View Full Version : New Electric Travel Mandolin

May-23-2018, 1:08pm
Seems like everyone is building travel mandos these days...

This one came about for a client that wanted something she could fit into the tiny approved overhead locker cases for a well known super-budget Irish airline, that meant an instrument just 21 inches long and not too wide also. As the client already has a couple of acoustic travel mandos she's not happy with (poor sound), it also had to sound like a full size instrument, and look good too. So no pressure then ;)

The design I came up with had a 13" scale length, body 80% normal size, and a headstock about as small as I could make one and still fit on a set of tuners: we used the diminutive Gotoh stealth tuners which helped a lot here, regular 4-on-a-plate tuners would push the headstock to at least 3/4" longer, with these there's even just about room to clip on a tuner.

Everything else got miniaturised too: there wasn't room for a regular tailpiece, so a modified bowl-back style brass one was used instead. Even the pots and knobs are smaller than normal. The endpin jack was used because the small body sits very low in the lap, so a jack anywhere else would have got in the way. The 3rd body point was dropped for the same reason.

Interestingly, I without "context", I don't think it looks particularly small:


Here it in construction next to a regular electric of mine (which themselves aren't that big):


It came out sounding good too, in fact the clients husband has ordered one for himself too!

May-23-2018, 2:13pm
Very cool.

Pittsburgh Bill
May-23-2018, 4:09pm
I like it. And here I thought my MAS would put to rest with my recent Kentucky purchase.

Jul-14-2018, 3:23am
Update: just delivered the second of this pair of "his and hers" mandolins:


This time I remembered to take a picture next to my regular mandolin for comparison:


Bertram Henze
Jul-14-2018, 3:45am
Ultra cool. I like the way of saving space in inconspicuous places, so it does not have the radically utilitarian looks you normally find on travel instruments.