View Full Version : New Labraid

Nov-13-2009, 3:25pm
Hello everyone,

I'm very excited to unveil my latest mandolin... a Lyon and Healy style built for Mr. Sylvain Néault of Québec City, Canada (www.bazirka.com (http://www.bazirka.com)). Sylvain is a professional violinist by trade, and I have to say it is an immense pleasure, yet again, to have a mandolin on the world stage...
Sylvain's playing styles range from Tsigane to Klezmer, Irish to Québecois, South American to Chanson Française. Sylvain allowed me the freedom I needed to custom tailor this instrument to his needs, precisely and despite that no such instrument has ever existed quite like this one. Some stats on this mandolin:

Scale: 13.5"
Top: Engelmann spruce cant-top, induced arch, Sitka bracing
Back: Maple, Ebony, Koa in understated semi-lute configuration; spruce shaving reinforcement
Neck Radius: 7" nut, flat bridge
Nut Width: 1”
Bridge: one-piece ebony
Pickup: Pick Up The World, compression-type, directly under bridge; Tapastring endpin, silver plated
Tailpiece: Labraid Violette, silver plated, custom "stork" inlay to commemorate Sylvain's new baby.
Peghead: Slot-head, visually inspired by the old city of Québec

Sylvain was looking for a tone which would project without inhibition, one which would still have a traditional sound like that of a turn-of-the-Century mandolin. The goal was complexity, ethnicity, the tendency toward emotion, all with the possibility of digging in without loss of identity.
I'm very excited that Sylvain will be putting together some mandolin tunes somewhere in the near future, and you can be sure that they will be posted on my website when they are ready.

Thanks for looking! Happy picking.




Nov-13-2009, 3:26pm



Nov-13-2009, 4:05pm

Nov-13-2009, 4:07pm
HOLY SMOKES!! That is a gorgeous mandolin. Your mandolins are always so well thought out and executed flawlessly. Man I sure would like to own a mandolin like that!!! Want to build another?

Nov-13-2009, 4:09pm
There are lots of little details there I really like, espescially the ears over the tuner plates on the headstock, the deco-ish headstock shape, the back! Wow the back! Great work and congratulations, Brian and Sylvain.


Baron Collins-Hill
Nov-13-2009, 4:22pm
very very cool.

why the zero fret?

amazing work, cant wait to hear clips.


Nov-13-2009, 4:54pm
WOW! I never thought a hunk of wood could be so all-out sexy!!

Q: Is there a white line along the bottom edge of the bridge, like a pad or lamination? Or just an odd reflection?

Jill McAuley
Nov-13-2009, 4:55pm
Absolutely stunning!


Nov-13-2009, 5:07pm
Q: Is there a white line along the bottom edge of the bridge, like a pad or lamination? Or just an odd reflection?

I think that is the Pick Up The World saddle pickup described in the instrument stat description. You can see the wire sneaking from the center of the bridge to the tailpiece on a few of the pics.

Nov-13-2009, 5:16pm
Brian--Fabulous work! I too am looking forward to some sound clips.

Congratulations Mr. Néault your new mandolin is going to be a treat to play as well as listen to.

Jim Garber
Nov-13-2009, 5:28pm
why the zero fret?

Why not the zero fret? I am sure that Brian has a very good reason.

Nov-13-2009, 5:52pm
i believe he shares his theory on the zero fret at his website...

Nov-13-2009, 5:53pm
I think a zero fret helps to make the overall sound and tone even from a fretted note to an open string. But I may be way off.

Jake Wildwood
Nov-13-2009, 6:01pm
Another tour de force, Mr. Brian.

I think as I see each one of these come out of your workshop, my questions stop being: how beautiful is it? how refined? how elegant? how inspired? how surreal?

My question starts being:

-- How fast does it go? --


I think a zero fret helps to make the overall sound and tone even from a fretted note to an open string. But I may be way off.

That's exactly why I would use one, and have retrofitted some old instruments with them per customer requests myself...

Dan Hoover
Nov-13-2009, 6:34pm
i have to say "Holy Cannoli" that is beautiful...that back...WOW!...that is sleek..those black tuning heads.....you made a beautiful mandolin Brian...very classy..

Charles E.
Nov-13-2009, 8:00pm

Skip Kelley
Nov-13-2009, 8:30pm
Brian, amazing to say the least!! One day some of your mandolins will be in a museum for the whole world to see! They are a true work of art!

Shelagh Moore
Nov-13-2009, 8:40pm
Another beautiful instrument from Brian! Wonderful work!

Don Grieser
Nov-13-2009, 9:02pm
I always love to open the Labraid threads--there's sure to be eye candy inside! Just amazing every time, Brian. The back is work of art--well, the whole mandolin is.

Nov-14-2009, 7:50am
Each morning after a new post is like a Christmas morning here at the Cafe. Thanks all for your espcially warm comments... After a month or more of solitary confinement in the shop, I have to admit that unveilings are like a warm mug of brandied hot chocolate. Mmmmmm.

Dfyn: ...always looking for a new challenge (you have my number?)

Jamie: Wouldn't be here without ya man.

Baron: I think someone got to your question first. It's all about intonation -- not just in the quantitative sense, but the quali... aww heck, it's about getting it just perfecto. :cool:

Ed: While the Pick Up the World device is not entirely hidden, it does a pretty good job at disappearing to all but the most acute eyes. ;) It is also the very finest conceived pickup I have ever had the pleasure of using, not using any tone-robbing adhesives, and being exposed to the widest possible input area. Of course, I generally build them very loud so a standard stage mic can pick them up easily... But.. some like the ability to strut around the stage. And what would Tull be without the venerable flute mic? Very quiet indeed. :)

To everyone: My warmest thanks and blessings to you all... Happy Seasons, and until the next!


Nov-14-2009, 8:16am
That mandolin is truely incredible. I love it

Nov-14-2009, 10:41am
I think everyone has plans to design a 'dream mandolin' by going to mandolin cafe and looking at all of the fine instruments. Brian is a wealth of good ideas and I'm glad he shares them here.

Baron Collins-Hill
Nov-14-2009, 11:15am
thats for the zero fret info, seems like a brilliant idea.

what is that mando on the right in the last picture, that thing looks great.

amazing work as always, some day i will be on your list.


Nov-14-2009, 11:29am
That's Joe Brent and Brian's new Pähkinä (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?p=708121#post708121) mandolin. Videos of Joe playing are inside!


Nov-14-2009, 2:01pm
Brian I always enjoy seeing the photos of your creations, and this one is no exception - really stunning. I love all the detailing, everything about it is so elegant.


Nov-14-2009, 4:02pm
That's Joe Brent and Brian's new Pähkinä (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?p=708121#post708121) mandolin. Videos of Joe playing are inside!


Slight clarification, Jamie et al -- it's a 'Grand Concert' mandolin, I just named this particular one Pähkinä, like B. B. King named his old 335 'Lucille'. So when you contact Brian, don't ask for Pähkinä, 'cuz she ain't for sale. Part of me wishes nobody asked for a Grand Concert, either; I'd love to be the only one with a mandolin this amazing...

John Zimm
Nov-14-2009, 4:11pm
I hate to pile on with more praises, but how can someone make so many beautiful, unique instruments? Amazing.