I need the help of all you experienced mando players. I'm getting ready to purchase a new mando, but would like some help on what this all means. Its the fingerboard stuff, theres some things i dont understand.
# Radius: #10 inch or 8.5 inch
# 1 3/16 inch width at nut
# 1 1/4 # inch width at nut
# Scallop Fingerboard #
I know what scalloped is, but what is the point? I heard it was so the strings dont buzz- true? I even kinda understand the other things, but why do that to a mando- whats the point? Thanks!
Radius: #10 inch or 8.5 inch = The curve of the fingerboard, the lower the number, the more the curve. Ten is a moderate curve, 8.5 is pretty significant. Most mandolins don't have a radius, BTW, the fingerboards are flat. Some more expensive mandos have curved fretboards, some don't. It is a personal preference thing. I like a radius myself.
1 3/16 inch width at nut = The nut is the piece made out of plastic, bone or other material that the strings rest on at the far end of the neck before they go to the tuning machines. The measurement is how wide the nut is, in the dimension parallel to the frets. 1 3/16" is a moderate measurement and the one I prefer. 1 1/8" is slightly narrow, 1 1/4" would be on the wide side. Again, personal preference.
1 1/4 # inch width at nut = See above
Scallop Fingerboard = Some mandos have fingerboard extensions that are more of a design element than anything. The problem can be that the extension is right in the "sweet spot" picking area and some people's attack on the strings with the pick causes the pick to "click" against the frets on the extension. So you have a non-functional design element that has to be modified so it doesn't get in the way. Why not just leave the extension off? Beats me! It's tradition! I think its whacky, but that is just MHO. I wouldn't worry too much about it one way or another.