View Full Version : Knutson Mandolin

Mark Walker
Feb-25-2006, 4:13pm
Looks like a little guitar! #How does it play and sound? #I have a Dorado classical guitar that has a spruce top and rosewood back and sides - sounds very mellow. #(Of course nylon strings tend to be a bit more mellow anyway...)

The mando looks nice - even though the photos are a bit small! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

R. Kane
Feb-25-2006, 5:42pm
Sweet sounding. To steal the tag of one of the forum folks, yes, it is a little guitar. Here's a bigger file

R. Kane
Feb-25-2006, 5:44pm
the back, reloaded.

Feb-25-2006, 6:18pm
Congrats, Richard!

Feb-25-2006, 9:50pm
Very nice change of pace!

Do you know what sort of bracing system it has?


R. Kane
Feb-26-2006, 10:35am
Yesterday I had a lot of work obligations, but this morning I've had a chance to study it.

It's a Knutson Songbird, according to the printed label. (Knutson must have made quite a few if he had labels printed.) Spruce flat top, brazilian rosewood back and sides. The body and headstock are quadruple bound in ebony and maple, the headstock veneer is rosewood, the bridge is adjustable ebony, and the tailpiece is a Monteleone. The top appears to be x braced like a guitar. 14" scale length, wide flat (1 3/16") fretboard, big frets. I own a couple of recent custom guitars and a new Collings that define perfection for me, and while this is not quite their equal, it is hard to find fault. I've seen Gurian and Larrivee guitars from this era, and its every bit as well crafted. It looks like it was barely played in its 25 years.

This is a blast to play! The tone is more sweet than piercing, very deep bass, better chop than one would expect, but the biggest difference from my other mandolins is the sustain. It is more like a guitar in that respect. I'm planning to reprise my (folk-rock) guitar repertoire on this mandolin!

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has one of these, and since the case that came with it is not a good fit I'll be looking for a case. (It fits within the overall frame of an F style case, but the padding needs to be very different).

From what I've read, Knutson opened up his shop in 1981, so this is likely among his first. He is making archtop/electric Songbirds now, along with guitars and basses and double/triple hybrids!

Knutson Mandolins (http://http://www.messengerbass.com/kluthiery/mandolins.html)


Feb-26-2006, 3:51pm
Just beautiful, Richard! Very, very nice shape. I had never heard of this maker until you posted these pics.

Chris Rorrer