View Full Version : Hamlett #11

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:27am
Just came to me. This thing is great. Loud and mellow, Dark and bright. Its a cross between a fine wine and a fine beer.

Spruce Top
Maple back and sides
Tortoise Shell Binding

John was great to work with.

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:29am
here it is out of the case

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:33am
Headstock with amazing pinecone inlay

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:35am
Oval Hole - based off of my wife's wedding ring. -- Its the least could do for her -- she puts up with me!

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:36am
Back O'The Scroll

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:37am
Nice Flame-y back

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:39am
Ebony over the back of the headstock. Grovers with Ebony Buttons

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:40am
Front O'The Scroll

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:41am
Another Oval Shot

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:43am
Fingerboard Elevation

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:44am
Another of the headstock. The Ebony liiks like tortoise shell on the side. its too cool.

Adam Tracksler
Mar-31-2006, 11:45am
Johns great tailpiece and bridge.

This is the last one for a bit.

Mar-31-2006, 12:01pm
Wow! What a beautiful instrument! I especially like the pine cone inlay. Very unique.

Congratulations! Be sure to tell us more about how she sounds after you play awhile.

Gail Hester
Mar-31-2006, 12:17pm
That is one beautiful mandolin, congratulations and way to go John. Macassar Ebony on the headstock?

Mar-31-2006, 12:23pm
spectacular- congrats!

Mar-31-2006, 12:37pm
Gorgeous. Very classy looking.

I got to see this one before John shipped it. It looks even better in person. Plays and sounds great, too.



Skip Kelley
Mar-31-2006, 12:37pm
That is a beautiful mandolin! Perfect in every detail!!

Michael Gowell
Mar-31-2006, 1:52pm
Adam - Congrats on your beautiful instrument. #Love the binding and your customized oval inlay. #Hey, my Sumi arrived today too! We'll have to get together & trade licks and try each other's new mando.

When do you suppose the last time 2 handmade mandolins were delivered in this modest town on the same day? #Maybe a century ago, in the days of the big tourist hotels...

Austin Clark
Mar-31-2006, 2:24pm
Gorgeous mandolin, John. I really like the bridge and the pinecone inlay. Excellent use of negative space for the pinecone! Also, your lines are very crisp and clean, particularly looking at the headstock.

Dale Ludewig
Mar-31-2006, 2:33pm
Gorgeous. Beautiful work John.

Mar-31-2006, 3:05pm
Excellent. I really like the bridge design on top of everything else!!


Mar-31-2006, 4:16pm
Awsome..what more can I say. And yes that bridge saddle is slick. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-31-2006, 5:03pm

WOW ! ! ! this is one kewl instrument............................

~x (shayne)

Mar-31-2006, 5:04pm
Very nice- I love the backstrap on the headstock- things like that are for the players pleasure as the folks out in front of the mando never see'em.

I look forward to seeing it at Mando Camp North

Mar-31-2006, 5:37pm
Oval Hole - based off of my wife's wedding ring.

By the way, great idea. How can she not love that??

Guys, take notes.

Paula http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Lane Pryce
Mar-31-2006, 6:20pm
Very nice. I know John's attention to detail is uncanny. He did the setup on my Kelley A5 and the playability is scrumptious. Your F4 is a real treat for the eye and one I am sure you will treasure for years to come. Lp

Mar-31-2006, 6:58pm
Nice 4!

You know, this has to be about the first time I haven't seen Sunburst chime in on a thread of interest in years... #
Must be shy, I guess... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Hey, is that some of that fire-killed Engelmann??

Mar-31-2006, 8:31pm
That bridge is fantastic! Beautiful piece of spruce, and beautiful everything else!

Bill Snyder
Mar-31-2006, 8:41pm
Very nice.

Mar-31-2006, 8:59pm
Wow! John, that's awesome! I noticed the saddle right away. I like that.

Jason Kessler
Mar-31-2006, 9:42pm
A pip!

Mar-31-2006, 9:55pm
What everybody else said, John; really fine.


Mar-31-2006, 10:37pm
Hey, thanks, folks!
I've been kind of busy the last few days, not on the net much, Bruce. Yep, that's the fire killed Engelmann. Some wonderful wood, that carved like butter! (thanks!)

By the way, I probably never would have designed and built this mandolin if it weren't for Adam. He knew what he wanted, and we worked together all the way through the design, from the unbound board and headstock, to the flat fingerboard, to the neck size, to the cosmetics. He's in Maine, and I'm in Virginia, but now that there is this internet, we had the whole thing designed and "built" in Photoshop, and we both pretty much knew exactly what it would look like, almost before it was started.
The rosette and the pine cone were his ideas. Working with the customer on a design is usually fun, but when the customer has been to design school, like Adam, it can be a learning experience too!

Adam Tracksler
Apr-01-2006, 6:28am
I can't tell you what a wise, insightful professional John is. He has some great ideas and was absolutely wonderful to work with. He totally understood my ramblings and was able to synthesize my wierdo neck shape "specs" (Umm,, I really liked that 1918 Gibson A I played a while ago, and the breedlove neck, but i want it hind of wider, and not as Veed as the gibson...I have big hands) into a neck that fits my hand perfectly (And my wifes -- she loves it too).

My dad was checking it out (He is building his first guitar - and I think this blew his mind) "Adam, this mandolin goes to 11"

Stanley Cox
Apr-02-2006, 8:51am
atrack, Great looking 4. It looks as if you and John paid a good deal of heed to "Sunburst's" advice. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Good work.

Stanley http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif

Adam Tracksler
Apr-05-2006, 11:03am
After taking this out and really whailing away on it, I am more impressed than before.

It really is starting to sing.

Open chords sound lush and full - kind of autoharp-ish. There are a few nice sweet spots for chopping. The mandolin really works well and is consistent up and down the neck. I was sitting in between two banjos and could hear myself and the rest of the jam could hear me too!

Darren Kern
Apr-05-2006, 11:29am
John, this is one of the most beautiful blonde mandos I've ever seen. Everything about it looks perfect. That inlay is amazing. I'm at a loss for words except to say that I hope someday I can build something half as nice as this. atracksler, congrats, you've got a keeper with this one!!

Sep-23-2014, 3:15pm
I know this thread is really old, but maybe John will comment. What is the significance of the pinecone? Obviously, spruce comes to mind first, but this has many religious and occult associations and has left me curious. Thanks!


Sep-23-2014, 3:27pm
Adam (the mandolin's owner) is from Maine. White pine is the state tree of Maine, and the pine cone is a state symbol. He wanted some kind of association with the state of Maine, and the white pine cone was the eventual decision.

Sep-23-2014, 3:54pm
Great choice in your builder. I'm sure you'll enjoy this for many years to come. Being from Virginia does help of course!

Pete Jenner
Sep-24-2014, 7:21am
This must from the days when 'Sunburst' was known as 'Blondie'.

dan in va
Sep-25-2014, 3:22pm
i haven't seen this one before, and everything about the design really works.

Especially the tailpiece....getting away from parallel lines keeps some assymetries from being noticed, such as the center line from the neck through the TP being a little off, like so many mandolins are. Also, wedging a tooth pick in the slot behind a string keeps strings from popping out during changes better than any other tailpiece i've tried -- yes, including the hinged style.

Gotta say that i miss that gleaming square block about as much as the sharp stick in the eye that it is. +1 to the guys who think the Gibson shape TP is out of character with the F and A style curves.

And that pine cone is just great...the perfect thing for an unbound scroll peghead.

Well done, John.

Sep-25-2014, 4:27pm
Great choice in your builder. I'm sure you'll enjoy this for many years to come. Being from Virginia does help of course!

Not sure if John is still in VA, and how did you know I selected John, not that it is a bad choice of course?


Sep-25-2014, 7:41pm
Not sure if John is still in VA, and how did you know I selected John, not that it is a bad choice of course?

Sean John is still in Virginia. I do not know him, but have researched The Stelling Banjo Company and know he worked there for a time and built the very first Stelling Mandolins here in Virginia. Kim Breedlove did build mandolins for Stelling, but in California prior to John. I did not know you had selected John Hamlett. I was referring to the Original Poster here. Are you aware that "sunburst" is John Hamlett. I am presently having a Stelling S-5 being build by David Houchens. He is "Bryce" on this forum. I may be picking the Stelling up in a few weeks. Getting a little excited right now.

Sep-25-2014, 10:52pm
Hi Kenny. The mandolin in your avatar is, in fact, one that I built.
I'm barely still in Virginia. As soon as I can get everything packed up I'll be heading out... (so many loose ends...)

Sep-26-2014, 6:50am
Congrats Adam! Beautiful mandolin! Mr. Hamlett is a premeir builder of the modern era. I would love to have one of his mandolins in my collection before "I turn my toes up."

Sep-26-2014, 6:52am
Hey John. Man I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your new home. I think that Virginia has many locations that I could call home. I guess it's in the blood as my ancestry goes back to the 1600's all right here along The James River. I've been coveting the people that call Virginia's Mountains their home. Best wishes.

Sep-26-2014, 8:41am
I'm barely still in Virginia. As soon as I can get everything packed up I'll be heading out...

Curses! (I'm a Virginian.) And only a few weeks after I'd first heard your mandolins being played. (Sounded wonderful, by the way.) 'Scuze my ignorance, but where are you heading to?

My favorite:

Sep-30-2014, 8:10pm
Fabulous job John. Sublime.

Bill Snyder
Sep-30-2014, 10:22pm
So 8 1/2 years later does Adam still play this mandolin?

Sep-30-2014, 11:00pm
Blauserk, heading for Kentucky. Once I get settled in I'll update my website and contact info. (Andy's mandolin in the video is #6, IIRC.)

Bill, I haven't been in contact with Adam lately, but I'm pretty sure he still has and plays the mandolin. He might be playing banjo more these days, not sure. It would be interesting to see the mandolin now. I bet the color has darkened a bit.

Interesting how the return of an old thread like this one can bring back memories of what life was like at the time!

Oct-02-2014, 1:59pm
That mandolin sounds FANTASTIC! Can't wait to get my Hamlett!