Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Latest 5 string electric design

  1. #1
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    3,614

    Default Latest 5 string electric design

    Folks, I thought you might be interested in my latest 5 string electric design:

    * Short 17 fret neck to push the pickup to where the 19th fret would be for a stronger/cleaner jazzier tone.
    * Hollow body construction with spruce top and burr-walnut overlay.
    * 36mm nut puts the strings at the same spacing as the bottom 5 courses of a guitar - coincidently, for the top 4 courses this is the same spacing you get if you take the centre point of the pairs of string on a typical 28mm mandolin nut. Seems to be about optimal for me anyway
    * Gotoh SG381 tuners - I think I'm in love with these, much better than your typical mandolin tuners IMO.
    * Shielded "box within a box" cavity - traditionally hollow bodies are hard to shield, and this still doesn't completely entomb the electrics in copper as we want the top free to move, but the gaps are small compared to typical RF wavelengths - seems to do the job.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4365.JPG 
Views:	29 
Size:	264.2 KB 
ID:	155017Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4376.JPG 
Views:	21 
Size:	406.6 KB 
ID:	155018Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4374.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	409.4 KB 
ID:	155019Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4373.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	475.0 KB 
ID:	155020Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4372.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	496.3 KB 
ID:	155021Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4367.JPG 
Views:	23 
Size:	502.7 KB 
ID:	155022Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4368.JPG 
Views:	16 
Size:	331.1 KB 
ID:	155023Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4369.JPG 
Views:	12 
Size:	303.9 KB 
ID:	155024Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4371.JPG 
Views:	11 
Size:	381.8 KB 
ID:	155026

    Here's the back open showing the shielding arrangement, there's enough overlap of copper for the shielding on the back panel to make contact with that on the inside of the cavity. There are still plenty of gaps in the shield since the back panel insert doesn't quite touch the top, but it seems to do the job OK:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	small-DSCF4357.JPG 
Views:	22 
Size:	406.6 KB 
ID:	155027

    And finally, the obligatory video demo:


  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Tavy For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Gorgeous mando! And a great video of her. 17 frets to the body sounds sweet indeed.
    Gibson F9 2002
    Gibson A2 1922
    National RM-1
    Kentucky KM-380

  4. #3

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Very nice design and craftsmanship. Very well thought out. Love that burl walnut overlay. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  5. #4
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Pikesville, MD (Baltimore)
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Outstanding! Beautiful design and craft, and lovely warm, jazzy, sound! The short fretboard is a winner here. Given the extra bridge space, did you consider a second pickup?


    Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods
    Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie"
    Paul Newson custom blonde w/Radius "Feivel"
    Grandmom's solid mahogany teens bent-top
    Baglamas 002
    Peavey Classic 30 and Laney Cub 10 amps
    Stealie's Rig Grab&Go Acoustic

  6. #5

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Very nice. What scale length is that and what amp have you found brings out the warmest jazz sound?

    thanks for the nice explanation and demo.
    Play it like you mean it.

  7. #6
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    3,614

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Greenspoon View Post
    Outstanding! Beautiful design and craft, and lovely warm, jazzy, sound! The short fretboard is a winner here. Given the extra bridge space, did you consider a second pickup?
    Yes definitely, and as you say there is room in there.

    For me, the biggest thing a second pickup gives you is a brighter sound, and had the top end been weak on this one I would have chopped another hole in there and fitted a second pickup. However, for me, this one is very well balanced as is, and I didn't really see a huge need. Put the pickup in parallel mode and it's a bright and sparkly as you could want. That said, there is something to be said in favour of two pickups in parallel for that extra-fat sound.

    BTW if anything, the biggest effect of the shorter neck is just a good clean well balanced output with none of the "weak-e-string-syndrome", that alone if worth having, and I'm very tempted to try the same design for my next 8 string.

  8. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  9. #7
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    3,614

    Default Re: Latest 5 string electric design

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Very nice. What scale length is that and what amp have you found brings out the warmest jazz sound?

    thanks for the nice explanation and demo.
    Standard mandolin 13 7/8" scale with a .056 bottom C. Action is 50thou on top e, to 60thou on the G and 70 on the C.

    As for which amp... well I only really have one decent amp - a old cube 30. Personally I tend to go for the sound of the clean side, maybe roll the trebles off slightly for a darker sound (have to be careful not to end up muting the e string though... the treble-cut tone control on the instrument is voiced to start cutting above approx 800Hz where as most controls voiced for guitar will cut from approx 400Hz which will kill both the a and e strings if you're not careful - it's taken me a while to figure this out!). A bit of compression works well too - for me that meant activating the "Brit Combo" digital emulation on the amp - this is a whole different sound which I really liked in the room, but which IMO sounded a little harsh when recorded for some strange reason.

    However, I suspect most good clean sounding amps would work well, remember that much comes from your choice of pick and how you play as much as the amp. If you haven't watched the pick comparison I posted in the companion thread to this one, give it a go: the differences are very far from subtle!

  10. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •