Schwab 4-string, 1980s. $1,200.
Here's a striking 4-string from Schwab, the Minnesota-based dean of electric mandolin luthiers. Features include a solid ash body, nickel hardware, maple neck, ebony fretboard, trilple-ply pickguard, Schaller tuners, and a pair of hot Seymour Duncan humbuckers. Custom bridge, tone and volume controls. Shallow U-shaped neck. Warm honey finish; it's in great shape for an instrument almost 30 years old. It's heavy as all get-out, but the Duncans provide plenty of bite and it sustains forever. Custom red-lined hardshell Calzone road case fits it like a glove.
     There are a couple of dings in the finish on the back of the neck, as well as some finish checking on the lower bass bout of the top. Nothing major or out of the ordinary for an instrument of this vintage.
     Here's the bad news: Kevin Schwab has retired and won't be building any more electric mandolins. It was hard enough to find one while he was active, and it just got harder. But this one is here waiting for you. See more photos, or for more information.