gibson Epiphone Mandobird iv 4 string electric Mandolin at Ukulele Corner

My Vintage Sunburst Mandobird

epiphone by gibson mandobird IV
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Epiphone by Gibson Mandobird VIII 8 string electric Mandolin at Lardy's Ukulele Database

The 8 string version

It has steel strings and is tuned G~C~E~A (low G Ukulele)

Epiphone Mandobird IV Electric Mandolin

This was given to me as a leaving present when I was made redundant from the international aid charity that I had been working for Its such a nice instrument that it was almost worth being made redundant to be given it, (and I was a bit shocked that they thought that highly of me that they raised the money for it in the whip round!) Thank you so much to everyone who contributed

Officially this is an electric 4 string Mandolin, hence Mandobird IV, however you can tune it to be a Concert Ukulele, (you need to put on lighter gauge strings if you want re-entrant tuning). This is the closest Ukulele size instrument I could find to resemble the Gibson Firebird/Explorer Guitar body shape. It's the same basic size but the neck is much thinner so the gaps between strings are smaller making it a little harder to play; but easier to barre. So with the other Ukuleles I have that pay homage to classic electric Guitars this makes a good addition to the corner.

I have tuned my Mandobird as a Ukulele with a low G as this doesn't require a string change however I may get a .010 gauge string and try it with re-entrant tuning one day

I always think of Mandolins as having 8 strings and you can get an 8 string version of this called the Mandobird VIII so I feel justified in treating this as a Ukulele not a Mandolin. I may get a proper 8 string Mandolin one day but it will be a more traditional shape and I would treat this as a Mandolin.

The 4 string version came in a number of colours (though the 8 string version only comes in Vintage Sunburst) including two different shades of gold and a green one that isn't in the picture. These had already been discontinued when I got mine so sunburst was the only option but its nicely done though

Epiphone have now discontinued this line altogether so I'm glad I got one because its very nice and they are getting rarer