View Full Version : New Ithaca Strings Mandolin On the Way!

Dec-30-2005, 4:49pm
I couldn't wait to post the pictures of my new mandolin, which was just finished and will be shipped to me next week. A great consolation as I mourn the loss of my father who passed away during Christmas up in Rigel country (Vermont).

Eric Aceto makes really nice traditional looking mandolins, electric mandolins, violins, guitars, and other interesting instruments. #This particular one has a pickup hidden within.

Dec-30-2005, 4:55pm
Finally, a shot of the side. This is not varnish, just simple guitar grade lacquer. I like the richness of the finish. He was very wonderful during the process and understanding as I hagged him. The build time ended up being only four and a half months. He originally told me ten.

Dec-30-2005, 5:23pm
Sorry to hear about your father..:-( enjoy that mandolin, its a beauty. I really like the F or should I say S holes.

Dec-30-2005, 5:24pm
Very attractive. That pickgaurd style is all the rage and very cool, I must add.


Mark Walker
Dec-30-2005, 6:29pm
Will - VERY nice. Love that grain on the back. Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Enjoy the mandolin - as I'm sure you will! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-02-2006, 9:18am
I saw it in progress in a visit to the shop a month ago (I also own an ISI mando, but it's more of an A4 style for jazz. I am sure you'll love the mando, and Eric is very good about working with the customer to get the sound just right.

Jan-02-2006, 9:26am
Forgive me for being simple. What makes this beautiful A model an A4 Jazz style?
Richard http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Jan-02-2006, 9:34am
No, I was referring to *my* mando, not his!! I say A4 although Eric does not use model numbers. It has an elliptical ("oval") hole and is set up for complex tones in favour of volume, also it's intended to be plugged in, that's why I say it's more of a jazz mando.

Jan-02-2006, 12:49pm
Very nice looking mandolin and I really like the one piece bridge...Im making a one piece for my Clark F5 to see how it sounds...it has a steep neck angle so the bridge is really tall, so im making a super light weight one like Frets.com shows on there website...I'll post the test results after it's done.

Jan-02-2006, 8:45pm
I saw it in progress in a visit to the shop a month ago (I also own an ISI mando, but it's more of an A4 style for jazz. I am sure you'll love the mando, and Eric is very good about working with the customer to get the sound just right.
Wow, you are a jet setter, Swampstomper, to Europe to Ithaca and all around the world. #I remember your A style, you posted pictures of it a while back and it was/is lovely. #Feel free to post a picture or two here, so we can compare.

Eric is also quite modest, notice the blank headstock. He does do fretboard inlays, but there is no big name on the headstock.

Jan-03-2006, 2:27am
Well, not that much of a jet setter -- I live in the Deep East of the Netherlands but grew up in Ithaca and still visit family there. I've known Eric a long time, since he was a repairman at Ithaca Guitar Works. He had done a really nice re-build of a 1950's D18 for me, so then I bought the mando in Oct. 2004. No regrets! And you are right, he is really a modest guy. A tremendous musician! and plays in lots of Ithaca-area combos.

Pix of my mando are in this forum under topic "thaca Stringed Instruments A-model". Sorry I can't figure out how to link to a previous post.

Speaking of the 1-piece bridge, that's why I was in the shop -- Eric was replacing the 1-piece bridge with a Gibson-style classic bridge, so I could see the tonal difference. The 1-piece has the built-in piezo and is great to plug in, it also has a nice tone acoustic but, I felt, somewhat quiet for acoustic jam sessions. So I wanted to try a conventional bridge. It makes quite a difference in tone, brighter and less mellow, perhaps less complex... but not noticeably louder. Now I have two bridges and can switch back and forth as the mood strikes.

Jan-03-2006, 9:37am
Well, not that much of a jet setter...
Now, I see...Swampstomper. I lived in Trumansburg as a kid and haven't been back in a while because my parents moved to Middlebury, Vermont. I thank you for your interesting comments. I haven't met Eric and am a bit afraid to because it may reveal my horrid musical ability. Nonetheless, I will let you know my feelings about the mandolin after it arrives. It is interesting that there are two fine mandolin builders in Central New York (Eric Aceto and Roger Bacorn). I had a pleasant conversation with Mr. Bacorn once and found him to also be very interesting/

Tom C
Jan-03-2006, 9:48am
Any web site for Eric Aceto?

Jan-03-2006, 4:18pm
Any web site for Eric Aceto?
Eric just e-mail with the tracking number. I will have the mandolin on Thursday and will provide more pictures then. His website is http://www.ithacastring.com/ It is somewhat sparse in mandolin content, but you can email them and they will provide pictures. He mades F style and A style and mandolin family instruments, guitars, electric mandolins, violins, and other instruments.

Jan-04-2006, 1:25am
Well FlawLaw you are right about his ability -- when he picks up my mando (that he built) to see how it sounds -- the stuff he plays just fooling around, the tone he gets, the coordination, the right hand... well, it makes me want to give it back to him right then and there! "I'm not worthy" of the instrument keeps coming through my mind. And remember he's primarily a violinist! He knows some really cool Brasilian material as well as the whole Grapelli catalogue etc. But he's pretty nice about not dissing my pathetic playing...

Jan-04-2006, 1:54am
Hey, look what was just published in the local Ithaca paper:

Article on ISI and Eric Aceto (http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060103/NEWS01/601030301/1002)

Nice photos of Eric and his son Jordan, who his father says "will be a great luthier".

Jan-04-2006, 7:55pm
Very interesting article and they called Ithaca Strings one of the great treasures of Tompkins Countty!

Jan-05-2006, 2:45am
Except they are located just across the line in Schuyler County -- although the T-burg address is in Tompkins. Being in Schuyler means he charges less sales tax!

Jan-05-2006, 7:28pm
Well, I got it. It has the clear marks of being handmade, tiny little imperfections here and there. The sound, however, is amazing. Mine is very loud and has an amazing played in sound. The woods are European spruce and maple. I am not sure if the woods are very old woods, which adds to the really played in sound. It is not at all tight and I can only imagine it will become more a live. The maple is not highly figured, but is interesting. There are few little ruts here and there.

The thing that is most impressive about the mandolin is that it is extremely lively to the touch and has the complicated overtones that I got from my oval hole. However, the chop is also powerful. This is really the most versatile mandolin I have owned. A very impressive instrument. The pickup is not at all noticeable. I haven't plugged it in yet. This is an amazing mandolin. Am I gushing...I will post more pictures later.

Jan-08-2006, 2:52pm
Some more pictures.

Jan-08-2006, 2:55pm

Jan-08-2006, 2:57pm
Very simple headstock, no bell shaped truss rod covers or flower pots...Despite its simplicity it has a real vintage sound.

Jan-08-2006, 2:57pm
This is X braced and the genuis of this particular mandolin is the way that it has been put together. The tone tapping, the choice of woods, and the way that it has been put together are meant to make the sound amazing. The emphasis on this mandolin is sound. When played in sounds and feels like it is alive.

Jan-08-2006, 2:58pm

Jan-08-2006, 3:00pm
The input jack. The electronics on this are superb and very discrete.

Jan-08-2006, 3:09pm

Feb-17-2006, 8:56pm
Well, this mandolin is turning into a real monster, so loud when chopped and the sweetest tone, so rich and full. It is X braced, so it was pretty open when I got it, but after hours and hours of playing it is really powerful. I put flatwound strings on it and the thing is still super loud. This is a mandolin for life. No, this hasn't completely free me of MAS, but on the other hand, I have sold several other instruments because they were so lonely just sitting aimlessly in their cases.

The emphasis on this mandolin is tone. It has some fit and finish imperfections here and there, but it is amazingly beautiful to play. The expression that a good instrument will almost play itself fits with this mandolin.

I finally plugged it in to a little combo amp today and the mando just exploded with power. I think if someone is looking for a traditional Gibsonesque tone with an awesome pickup this is the one. Eric has the right to be proud of his pickups. I wonder if he would put in his pickups on an existing mando?

I would recommend an ISI mandolin for someone looking for something traditional, but with a little bit of flare. But these are not particularly inexpensive A styles. I think that an ISI oval hole mandolin or his purely electric mando would be would be amazing.