Big Brother
1914 Gibson K-1 Mandocello

© Frank Ford, 2003; Photos by FF

Tuned a full octave below mandola (C,G,D,A) this was the biggest mandolin family instrument tuned in fifths. It has the same scale length as a guitar, so it's not surprising to see one of these old timers that had been converted for use with six strings and guitar tuning. This example has not suffered that indignity, and remains in very fine original condition. Not surprisingly, the K-1 featured the same "trim package" as the A-1 mandolin and H-1 mandola. It has the traditional mahogany neck ebony fingerboard and bridge, stained birch back and sides, and the classic orange shellac and varnish finished spruce top.

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