View Full Version : Latest Newell mando #11

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:00pm
Here is a series of pics from my latest one. I got back from the Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival and figured the last few days of 100+ weather put the final touch on the finish so I strung it up with some new strings Im very happy.
#The festival was awesome!! I can't tell you how all those top notch bands put on a show when the stage was in the direct sun and it was about 103 degrees. Brian Bowers was the MC and put on a good hour show also. He can sing and play the auto harp so fine!!
#Anyway, the wood is from Bruce Harvie. It's a one piece Sitka top, quilted maple back and sides with a rock maple neck. Tortise binding, MoP nut and inlays, carbon fiber neck rod and also inside my bridge, Grover 18/1 tuners, custom newell tailpiece and some special modified X bracing.
#Keith Newell

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:01pm

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:02pm
The wierd glare is the reflection of the stuff behind me.

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:03pm
Top grain

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:04pm
Headstock. It's ebony but has nice grain to it.

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:05pm

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:06pm
center shot

Keith Newell
Jul-24-2004, 10:10pm
Ok heres my X bracing secrets. This was taken before I shaved the 4 tone bars down a bit more.
Hope ya like it.

Jul-24-2004, 10:24pm
That is one beautiful mandolin, I love the color! Looks like you you got your finishing down pat, just beautiful.

Jul-25-2004, 2:09am
I like the back a lot! Sweeeeet! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif Congrats!

Keith Newell
Jul-25-2004, 11:23am
Here is a mini-scooped fretboard end.

Jul-26-2004, 7:35am
Hey Great stuff..!

I just bought a bunch of Wood from Spruce too... I hope it looks as good as yours when the Luthier is done with it!


Jul-26-2004, 8:35am
Hey Keith,
Great looking mandolin and I'm sure it sounds fantastic judging from the remarks by folks who have played your mandos.
How do you think the bracing affects the tone and sound of this one? You had mentioned somewhere else that the sound at first wasn't what you had hoped for and it broke in fairly quickly. Have you tried this bracing combo before?
Just curious...

Keith Newell
Jul-26-2004, 2:51pm
I have never tried this bracing. They say neccesity is the mother of invention and in this case it is true. I wanted to do another modified X braced mando but when I was building it I didnt like one thing about the bracing. If you notice on a tone bar braced mando the bass bar runs under the outer most edge of the bridge and the treble bar runs under the inner most foot section. I took that concept and added two small braces that make contact approx the same place as a tone bar braced mando. Im not going by anything scientific or anything but it seems to me that the bracing (which is not for strength, the curvature is plenty strong) is meant to transmit sound...kinda spread it out and make the top work as a unit, kind of like a big speaker. So in an X braced mando the bridge doesnt have anything under the feet to continue the sound /energy transmission. (Quick note here, this is refering to my style of X bracing. Others may modify the spread of the X or the center of the X to make contact, its just in mine it doesnt).
#Anyway, the two side bars kind of help get that energy to the bigger braces.The picture that shows that was before I tap tuned and thinned all the bars down. The interesting thing was that during the thinning process when tapping the top it made a kind of "thunk" sound and didnt seem alive so the more I shaped them all of a sudden it became a almost ringing tone and the top seemed alive at that point.
#After finishing and stringing it up for the first time I had real high expectations and soon found them dragging in the dirt. I absolutly hated the sound and saw no room for improvement. But like a roller coaster this baby took me down to the bottom and shot me to the top as it changed its tone in 1 hour of playing, you would not guess it was the same instrument. I played it for about 3 hours at a local session Sunday night and its probably one of my best sounding instruments. It has a different sound then my Red Spruce/flamed maple instruments. It has a kind of pure lower tone. Oh! its like this:
#My red spruce topped instruments are like being punched with a bare knuckle, hard impact and stinging memory afterwards.
#My latest Sitka top is like being hit with a boxing glove by a big man that has a long reach and used all of it. The initial blow has a softer first contact but it goes deep and leaves a lasting memory.
Hey I should use that on my web-site......
#Keith Newell

Jul-26-2004, 9:19pm
Please post a pic of your latest composite saddle configuration. Thanks...

Keith Newell
Jul-27-2004, 9:04pm
Not much to see Evan. the Carbon fiber insert is about .180 wide and .200 deep and is up inside the ebony bridge top. You can't see it from anywhere except the bottom side. It runs all the way from side to side but doesn't quite reach the ends. The CF is sitting on the adjustment screws.