Fender Solid Body Electric Mandolin (1960)
Fender Solid Body Electric Mandolin (1960), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 01493, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown tolex hard shell case. Item # 7423
One of Fender's more obscure instrument creations, the Electric Mandolin was in production from the late 1950's until the 1970's but is a relatively rare item. This example is from the end of 1960 and shows some use but remains in fine all-original condition. The Fender mandolin differs from most other electrics (and all acoustic mandolins) in having only four strings instead of the usual doubled courses. This follows the ideas of the mostly western swing players who were instrumental in helping develop Fender instruments, and is also seen in Bigsby electric mandolins. This results in a clearer more brilliant electric sound without the natural "chorusing" effect of doubled strings, albeit one that sounds as much like an octave guitar as a mandolin.
This instrument is also just ridiculously cute, resembling more than anything else a "just hatched" baby Precision Bass. All the regular 1960 Fender features are there in miniature, including a clay-dot slab rosewood fingerboard on a maple neck, nicely blended 3-tone Fender sunburst finish on an alder body, tortoise celluloid pickguard and plastic-covered single coil pickup. Tuners are single line plastic-button strip Klusons. The '50's style thin script gold logo decal has no model name- "Mandocaster" is the collectors' slang for these but Fender just called it the Electric Mandolin. The brown tolex case is also a miniature version of the standard guitar case, and is kind of adorable as well.
Overall length is 25 7/8 in. (65.7 cm.), 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 13 3/4 in. (349 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). A very nicely original instrument; some play wear overall but no alterations. There is some general wear, most noticeably on the body edges and an armwear spot on the top. Otherwise just some dings, chips and small discolorations to the finish. The frets and fingerboard remain in excellent condition and this is a very fine playing and sounding Fender Mandolin, with a nice original brown Tolex HSC. Very Good + Condition.
This item has been sold.
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