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Thread: Strad-o-lins

  1. #1
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    I've long heard about the humble Strad-o-lin of the 50's and 60's - it was supposedly a very good mandolin for the price. #I finally got to play one - and snapped it right up!
    I'm amazed at the ringing, bell-like tone this baby puts out, in contrast to its funky, cheapo appearance with not-quite-F-holes and painted-on binding. It does have a solid top, which I understane some of them don't. #Also, the previous owner had the neck reset at a steeper angle which probably gives it a little extra punch. #Anyway, I'm wondering if I just got lucky, or if Strad-o-lins might be the best deal in mandodom. #I can say I like this one better than some more prestigious mandolins I've tried.

    Jonathan

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    Registered User Strado Len's Avatar
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    If you promise not to tell anyone, Strads are very nice mandolins. They were made beginning in the 1930's (some have a date stamped inside the body). Because they were made without a truss rod, a lot have neck issues. Many were made with pressed, solid spruce tops. They are not "long neck" instruments - the necks join the body at the 10th fret, or so. They were lightly built, are loud, and have a nice dry, bluegrassy tone.

  3. #3
    Registered User Strado Len's Avatar
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    P.S.: Congrats on your new mando!

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    I concur on Stradolins! I had one for a while and loved it... a 50's model, looked cheesy, sounded great.

    For me, they are like old Danelectros-- great sounding guitars, wonderful to learn on, and you always have a place in your heart for them.

    Enjoy your new Stradolin. Bill Monroe had nice things to say about them, by the way.

    Bob

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    No question about it - Stradolins are great. There is no better deal than one of these puppies, for a real 50-year-old mandolin that sounds good, plays well, has the age, and looks cheap enough that no one would rip it off. The ideal take it anywhere mandolin.

    I saw and played one once that a dealer had the nerve to ask 750 for, because it was such a great-sounding instrument. To my shock, he got his price. But they can be found for half that.

    And now you can tell everyone that your other instrument is a Strad! Enjoy!

  6. #6
    Registered User 8ch(pl)'s Avatar
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    Saw one in a Halifax music shop that had an oval sound hole and nice sound. All the others i've seen had the segmented f holes.

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    Registered User MANDOLINMYSTER's Avatar
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    I have a 40's or 50's model, blonde top and back with nice flame, and I gotta tell-ya it just a great sounding and feeling mando. There was just a nice one on e-bay last week, I think it sold for arround $250.00
    Michael Lettieri

  8. #8
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    I have seen two different quality lines of "Strads". The lower end are very cheap and can sound decent. I was lucky to have a higher quality line instrument on loan for 2 years when I first learned to play. How I would love to have that instrument now. Great little mando.
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    Thank you all for posting. I can believe that someone would pay $750 for one of these, based on the sound alone. Luckily I got this one for way less.
    You say there are oval hole Strads out there? Now I'm going to have to start a collection. MAS strikes again!

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    I just got a Strad o lin from the estate of a good friend. He wasn't a mando player so it has been in a closet for years. It has the original fake aligator cardboard case and from the looks of it is one of their cheap models. The tuners are not in good shape with some rust on them. It also has a adjustable bridge which I guess is original. It does have a good sound so I'm thinking about putting a new set of tuners on it if the holes are standard spacing.
    Dave in Loveland, OH
    dvoyles276@fuse.net

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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    an old stradolin was my first mandolin. i bought it in a junk store in ft lauderdale, fl. in 1979 for $45. the tuners were shot, and the spacing was right for gibson/kluson tuners. it was a really good little mando.
    so if anyone here has it and wants to sell it, let me know. i sold it to a guy in gainesville, fl in '80. it's all blonde with a spot on the top by the bass f-hole where the finish was kinda melted off.
    john
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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