1917 Gibson K1 Mandocello
(Serial No. 936045 FON 3506) Excellent condition. The Gibson Mandocello is one of the great under-appreciated instruments of the early 20th century. Originally designed for the 1910s mandolin orchestra, these imposing beasts never found another home in any other style of music despite being wonderful and unique-sounding instruments to play. Double-strung and originally tuned in fifths starting with a C below the low E on the guitar, the mandocello has an imposing tone and deep resonance unlike any other fretted instrument. The late Stan Jay described it as "the voice of singing whales". This particular instrument is tuned GDAE and is intended to be played as an octave mandolin. It could of course be restrung and tuned CGDA. This example is a wonderful sounding instrument and is set-up well with excellent action and playability. An invisible carbon fiber truss rod was added in the neck under the fretboard to ensure the neck will never bow. The top shows some minor sinkage under the bridge, typical of these instruments. The neck angle and bridge height are perfect, with a nice low action. All finish and hardware is original. Other than the addition of the truss rod, no repairs noted. Scale length is 24 3/4 inch and the nut width is 1 9/16 inch. Just set up by my luthier Richie Dotson. Here is a short video clip of this instrument played by Richie. Comes with the original hardshell case which is in nice condition.
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