Can anyone identify this instrument?

If it's not a guitar or a bass guitar discussion, and it's got strings, put it here.
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Brendon Foley
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:30 am

Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by Brendon Foley »

This instrument was given to me as it had a broken head-stock. They told me it was a Taropatch but all the references I have found online say the taropatch is a gut/nylon strung instrument and this instrument was fitted with mandolin strings. It also has what looks to me like a mandolin tailpiece albeit very patinated. I though I'd post it here as I assume it was built in the Americas. I was told that it was bought off ebay from someone in Hawaii. It has the smallest fretwire I've ever seen; much smaller than the mandolin fretwire generally available nowadays. Can anyone help?
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David King
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Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by David King »

The back looks like chestnut. 19th century missionaries had a habit of bringing all manner of non native plants and trees to Hawaii so I suppose it's possible. What's the scale length? That might be a clue. Also it's not impossible that it was restrung with whatever strings were available to whoever owned it.

Brendon Foley
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:30 am

Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by Brendon Foley »

The Scale length is 13 inches. It has a floating bridge whereas the Martin taropatches had a fixed bridge. I forgot to mention that it has no label or markings on it. It's 1 & 1/8 inches wide at the nut. I guess it's possible that someone fitted it with mandolin strings at some stage; the soundboard has sunk a little which could be a clue...

Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

With 8 strings, a floating bridge, and a tailpiece, it is probably a mandolinetto.

Brendon Foley
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:30 am

Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by Brendon Foley »

Yes, i'd definitely say it's a mandolinetto. Everything points to it being that. Thanks muchly Clay!

Randy Roberts
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

Re: Can anyone identify this instrument?

Post by Randy Roberts »

A taropatch is a type of ukulele.
A good description would be:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... B-aDYaJAUu

another:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... Xfy7iX6R-V


I'd assume the floating bridge on this one was someones attempt to deal with the added stress on the top from using steel strings. Just my guess.

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