Description: 1956-1969 Fender Electric Mandolin, AKA Fender Mandocaster
First introduced in spring 1956, the Electric Mandolin looks like a mini Stratocaster. This is were it derives its value. As an instrument, it has limited usability because it has only four strings and a solid body instead of the usual eight strings for a mandolin. Oblong pickup with reddish brown cover, no visible poles, "Fender" decal with no other markings. These Mandocasters were probably made in batches, so often the body and neck dates can be up to a year or more apart. Also features like an Ash body can be seen as late as 1959, even Fender stopped using Ash on sunburst instruments in mid-1956. The first years of Fender Electric Mandolin production (1956, 1957) used a slab body style, much like a Telecaster. This changed in 1958 to a more Stratocaster style body with contours. Sunburst was the standard finish, though Blond is also seen. Custom color Fender Mandocasters also exist. The Mandocaster also used a metal anodized gold pickguard until mid-1959, like the pre-1959 Precision Bass. Usually they are strung with .008, .012, .019w and .028w strings, and tuned like a mandolin.
If you have a vintage pre-CBS Fender Electric Mandolin (Fender Mandocaster) for sale, please let me know. I am a private vintage guitar collector (not a store), and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
1958 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
Mid-1959 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
1965 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
1970 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
1972 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
1974 Fender Electric Mandolin specs:
1976 Fender Electric Mandolin (Fender Mandocaster) discontinued.
The Fender Mandocaster used their own serial number format which did not match the guitars.
Replaced tuner buttons are very common, because the originals shrink and fall apart.
Note the hand routing in the body around the output jack. This is factory original. Body date 11/58.
Three Fender Mandocaster electric mandolins. The top blond model has a slab body and
is from 1956. The middle Fender mandolin has a contoured body and is from 1958.
The bottom Mandocaster is from 1965 and has a celluloid pickguard and rosewood fingerboard.
Picture by J.Bevan.
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