11/11/2011

c.1930 Harmony-made Supertone Flatback Mandolin


Yet another customer's instrument -- this is a curious two-point, Harmony-built instrument, probably from around 1925-30ish. It has a long 14" scale which is weird for this style model -- I've worked on a couple of this type before which both had the more usual-for-the-time 13 1/8" scale.

This poor mando has some structural issues but turned into a pretty decent player with a nice loud, woody tone. My work included a neck reset, fret dress, bridge shim, cleaning, and setup.


While the trim looks fairly fancy this is actually an all-birch-bodied model. It's bound on the top edge and soundhole and has a cool pearloid fretboard. The bridge looks like an original rosewood/bone one, but I've shimmed it up for proper action with a piece of mahogany under the foot.


Original bone nut. I had to install a few screws on these tuners under the tuner plate as it was shipped from the factory without mounting screws under the coverplate! This is a liability as far as stable tuning is concerned.


The two point design is pretty elegant on these. Almost recalls older French instruments from the mid-1800s.


Big old decal on the lower bout.




Various scuffs. The back was either reglued or has shifted over time as it's decently glued to the sides but warbles in and away from them here and there. Possibly a sign of heat damage.



Overall, a nice little player and definitely loud enough to keep up with the gang.

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