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Thread: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    So I love the deep resonance of my mahogany mandolin on the lows and the clear bell of my maple mandolin on the highs, is it possible to get both? I have a cedar/spruce dread that kind of accomplishes this. I'm sure someone has made a mando like this, any experiences?Name:  blueberry.jpg
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    Last edited by blind road; Jan-01-2018 at 9:53pm. Reason: clarify

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    It looks, from the photo, that your dreadnaught guitar has a top of cedar (bass side) and spruce (treble). Does it also have a back of mahogany (bass) and maple (treble)? Who is the maker? Very interesting. I think I have seen mandolins with tops or even backs like that but I can'r recall where or who made them.
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  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    It has been done. I know there are a few threads about it here, I just can't find them right now.

    I believe most actually used different varieties of spruce for the tops to take advantage of the sonic properties of each version on the treble or bass side.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Here's one thread with some guitar discussion with some well know luthiers.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Chris Standridge of Carver mandolins has built a few. He had one at Wintergrass a while back.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    The back of this Blueberry is a mahogany species from Bali. I'm not big on the carvings but the guitar sounds fantastic and is well made. Thing is huge though 5" wide bout. Name:  blueberry back.jpg
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Here's one thread with some guitar discussion with some well know luthiers.
    That's great Mike thanks. I'm lucky to have Bruce just down the road from me, great guy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Bracing may not create a bass and treble side but the bridge coming down on the split top may...?

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Quote Originally Posted by blind road View Post
    Bracing may not create a bass and treble side but the bridge coming down on the split top may...?
    And when the mandolin is converted to left-handed what happens?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #10
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    My guess is the entire top is involved in the vibration regardless of how many woods it is made of, so that all notes, treble and bass, take advantage of the combination of tone woods.

    But I am not a luthier.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    My guess is the entire top is involved in the vibration regardless of how many woods it is made of, so that all notes, treble and bass, take advantage of the combination of tone woods.

    But I am not a luthier.
    Agreed for sure but would it create the desired result if built by a skilled luthier? Not original but an interesting idea to me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    I believe that Ken Ratciff of Silverangel mandolins has experimented with different tops.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone seen or tried a combo top?

    Ken has nice mandos. Maybe asking too much of such a small bodied instrument to achieve this. But I really feel the split top on my giant dread creates a resonance projecting both bass and treble. Comparing to my d 18 and rosewood larrivee it has a special sound.I have this old stradolin mahogany that has such a sweet resonance but the trebles fall off, nice tone change though from my km505. Chasing tone, just like with guitars.

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