Guitars & Other Instruments
Antique German Lute-Guitar
Antique German Lute Style Guitar restored to fully playable condition. Make or date is unknown but likely to be around 1920's-30's.
The back is made of 11 maple ribs, soundboard is book matched spruce with beautifully carved sound hole, one piece neck and carved head. All body finished with oil varnish enhancing natural wood – old finish was in poor state and had to be completely stripped.
Guitar has scalloped rosewood fretboard inlaid with mother of pearl, completely re-fretted with flat brass bar fret wire. It has 8 brass and 5 mahogany frets (13 in total)
As original tuners were missing a new custom made tuners had to be fitted.
New ebony bridge pins and ebony end pin had been fitted as well as new cattle bone nut has been made.
Measurements are as follows:
- total length 96.2cm
- width 31.3cm
- scale length 61.7cm
- Neck width at nut 46.50mm, at 8th fret 53.37mm
Musilhaus Fr.Dolge, Annaberg, Germany
Antique German Parlour Guitar from around 1920's, bought in Germany for restoration, luckily body was in very healthy condition and had no cracks. Bridge was coming off and had to be reglued, here I decided to position it as for nylon strings so top of the bridge had to be brought forward a bit to keep perfect intonation. Back and side have been refinished with French polish and table with Tru oil.
And a bit of music, I've recored Romance de Amor, just raw recording no equalization
Antique German Parlour Guitar
Ernst Hess Nachf.
Antique German Lute Style Guitar restored to fully playable condition. Make or date is unknown again but likely to be around 1920's-30's. Original soundhole decoration was missing and replaced with custom made "customer request" design.
As usual the woods used are Maple (Neck, Back, Bridge), Spruce Soundboard with Rosewood binding and Rosewood Fingerboard.
Very ornate, an “inlay piece of art” Mandolin branded Antoniotsai made possibly in Taiwan around 10+ years ago. It is inlaid with Mother of Pearl and Abalone, back and sides are possibly made of Acacia wood, soundboard is Spruce, neck appears like Mahogany (or similar hardwood), Rosewood fretboard with 18 steel frets.
Although it is pretty much young instrument it had few issues which needed attention. There were two splits on the soundboard just above the S holes which have now been filled (wood shrinkage was likely to be the cause) and one heavy mark in the middle of soundboard – between fretboard and bridge – which doesn't appear to be a full split (tested with light inside) – also filled. To tackle all soundboard problems I removed original hard lacquer and replaced it with Tru oil (soundboard only)
The frets had to be levelled and crowned, saddle on the bridge was replaced to increase the action to 2mm (original height was bit too low and there was too much buzzing).
As for playability the first thing noticeable is wider neck (around 5mm wider than usual mandolin), the scale length is also slightly larger (around 360mm), the action is comfortable and the neck is straight, intonation is good, tuners work very easily and hold tuning well. Mandolin has very loud bright tone sounding a little like a banjo, suiting more country and pop music than classic tremolo style of playing (in my opinion).
It is fitted with new set of D'Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ74
Approximate measurements are as follows:
- total length 68cm
- body width 32.3cm
- from nut to 12th fret 180mm (total scale length 360mm)
- Neck width at nut is 35mm, at 12th fret 42.6mm
Vintage Flat-back Mandolin
(Suzuki Violin Co.Ltd.) Nagoya, Japan
A flat backed version of Suzuki mandolin is quite rare as most Japanese brand mandolins available on the market are bowl-backed. The model as per label is No.605 and dated 1972, there's also a stamp on neck heel 720807. Suzuki with flat back isn't the only unusual thing about it, it is also the only instrument I've seen that has rosette made of real wood (rosettes in this style are usually just a label not a wood inlay).
The instrument was mostly intact and only following work was done – a knock damage to soundboard repaired, soundboard finish removed and replaced with Tru oil, Fretboard reconditioned, Frets levelled and crowned, tuners lightly cleaned and lubed- work very well, new rosewood bridge.
Mandolin has been converted to suit Nylgut type of strings but standard strings can be fitted as normal if preferred. It is fitted with new set of strings – Aquila Red Series M1
(G string shows a little wear as the mandolin was being played)
Instruments measurements are as follows:
- total length 62cm
- body width 22.2cm
- from nut to 12th fret 167mm (total scale length 334mm)
Neck width at nut is 27mm, at 10th fret 36.5mm
Made by Pedro Zambrana from La Quiaca which lays in Argentia just on the boarder with Bolivia. It's been made from real Armadillo shell but unfortunately it's not a playable instrument, probably just ment to be a tourist souvenir. It is inaccurately fretted, tuners are unturnable and construction doesn't withstand the tension so it's just a hairy little guitar that your missus wont even let you hang on a wall.
Tribal Ukulele - El Diablo
This was rather amateur/experimental project on a cheap Uke. The Tribal drawings has been done with just black permanent marker, then covered with a thin clear varnish layer for protection.
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