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A good day on eBay

posted 6 May 2017, 11:59 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 18 May 2017, 13:19 ]
APC 101 L Cavaquinho (with the English tuners)
Ukranian Domra
Dean 12 string Banjitar
But probably not for my Bank Balance?!
What happened today is 2 auction wins and a negotiated down Buy it now. The buy it now was invited first and is an APC 101L ray mouthed Cavaquinho with "English" tuners. Ive always fancied getting something with them because I think they look so different and I was vaguely thinking a Fado Guitar or something because I already have a number of Cavaquinhos, but when I saw this one with a buy it now or best offer price, and the buy it now wasn't ridiculous I thought it worth an offer. My first offer was rejected, but countered so after a couple of iterations of offer and counter offer, we agreed a price, coincidentally on the same day as a number of auctions for Chordophones I was trying to invite. One was a, (possibly Ukrainian?) Domra. Now I don't know a lot about Domras beyond they are an eastern European Folk Chordophone, usually with a bowl back, 4 strings and smaller than a Guitar. I think there may be size differences and I have seen them, (or something very similar), with diatonic fretboards. Anyway a woman was swelling two of them on eBay with a 99p starting price, one ready to go and the other, (which I actually liked more), listed as "for spares or repair" I asked what was wrong with it and was told it needed a new nut. Well thats not a difficult job so I thought it worth a punt, and though I ended up going to my maximum, it was still fairly cheap and now its coming to Ukulele Corner. I hope it is just the nut and it is an easy fix, then I can find out how to tune one and play some rock and roll on it.
The third item I invited is a Dean "Backwoods" 12 string Banjitar. I have always liked the idea of a Banjitar and so have tried to invite one on a number of occasions, but I was particularly interested in this one because the 12 string variants are much rarer with only a couple of firms selling them, and I believe this Dean one is now discontinued, (the 6 string Dean Backwood is still in production but not as far as I can see the 12?). It accepted my invitation, again at my maximum, so now its on the way to Ukulele Corner incorporating the Pony Guitar Sanctuary. It will be interesting to see how the 12 string works as I've not heard one. and wonder if the tones are why they are not more common?

They're all Here

And they are all lovely.
The Domra is only missing the nut so the only problem here, (apart from what strings? and how do you tune and play it?) is that the neck is very narrow and I think all of my spare Ukulele nuts will be a bit wide? (they are) ,there are not splits cracks or busted seems and everything is solid if not highly crafted the tuners are obviously not both original as one side is white and the other black and on a raised rail, (probably originally to fit over a thinner headstock?), but the buttons are the same design, if not the same colour and this gives an interesting, and not wholly out of play look to the headstock. The other end is interesting too. The tailpiece is not a tailpiece as such, it is more like 4 bridge pins, but on the base, (and thankfully they are all there).

I'm loving the APC too! Yes the intonation is a bit suspect especially on the G string but you've got to love that headstock and I find the "English" tuners are better and easier than friction tuners. I will have to watch out for specialist strings that are loop end on both ends though as I don't think single loop end strings will work very well. I am doing the cavaquinho "solo" tuning on it so D~G~B~E (rather than the D it should be for proper Cavaquinho tuning) I am also a little perplexed by the model number? I thought when looking at the APC catalogue online this was a 101L though there wasn't one listed. The ray mouth and the unstained soundboard are the same as the 101 and on some of the other models shown, when the have English Tuners rather than geared ones the model number gets an L suffix. Now it's here I can see on the sound hole label that it's a 105 model; no L and it also doesn't appear in the current catalogue?

The Dean is a lovely bit of kit too. Solid and well made so it feels the part as well as looking the part. I can see why 12 string banjitars are not common though, the extra strings make it quite hard to play as the gap between courses is very narrow because the floating bridge needs it that narrow. also, as its a kind of Banjo the tone definition is a bit muddy and you don't really get all of the tonal nuances that you would get from a 12 string Guitar. I'm glad I got it ,after all if I didn't have one and had a 6 string I would still want one but I guess I still need a 6 string Banjitar and I would be much more likely to play it