re made out of metal. Was this common or only for a period of time? Never have seen this on another brand.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Denis Kearns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Also, Nick - Apparently you’re the expert on old tuners. The ones on this Stradolin seem to be of an unusual type. Do you know what years they were used? Thanks!
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    They are on this mandolin.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    I have never been sure about these tuners. I have a feeling that they might be a form of Kluson tuner as they appear on Kay instruments in the early 40s when Kay began using Kluson tuners. The fact that the buttons are missing follows the Kluson "button rot" dynamic which was commonplace for tuners made by Kluson for quite a few years starting in the early 40s.

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  14. #13

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis Kearns View Post
    My two Stradolins have position dots that look like they’re made out of metal. Was this common or only for a period of time? Never have seen this on another brand.
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    My ‘50s Strad (sans serif stencil logo) has the metal dots. Don’t know what they are, but non-magnetic and haven’t corroded. They all have fairly deep scratches from when the board was belt sanded with something coarse. Could be aluminum.

  15. #14

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    My Premier Scroll guitar has metal inlays that look about the same size:

    Attachment 201669

    That was made by Premier themselves after they bought the Homenick mandolin factory. I believe that they are made from aluminum.

    I’ve often wondered what the origin of the Sorkin Bigsby bridge is. The name is in common usage but I’ve never seen anywhere explain why. My total conjecture is that Sorkin were (a/the) East Coast distributor for Bigsby. Maybe the aluminum inlay is a sign they made the bridges in house? I’d have to look again at his guitars, but I don’t think he ever actually used that design on his own guitars. The ones I’ve just looked at either had a rosewood baseplate or the posts go into the body.

    I believe the slightly odd shape of a Sorkin bridge was designed to cover the stud hole left by replacing a wraparound tailpiece, but that only applied to Gibson. Almost all guitars at the time were floating and tailpiece designs (except Fender who used the bigsby saddle in their own design baseplate), so maybe bigsby didn’t see a need to make their own bridges. There was a relationship between Sorkin and Gibson (TOM bridges were an option on Premier archtops - the guy who sold me mine said he’d taken it off and sold it separately).

    Anyway, the very thick rosewood fretboard (my scroll guitar has a solid rosewood neck) and the aluminum inlay on the mandolin being discussed point to Sorkin making them themselves. The factory takeover was in the 50’s before 1956. My only contrary is that the floating part of the extension really reminds me of how it is done on my United built Premier archtop guitar.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Dennis

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    Here is a postwar Kay sold as an Old Kraftsman with that style of tuner. As I mentioned at this time Kay appeared to use Kluson tuners exclusively but on some of their higher end guitars they appeared to use older pre-war single unit tuners from other makers that were older stocks of items being used up.

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  18. #16
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The elevated fretboard and neck heel look right.
    It's been poorly refinished. I'm not sure what is going on with that neck heel cap but it might be covering up a flaw or separation. I would worry about whether or not the neck angle was reset incorrectly by the guy that did the refin. IMHO it's overpriced for a wall hanger and there are better deals out there.

  19. #17

    Default Re: Stradolin?

    He is open to offers, so somebody who wants to learn (the hard way?) may be able to get it for less and see what gives. I suppose I have all the bits to make it play subject to the neck angle but my last purchase turned out to be a dud. The photos seemed to suggest all was fine as was the seller's description of it being "a player" but the mandolin looks like it has been crushed and the top has sunk with a crack for good measure. I am hoping my luthier is going to start up again, shortly, after 30 months of isolation going back to before Covid but I know it is a back off job just to get started!

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  21. #18
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stradolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    somebody who wants to learn (the hard way?)!
    Then this pretty little Orpheum (Stradolin genra) mandolin (on eBay) might be considered the easy way... https://www.ebay.com/itm/23423393515...mis&media=COPY

    I have owned 2 Orpheum branded Stradolin's previously (fond memories). He's had this one for sale for a while, so it couldn't hurt to ask if he could do any better, on the price. Also, ask if it's all solid woods. Love the slightly different f-holes.

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