View Full Version : Stealth!

Dec-29-2007, 12:22pm
Here's some pix of the new Stealth...front. Still waiting for the T/P.

Dec-29-2007, 12:23pm

Dec-29-2007, 12:24pm
Wild fishbone sugar back...

Dec-29-2007, 12:26pm
Another view of the back...

Doug Edwards
Dec-29-2007, 12:26pm
Now that's sharp!

Dec-29-2007, 12:27pm
The "hook"...

Dec-29-2007, 12:28pm
Another view of the point...

tin ben dur
Dec-29-2007, 12:28pm
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! Me likie. That back looks like waves in the ocean. Very nice.

Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 12:29pm
Love it! The color, the binding, the back, everything. Beautiful work. Send it to me, please.

Dec-29-2007, 12:29pm
Nice! That is some wild binding, but it looks great.

Dec-29-2007, 12:32pm
Both points and pickguard...

Dec-29-2007, 12:33pm

Jim MacDaniel
Dec-29-2007, 12:36pm
Beautiful Hans -- I especially love the body shape and soundholes, and the headstock shape totally flows with the body shape.

Dec-29-2007, 12:37pm
Yes indeed!

Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 12:39pm
What's that nut made of?

Dec-29-2007, 12:43pm
Thanks folks! The nut is made from bone...magic markers work wonders. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 12:45pm
Lol! High-tech. I love it.

Dec-29-2007, 12:47pm
holy god! that design is really impressive and the wood suits it perfectly.

Dec-29-2007, 12:57pm
that's one tough looking design, Hans. Can you describe how it compares to one of your more traditional designs or to the Eclipse models (which I also love)?

Dec-29-2007, 1:02pm
totally awesome Mr Johann!

Bill James
Dec-29-2007, 1:12pm
Now that is way cool and I definately love the binding. I've seen the black burst in person....loved it. This makes me want to design a tailpiece cover just for this model.

Way to go Hans!

Dec-29-2007, 1:17pm
I like how the ridge on the long point extends way out in to the top and the back. I hadn't noticed that before. Very cool!

Ted Eschliman
Dec-29-2007, 1:24pm
Marvelous, Hans!

Dec-29-2007, 1:42pm
Can't wait for mine in the spring (not stealth)...

Mario Proulx
Dec-29-2007, 1:42pm
Fabulous! Simply fabulous!

Dec-29-2007, 1:49pm
Hey, thanks again folks...sorry for the fuzzy pix. Looks like I shouldn't have done a green background either. It really doesn't have a greenish tinge.
Wes, it's all about top and back wood. This one is German and sugar, the Eclipse is Italian and sugar. German makes it very complex sounding and the sugar puts the bite in it. Guess you'd call this one a German Gilchrist. Ja whol, mate! One of these days I'll build a Loar Stealth or Eclipse.
Andrew, I'll give credit for that long ridge to Pete Langdell...he used it on his beautiful Jethro and Jethrine designs.
Bill, go for it!

Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 1:52pm
Hans, love your creativity and willingness to push the envelope, but I do have to say just for the record that that ain't no part o' nuthin'. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Seriously though, it's just plain jaw-dropping.

Dec-29-2007, 1:59pm
That so reminds me of a cool old classic car. #How did you come up with that shape? And how does that mandolin sound for Bluegrass style playing?

Dec-29-2007, 2:03pm
I knew I should have applied for a patent for my stealth mandolin, here's a picture of mine...

By the way Hans, that is beautiful.

Mark Walker
Dec-29-2007, 2:15pm
Hans - VERY cool indeed. Ditto on what everyone else is saying.

Mike Edgerton - you're on an entertaining roll! Me thinks the eggnog is affecting you brilliantly! Too funny! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Happy Gnu Year!

Dec-29-2007, 2:54pm
I really want one!

Skip Kelley
Dec-29-2007, 3:14pm
Hans, That is beautiful! Where did you get the tortise binding? I like the color variations in it.

Dec-29-2007, 6:06pm
Very elegant Hans. Very impressive. I like the black on the back of this one very much. The whole thing has a certain mystique.... Maybe it's because I just got back from Sweeney Todd. The back certainly looks Tim Burton-esque and I mean that as the highest compliment!

Anyway, love that mandolin and three cheers for whomever it's going to.


Andrew Faltesek
Dec-29-2007, 6:16pm

That is one beautiful, well concieved, impeccably constructed mandolin.
Very unified concept and design. Sharp, cool, modern style.

Pat yourself on the back, and sit back while we all flood you with admiration and congratulations...tinged with a bit of envy.

Dec-29-2007, 6:18pm
Yes, very elegant indeed. And avant garde cool. I love the lines on it, especially how the fretboard scoop curves. The black burst and that fishbone grain on the back really groove.

Dec-29-2007, 6:21pm
geez.....that just breaks my heart. that is just one tremendously classy mandolin.


Dec-29-2007, 7:21pm
Hans -

That REALLY made my day! What a superb piece of work.

Many thanks for posting it. It's really a whole other level.

Dec-29-2007, 7:51pm
Duuuude... awesome. Fantastic design Hans, your work continues to evolve.

Dec-29-2007, 7:59pm

Rick Albertson
Dec-29-2007, 11:22pm
The most impressive modern mandolin style I've ever seen... by far!

Great, Hans.


Dec-29-2007, 11:38pm
great work Hans... a new classic design in the making... i see the headstock as being too tame for the rest of the design though - push it just a bit more and you'll have the most wonderful new design since the Monteleone Grand Artist. yeah, yeah... i know all you guys are gonna get on my case for my comment about the headstock, but hell... you're all entitled to my opinion! # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Don Grieser
Dec-29-2007, 11:50pm
Just when I thought MAS was over with.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif Really a great design--magnificent concept and perfect execution.

Dec-30-2007, 12:15am
VERY cool! Love the tortoise binding against the black. Wonder how it sounds?

Dec-30-2007, 12:54am
I'm generally not a big fan of black bursts, but that absolutely looks stunning!! Some picker is going to be very happy!!

Dec-30-2007, 1:15am

Chris Biorkman
Dec-30-2007, 1:31am
I really like the headstock. You can't please everybody I guess.

Dec-30-2007, 1:46am
It's amazing, how far these kit mandolins have come in the past few years. Now ANYONE can build like a pro! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Absolute poetry in motion, Hans! Bravo!


Michael Lewis
Dec-30-2007, 2:01am
There goes the neighborhood. Hans, you are raising the bar pretty high. Makes it tough to keep up with the Johanns'.

Classic elegance. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Dec-30-2007, 4:00am
Although I remain slightly partial to a certain other blackburst mandolin, I must admit that this Stealth is particularly attractive. I'm thinking that you do this rather well, Dr. B. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif

Dec-30-2007, 7:16am
Well, shucks...glad you all like it!
Gutbucket, the design is like anything these days: parts and pieces stolen from others and recombined in a pleasing way. As I have said it sounds rich with a crispness to it. We may have a soundclip in a few days. I know folks that use my German spruce mandolins for bluegrass...I'm sure Chuck Bogle would tell you how bluegrass can sound with German spruce. Some day in my "spare" time I will build one with red spruce and red maple and we'll have a "bluegrass" Stealth.
Skip, the binding came from Canada, and I must have used the best sections out of 10 strips to do this one mandolin.
Mike, I like your Stealth better, but you stole my background! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Steven, I did make up a P/H veneer that was a little more tapered, but it came out wrong and I went back to the original with a slight change. I would like to make it a little more tapered. The mandolin design is #still a work in progress.
Chuck, I knew I would do a blackburst Stealth after I finished your 23V.

Dec-30-2007, 7:48am
Hans, we must have a mutual friend, Mr. Art Deco!

Fabulous work.

San Rafael
Dec-30-2007, 8:14am
The back is unbelievable.

Dec-30-2007, 8:37am
Mike, I like your Stealth better, but you stole my background!
I was hoping you wouldn't notice.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-30-2007, 9:57am
Mike, I like your Stealth better, but you stole my background!
I was hoping you wouldn't notice.... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Yea, I think you clone stamped mine into oblivion! # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Dec-30-2007, 11:22am
Just fantastic,the lines are sexy like a '68 Dino Ferrarri. This one is going to my new wallpaper so the Mrs. can see it. She is as big a lover of your mandolins as I am and she dosn't even play tho she has developed a critical ear over the past few years.
Is it the photo or are the strings also black?
Still lovin' my 23VB.

Dec-30-2007, 11:35am
Thanks John, I know Art, Lloyd and Orville! Still trying to get a table at Joe Val...
Steven, hi to your wife! The strings are "Black Diamond" black...figured it would work. Now if I could only get some black Elite tuners. How bout it Don?

Mario Proulx
Dec-30-2007, 11:59am
Hans, one look, and I thought that this would be the perfect candidate for some black Steinberger tuners. Not sure they'd work for a mandolin, but if nobody else tries them soon, I will! <bg>. They just scream to be used on this type of mandolin(which you've inspired me to attempt my own version thereof, BTW).


james condino
Dec-30-2007, 12:26pm
Bravo Hans!


Jim Rowland
Dec-30-2007, 4:21pm
Mario,do you have a rough idea of how you would mount the Steinbergers? I'd love to see a sketch.

Dec-30-2007, 4:35pm
The mandolin design is #still a work in progress.
It's a really beautiful design Hans and I'm glad to hear that you'll be perfecting it as time goes on. This design is uniquely yours so far as I can tell, and you can be a proud papa! Happy New Year my man!

All the Best - SB

Patrick Gunning
Dec-30-2007, 4:38pm
That is the coolest burst I've seen on a mandolin in a while. The back looks like a full moon reflecting off a river.


Is this a demonstration model or is there already a lucky owner?

Mario Proulx
Dec-30-2007, 6:49pm
I'd love to see a sketch.

Jim, I'd likely just mount them into the same holes as always(though they'd need to be larger). But come to think of it, there's no reason why they couldn't also be spaced to follow the headstock's shape.

Dale Ludewig
Dec-30-2007, 9:55pm
Hans, as always, just beautiful. Design.......... Let's keep it going.

Dec-30-2007, 11:06pm
I love the way the curved ridge of the pick guard continues on the fret board extension. A very interesting way to solve that problem.

Bill Snyder
Dec-30-2007, 11:57pm

Is this a demonstration model or is there already a lucky owner?
This is not the first one of these Hans has built. Here (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=34097;hl=stealth) is a thread on one he built over a year ago.

Dec-31-2007, 8:15am
Geez Mario, those look like the ticket! I guess this Stealth is obsolete before the paint is dry. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
My P/H is thinner than 1/2" at the top so I guess they wouldn't fit. Don't know if they would go with the peghead shape (guess I'll be thinking about shapes)...I really could see them on the Eclipse.
Bill, this is actually the third Stealth, and it will be hanging around for a while.
Steven, this is the great thing about original designs...they are fluid. You are not locked into thinking "inside the box". We all have Pete Langdell to thank for the viability of originality. He made it work. I would encourage all builders to build something original...it's refreshing!
Looks like we might get a soundclip up later today.

Dec-31-2007, 8:20am
..........i own #2.

Dec-31-2007, 12:42pm
Here are a couple of video clips. My thanks to Greg Fisher for taking the time.

Blackburst Stealth video clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HFKE1pYIPs)

Blackburst Stealth video clip 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSVVjExG6Gg)

Dec-31-2007, 1:40pm
Great job, Hans, as usual. It's almost as cool as my L-21V http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Keep up the good work. Chuck

David Houchens
Dec-31-2007, 1:51pm
Hans, I like the back alot. I like the rest of it too, but the back is really nice. Who carries that dark tortoise binding? What I have ordered in the past has been too red for my liking. Thanks, David

Dec-31-2007, 2:10pm
Thanks for the clips. You can really hear the depth of the tone.

Dec-31-2007, 2:28pm
Thanks Shaun. I do have a couple of MP3's from my H2 Zoomy thing, but danged if I know how to put 'em up. Anyone know how to do this? I'm afraid the moron factor looms large for me with this computer stuff...
Bryce, Bill James has some good tortoise, but this stuff came from Canada. I think Mario would know the guy.

Dec-31-2007, 2:55pm
When would one ever need a stealth mandolin?

Dec-31-2007, 3:13pm
Stunning Hans! You da man.
And a big Happy New Year to you and Mo.

Mario Proulx
Dec-31-2007, 9:08pm
I thought the bindings looked familiar... Gary Gougher, of GW Musical Supplies carried these. The batches change, and I'm not sure of he has any left of this batch(I'm running low of it too), but he always seems to have very nice TS bindings... He has some really funky wavy grained ivoroid right now; not to my tastes, but nice anyhow. He's now moved his operation under the roof of Heinl(a higher end violin shop) in Toronto. I have his contact info if anyone needs it...

Dec-31-2007, 9:26pm
great work Hans... a new classic design in the making... i see the headstock as being too tame for the rest of the design though - push it just a bit more and you'll have the most wonderful new design since the Monteleone Grand Artist. yeah, yeah... i know all you guys are gonna get on my case for my comment about the headstock, but hell... you're all entitled to my opinion! # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
I was going to say something like that too but didn't want to be crucified on my favorite Web Page. The mandolin is absolutley stunning, beautiful lines and amazing figure in the back but the headstock just doesn't seem as stealthy as the rest of the Mandolin. #Yeah I know, this coming from a guy who knows nothing about building a mandolin. #I love it though, very innovative design. #Keep up the original work!

B. T. Walker
Jan-01-2008, 8:43pm
I think the whole mandolin is absolutely beautiful. That back is wild. As for the headstock, I think it is classily stealthy. Clean and sharp.

Pay no attention to Darrin -- he is deluded. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Joe F
Jan-01-2008, 11:25pm
Beautiful, Hans! Are you going to have it at the MBOTMA Winter Bluegrass Weekend?

Jan-02-2008, 7:51am
Thanks Craig, guys!
Mario, that's the guy...sorry to hear that he's running low.
Joe, I will have it at the March festival.
As far as the peghead, tuners and just general design, you do have to stay within certain parameters. You might push it just a bit too far, and then some folks won't care for THAT. You just can't please everyone as seen in all the previous posts. That said, It's best to make small changes in new designs. Be assured that the inspiration to build another proto will come from new inspiration in the design. Major inspiration for this one was blackburst. The next one might require redrawing the print for the instrument, possibly making new moulds and templates. That would take a lot of time.

Jan-02-2008, 8:05am
The next one might require redrawing the print for the instrument, possibly making new moulds and templates. That would take a lot of time.
Understood. All the best in 2008 Hans!

Jan-02-2008, 9:38am
Hans, Is there a chance you could post a head on shot of the back, please. It's so cool.


Jan-02-2008, 10:12am
Steven, I hope you don't think I was singling you out...just trying to say that "Some folks do like this, some folks do like that..." There is no perfect design.
Jamie, I'll post some better pix soon as I get a little extra time.

Jan-02-2008, 10:35am
No problem Hans... I realize, as usual, I'm in the minority on this. I've taken many more looks at the mandolin and the headstock, to me at least, is quite similar in design to the Collings/Nugget headstock - which is a certainly great, elegant design. But I guess I hear the body of your mando calling out for something uniquely its own. Hey, what the hell do I know?

Jan-03-2008, 6:08pm
I would love a red one

Jan-03-2008, 6:09pm
Give Hans a call and order one!

Jan-03-2008, 6:16pm
HMMMMMMMM no pic. Try again

Jan-04-2008, 7:22am
Oh, no...not photoshop the Stealth! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Actually, that's quite a nice color. Too bad I can't do lacquer anymore.

Bill Snyder
Jan-04-2008, 11:36am
Hans you can always color tint shellac. The first mandolin I built is red tinted shellac. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-05-2008, 7:59am
Bill, the problem with solid color shellac or varnish is the clear topcoats. They are not as clear as lacquer. I've tried it with white and when clear is put over the color and sanded smooth, it comes out blotchy. Granted a darker color might be less noticeable. Aside from the one white top and a few black top mandolins I've built, I really don't like to cover up the grain. That's why I went with the blackburst top on this instrument.

Jan-16-2008, 7:04am
As requested...head on shot of the back.

Jan-16-2008, 7:05am
Sneek preview of the beginnings of a redesign... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-16-2008, 8:17am
Sneek preview of the beginnings of a redesign... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
That's funny and clever... Man, that back is the classiest I've seen in a long time. Just gorgeous Hans.

Jan-16-2008, 8:23am
Thanks, Hans. Great job enhancing already great looking wood.


Jan-16-2008, 12:22pm
That back is simply amazing. Some of the most beautiful figure I've seen. And it works perfectly with the blackburst. Now how 'bout a Stealth in hard maple and red spruce? That would cause a serious case of MAS!

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-16-2008, 1:11pm
Sneek preview of the beginnings of a redesign... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
I already have that on paper and ink. Wood counts alot more though http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-17-2008, 8:15am
Know what you mean Darryl, it's hard to find the extra time. Fortunately, Maureen doesn't put too many demands on my spare time aside from housework, painting the upstairs, playing musical furniture, etc, etc.
Jamie, Shaun, I wish I had that back on the next one. I do have another two piece back almost as good, and some ends of boards that have fishbone, but haven't figured out a good way of joining them to make a pleasing back. The next one will be German spruce also as it's my favorite and at some point this one will be sold. I'm making the "PML" with red spruce/sugar maple just to have one, but I'm just not that crazy about the combination of top and back woods. Another builder we all know described that tone as sounding like a drawer full of silverware tossed down a flight of stairs. # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif #
Some day I'll make a Stealth from red spruce/red maple.
Steve-o, I didn't want to give away too much... # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-17-2008, 9:15am
Steve-o, I didn't want to give away too much... # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
You're such a tease (har!)... now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!

Jan-28-2008, 10:01am
Well, OK, I'll give away a little...

Jan-28-2008, 10:21am
Oh, now I like that ALOT... Hans, by jove you've created a masterpiece! The Stealth is in a class by itself design-wise. Congrats!

Jan-28-2008, 10:52am
When I saw the first photo of the Stealth I was determined to hate it. Then I looked close at the pictures that followed, talk about a one-eighty in opinion!! What incredible workmanship and attention to detail. I think I may be a convert! Nice work, Hans.

Mark Walker
Jan-28-2008, 10:59am
I've said it before and I'll say it again - VERY COOL Hans! #

I know you and Ken Ratcliff have traded a few compliments on each other's new designs (his Fantasma (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=50162;st=25) and your Stealth) and I credit both of you for stepping outside the box a bit with these new looks - but not so far as to be totally bizarre! # It can be a fine line between 'intriguing' and 'appalling!' And you've both got some neat headstock designs on these instruments as well.

Keep up the great work Hans! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-30-2008, 12:46pm
It's all your fault Steven!
Mark, Ken and I have traded more than compliments...we just traded some spruce. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

May-09-2008, 7:04am
The stealth flies east.

I just couldn't resist the Stealth, I sent my thugs around to do some work on Hans, after some 'softening up' he was frog-marched to the post office, Stealth in hand.

It should be here soon, I will report when it arrives.

BTW I believe Han's looks remain as rugged and charming as ever, I only use the best villains...

Bill Halsey
May-10-2008, 9:17am
Hans, I gotta visit this forum more often. I'm in mid-iMac crisis switching from PC, and missed the intro of your thread.

Understatement of the week: You have a very special creative gift; when I see the progression of your work, I know it takes someone with your chops to bring it off. Love it.

Jay says hi; Bjorn is a monster on the fiddle.

May-11-2008, 6:55am
Thanks Bill! Enjoy your iMac...we're a 3 Mac family.
Hi to Jay, and glad Bjorn is tearing it up.
Trevor, look out for a sneaky package...ribbit!
Stay tuned for STV-4...

Carleton Page
May-11-2008, 9:06am
STV-4. Is that Stealth version 4?

May-12-2008, 6:06am
Yup, it's in the white... # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

May-12-2008, 8:47am
What? In the white and still no pics?? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Carleton Page
May-12-2008, 11:17am
Cool! I can't wait to see it! pics please!

May-13-2008, 10:45am
There's a Stealth in there somewhere... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

May-13-2008, 10:58am
Looks like a nice batch. Especially the oval A-styles.