Kent 744 8-string electric, red. $900.
Made in Japan in the 1960s, the Kent 744 is an iconic and functional classic. The 16-inch scale inspires some players to set them up as mandolas, but they can also be played as mandolins with ultralight strings. (Any heavier and it's kind of like playing a cheese slicer.) I have a soft spot for the 744: not only does it look terrific, but the first instrument I ever sold on was a Kent 744.
     Red finish on maple top. Sought-after screw-pole pickup; bolt-on 4-piece neck; has the screw-on tailpiece cover, which often is missing from 744s. Outrageous 5-ply binding all the way around. Original tone and volume knobs. Looks to be in very good condition, with minor wear and aging but no finish cracks, chips, etc. I believe it is all original except for the bridge, which is an unusual design made of laminated wood strips with compensated metal saddles set into them. Original chipboard case included and in great condition, which is a big plus—it's rare to find one of these with a case.
     Kent 744s aren't encountered every day, but when they are, it's usually the sunburst version. In more than a decade of wheeling and dealing, this is the first red 744 I have come across. See more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. Used. $900 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.