1962 Gibson EM-150 Electric Mandolin




Crazy collection compatriot Wayne dropped this mandolin off a bit ago and I finally got it wrapped-up. My initial reaction is -- woah, that's killer! The adjustable poles of the original P90 pickup allow one to really get proper string-to-string volume balance and, being a P90, it has nice, fat mids that make this fun to pick on, too. It works really well played clean for a more "swingy" sound or, when driven, something pretty aggressive.

When it came in it had very burst seams at the endblock from, apparently, moisture damage. The back was "exploded" away from the endblock area by over 2" of swell. A lot of heavy clamping solved that, but the other "aging" damage was on the top, where it had collapsed into a flattish profile in the middle. The braces are all intact, however, and so that part of the "settling in" I left alone and worked around, instead.

What's most surprising about this instrument is that, unlike Gibson's other hollowbody electric instruments (which tended to use ply mahogany or ply maple for the bodies), this one was made with solid wood for the top, back, and sides.

Repairs included: seam repairs, a fret level/dress, modification of the replacement bridge (better seating, compensation, and a reinforcement steel bar to keep it stable), cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: the neck is straight, the truss rod works, and action is a hair under 1/16" at the 12th fret bass and treble. Strings are stainless-steel wound and gauges 35w, 24w, 13, 9 as I recall.

Scale length: 13 7/8"
Nut width: 1 1/4"
String spacing at nut: 1"
String spacing at bridge: 1 5/8"
Body length: 13 1/4"
Lower bout width: 10"
Side depth at deepest: 1 3/4" + arched top/back
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid maple
Neck wood: mahogany
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: replacement adjustable rosewood
Neck feel: slim C, flat board

Condition notes: general usewear throughout, finish fading and weather-checking as usual, replacement bridge, top collapsed but stable, small mucked-up area of finish on rear seam near endpin.

It comes with: an original case.














Because of the top deformation, I jacked-up the pickup's mount to get it closer to the strings.

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