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Thread: 12 string bowlback

  1. #1
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default 12 string bowlback

    At first I thought it was a bowlback tiple, with 2, 3, 3, 2 string courses. Once I got my hands on it I discovered no it was a 12 string mandolin, strung 3, 3, 3, 3.

    I had it cleaned up and and a bridge made for it, ultra light string put on, and it has been re-animated! It has a voice!

    It sounds kind of cool. I bit more ringie, and the tremolo is killer.

    With all that string pressure I am thrilled the neck /body joint is solid.

    Anything you may know about this beauty please do tell.
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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    Most of the American ones seem to be Oscar Schmidts but i have seen Brunos as well. They are actually fairly common. Many years ago there was even a Gibson 12 string A model in a New York store. I guess it was just another way to increase mandolin volume. If I had one I would string the lower two courses in octaves tiple-like. Prob best for chording.
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    12 "sting" is right - daunting looking headstock - sound sample?

  5. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    The common term for the 12-string variant is apparently "mandriola." At least that's the European term; Mexican ones have been called "trichordia." I love Jim G's suggestion of octaving the lower courses -- then you get a huge chord sound!
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    The things was such a reasonable price, (a.k.a. cheeeeep), that even with the labor and new strings I was satisfied as soon as it didn't fold in half when tuned up. Chords and double stop tremolos sound really nice on it.

    So Jim, was Bruno a company, or a brand name of someone else, L&H or someone?

    And here is a problem. It does not fit into a standard bowl back case. Its a bit longer. Has anyone heard of a mandriola case?
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Bruno was a New York distributor. For all we know Oscar Schmidt might have made this one too as well as the others you will see out there with the OS monogram on it pickguard.

    Good luck finding a case. A tenor or baritone uke gig bag might work.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Something kind of funny. The tail piece, which at first glance looks original, only has eight tangs. You have to double up on four of them to get all the strings on. That doesn't seem kosher.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by billkilpatrick View Post
    12 "sting" is right - daunting looking headstock - sound sample?
    Fat fingered Freudian slip.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Something kind of funny. The tail piece, which at first glance looks original, only has eight tangs. You have to double up on four of them to get all the strings on. That doesn't seem kosher.
    I have only seen a few of these in person but I don't believe that any were made with 12 string tailpieces (or, for that matter, 12 sting tailpieces). I have seen modern tailpieces like that made in Germany. The standard at the time was to double up on the tangs/tines (whatever you call those).
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I have only seen a few of these in person but I don't believe that any were made with 12 string tailpieces (or, for that matter, 12 sting tailpieces). I have seen modern tailpieces like that made in Germany. The standard at the time was to double up on the tangs/tines (whatever you call those).
    Good to know.
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  12. #11
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Mandriola strings sets with octaves are still in production in Germany. Pyramid

  13. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Hey, don't worry too much... if you are playing that big stadium concert with your 12 string and you break a string you still have two others in each course for backups.
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  14. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    Mandriola strings sets with octaves are still in production in Germany. Pyramid
    Those are nice but hard to get here in the US. You could also buy three sets of regular mandolin strings which would equal 2 sets of mandriola strings.
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    3 sets of GHS tenor banjo strings, gauges 28w, 22w, 12, 09 are perfect for 12-string bowlbacks...

    And I love the sound of a 12 string bowlback but HATE to tune it, even if the tuners are decent.

  17. #15
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Yes tuning seems to be a small adventure. But the instrument seems to hold its tune. The strings are still very new so I expect some issues for a while yet.
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  18. #16

    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    I recently purchased a Bruno 12 string trichordia. The label on the inside says C. Bruno & Son, New York. On the Back of the headstock between the tuners it is stamped C. Bruno New York and has the number 100 1/2 which must be the model # since another person on this site listed the same number. The headstock has The Name "Bruno" on it and the top is scrolled.

  19. #17
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    The common term for the 12-string variant is apparently "mandriola." At least that's the European term; Mexican ones have been called "trichordia." I love Jim G's suggestion of octaving the lower courses -- then you get a huge chord sound!
    And the 12 string mandolin is also sometimes called a "Sicilian" mandolin.

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...lat-1529174752

    "originally it was used as a 12 string mandolin (typical of the Sicilian style)"

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...lian-464088796

    " This is a Sicilian style mandolin, not necessarily made in Sicily, or even Italy. 4 courses of 3 strings."

  20. #18
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 sting bowlback

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    And the 12 string mandolin is also sometimes called a "Sicilian" mandolin.
    Here's a 12 string flatback mandolin from the Catanese maker Stefano Caponetto. Copying here for the coincidence since there is another conversation about another piece of Caponetto's work on a different thread.

    Mick
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  22. #19

    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    Finished The Bruno Trichordia. A Pain to tune with the 12 strings and with the bowl back it's not easy to hold in your lap. But what a great sound. It just rings forever.Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #20
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 string bowlback

    devoesad, can you post a sound clip? I'd love to hear ...

    Joe

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