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New custom instrument in the making !

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jazz Ad, Sep 5, 2008.


  1. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    But it ain't a bass. :)
    My very first instrument was the mandolin. I still play it from time to time.
    Unhappy with acoustic bass guitars, I developped a fascination for mandocellos.
    They're uncommon instruments, which makes me like them even more.
    Basically it is a mandolin with the 26" scale and CDGA fifth tuning of a cello. 8 strings tuned in pair like a mandolin.
    I love the acoustic volume, the tone and the range. It can be used to play bass parts, chords sound huge and you can solo easily.

    After looking around for a while, I found my builder in Scotland.
    http://www.frettedfolkinstruments.com/
    David Freshwater is passionate, sympathetic and really tries hard to satisfy his customers. He called me several times asking for details and offered ease for financing.
    His instruments are stunning beautiful and according to reviews, very well built. He's not even expensive. Perfect to me.
    Mine will look a lot like the one in this picture, far right. It will have sitka spruce top though, a bit more yellowish. Ebony fretboard.
    [​IMG]

    The back will be american walnut, like this :
    [​IMG]

    As a pun of sort, I asked him to arrange fret dots like on old Gibson mandocellos. That's pretty much my only custom option.

    I can't wait to get it.
     
  2. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Cool!

    That's the first time I've even heard of a mandocello!

    I'm always fascinated by unique instruments like that. You should post pics when the instrument is finished and I'd love to hear some sound clips too!

    How long 'til you get the instrument?
     
  3. envika

    envika

    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    Xylem, you're in for a treat if you search for "mandocello" on youtube.
     
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I expect it in 3-4 months. David said it would be home for Xmas. :)
    I will post pics and clips for sure.
    Check this video (featuring mandolin player extraordinaire Mike Marshall) to hear how it sounds.
     
  5. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    I remember reading about these one time and really wanted one, but they are far too rare to be within my price range of... nothing :p Maybe some day I'll get one made for me, but not any time soon :(
     
  6. DavidMP

    DavidMP

    May 8, 2006
    Alberta, Canada
    How about a Mandobass? :bag:

    mandobass.
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Nah. The mandobass is cool but at this point I'd be better with a good old upright.
    Also it misses paired strings so it doesn't really play like a mandolin.
     
  8. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    I've dabbled in mandolin, but I think I'd rather have a mandocello now. Too bad they're wayyy too expensive for my budget.
     
  9. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Thanks envika and Jazz Ad, I'll check out those videos!
     
  10. Why are you bothering getting a custom? According to that video all you need is some binding, a microwave and a banjo. :p
     
  11. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    Any news on the project?

    Progress pics?
     
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Still in the building.
    David Freshwater took progress pics but he doesn't have a scanner, so I will get them at the same time as the instrument.
    I'd be really interested to take a look at the bracing he uses.
     
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Oh yeah, by the way:

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What a marvellous tool and toy. I spent hours and hours of fun on it already.
     
  14. UncleBalsamic

    UncleBalsamic

    Jul 8, 2007
    UK
    Wow! :eek:

    I love it. Enjoy it!
     
  15. PocketGroove82

    PocketGroove82

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chicago
    Nice!

    I played upright with the Atlanta Mandolin Society a long time ago. It was a full orchestra of mandolins, mando-violas, and mandocellos. It was a pretty neat group.
     
  16. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I love all of those double course instruments. I played with a rocky celtic band for a while and one of the band members used to play Mandolin, Mandola, Cittern (I think that's basically a 5 string Mandola) and Irish Bouzouki - one at a time of course. Those things can really drive some powerful rythmns, like the man said the chordal sounds they produce are huge.

    BTW, A Ric bass sounds really good with acoustic stuff played in that context as well
     
  17. Very, very cool. Enjoy!

    I'd love to hear how it sounds. ;)
     

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