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Thread: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

  1. #1
    Carpe Mandolinium
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    Exclamation Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    I have never seen anything else like this. Never even envisioned it. (You really have to look at all the pictures to see what the luthier-luthier did.)

    So many random thoughts spring to mind:

    I guess you need a slightly large belly (like mine) to plug the hole in whichever side you're holding against you to keep sound from escaping. Or maybe Tony P. could make a special Tone Gard with a hole-stopper attached; maybe attaches loosely on one side and has a hinged attachment on the other. The peghead alone is - what? - creepy. I think this may be a good disguise for a banjo to use for Halloween. I would have to agree with the item title that it's "RARE." I'm now imagining a concerto for mando-uke-12-string-thingie. And now I'm remembering Peter Schickele's Concerto For One Viola, Four Hands. I wonder if there's an issue with sympathetic vibrations.

    If I thought it'd still be available by then, I'd've saved this post until April 1. But apparently this thing is real.

    Last edited by John McCoy; Oct-28-2012 at 12:01am. Reason: omitted one word
    == JOHN ==



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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument


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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    It's a Turturro "Turn-Over." I played one briefly at the Vintage Fret Shop in Ashland NH, and came reasonably close to buying one from Top Shelf Music in Buffalo -- but the dealer sold it to a member of the Turturro family, understandably enough.

    They're rare, but you see one every now and then. Great novelty value, but absolutely cr-p as musical instruments. The neck, with strings on both sides, is difficult to navigate; the friction tuners for the ukulele side are pretty unsophisticated, and the tiny flat body, with a soundhole on each side, produces a thin little sound. At least the one I played was like that.

    Having said that, I'd probably buy one if I ran across it at a reasonable price (not $1.2K). But only to "add to the pile," not to seriously play in performance.

    I took my Polk-A-Lay-Lee out to play at a kids' Halloween event today; it's weird and the kids enjoy it. There are actually marginal uses for some of these musical oddities, but my advice is, "Get 'em as cheap as possible, and don't be talked into overpaying because they're 'rare' and 'collectable.'"
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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    ...Having said that, I'd probably buy one if I ran across it at a reasonable price (not $1.2K). But only to "add to the pile," not to seriously play in performance....
    OK. I take back my thread title. Let's amend it to read "Kinda thoroughly bizarro instrument". What would you regard as a reasonable price? I'm thinking maybe 50 bucks or so?
    == JOHN ==



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  8. #5

    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Much info on Torturros Turnover at Mugwumps, or there used to be.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by John McCoy View Post
    OK. I take back my thread title. Let's amend it to read "Kinda thoroughly bizarro instrument". What would you regard as a reasonable price? I'm thinking maybe 50 bucks or so?
    I own one. I bought it at the local flea market, maybe ten years ago. I contacted Bernunzio instruments at the time and he had sold one then for $ 600.oo. I paid $ 110.oo for mine.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Some sources have the eponymous Turturro as "Nicholas Turturro" nee Nicola Calace, brother of esteemed composer and mandolin luthier Raffaele Calace.

    Nicola Turturro Calace

    Calace Liuteria site

    Not sure what, or if there is a, connection there is to the current family of actors.

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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Some sources have the eponymous Turturro as "Nicholas Turturro" nee Nicola Calace, brother of esteemed composer and mandolin luthier Raffaele Calace.

    Nicola Turturro Calace

    Calace Liuteria site

    Not sure what, or if there is a, connection there is to the current family of actors.

    Mick
    This was a working theory for a while, but I think it's now established that they are two different people. Despite the Calace site- I'm not convinced the Calace web page has been updated since the day it was made.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Thanks, Schlegel. This, too, I have heard. Do you have any sources that 'establish' the counter-story?

    Mick
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    This would make a nice companion to the Pushme-Pullyou or whatever it's actually called that pops up now and then, the one that looks like two shabbily built mandolins fastened together front-to front, with two backs showing. This, with two fronts showing, would make a perfectly complementary side-by-side wall hanging pair. At least this one is playable, if not very pleasant sounding. I suppose the same might be said of the other. No one seems to know ...

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    This is one of those "one man's junk is another man's treasure" things. I wouldn't give somebody $5 for it, unless I KNEW that I could sell it for more, because I wouldn't even want to have to look at it in my house ...

  20. #12
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    I think the "Turn-Overs" I've seen recently have all had prices over $500. Textbook example of (relative) rarity and unusual design, trumping musical quality. I'd bet the farm, were I a farmer, that none of these instruments gets played with any regularity.

    In no position to cast stones, since my armadillo-shell charango never gets played either.

    I'd lay out a couple hundred buxx for one, just to own it, but I'll probably never find one priced that reasonably.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Allen, it is true that I never play mine but on the rare occasions I get it out it always brings a smile to my face and I wonder about the thought process of the builder. I would be hard pressed to let mine go.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  22. #14

    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    For the lutenist with ADD.

  23. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    I had one years ago and sold it. As Allen noted, really completely useless as an instrument, more of a conversation starter. It would have made a bunch more sense to make this as a double neck instrument. NT prob sold them to get his name out there. I believe that he also made mandoliras (see attached).
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    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I believe that he also made mandoliras (see attached).
    Perhaps the confusion with the Calaces arose when Turturro patented the lyre mandolin, which Calace had introduced in Italy, shortly (1897? have to check) after he arrived in the US. Nicola Calace arrived in the US about the same time after the family falling out and that fed the thinking that Turturro was Nicola C. I have some info somewhere that separated the two quite convincingly.

    g

  25. #17
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    The eBay listing has pictures of two completely different mandolins. Very confusing
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  26. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Paul, you are joking?

    That is why it is called a turnover. Play it on one side and it is a mandolin. Turn it over and it is a ukulele. Completely impractical since there are two spruce soundboards and soundholes. Makes no sense.
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  27. #19

    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Gotta give the guy credit, though... he stuck to his guns on this one. What a great execution of a dumb idea.

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    This is another beautifully executed dumb idea. Heh.

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  29. #20
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Duh, I feel like such an idiot.
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  30. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    No prob, Paul. I do the same. I often read (or not) too quickly and make assumptions. I suppose we are human. At least you did not make and try to sell those turnovers. Personally I like these turnovers better:
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  31. #22
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Jim, that made me laugh out loud. I prefer apple myself.
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  32. #23
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    Chindōgu... comes to mind..

    or, athough you can make something , does not mean you should.


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  34. #24
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    Default Re: Thoroughly bizarro instrument

    I think the answer is definitely NO!!
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