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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Second hand store find

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
********

E NC

Hoarder of instruments
Oct 13th, 2015 03:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This past week I was strolling around a little second hand shop when I noticed a old eastern European mandolin.

On closer look it was a 1972 Russian mandolin from Leningrad. The workmanship was crude and the materials were likely locally sourced. I never saw a stringed instrument as small as a mandolin with a top made of five pieces of spruce. The finish, likely lacquer, had been sanded haphazardly on the multipiece top. The tuners were made of cheesy white metal and those that were somewhat intact could no longer be turned. Fretwork was abysmal--I shudder to think what kind of cheap alloy was used to create the frets.

However the beech neck was straight, the laminated birch back and sides were still glued together and the sound from the remaining ancient corroded strings was surprisingly good and quite loud.

At the worst I got a vintage wall ornament

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
**********
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Oct 14th, 2015 05:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Interesting find! Amazing what you can run into and be surprised at the results

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Oct 14th, 2015 06:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A whole bunch of these little mandos, balalaikas, and other small stringers were/are made for the tourist market.

The modern version of this stuff is the cheepie ukuleles you find in the tourist traps in Hawaii: As a memento of your trip--they work great. As a ukulele tho, they are more a noise maker than an actual instrument.

amphead4

Cincinnati, USA

Oct 14th, 2015 06:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a tourist-model balalaika from the '70s. Might be slightly better quality than the mando described in the OP but most useful as a wall hanging art object.

My son broke the head off. Peegoo, what's the recommended glue for that? Titebond?

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Oct 15th, 2015 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you got an interesting wall hanger for small money, cool.

One of our neighbors paid what I consider pretty good money for a mando. Overall the construction is pretty good. The bowl-back is made of several pieces of unknown (to me) wood. It sounds like crap--dead, no projection, no volume.

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
********

E NC

Hoarder of instruments
Nov 9th, 2015 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It turns out it is a Lunacharsky student mandolin--original price 11 rubles.

Lunacharsky manufactured traditional folk instruments for many years before venturing into electric guitars and basses in the '60s. Lunacharsky was the original manufacturer of the exceedingly ugly Tonika guitar, a model manufactured later on by several other Soviet instrument makers.

I recently found a YouTube video of someone restoring a 1957 Lunacharsky slothead bowlback mandolin.

Why, I don't know


FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Second hand store find




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