12/23/2012

c.1970 Dobro Fancy Resonator Mandolin


What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a far-out Dobro mandolin sporting green and red trim? This is the strangest Dobro mando I've seen yet and the only one I know of that looks like this. I'm gathering that it dates from around 1970 or so since it has "that era" fittings and build.

This came to me by way of a customer of mine and will shortly be going off to him. He picked this up recently at Christie's in New York and I'll tell you... this one sure befits sale in that house. It's a classy, if bizarre, little axe.


The moons-and-stars coverplate has always been one of my favorites and it sure fits in with the curious "faux-f" style design of the body. I like the cute little 2nd soundhole screen in the "point" (turret?) on the lower bout.

When I unpacked this, I had to remove said screen and shake a whole bunch of dust bunnies out. I also got a glimpse of the interior with its good hefty soundwell. The work I had to do to it was pretty much general setup adjustments.


Multi-ply veneer on the face and rear of the headstock. Original bone nut (since shimmed up slightly), too.


The ivoroid-bound fretboard has red(!) fret markers which is very cool. The board itself is ebony with pearl dots. I had to lightly dress some of these frets because it came in with pretty flat-topped fret profiles.


The tailpiece is a curious thing -- a standard "Waverly Cloud" style tailpiece that's been riveted to a backing plate.


Note the green/red/green trim. That's so cool, especially against the natural birch of the instrument!



The scale on this guy is 13 3/4" which is way, way more practical than the 15" National scale. I strung it up with a set of 34w-10 lights and it sounds excellent. Because it's a Dobro cone, the low and mids are especially meaty.



The small wrist-rest/saddle cover is kind of cute.






Overall the mando is in really good, clean shape. I've noticed maybe an old neck reset job done in the past and a scratch here or there, but otherwise it's like "shopworn new."




Tuners are lubed. Note the curious strap holder. This looks like a 1920s/30s throwback attachment.




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