Notes on buying a Ratliff mandolin
First of all, thank you for your interest in Ratliff mandolins.
Any standard model can be purchased either directly from RATLIFF or through any of our dealers listed in the dealers directory under the "Where to buy a RATLIFF" tab at the top of this page.
Only standard models are available from our dealers. Custom options are only available on mandolins ordered directly from RATLIFF.
F-holes vs. Oval holes
The scale length is the same for both styles of mandolins. However, due to the soundhole placement and internal bracing, the bridge placement on the body of an oval hole mandolin is different than on a f-style mandolin.
As a result, the fingerboard (although still a 13 7/8" scale) has to be moved. Moving the fingerboard "closer" to the body keeps the correct distance between the fingerboard and the bridge.
So........now the total neck length is slightly shorter. And it makes a difference.
You'll hear the oval hole mandolins refered to as "short necks". which is exactly what they are. Unfortunatly, this results in less access to the higher frets. The mandolin body itself gets in the way.
Oval hole mandolins have a unique sound, but the price to pay is playing "up the neck" is not as easy as on a f-style.
P.0 Box 914
440 W. Main Blvd.
Church Hill, TN 37642