Friday, 28 September 2012

1967 Gibson EMS-1235 doubleneck tenor guitar and mandolin
Of all the doublenecks ever produced, those made by Gibson must be the most easily recognized (no doubt helped in no small part by Jimmy Page), but they didn't just produce 12-string/6-sting and bass/6-string combinations.

Here we see a super rare Gibson EMS-1235 doubleneck that pairs together a 4-string tenor guitar with a mandolin. It would appear to be a custom order, handmade by master craftsman William Westman in 1967. Note the pickups which are full 6-string sized but only have 4 polepieces.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $12,995. Also, see here for another unusual Gibson doubleneck.

G L Wilson

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  1. Boy, I can't tell you how many times I've been on a gig and thought, "If only I had a doubleneck so I didn't have to keep switching between the mandolin and the tenor guitar over and over again!"

  2. Okay, this, as an strument, is fairly dumb as it is. But I think we have to acknowledge the stupidity of designing such a specialist instrument around an existing body, especially such a large one as the EDS bodyshape.

    while this does appear to have play wear, i think whoever took this instruemnt onto a stage would wind up with backache. Other instruments of this type have smaller bodies, and while this is annoying to the guitar player, this instrument is aimed at mando and tenor guitar players, who would suffer no such annoyance.

    I mena, the gap between the necks is nine miles wide!

  3. The logic of a tenor guitar and a mandolin on the same instrument makes sense - both instruments are tuned in fifths (like a violin or a cello. In fact, isn't a tenor guitar just a 4-stringed mandocello?

    1. It's like a 4-stringed octave mandolin.

    2. Oh wait. I meant Mandola. Sorry. =)

  4. There are a bunch of unsettling issues in this instrument.

    The fifth inlay is at the 9th fret on the top neck, and at the 10th fret on the bottom. Noooo, that won't cause any confusion.

    (Which is more correct? Hmmm, mandolins seem to usually have an inlay on the 10th fret, and guitars and tenor guitar seem to usually have that inlay on the 9th fret. If that's the case, this is both inconsistent and backwards. Or am I confused?)

    The mandolin has 24 frets, that's good. The tenor guitar only has 19 frets. I'd expect 20 or 21.

    The pickups, not surprisingly, look 50% oversized and out of place. You'd think they could have found a source for mandolin pickups.

    The upper pickguard looks ridiculous. Hmm, there appears to be an extra bump in the shape of the lower pickguard, at the screw at where the lower neck joins.

  5. Not to mention the place of the upper strap button which forces the strap to take strange forms under the mandolin neck and the body to tip over to the front. It would be more sensible to move it to the back to be able to have a flat strap.



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