Smakula

Fretted

Instruments

PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241

304-636-6710

Phone Hours; 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern Time, Monday through Friday and occasionally on Saturday.

Mandolins, contact us...

Page Updated 9-18-2019

Please Visit our Home Page for links to our banjos, guitars, fiddles and more.


Mandolins:

 

1922 Lyon & Healy Style A Mandolin. Like Muddy Waters, Frank Thomas, and deep dish pizza, Lyon & Healy is a Chicago institution. Though their current mainstay is the concert harp, around the turn of the 20th century, Lyon & Healy were known builders of all manner of stringed instruments, this pleasingly unusual A-style mandolin being one of them. With a violin scroll at the top of the peghead, and 2-point asymmetrical body, it has a mahogany neck with vulcanized rubber center, vulcanized rubber pick guard, 13" string length, and ebony fingerboard. Sides are maple, back is quilted maple, and the top is spruce. It's also still outfitted with the original engraved tailpiece, which would also make a great belt buckle for the harpist in your life. "Elegantly archaic" is a phrase that comes to mind (an SFI specialty since day one). Furthermore, the robust, punchy tone will catch you off guard, especially since this instrument looks a bit like it should be sold with a monocle & top hat. Take it home today for $3,500. Sorry Sold. Photos

1919 Lyon & Healy Style B Mandolin. One of two Lyon & Healy mandolins of the same era in the shop right now, this, like it's Style C compatriot, looks like it would not be out of place in the parlor of a prohibition-era aristocrat. What we mean is, if Rich Uncle Pennybags, the Monopoly man, played the mandolin, it'd probably be similar to this one. And while it's true that at first glance, this mandolin doesn't exactly call to mind the Bluegrass High & Lonesome sound, its own peculiar life-force is sure to please and surprise. It has an elegant two point body shape, carved natural finish spruce top, mahogany neck with radiused 13-15/16" ebony fretboard, and light brown dyed curly maple back and sides. The black pickguard is made of vulcanized fiber (according to the catalogs), and it is outfitted with the original, big, bold, engraved tailpiece. Tone is full-bodied and well balanced, and a recent SFI refret means it plays great. Yours for $2,500 and includes the original hard case. Sorry, Sold. Photos

1925 Lyon & Healy Style C. It is safe to say now that SFI has mastered its ABCs of subtly elegant jazz-age mandolins. This 1922 Style-C from Lyon & Healy is just as lovely as its style A & B counterparts (A recently sold, B currently for sale), and is begging to be released into the wild once again. It has a mahogany neck, 13" scale ebony fretboard, spruce top, curly maple sides, and Birdseye maple back. It's been outfitted with a replica compensated bridge, and the new Golden Age tuners are pleasing stand-ins for the originals, pairing nicely with the ivoroid binding. In addition, the Vulcanized rubber pickguard and huge, engraved tailpiece give this instrument a refreshing dash of what-the-heck. Bright and well balanced and maybe just a touch more mild in tone than the A & B models, this mandolin is a versatile, eye-catching classic. Yours for $1,800 with the original hard case. Photos

2016 Kentucky KM-1050 The importers of Kentucky mandolins, Saga Musical Instruments, has an eye for the vintage look and modern practicality. The KM-1050 is exactly that sort of mandolin. The Michigan curly maple back, sides, and neck are complemented by an Adirondack red spruce top. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish is an excelent recreation of the Cemona brown sunburst of the 1920's. The radiused ebony fretboard has the traditional 13-7/8" scale, but the nut is a full 1-1/8" wide to give a more comfortable feel to us humans with bigger hands than they had in 1923. The fretboard is also scooped after the 22nd fret for pick clearance. Hardware includes silver plated reverse gear Gotoh tuners with pearloid knobs. The tailpiece has also silver plated to match. A lot of tone comes out of this instrument. The closed chording has the chop you expect and the single string full clarity that doesn't break up with aggressive playing. All in all a bluegrass mandolin you would be proud to own and not be intimidated by any instrument in the jam. The current retail price of this mando and hard tweed case combination is $3,145.00. This lightly used example is $1,400 Photos

New Kentucy KM-508. The Saga website trumpets that this instrument is "worth its weight in GOLD!" From one instrument dealer to another, we won't judge doing whatever it takes to sell the item. But, we might say, more simply, that this instrument is a heck of a bang for your (relatively) measly few bucks. These mid-price Kentucky models have recently emerged as some of our favorite student/utility mandolins, and this KM508 is no exception. With a stylish gold-finished top, floral peghead inlay, gold tailpiece, curly maple sides and back, and radiused ebony fretboard, this economical player's instrument has no shortage of personality. Tone is round and mellow when played softly, and good and punchy when you're ready to give it a little 'umph. Set your own gold standard today for just $750, including a hard case. Photos

New Kentucky KM-250. Here Is a mandolin with many appealing features. Carved top and back, thin nitrocellulose finish, attractive inlay, and amazing sound. One construction detail that is an issue is, in my opinion, the factory fretting is not up to the quality of the rest of the instrument. So, here are SFI we take care of that problem with a professional fret dress . or if necessary, a refret. The best of all worlds in a good looking, superior playing and sounding mandolin for $500. Comes with a gigbag. Photos

New Kentucky KM-150. An entry-level mandolin that has impressed the heck out of me at the annual misic industry, trade show. The KM-150 is an A shape with F-holes. The neck, back, & sides are solid maple. The top is solid carved German spruce. Sunburst finished in a dark Cremona brown for the vintage look. Things I like about this instrument is the great tone for a modest price and the slightly larger neck that fits my hand as well as the 1918 A & F model Gibson instruments I grew up playing. For the $425 price you will receive the mandolin, a Superior Trailpak gigbag and complete set up in our shop to make the mando play it's best. Photos

New Kentucky KM-140. Because it's my job and because it's the law of the land that instrument dealers list "specs" and "facts" on their website, I'm going to give you a full rundown of this KM-140. But I could save you a lot of trouble and just say, buy it. Close this browser window, get out your wallet, call us, and buy it. Still want more? Fair enough. We really couldn't be more pleased with Kentucky's line of budget priced mandolins, and this charming A-Model is no exception. It has a spruce top with dark sunburst finish, and mahogany back & sides. Fingerboard is rosewood and scale is 13-7/8". Outfitted with Gotoh 4-on-a-plate tuners, and a 1920s style stamped brass tailpiece, it also comes with an attractive, high quality leather gigbag (see photos). Tone is punchy and full. Yes indeed, it'll chop, slice, and julienne with the best of them. At $400, this is likely one of the best deals in the mandolin market today. If you're not shopping for one right this moment, keep checking back here, as we plan to continue stocking these models for the foreseeable future. Photos

1921 Gibson A-2. Though the mandolin orchestra craze inspired by the Spanish Students of the late 19th century was fading, The Gibson Mandolin and Guitar Company was making some of their best instruments. This Sheraton brown A-2 is no exception. The tone is full and loud with every note being clear and precise. The original ebony fretboard has the traditional 13-7/8" scale length. Being before what is recognized as the "Lloyd Loar era", the neck is a full 1-3/16" wide at the nut, an appealing detail for those of us with larger hands. This 98 year old mando is in very good-excelent condition with the original tuners, bridge, pickguard, tailpiece, and case and priced at a modest $1,500. Photos

1936 Gibson A-1. As played by Bobby Osborne during his brief yet incredible stint with Jimmy Martin, King of Bluegrass. While this mandolin won't help you hit the tenor line on "Dog Bite Your Hide," you can at least look right trying, Its got a spruce top, maple back and sides, and a mahogany neck. The neck has a very comfortable 1 1/4" width and C shaped profile, though the 14 1/8" scale length of the non-elevated radiused rosewood fretboard takes a little getting used to. SFI added wood to the shrinking back and refretted it, but otherwise this is an original F-hole equipped Gibson mandolin from the '30s for a price that isn't higher than 20 year old Bobby Osborne's vocal range. $1,500 with original chipboard case. Photos

Circa 1918 Gibson F model mandolin Tuners with inlaid Handel knobs. A rare offering for a very desirable and hard to find part. Make your Gibson F-4 or F-2 100% again with these tuners. They are almost 100 year old and there is a certain amount of slop in the gearing, but they will hold tune as well as any. of a similar vintage Pictures are exactly what you will get. There are no peghead bushings or attachment screws included or available. Price is $500. Photos

1920s Washburn Banjo-Mandolin. Yes, its loud. But there is a surprising warmth and nuance to this banjo mandolin that is rare in any eight stringed, banjo head equipped instrument. The 10 3/4" maple rim has a donut style tonering, which would be responsible for any trace of tonal subtlety this instrument has. The well-worn neck has a 13 1/16" scale fingerboard and a 1 3/16" nut width. This would probably make a really nice five-string conversion with some help from your favorite neck craftsman, but if you want your neighbors to "enjoy" your version of "Daybreak in Dixie" too, its perfect as it is. $600 with original hardshell case. Pictures coming Soon.

1920's Weymann Style 40 Mandolin-Banjo. Like Will Smith's character in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," this banjo mandolin was West Philadelphia born and raised. While significantly older than Mr. Smith, this well preserved instrument has retained it's freshness through the decades just as he has. Anyway, the 10 1/2" rim and neck are both maple, and all hardware is original. The nut width is 1 1/4", and the scale length of the original refretted ebony fretboard is 14 3/16". And yes, it's loud, but it's a banjo mandolin so you knew that. $700 with original hardshell case. Photos

1925 Weymann Style 35 Mandolin-Banjo. This is a clean and interesting piece of Weyman's ingenuity. A 9" maple rim, with it's likely original calf skin head and the Weyman patented neck adjuster coupled with a one piece hard maple neck with a 13-7/8" scale fretboard. The big bonus with this instrument is the slip on resonator. Sure it's louder, but you also don't have to feel the neck adjuster dig into your belly when you stand up to play. The straight neck and recently dressed frets make this instrument play like a dream. We also made a custom compensated bridge so it plays in tune. Hmm The best of both worlds? Probably not, but this puppy has the punch to be heard in any jam session. From Jug band to alt rock this one will fit. In excelent condition and the price of $950 includes a boulder alpine gigbag. Photos

Late 1980s-Early 1990s Gibson F-5 case. If your late 80's-early 90's Gibson F-5L is minus its original Gibson branded hard case, look no further. This case is in excellent condition, with the only issues being a missing rivet on one of the corner stops, a couple small nicks and marks, and a torn tab on the bass side accessory compartment. The interior is a lush, fluffy red that brings to mind the wall carpet of a late 80s-early 90s casino in Atlantic City, though without the smell of years of absorbed cigarette smoke, spilled cosmopolitans, and sin. This mandolin luggage proudly retains the authentic smell of a late 1980's-early 1990's instrument case. $300. Photos

Shipping
We ship most of our instruments via UPS. Cost to ship a mandolin is $20 to $40. Cost to ship a guitar or banjo is $25 to $60. The cost of insurance is extra. We will be happy to quote before shipping.

Small goods like banjo heads and other parts cost $8 per order for Priority Mail shipping in the continental US no matter what the order size. The cost of orders headed out of the continental US will be quoted before they are shipped.

Sales Tax
We are legally obligated to charge 6% West Virginia sales tax on anything purchased here at the shop or shipped within the state of West Virginia. We do not charge sales tax on orders sent out of state.

To Order
Call us at 304-636-6710. For payment we accept checks, wire transfers and MasterCard & Visa. If you prefer Paypal, please send us an email requesting a Paypal invoice.

Email;
Occasionally a customer will let us know that the "Contact Us" button will not work on their computer. If you have that problem, please use sfi<at>smakula<dot>com You will have to change the <at> and <dot> to @ and .