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View Full Version : NUD - Mandolele arrived today - the good, bad and the pretty.



kohanmike
02-13-2014, 08:28 PM
I received the mandolele I bought on an eBay auction for $51 US (plus $70 shipping). It's very pretty, the body is a little longer than a normal tenor, but it does just fit my bags/cases. I added a strap button to the bottom and it feels well balanced with the strap.

The tuning machines are smooth and tune easily. The action is fairly good, but I'll lower it slightly when I add the preamp I ordered from China. It has a three part compensated saddle which I'll change to a four part when I install the pickup. The intonation is sharp on fret 12 for the G, C and E, A is good. The nut slots are not evenly spaced so I'll change that too and make the slots as wide apart as I can.

It sounds a little dull, but I'm figuring the solid spruce top and solid flame maple body needs to work in over time. The biggest negative is the workmanship of the binding, it's very rough, the edges where it meets the body are very poorly done, very amateur, so I'm glad I only paid $51/$70 for it.

Took only 20 days to go from Vietnam to New York, to Los Angeles, during Chinese New Year (the designer, Bruce Wei, is Chinese, his shop is in Vietnam).

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Mandolele received.jpg

consitter
02-13-2014, 08:32 PM
If it plays okay, you can't beat it at that price. Enjoy!

anthonyg
02-13-2014, 10:43 PM
All my Bruceweiarts have started out a little dull. They do brighten with age.

Anthony

kohanmike
02-14-2014, 06:09 AM
Thanks consitter, I agree.

Anthony, glad to hear that from someone who owns one. I'm going to email him about the binding, it looks like this was a test construction for a new worker or something.

anthonyg
02-14-2014, 11:41 AM
Mike. I can tell the different builders that brucewei uses by the headstock designs. This particular builder DOES build them quickly and brucewei doesn't sell them for the same prices as his other builders. I have a couple from this particular builder and while the detail isn't that good they still play. You probably should be careful about hydration. I had a baritone from this builder. In the dry climate where I am the neck started to back bow. I sold it to a friend for cheap who lives on the coast and when I visited him I noticed that the neck had come good.

Anthony

kohanmike
02-14-2014, 12:06 PM
I see, I actually wrote Bruce that I wonder about his tecniques, that I would be wary in the future. I know I have to be careful with this all solid uke. My newly sealed shelf is working perfectly, 56% humidy inside the closed off shelf, 20% outside.

kohanmike
02-14-2014, 08:09 PM
Maybe it's just me, or wishful thinking, but I just played the mandolele after hanging it in the humidified shelf for a few hours, and it seems to projecting a little better. I wonder if the strings are settling in, they're holding tune better now.