View Full Version : My new A

Jun-07-2005, 4:08pm
Here's my idea of a mandolin for people who want quality but few frills. The only frills are inlay, body bindings, and gloss nitro. I couldn't quite bring myself to put a satin finish on it.

Red spruce, hard maple, ebony board and peghead overlay.

Here's the mandolin.

Jun-07-2005, 4:10pm
The top:

Jun-07-2005, 4:12pm
The back:

Jun-07-2005, 4:14pm
I chose tortoise-color binding because I thought it would tie in with the unbound fingerboard but add more interest than black.

El Rey del Mando
Jun-07-2005, 4:20pm
No frills ? That would have enough frills for me.


Kevin K
Jun-07-2005, 4:22pm
Yeah me too, that's really nice work. How's the sound?

Jun-07-2005, 4:23pm
do you need somebody to tesy drive it for 6 or 8 months?
That is very nice John:p http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jun-07-2005, 4:24pm
Very nice John. I'm glad you're showing your work now. I have wanted to see it for a while now. That mando's a beaut and I'd be gloating if I made that!

Lane Pryce
Jun-07-2005, 4:28pm
John this A really caught my attention.I've got one in the works just like it!!I like the simplicity or F/A9ish appearence of the mandolin.Hows it sound? #Lp

Jun-07-2005, 4:28pm
I think it looks great. Does your "idea" have a prospective owner, and/or a potential price?

Jun-07-2005, 4:37pm
Very nice indeed!
Don't sweat the unbound fingerboard. Most Old Wave mandolins aren't bound either, and have you ever heard anyone say they're "no frills".
Heck, remove the fretboard dots. The only function they serve is so the banjo player can see what key you're playing.

Jun-07-2005, 4:47pm
Nice mando. Great workmanship.

Skip Kelley
Jun-07-2005, 4:49pm
John, Nice mandolin by any standards! Looks great!

El Rey del Mando
Jun-07-2005, 5:13pm
Lee,Thats only if the banjo player plays mando also.


Eric F.
Jun-07-2005, 5:19pm
John, that might be "no frills," but I think it's beautiful.

Jun-07-2005, 5:41pm
Thanks everyone for the kind words.

In answer to a few questions,
The sound: a little early to tell. I strung it up about 3:00 this afternoon, so it's only been strung about 3 hours. My initial impressions: It's loud, and I think it's going to sound very much like my big-ol'fancy varnished F model that I strung up a few days ago (and posted pics of).

It's not sold yet. It was sort of an experiment to see if I could tap into a market for something that doesn't take as much time as an F and yes, I have a price in mind. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I enjoyed building it. I like the simple lines and lack of "clutter". Plain doesn't necessarily mean it ain't purty!

Oh, and Lee, I'm a banjo player. That's why I put the dots in http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif .

El Rey del Mando
Jun-07-2005, 6:32pm
John,We are the only ones on here that tell the truth about banjo.I would get killed if I posted the picture that I sent you.Too many banjos in one place.Love mando though !

Jim Garber
Jun-07-2005, 6:40pm
John, it is time to change your listing in the builder's database. It says "F style acoustic mandolins". I love the understatedness (if that is a word). If it had an oval hole I might buy it on the spot http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Very nice looking mandolin. I hope to hear it or ones like it someday.


Jun-07-2005, 7:02pm
You're right, it does. I'd forgotten about that. It's one of those things I never got around to getting Scott to correct. I have an "A" in eye candy though. I've made several.

Stephanie Reiser
Jun-07-2005, 7:05pm
wonderful work! Both this A and the F from a few days ago.
I love the warm color of the A's stain and I am especially impressed with the scroll and binding of the F.
Thanks for posting these pics.

Darryl Wolfe
Jun-08-2005, 8:15am
Very nice John. How much neck angle did you put in that? It appears to be significant

Jun-08-2005, 9:29am
I'm impressed with the neck angle, too. Did you use as much on the F5 you finished recently? What effect will the angle have on tone and volume? Is string tension and action(or ease of playing) affected?

It's a very nice looking instrument.

W Drysdale

Mike Buesseler
Jun-08-2005, 9:58am
Understated elegance is the term I like to use for instruments that have this kind of beauty and simplicity, and this one has about as much of that as you can get. Gorgeous, John!

I agree about the dots. Side dots are all that's necessary.

I think you should start using your own name for posting here...Ladies and Gentleman, John Hamlett has entered the building!

Jun-08-2005, 10:21am
This might turn into a long answer, but here goes.

I set my necks for a target bridge height and "overstand" (the height of the fingerboard extender), and the neck angle turns out to be whatever it is. I recorded the angle of the A neck as 6.5 degrees. I neglected to record the F angle, but it is slightly less, though within one degree. I think the angle of the photo might make the neck angle look like more than it is.

The A has a slightly higher top arch and overstand than the F, and the F has a radiused fingerboard, while the A is flat. The bridge height measured in the center from the surface of the top to the top of the bridge is a little over 3/4" on the F, and about 13/16" on the A. That's less than 1/16" difference, but the F looks much lower because of the radius in the bridge top. Both are set up with 1/16" action on the E string at the 12th fret.

As for playability, the difference in the fingerboards (radius vs. flat) makes for a totally different feel between the two, so it's hard to attribute any differences to the top arch or neck angle. The F is the only one that has been played by others, and I got several comments on the ease of playing.

So, basically, the neck angle is pretty normal, the bridge height is pretty normal and the action and playability are pretty normal.

Thanks again to everyone who has posted complements!

Jun-08-2005, 10:53am
Fine looking instrument!!!

David M.
Jun-08-2005, 2:07pm
Very very nice. It'd work for me (wish I could make it work for me..).


Jun-08-2005, 7:33pm
Very Fine. very fine indeed. I'm a huge fan of simple lines and not a whole lot of ornamentation. That mando _is_ the gold standard for the IV kit I hope to start this fall.

Simply gorgeous.


Jul-30-2005, 8:47am
John, was perusing the photos and came across this again. It's beautiful.