View Full Version : My new-ish Gatcomb Mando 59

Dean Cross
Nov-29-2013, 10:00am
Hi everyone. First time, long time. (You know the drill.)
I just signed up yesterday after I'd consumed a big Thanksgiving meal and I was lazing around in front of the computer. I was looking for some Mandopr0n and obviously found a ton of it on here. Just thought I'd sign up and show mine.

This is a custom electric mandolin that I commissioned late last year from Gatcomb. I got it this spring and was playing it faithfully until we moved in August. Long story short it got pretty beat up during the move (my fault) and when I tried my hand at "restoring" it...well, I accept that I'm not a luthier.

These are the specs:

- 14" scale length
- 1-piece dense northern ash body in black stain (with a thinskin lacquer finish)
- Flamed maple neck with oak stringers
- Oversized headstock mirrors the body shape
- Chrome trim over 2-ply red body binding
- 2-ply red binding on the neck
- Ebony fretboard
- 12 UltraSonic frets, custom shaped and dressed
- Red nut with jumbo zero fret
- Small white side dots and fretboard inlays
- 1 genuine Gretsch Filter pickup (for 6 string guitar)
- Hand crafted bridge
- Grover tuners
- Mounted jack (also serves as a strap button)
- Custom zebra graphics on the boomerang pickguard, the headstock, sides of the body, neck plate and the rear cover plates

I told the builder that I wanted some weird electronics but I wasn't sure what. Pretty much surprise me, as long as it's unconventional.

So I'm not great with wiring and electronics but here's what I figure does what (I have it written down somewhere but that stuff has yet to be unpacked). There's a 9v battery installed in the back of this mandolin which I think powers the green LED (right there between the knobs on the front). The first knob is a standard volume pot. The second is a really weird tone switch though I'm not entirely sure how it works. Basically if you turn the tone knob then you get an out of phase (?) wonka-wonka sound, sort of like if you had a wah pedal depressed ever so slightly. Turn it up a little and you can get those icepick highs if you want. Turn it up more and it sounds normal. Not really sure how the effect was achieved but it's interesting. The little toggle switch is called the trick switch and I don't even know where to begin with this one. It's only a 2-position toggle but it does a bunch of different things. For instance, when flipped toward the neck it serves as a kill switch which is reverse wired to activate the LED. I wanted it so the LED would be ON when the mando was inactive so I could use the kill switch and have the flashing LED and not waste a ton of expensive 9v battery, which would obviously happen if the light stayed on when the mandolin was active. It's mostly just for visual effect. When it's flipped away from the neck it's a mud switch. But if you set it right to the middle you get some really nice highs. And in some position there's supposed to be a missing ground or something so that you can tap the pickup and the sound will cut out. So you're playing along and then start tapping the pickup and it's like a kill switch.

Hope you like it as much as I do.


Nov-30-2013, 2:45am
That is one funky looking mandolin! :cool:

Chip Booth
Dec-02-2013, 7:15pm
I dig it!