Thursday, 4 November 2021

Archtop Mandolin

2018 saw the introduction of Archtop (or carved top) mandolins to my range. My archtops are not intended to be replicas of classic American instruments. The objective is to build a mandolin that is true to my aesthetic values and constructional techniques, based on decades of designing and making, whilst offering an instrument that has different tonal qualities to my popular and much-loved flat-tops. Each archtop mandolin is carved entirely by my hands from carefully selected, solid tonewoods- no CNC machinery or out-sourced pre-shaped plates are used.
Below is the first and you can see how it was made in a series of YouTube videos

Here is #2 and again you can see how it was built in its own series of YouTube videos.

#3; somewhat unusual as the back & sides are made from differing species of wood- Brazilian rosewood & figured maple respectively. Here is the series of build videos.

#4 Sitka spruce top, pommele sapele back and sides, maple neck. You can see aspects of its construction in these videos, in particular the French polishing process. 

#5- Sitka spruce top plate, black walnut back & sides, maple neck.

Here are some videos of various aspects of its construction.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Electric Mandolins (emandos)

I've always enjoyed making the occasional solid bodied instrument; I like the sculptural process of shaping a large solid piece of wood by hand. So, it's only natural that I find myself building e-mandos. An electric, solid body mandolin offers a robust alternative to an acoustic instrument for the gigging musician or an interesting variation for the player who wants a different voice.
There are many possible designs and here you can see some of mine, including 4 and 8 string octave mandolin variants.
humbucker & piezo pick-ups with stereo output

humbucker & piezo pick-ups with stereo output

Black walnut left handed version 
humbucker & piezo pick-ups with stereo output
 Twin humbucker & piezo pick-ups with stereo output

Left-handed Figured Sapele/ash/maple
 Twin humbucker & piezo pick-ups with stereo output

Octave E-mando  
4 string Octave E-mando  

Sycamore and cocobolo, single humbucker, adjustable bridge

Chambered body electric mandolin:
Carved spruce top with Koa back & sides
The chambered body is designed to enhance the natural resonance of the emando and you can see its internal construction (and other details of how I built this emando) in a series of YouTube videos.