The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

The M3 was the upscale version of the now discontinued Tacoma mandolin line. This particular mandolin has quilted maple back and sides, hand-carved graduated spruce top, and Ivoroid binding. Instead of the more familiar scroll seen on F-style mandolins, Tacoma applied their paisley sound hole in this model too. The bolt-on figured maple neck had an Ivoroid bound, radiused ebony fingerboard. It had a loose ebony bridge needing careful placement for proper intonation. This mandolin is finished with a sunburst gloss, gold hardware and machines with pearloid buttons, and a Bill Baldock high-output pickup. No web page exists for this model anymore. If you go to www.tacomaguitars.com, you learn no more than that they are “... seasoning the wood”. For as long as the link is around, you may try accessing page 13 in this 2005 Tacoma catalog on web.archive.com for more info.

 

Tacoma M3ESB mandolin

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2003

Serial number:    F2805190

Strings:               D’Addario J74 Mandolin Strings Phosphor Bronze Medium (11-40)

Tacoma was well known for building high quality instruments for a reasonable price. Their mandolins were no exception. Spotted brand new on eBay, it became quickly part of the collection. After many instruments with a flame top and/or back, this was my first instrument with quilted maple. That wood species is well known for its wavy figure. Hence, the back of this M3 would make you seasick if you stare at it for too long! Absolutely gorgeous. The fact that the neck is bolt-on is in no way detrimental to the quality of the sound produced by this instrument. A nice woody tone that serves its and my purpose. But one has to get used to grabbing chords ‘upside-down’ given that a mandolin is tuned as a mirror image to a guitar’s lower 4 strings.