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Thread: Any ideas on what this is?

  1. #1

    Default Any ideas on what this is?

    Hello all!

    I am looking for my first mandolin. I have found a few different mandolins that I like but this one I canít figure out what it actually is? If anyone could let me know I would greatly appreciate it.

    P.S. if I donít get this I have my eyes on a Gibson epiphone mm - 20
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    I have no idea what that is, but I would not want to be trying to string it up with that [narrowly] slotted peghead.
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  3. #3
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    The (Japanese) Kent pickup and Tone/Volume controls are from a 1960's Monkey-on-a-stick add on pickup.
    I have been told that Kent pickup is not as good as an American made DeArmond.
    No idea on the mandolin but the faux tigers flame was not used on anything good.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    I have no idea what that is, but I would not want to be trying to string it up with that [narrowly] slotted peghead.
    It’s not slotted, that’s the tuner posts!

  6. #5

    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Itís not slotted, thatís the tuner posts!
    Oops! I was looking on the phone and, once again, leapt to the wrong conclusion. I can see that now.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Between this, Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	203368 which would you all go with? All around the same price.

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    My first thought was that the original posted mandolin might be a Kay but I'm leaning more towards a United product but still can't call it because there are no full pictures of the front or back. The pickup was never meant to be installed like that.

    The Epiphone in your last picture most likely has the bridge or saddle reversed. It should never have to be angled like that and probably won't play right up the neck as it is currently setup.

    I'm partial to Harmony mandolins up until the final years as they were built with solid woods but I've owned two or three of that same model and all of them had issues with the bridge and the necks are like baseball bats. This model may or may not have the small toothed fine adjustment tuners that seem like a good idea but aren't.

    If you're comfortable and knowledgeable enough to do your own setup then you can jump in with both feet on an instrument that most likely has issues. If you're not then you might be better served setting aside some extra money for a setup and understand that older mandolins might cost more to fix than they are worth.

    None of these mandolins are in any way spectacular but any of the three could be usable with enough work.

    If you're looking to get your feet wet and see if you want to play the instrument there are entry level instruments that may not seem exotic but will probably better fit your needs.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

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

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  10. #8
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    What is the top of your price range?

    This starter package might be a good option...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/193126#193126

    NFI
    Last edited by Charles E.; Sep-17-2022 at 9:40am.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  11. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Bear in mind that depending on where you buy your mandolin it may need some setup which some sellers provide, like Elderly above.

    Like that Epiphone aboveóI can already tell that the bridge is mislocated and who knows what else it will need. It could cost you more than the original price.
    Jim

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  12. #10
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    setting aside some extra money for a setup and understand that older mandolins might cost more to fix than they are worth. None of these mandolins are in any way spectacular but any of the three could be usable with enough work.
    If you're looking to get your feet wet and see if you want to play the instrument there are entry level instruments that may not seem exotic but will probably better fit your needs.
    I agree! A good used (solid woods) Kentucky KM-150 mandolin off of ebay will save you some cash.
    Although, there is a used Kentuky KM-620 Mandolin w/ Case (Excellent Condition) on ebay with 4days & 14hours left on the auction with no bids and a starting bid of US $338.00 and a Best Offer option available. So Make an Offer of $300 and remember, there is Shipping: US $64.78 (a little high, but fair). Plus, remember what Mike E said (above), set aside some extra money for a setup (with a new set of light strings, to start with).

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The pickup was never meant to be installed like that.
    Still, the guy who installed the pickup was a Mad Genius!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    What is the top of your price range?

    This starter package might be a good option...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/193126#193126

    NFI
    True but at $570 USD, a little patience on ebay could save you about half of that. Add $50ish for a setup (with a new set of light strings).
    If you are not a bargain hunter... spend the $570 USD. Set up is included.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Bear in mind that depending on where you buy your mandolin it may need some setup which some sellers provide, like Elderly above.
    Please realize, playing a mandolin, without it being adjusted properly (properly set up) is a big reason many people quit!!!
    Last edited by your_diamond; Sep-22-2022 at 6:01am.

  13. #11

    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    The number beginning with an L means it is probably a Kay mandolin but ideally more photos of the whole headstock- back and front would help.

  14. #12
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by your_diamond View Post
    The (Japanese) Kent pickup and Tone/Volume controls are from a 1960's Monkey-on-a-stick add on pickup.
    I have been told that Kent pickup is not as good as an American made DeArmond.
    No idea on the mandolin but the faux tigers flame was not used on anything good.
    Indeed, the Kent is not quite as good as a DeArmond; however it does have a vintage tone and works OK.

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  16. #13

    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    The number beginning with an L means it is probably a Kay mandolin but ideally more photos of the whole headstock- back and front would help.
    I was also thinking the number font looks like Kay or Harmony.

  17. #14
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    Default Re: Any ideas on what this is?

    What it is is a cheaply-made, bottom-of-the-line mandolin, which will put you off the idea of ever playing mandolin.

    It would suit the typical deranged collector*, who would buy it in the high two-figure range to mess around with the electric mando idea, perhaps.

    There is a one in a thousand chance that, once strung up and set up, it would sound as good as a low-three-figure mandolin.

    Buy the ticket, take the ride.



    *Me, for example, in an earlier iteration.

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