View Full Version : Bandolim from Switzerland

Michael Wolf
Jun-26-2009, 3:42pm
This is my Bandolim made by Jon Piguet (http://www.piguetguitars.com/) in Switzerland. Unfortunately heīs not building anymore. Itīs really a fabulous instrument. It is suited for many styles, Choro aswell as irish tunes and oldtime. It is very responsive and has wonderful sustain and tone. The sound is airy and also loud and full.

Brandon Flynn
Jun-26-2009, 4:27pm
Very Nice! I really want to play a bandolim someday.

Bruce Clausen
Jun-26-2009, 5:25pm
Lovely! Congratulations, Michael. I hope you'll let us all hear it soon.


Larry S Sherman
Jun-26-2009, 5:37pm
Very nice. My friend has something quite similar, not sure of the maker, but Swiss also.

Jake Wildwood
Jun-27-2009, 9:33pm
Beautiful instrument. Lovely lines, no?

Michael Wolf
Jul-01-2009, 12:52pm
Thanks very much for your comments. I will post some soundfiles in the next few days.
Iīm beginning to like flattop mandos. This one is the complete opposite of my A5, but I can play everything on it nonetheless. The things that Iīm mostly interested in (Choro and Irish Tunes) seem to work significantly better than on my archtops, also compared to my A4. Itīs also nothing quieter than the archtops. Iīd say it cuts through in another way.
I made my first choro rehearsal with this one this week (with clarinet) and my impression was that I and also my band mates could hear the mando better than with my A5. They also liked the sound much better. They know nothing about Bluegrass or something, so they donīt expect archtop-sound anyway and the flattop sounds much more authentic for Choro.
But the most important thing is that this kind of mando supports this playing-style quite a bit more. I can play the choros more effortlessly now and thatīs a great experience. I guess itīs the sustain and the sweetness of the tone, also the overall ligthness of the instrument. Tremolo works nice.
I canīt use my Blue Chip on this mando.:) Itīs to filigree for heavy plecs. But thatīs nice, I now use my Claytons again and donīt have to watch after my plec all the time on the session.

Jake Wildwood
Jul-01-2009, 5:08pm
Hmm a flat-top convert. ;)

I've always been a flat-top fan. You get used to the woody sweet and bright tone real quick!

Jul-01-2009, 7:51pm
Very nice, indeed, Micheal.


Bruce Clausen
Jul-02-2009, 1:35pm
To my mind the flat top instrument (whether Brazilian or Celtic style) is much more versatile than the carved; it's a rich clear sound that suits choro, musette, classical, and almost all folk music styles. I think of the sound as riding above the other instruments in the ensemble, instead of punching through the middle; and I find the tone more flexible and expressive. But the f-hole carved mandolin has great "penetration", which you sometimes need-- there's a good reason no one played flat top guitar in the old big bands.

Looking forward to your clips, Michael.


Jul-03-2009, 9:39am
I'd agree with you Bruce. You can't exactly strum a carved top and get a nice floating-down-the-mississippi-on-a-log-raft, relaxed summer day sound. But you can do that on a flattie, and solo pick as well..

Nice looking octave there Michael.

Michael Wolf
Jul-14-2009, 5:44pm
To my mind the flat top instrument (whether Brazilian or Celtic style) is much more versatile.....

Yes Bruce, I agree, itīs the same for me in the moment. The archtops are still nice, but itīs to much fun to play the flattop.

there's a good reason no one played flat top guitar in the old big bands.

Except in Europe, where they also played the Maccaferri flattops, like Eddie Freeman.

Hello Brian,

with octave do you mean the reso-tenor? Itīs a Canticleer made by Patrick Arbuthnot from Norfolk.

I think that the Piguet is not a entire authentic bandolim, since itīs X-braced whereas bandolims seem to have lateral bracing normally and may sound a bit different. As far as I know Jon wanted to create a versatile mando suited for several styles, but with brazilian impact.
Here are some soundsamples with the Piguet:

Bruce Clausen
Jul-14-2009, 10:54pm
Lovely sound and nice playing, Michael! Nice to hear Pacoca. Everyone knows it here in Vancouver, as both Celso Machado and John Reischman are here. But As Rosas are Eu Quero are new ones to me, and beautifully played by you. Proezas is a handful, no? Nice guitar playing too. (But everything goes better with pandeiro. ;) )


Michael Wolf
Jul-24-2009, 5:46pm
Thanks for your nice comment Bruce. I really appreciate it, though my answer is late.
I knew that youīd enjoy to hear Pacoca, because of the Vancouver-connection.:grin:
Oh yes, Proezas. Iīve to add that we two are not playing together very often and we only made one take per tune. She didnīt know that I plan to put out these files. This is a tune weīll have to work on, itīs one of my favorites.
Youīre absolute right about the Pandeiro. Iīm already on the hunt for a pandeiro player, but they are a rare species over here. We are putting together a new band in the moment. Iīve just found a new clarinet player, so the Pandeiro shouldnīt be to far away.