PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241
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Mandolins, contact us...
Page Updated 12-1-2018
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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. Photos
1919 Lyon & Healy Style B Mandolin. One of two Lyon & Healy mandolins of the same era in the shop right now, this, like its Style A 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. Photos
New 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 $2624.95. Our competitive discount price is $1,850. 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-252. The same construction details as the KM-250, but with an attractive amber finish. This model constantly has very wonderful figured maple for the back and sides. Just like the KM-250, we reworked the fretboard and frets to make them play with precision. It is a superior sounding and precise playing imandolin for a price far less than similar instruments. Price is $500 including 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
1914 Weymann Mandolute. Likely March 10, 1913 was cause for great celebration at 1010 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA. Harry W. Weymann was granted a patent a week earlier for his Mandolute. Though essentially a mandolin, the Mandolute has it's own thing going on (I'm sure that's exactly how Mr. Weyman described it at the yearly music industry trade shows) with a tensioned top and back and a slightly long 14-5/16" scale. Our example is in very nice condition with vivid curly maple back and sides and a natural spruce top. The patent number label and gold peghead decal are both as crisp as a factory fresh bag of Herr's potato chips. Tone is similar to a Martin flat instrument, but with more clarity and volume. With a gigbag this kinda odd, very cool and ultimately playable mando is $750 Photos
2002 Parsons F model. You might think Rock West Virginia is a promotional campaign encouraging the use of very tall amplifiers and Les Paul or Stratocaster guitars, or even those pointy 6-string things we use to see back in the 1980's. Not the case here. Rock, WV could be called a bedroom community of the megalopolis of Princeton, WV, but one thing for sure, it is the former home of master bluegrass musician and mandolin maker Will Parsons. Looking at this instrument you know Will "gets it". The scroll on the upper body is refined in the way it's supposed to be, as are all other details of fit and finish. Straight maple back sides and neck with a freshly refretted ebony fretboard. Binding on the sunburst finished top is grained ivoroid with a black-white purfling layer. Schaller tuners and a script Parsons mother of pearl logo grace the peghead. The neck shape is a traditional V and 1-1/8" at the nut. Whether your "Rock" is a geological formation, loud music, or a small town in West Virginia, you will find this instrument inspiring to play Bluegrass, Old-Time, or, dare I say, Rock music. Price is $ 1,800 and an oblong TKL hard case is included. Photos
1914 Gibson A-3. A super clean example of a more than 100 year old instrument. This A-3 conforms to the catalog description of the day. The peghead sports a The Gibson inlay and an asymmetrical floral vine inlay. The mahogany neck is reinforced with a wedge of hard maple. The ebony fretboard has 13-3/4" scale length. The body's back and sides are dark red stained birch. The red spruce top is an attractive pumpkin color. This mandolin's original bridge and tailpiece (with The Gibson engraved on the cover) are still with the mando. The tone is full ad bright with out being tinny. 104 years of history and tunes can be yours for only $1,800, and we include the original hard case. 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 $1,800. Photos
1920 Gibson A Mandolin. All dogs go to heaven, and some instruments are practically immortal. Take, for example, this 1920 A-model. Its age is most noticeable in the flaking finish on the top, but hey, people pay good money for pre-torn jeans, and what about those Fender "Road Worn" Strats? Old is the new young, y'all. This charming, no-frills mandolin is outfitted with an adjustable bridge, new tuners, new tailpiece, and new ebony fretboard, properly intonated by SFI. The back and sides are birch, and the top is spruce. With no logo on the headstock, this instrument is understated, and a just a tad mysterious, but make no mistake, it's a Gibson through and through. It has a clear, balanced tone, a good amount of sparkle, and plenty of bass for when you need to get chunky with it. We can all only hope to age this well. Yours for $1,,200 with TKL hard case. 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
1959 Gibson A-40. This model Gibson mandolin was rather popular from its introduction in 1948 until it's discontinuance in 1970. Gibson did an amazing job in producing a high quality, modest priced instrument in this time period. Back and sides are laminated mahogany and the top is solid carved Sitka spruce. This one has a re-glued peghead ear and new tuners. We also decided that it was worth having a new ebony fretboard for good intonation and precision playing. And you have no worries about being stopped at international borders for a few ounces of Brazilian rosewood. Plenty of wear, finish checks, and player dings, but a bargain for a US made mando that plays superbly. $650 and we include a gigbag. Photos
Late 1940s K-70 Mandolin. The reason why I normally do not poll the guys in the shop when writing these descriptions is because their heads are so full of ephemera I'll never get back to what I was doing. One simple question about which car was most closely related to this mandolin, and fifteen minutes later I'm knee deep in photos of Hakeem Olajuwon and Andrew Dice Clay. Best to keep things simple - this mandolin is a little bit perplexing to look at, but in a good way, kind of like an AMC Gremlin. If all of these references are lost on you, I'm sorry. The straight scoop on this instrument is that it's funky and cool and won't break the bank. It's got an asymmetrical, 2-3/8" deep body, with red sunburst finish, curly maple back, and checkerboard top binding. Fretboard is Brazilian rosewood and scale is 14". Neck reset and fret dress done right here at SFI, so it plays great. All in all, this is a good sounding, all-purpose player's instrument with a deep, quirky vibe, as Kay instruments often are. Bring it home today for$600 including a gig bag. Pictures Coming Soon.
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
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 $7 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.
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.
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.
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