Kent 744 8-string electric, red. $850–950.
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 Emando.com was a Kent 744.
     These instruments aren't encountered every day, but when they are, it's usually the sunburst version. In almost two decades of wheeling and dealing, these are the first red 744s I have come across. Having one of these is practically unheard of; having two is insane.
  1. 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.
         See more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. Used. $950 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.
  2. Good condition. Newly strung. Red finish on maple top. Somewhat darker than No. 1. Sought-after screw-pole pickup; bolt-on 4-piece neck; screw-on tailpiece cover; 5-ply binding. Original tone and volume knobs and original bridge, but the case is missing; will ship with a gig bag, or upgrade to a hardshell case.
         See more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. Used. $850 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.