Monday, 4 November 2019

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.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Electric Mandolins

I’ve always enjoyed making the odd solid bodied instrument; I like the sculptural feel that you get when shaping a large solid piece of wood. Below are two of my solid bodied e-mandos; one with an ash body (2013) and the other maple (2014). Both have blade style humbuckers and piezo transducers in the bridge. You may notice the family resemblance to my Model 2 instruments!

Custom left handed version (2016)

Twin Humbucker + 19 Fret neck (New design 2017)

Left-handed Twin Humbucker + 19 Fret neck (2019)

E-mando Octave Mandolin version

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Baritone ukuleles

I’ve made a couple of Baritone ukuleles and it’s an instrument that I really enjoy building. Unfortunately, because I build them like small guitars, they take me far too long to make and I can’t compete with price of the best factory built ones; so I don’t think there will be any more built in the foreseeable future.
The first was built for Morgan Nicholls of Muse fame. He supplied the sinker redwood sound board, African blackwood back and sides, pink ivory binding…..oh and the fossilised walrus tusk nut and saddle!

 This one has Brazilian mahogany back and sides and a Sitka soundboard, there’s also a Headway transducer fitted.

Completed in 2019; Engelmann spruce, figured sycamore, cocobolo details 

Friday, 29 June 2018

Nava Standard Plus Mandolins

I introduced the Standard Plus in 2012. The mandolin has a higher level of ornamentation than the regular Standard and it acoustically, benefits from my handmade tailpiece.
Indian Rosewood with Wenge neck

English Walnut, European Spruce

English Walnut, Cedar, Pearl Rosette
You can see and hear Chris playing this mandolin on his YouTube Channel.

Indian Rosewood, Red Spruce

Left handed; English walnut and red spruce 

Pau Ferro & Red Spruce

Quilted Maple with Black Walnut neck
(this mandolin lives in Japan)

Pau Ferro & Sitka Spruce
Macassar Ebony and few custom details!
Indian Rosewood and Redwood