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Thread: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

  1. #1

    Question Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Hi.

    I'm looking to buy my first Mando. There is a Kentucky km174 for sale for 200€. But it has a small split just above the sound hole.
    Will this mess up it's sound?
    Is it worth 200?
    How could it be repaired?
    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Yes, it could be repaired but that won't be free. I'd pass and wait for one without any damage. Good luck.
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  3. #3
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    double post
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
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    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
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    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
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  4. #4
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    You can't hear it but wait for a sound one anyway. It could also be a sign of some structural failure, that could worsen.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    A crack on each side of the fingerboard and I would worry about structural failure, in the middle not so much.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Do you think it's worth 200€? (About $200)
    There are not do many used Kentucky for sale around here. And it's supposed to be a good instrument right?

  8. #7
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    The crack has nowhere else to go as the neck block will prevent any further splitting. It can be stabilised by gluing a small spruce (or other suitable tonewood) cleat across the crack on the underside. If you are doing this glue the cleat with its grain at right angles to the soundboard grain. Fiddle soundboards frequently have very much worse splits than this one, and often, when removing the soundboard to repair it, there will be earlier repairs evident. The instruments have remained very playable over long periods of time.

    As far as value and whether you decide to buy this instrument, that has to be your choice. Good luck whatever you decide.
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  10. #8

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Thanks John, would luthier glue be used for the repair or plain old PVA (since it should be strong and permanent)? Where would I source the appropriate spruce?

    I've previously self-repaired my late uncles old Hupf fiddle, which I found under his bed, top split from sides and remnants of gut strings hanging off the pegs. A professional musician tried it and said it sounded good.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Pass on it. Find one that is structurally sound. Don't be a pound wise and penny foolish.

  12. #10
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    The glue does not matter so much with such a small repair - even CA glue could be used on this short crack. As far as suitable cleat material, I am lucky in that I have lots of offcuts from my instrument building, but if you cannot access the usual choices then get a wooden lollipop stick, sand or plane it down a bit (cleats do not need to be thick) and cut a suitably-sized cleat from it. Remember to have the grain at right angles to the soundboard grain.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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  14. #11

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Yah, I’ve used the lollipop/tongue depressors for cleats before too they’re made from birch trees.

  15. #12

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Ah well. Now I know. I missed it. It's sold.
    Looks likegonna have to settle for an Ibanez m615

  16. #13

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Willie Nelson wore a hole through the top of his guitar, it didn't stop him playing it or sounding good.

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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Clearly, Trigger is structurally sound, surviving all that. This ... perhaps not so much.
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  18. #15

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobykids View Post
    Ah well. Now I know. I missed it. It's sold.
    Looks likegonna have to settle for an Ibanez m615
    You can still have a popsicle though.

  19. #16

    Default Re: Does a small split by sound hole matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by m19 View Post
    you can still have a popsicle though.
    hahahaha

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