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joec
Feb-08-2010, 10:19pm
Here are some pictures of the piccolo mandolin I built recently.

I'm still trying out different strings/tunings...The instrument was designed as a child's 1/2 size instrument during my Mandolin Genome Project (http://www.campanellastrings.com/blogs/bd/2009/06/09/MGP-Photos/) last year, and I wanted to build it exactly like my concept drawing. For me, these were the first eccentric ff's that I've used, and I finally carved a violin scroll for mando HS--using single courses was the only way I could see this working. My inspiration for this unique instrument was found in the many unusual fractional and small violins made during the golden era of Italian violinmaking. Also, Gibson never really established a standard for this model, so the field is wide open, as looking around this section of the cafe shows.
enjoy.

Joe

joec
Feb-08-2010, 10:21pm
...a few more...and a peek-a-boo detail pic...

joec
Feb-08-2010, 10:23pm
Also, a teaser for another new model...rhymes with "schmoval schmole".

MANDOLINMYSTER
Feb-08-2010, 10:30pm
schmawesome!

Jake Wildwood
Feb-08-2010, 10:51pm
Very cool. It'd be nice to see something like this scaled up, too... say a 4/4 four-string mandolin? :)

mandroid
Feb-08-2010, 10:53pm
Pizzicato Piccolo .. Flat Fingerboard Fretted Fractional Fiddle

joec
Feb-08-2010, 10:55pm
This was a lot of fun, and unusual for me in many ways. I should mention that the top is an old piece of redwood, with just clear varnish (nice natural color). I tried to bring up the depth of tone of the colored varnish on the maple to match the top.

Joe

JEStanek
Feb-08-2010, 11:11pm
Beautiful. 2nd Piccolo in a couple of weeks. Can you post a close up of your bridge, please?

Jamie

Don Grieser
Feb-08-2010, 11:43pm
Kudos, Joe--a beautiful design on the Piccolo. But now, about that oval--that's just not fair only giving us that tease. :disbelief:

Jill McAuley
Feb-09-2010, 12:06am
Oh man, just when I was thinking to myself "I wish there was an oval hole Campanella mandolin..".... Can't wait to see that one!!!

Cheers,
Jill

djweiss
Feb-09-2010, 12:51am
I second the 4-string 4/4 sized mandolin...or better yet, 5-string acoustic!

Jonas
Feb-09-2010, 2:41am
Nice Joe! Love that Piccolo headstock. What kind of strings do you have on it?

I'm also anxious to see more of that oval hole! Is it a flattop or archtop? I would think your mandolins would work really well with the oval hole design, I can only imagine how the great projection and clear sound of your f hole mandolins will marry with the 'ambience' (there must be a better word...) of an oval hole.

joec
Feb-09-2010, 7:20am
Right now, the piccolo has Thomastiks on and is tuned GDAE. I have tuned it up to CGDA, which seemed to work OK, but was so high that even the Thomastiks seemed stiff, and the compliance under the pick was also difficult. May have something to do with the single courses as well, since we're used to encountering the high tension of a mando in a double course under the pick. Anyway, I do miss the zing, buzz and brightness of the reg. wound strings under the pick, and I will probably try to split the difference with gauges to get decent tension with this standard tuning.

That's why I'm thinking of it now as a 1/2 size mando as much as piccolo. This one is about as prototypical as you can get, with many unique features, so I'm looking forward to the discoveries it encourages.

As to the size and function for a child, I couldn't be more pleased. It fits my 5 year old Junie to a T, with room to grow. She's been playing it a little every day in the shop. My hope is that she can begin to learn the fingerboard and the physical action of placing fingers to change pitch, as well as basic pick control. Also, I've got a little breathing room now to catch up with correctly sized violin for her...

Joe

Fliss
Feb-09-2010, 7:30am
Absolutely stunning, I love the innovation and all the detailing, and the redwood top looks gorgeous. Great photos too, I love the lighting.

As for the oval hole - I really don't need that kind of MAS! Way too much temptation...

Fliss

joec
Feb-09-2010, 7:30am
I'm also anxious to see more of that oval hole! Is it a flattop or archtop? I would think your mandolins would work really well with the oval hole design, I can only imagine how the great projection and clear sound of your f hole mandolins will marry with the 'ambience' (there must be a better word...) of an oval hole.

I'm working on the last stages of varnishing now, polish really, and will have strings on the A4 very soon. It's arched, with an X-brace. My goal is to get the growl and boom of the oval hole, but with the more modern response which we are used to having under the pick. I'm hoping for less muddiness than the old ones, and a higher dynamic range w/out breaking up or dropping out. So far when I sing, holler, hum and tap on it, it sounds great. :mandosmiley:
I'll try to get some pics up in this section before I take it to the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Framingham, MA this weekend.
Joe

Skip Kelley
Feb-09-2010, 7:37am
Joe, that is incredibly cool! I love the purfling in the top! Is that a graft line in the peghead/box?

Jim Garber
Feb-09-2010, 10:55am
Gibson never really established a standard for this model, so the field is wide open, as looking around this section of the cafe shows.
enjoy.

Very nice, Joe. As for the A4, I can't remember if I posted it but I recall when first seeing your due model a few years back, I Photoshopped an oval hole to see what it looked like. I am looking fwd to seeing how that one comes out.

As for the piccolo, I see a violin-like bridge which looks very nice. What is the scale length?

As for precursors, Lyon & Healy sold a line called the Lelands which were meant for mandolin orchestras and they made a piccolo model to be tuned 1 octave above an alto mandola -- CGDA. I believe that Vega might also have made a piccolo.

I have two piccolos, the Leland pictured here:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47477&d=1257947372

and a noname bowlback:
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47478&d=1257947529

I have the Leland (10.5" scale I think) tuned to CGDA with Daddario J-62 light gauge strings.

Dan Hoover
Feb-09-2010, 3:42pm
wow,that look's very sweet..love the finish...look's like it caught the eye of a ghost in pic 4....can't wait to see that schmoval schmole.

Chuck Naill
Feb-09-2010, 4:08pm
Here are some pictures of the piccolo mandolin I built recently.

I'm still trying out different strings/tunings...The instrument was designed as a child's 1/2 size instrument during my Mandolin Genome Project (http://www.campanellastrings.com/blogs/bd/2009/06/09/MGP-Photos/) last year, and I wanted to build it exactly like my concept drawing. For me, these were the first eccentric ff's that I've used, and I finally carved a violin scroll for mando HS--using single courses was the only way I could see this working. My inspiration for this unique instrument was found in the many unusual fractional and small violins made during the golden era of Italian violinmaking. Also, Gibson never really established a standard for this model, so the field is wide open, as looking around this section of the cafe shows.
enjoy.

Joe

As a fiddler I struggle with scroll envy. You did me no favors today. :crying:

Very impressive work. :)

Here is my idea for a banjo,
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i168/twelvefret/IMG_0241.jpg

Steve Davis
Feb-09-2010, 5:31pm
I love the way you extend the violin design elements to the mandolin. Beautiful detail.

Charlieshafer
Feb-09-2010, 8:03pm
Dang. Another one I need to get. Oh, wait, my mom lives in Burlington, maybe she can run over and steal everything. Is your shop wheelchair accessible to elderly, arthritic thieves?

grassrootphilosopher
Feb-10-2010, 4:47am
Joec, I know you can pick and I know you can record (from Jonas Campanella thread), so do me a favor and record something on the piccolo to post it here before you let the instrument go. (Nice looking instrument with a nice headstock)

Tripp Johnson
Feb-10-2010, 7:32am
That's really nice. Nice photos too.

joec
Feb-10-2010, 11:54am
Beautiful. 2nd Piccolo in a couple of weeks. Can you post a close up of your bridge, please?

Jamie

Here you go...It's the first time I've used a solid bridge, so I'm curious to see how well it performs through seasonal change. Now you guys have seen the (current) limit of my violin-mandolin obsession. My regular mandos are much more conventional in comparison, but I had to get this concept out of my system.
I don't have time this week to record the instrument, but will try to get something together in the near future, after I've settled on string gauges and such.
Sorry the photos are so yellow: CFLs+ digicam?
Joe

joec
Feb-10-2010, 12:00pm
Very nice, Joe. As for the A4, I can't remember if I posted it but I recall when first seeing your due model a few years back, I Photoshopped an oval hole to see what it looked like. I am looking fwd to seeing how that one comes out.

As for the piccolo, I see a violin-like bridge which looks very nice. What is the scale length?


Thanks. You and others have been very encouraging on the A4, I'm doing setup today!

The piccolo SL is 10.5"

I'll have to give those J62s a shot w/the higher tuning...and report back. At least the combo of pegs and fine tuners seems to work just fine, though hand position at the bridge can push the strings sharp if you accidentally push on the tailpiece.
Joe

joec
Feb-10-2010, 12:08pm
Joe, that is incredibly cool! I love the purfling in the top! Is that a graft line in the peghead/box?

The purfling actually pops out and contrasts much more than usual b/c there's no stain in the top or color in the varnish. I like.
Good eyes...the line (s) are actually a cheek patch that I had to do during the building process. I drill a peg hole pilot, and then chase it with a tapered bit, to help center the (later) peg-reaming process. In this case, I don't think I was holding the scroll steady enough, and the shoulder of the tapered bit grabbed the pegbox wall on the way out and quickly made a mess. After some cursing and deep breathing, I repaired it first with a boxwood bushing, and then a cheek patch on the bass side.
It's a good lesson--pay attention at the drill press! (and everywhere else too)
back to work,
Joe

JEStanek
Feb-10-2010, 1:26pm
Thanks Joe. Great photographs. We seemingly have builders making all of the practical mandolin family instruments lately (piccolo, mandolin, mandola, OM, and mandocello). What a great time and place.

Jamie

mdlorenz
Feb-10-2010, 6:00pm
schmucking schmantastic.