View Full Version : Campanella Due (2pt) at CMSA

Oct-15-2008, 10:31am
Here's a few pictures of a brand new snakehead Due ("dooay") model mandolin that I'll be showing at CMSA in Montreal this weekend. We're psyched that the event is way up here this year as it's only a short hop from Vermont. I built this mandolin with some of the classic Gilchrists in mind--red spruce, hard maple and an X-brace to mellow things out and bring up the low end. I'm very pleased with the results, though I couldn't bring myself to string it with flatwounds. Think Bach in the parlor and Bluegrass on the porch! It also features a custom ebony armrest with Hill brackets and oil varnish as always. I'm also bringing an F-model mandolin (strung w/Thomastiks) and several violins. I'm currently doing research on the rest of the mandolin family for a new Vermont Arts Council grant project which has been approved (stay tuned) and would love to look at any interesting 'dolas and 'cellos at CMSA.
Allons y a Montreal!

Carleton Page
Oct-15-2008, 11:05am
Beautiful! I played the model at Music Emporioum and it was unbelievably good! I am kicking myself for not buying a used Due I saw for sale recently. Why do you call it the Due?

Oct-15-2008, 11:20am
Why do you call it the Due?[/QUOTE]

i think "due" might be Italian for 2... as in duo, deux etc... as in 2-point mando

i've never played one of these mandolins, (would sure like to) but i really admire the builder's vision and his courage to try something different in modern mandolin design. beautiful work... congrats!

Carleton Page
Oct-15-2008, 11:25am
Ahhhhhh. I see. Thanks!

Oct-15-2008, 11:30am
Very elegant, Joe. I really like the lines on the armrest. Good luck and good hunting at CMSA.


Oct-15-2008, 11:34am
Thanks, Due is Italian for two (point). I'm named after my grandfather who was born in Calabria, Italy.

The model's symmetrical aesthetic contains duality at many levels. It's also in a sense, the #2 in my model lineup (F, Due, A). I really like this model as combines the F and A in terms of body volume and structural rigidity. The corners really strengthen the rib structure in a significant way that works with the arch to resist tension.

I really like working on symmetrical models, from a bench-work perspective. I'll be designing the other mandolin family instruments: Piccolo Mandolin, Mandola, Octave, Mandocello, on this form this winter. So, even more 2-points to come...


Brad Weiss
Oct-15-2008, 12:04pm
Hey Joe, my wife is Calabrese, too!

Just goes to show you what a William & Mary grad can accomplish if he puts his mind to it.

Really beautiful

Oct-15-2008, 2:19pm
Can't wait to see and hear these instruments of yours, Joe. If there were a post-Orville G. era design revelation destined more for classical music than yours, it has yet to be shown....

Oct-15-2008, 2:47pm
Absolutely beautiful Joseph! Class in every way. Do you have any soundclips of this one?


Don Grieser
Oct-15-2008, 11:25pm
Beautiful work as usual, Joe. Any reason for the snakehead vs the usual peghead shape on the Due? Do you think it does anything to the sound? Can't wait to see and hear what you come up with on the mando family!! :mandosmiley:

Chris Biorkman
Oct-16-2008, 12:17am
I applaud you for doing something different. I would love to play one.

Oct-16-2008, 9:16am
Thanks everyone!

I'd never have gotten to this point without all of the encouragement from other players and builders to do something different. Luckily, there's lots of inspiration from other builders' artistic visions to be had these days (Brian's instruments come right to mind).

Brad, I'd never have learned to write a grant if I hadn't done it in the Anthro Dept. at W&M as an undergrad. Credit due...

Jonas, No time to record this one yet, in fact we're heading off to Montreal this morning. If I had to describe the sound--always tough--I'd say it has the mid and high signature you'd expect from the "harder" tonewoods (My wife says she can hear it inside the house--"don't wake the baby"), with a bit more openness, sustain, and bass response which I'd attribute to the X-brace. Of course, it's only a week old w/tension so I expect it to focus as it settles.

Don, I wanted to try the snakehead to see if it reduced HS weight a little and changed the physical balance of the instrument, as well as for a little aesthetic mixing-it-up. It has the Elite tuners (so far so good), which aren't necessarily that light, so I'm not sure if I gained much there. Chalk it up to snakehead fever.
I wouldn't expect it to change much soundwise, though of course every little ounce is involved. If you put a tuning fork on the headstock of one of these instruments, it's amazing how much sound comes out of the body. Very alive.

And yes, the mando family--I can't wait to see the variety at CMSA and really get to work on my Mandolin Genome Project with a little hands on research (show me your 'cello!). My goal is to create a distinct five piece mandolin family (on the Due form), which includes the octave and piccolo range, and is aesthetically and geometrically integrated. The project is all design work, and I'll be creating materials (drawings, patterns, forms) based on those I studied at the Stradivari museum in Cremona. I'll get started this winter, when things are really dark, cold and snowy up here in VT, and there's nothing better to do than light a fire, hole up and draw.

Now, to finish packing, and head north.


Jim Garber
Oct-16-2008, 9:38am
Get your hands on some Lyon & healy mandolins and, if you can, a mandola and mandocello. I think those L&Hs are the ultimate carved mandocelli.

One of the CMSA board members has a Calace liuto (10 string MC) he plays and you should check that out for another type of low end but that wouldn't relate to what you are doing.

Oct-16-2008, 4:01pm
Joe, following up the above advice, my L&H is available any time. -- Paul

Dan Voight
Oct-16-2008, 4:19pm
Great looking instrument and nice looking armrest also.

John Goodin
Oct-20-2008, 9:01pm
Joe, we weren't properly introduced but I certainly enjoyed meeting you and getting to play your beautiful instrument during the last jam session of the CMSA. Very responsive with a lovely bell-like sound up on the A and E strings. It was a pretty loose bunch of classical sight-readers at the end of a long day so I couldn't appreciate the tone as much as it deserved but it was certainly great to play.

Thanks also for giving me a chance to hear my Pomeroy played by someone of our ability. Hope to see you next year.

John G.