Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Nava Standard Mandolins

My “Standard” mandolins were first introduced in 2011. The intention being, to focus on the features that influence its sound and playability. It has a simple, elegance which depends only on the instrument’s form and its materials rather than any unnecessary decoration: everything you see is pure mandolin. The Japanese word Shibui best describes my approach to its design.

Below are all the “Standards” that I have made. One thing that I didn’t anticipate was, that players who commissioned one, would ask for custom upgrades, this led to the evolution of my “Standard Plus”.

So here they are in chronological order; from July 2011 to now……

 Scroll to the end to see my new version. It now has a 360mm scale length and individual Gotoh mini tuners.

Standard I

Standard II
 This mandolin had the first prototype of my own design of tailpiece
Standard III

Standard IV
Standard V

One thing that I didn’t anticipate was that players would pre-order a “Standard” and ask for custom upgrades…..
 Standard VI
 with herringbone rosette and back strip upgrade.

Standard VII

with tailpiece and head inlay upgrades

Standard VIII
(with cocobolo, abalone rosette and head inlay, and transducer up-grades)

Standard IX  (residing in Finland)

Standard X
(with handmade tailpiece and Headway transducer up-grades)

Standard XI
English walnut and Sitka (now residing in Portugal)

Standard XII
Mahogany and Sitka (with herringbone upgrade)

2022 New version: 360mm scale length and individual Gotoh mini tuners.

Figured Sapele & Adirondack

Figured maple & Adirondack

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Twin Point Mandolins

My Twin-Point mandolin has subtly evolved over the years and here you can see all for them from the first maple one built in 2007 to the present. The head shape, bridge design and my own handmade tailpiece are the obvious changes and quite a few have custom features too! I‘ve just limited myself to a couple of selected photos per instrument (in most cases!)
The first.....

"The Red Mandolin"

 Quilted Maple

English walnut with cast Dean tailpiece
Richard supplied the cast Brian Dean tailpiece for his mandolin, which got me thinking about the development of my own design. You can hear Richard playing his mandolin here. The accompanying guitar is also Richard, playing a Nava Model Two guitar. Many thanks!

 English walnut

Cocobolo and Adirondack, "F" style head
At Brendan's request, this was the first of the F style heads 

Cocobolo and Adirondack

Cocobolo and Adirondack

3 piece Cocobolo back with custom "Family Tree" inlay

English Walnut and Adirondack

Indian Rosewood and Adirondack

Cocobolo and Adirondack with a touch of abalone


#14 Cocobolo and Red spruce

#15 Claro Walnut and European Spruce 
note new head shape (2022)

 More details of my twin-points and other mandolins can be found on here my website