Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: "Citation" brand mandolin?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Thumbs up "Citation" brand mandolin?

    Hey peeps.

    Local craigslist has a listing for a "Citation" mandolin, no photo, and the seller seems pretty clueless. He "was told" it dates from the '50's, but based on seeing an e-bay ad for a '70's MIJ 12-string guitar branded "Citation:"

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-CITA...-/130533990081

    I'm guessing he's about 20 years off.

    I'm aware that some '70's MIJ "lawsuit" guitars and basses are actually quite nice pieces and sometimes undervalued (I just bought a Matsumoku-built Aria copy of a Mosrite bass for $100), though becoming more pricey.

    Mandolin is really my third instrument after guitar and bass so I'm sorta out of my depth when it comes to them (I've owned just a couple cheapie electric-acoustics that were fine for my purposes, a Washburn previously, and currently a Fender, you may now all throw vegetables and whatever you have to hand). I'm just wondering whether a Citation, if it is '70's MIJ, might be any better an instrument?

    I'm guessing from the ad that it's a purely acoustic one. He's got it listed for a Benjamin.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,778

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    First things first. There was only one lawsuit, only one company involved, and it only involved the Gibson open book headstock design. That is the most over-stated rumor in the musical instrument world. Without a picture of the mandolin you aren't really going to know but there's a very good chance it will look like one of these.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    First things first. There was only one lawsuit, only one company involved, and it only involved the Gibson open book headstock design. That is the most over-stated rumor in the musical instrument world. Without a picture of the mandolin you aren't really going to know but there's a very good chance it will look like one of these.
    Thanks for the info on the mandolins.

    I'm well aware of what the one lawsuit was, however it's ultimate market effect was not limited to Gibsons. The fact is that it had a ripple effect and Japanese manufacturers of copies of other American brands were placed on notice, as a commercial (not legal) fact that they could be successfully sued by American companies if they imported too exact a copy, particularly as to headstock shapes. Thereafter MIJ guitars made for import had different headstock shapes than their American counterparts, including Fender and others, while ones made for domestic sale often remained the same. The Mosrite bass copy I bought provides a perfect case in point, having the same pickup types and number, body silhouette, and headstock shape as an actual Mosrite. In contrast, Aria still sells a bass with the Mosrite body silhouette, but has long since changed the headstock shape and replaced the original pickup configuration with that of a Jazz bass in order to avoid the possibility of litigation.

    I'm just interested in whether anyone knows whether anyone knows whether the same Citation manufactured mandolins and whether they might be any good, or are more like cheap junk. I already have cheap junk, or so I've been told.

    I know that no one can give me anything very specific without a photo. I'm not looking for specifics, just generalities to see whether the ad bears looking into further. The seller is outside of town and with the price of gas if no one has heard of "Citation" mandolins or has any experience with them, that will be that.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,778

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    The problem is that instruments by the thousands were brought in under hundreds of brand names. If you can't find one using a Google search then it probably is going to resemble the mandolins in that thread if it was from that time period. It wasn't a well known brand. This is the only thread with the word Citation in the subject line on the cafe.

    The other thing to consider is that even if someone comes up with a mandolin branded Citation there's a chance that it won't be the same as the one on CL. You really do need a picture.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    I'll see if I can get one from the seller.

    Given that he spelled "mandolin" with an "e" on the end I'm not too confident in his technical abilities though.

    He did say it was an "A" style, but that's all I got for now, besides his "50's" story and that his $100 price is "firm," haha.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,841

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    Here's a possibly useful thread discussing Citation brand acoustic guitars, on the guitarscanada website. These Citations were apparently imported by Grossman Co. of Cleveland. The guitar dealer/repairperson who responded says that all the Citation guitars on which he's worked, have been plywood, and have looked like Martins. Similar to the eBay example you cite.

    Which says nothing at all about the mandolin in question, other than what you already know: Asian import, possibly 20-30 years old, probably a low-end. Not worth risking $100 on without trying first, IMHO. There are playable solid-wood mandolins around for around $200, such as the Kentucky KM-150. Recognizing that $200 is more than $100 (drawing on my 2nd grade math here), still you'd have a decent quality instrument from a recognized manufacturer, rather than a "mystery mandolin."
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    Thanks Allen!

    What threw me is the asking price on that 12-string must be totally out of line for what it is. I have an old Yamaha beater ply 12-string that actually sounds great (made in Taiwan, after the well-thought-of MIJ "red label" ones) that I got for $150, but that ad wants four times as much for the Citation 12-string.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    By looking at this pic now I'm guessing maybe not even 70's but '80's, the white parts (plastic nut, tuner bushings, binding, pickguard edge) do not seem to have aged much if at all:



    Poo. Oh well, worth a shot. But no doubt not worth a hundred smackers firm.

    Thanks fellers.

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,778

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    That is basically the same as those in the link I posted earlier. These came in under hundreds of brand names and this one was probably late 80's to 90's. I've added a link to that thread back to this one.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    GVL FLA USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: "Citation" brand mandolin?

    Thanks Mike.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •