Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    A little over a year ago, I was lucky enough to get a challenging build request from a new client -- to create a mandolin version of The Californian guitar.

    While I had used The Californian design as the starting point for the Big Hammer 'cello (and more recently, the Big Dog octave), shrinking the spec down to mandolin size was a little more complicated than I had initially imagined.

    Finally, the challenge has been met and the build completed. Phew!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cali Cali 2.jpg 
Views:	270 
Size:	121.7 KB 
ID:	139317 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cali Backs.jpg 
Views:	208 
Size:	91.0 KB 
ID:	139319

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Front.jpg 
Views:	254 
Size:	101.9 KB 
ID:	139320 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Full Front.jpg 
Views:	231 
Size:	137.9 KB 
ID:	139321
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Glow Back.jpg 
Views:	199 
Size:	106.9 KB 
ID:	139322 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tail.jpg 
Views:	260 
Size:	124.1 KB 
ID:	139324

    Specs for the CaliMando are --
    • Top - Curly salvaged Redwood
    • Back, Sides and Headstock overlays - Cury Claro Walnut
    • Binding, Armrest and Cutaway - Quilted Maple
    • Fingerboard - Rosewood with Gold EVO frets, Abalone dots
    • Tuners - Rubner
    • Bridge - Sorensen Killer Bridge in Ebony
    • Tailpiece - Sorensen Killer Tail in Claro Walnut
    • Pickup - K&K Twin internal
    • Finish - Shellac French Polish


    While the CaliMando has nice pop and chop, I think that body style really lends itself to a more jazzy type of play. I really like the results and would love to build this design again.

    Steve

  2. The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to Steve Sorensen For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  3. #2
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,067

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Pretty -- nicely done -- congrats!
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Steve, you never cease to amaze me. You keep carving a notch in my wish list.

  5. The following members say thank you to Nashville for this post:


  6. #4
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    This morning I woke up thinking about the pictures that I took of the mandolin and guitar together and realized, someday, I would love to build a five-piece matched set of The Californians --

    Mandolin, Mandola, Octave Mandolin, Mandocello and Guitar.

    That would be a challenging adventure!

    Steve

  7. #5
    Registered User Dan Douris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Really amazing! I strive to be at your skill level Steve!

  8. #6
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    4,068

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Fine work there.
    Let's hear it.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  9. #7
    Registered User robert.najlis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    do find any tonal differences between the body shapes of your mandolins?

  10. #8
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,333
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenS View Post
    A little over a year ago, I was lucky enough to get a challenging build request from a new client -- to create a mandolin version of The Californian guitar.

    While I had used The Californian design as the starting point for the Big Hammer 'cello (and more recently, the Big Dog octave), shrinking the spec down to mandolin size was a little more complicated than I had initially imagined.

    Finally, the challenge has been met and the build completed. Phew!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cali Cali 2.jpg 
Views:	270 
Size:	121.7 KB 
ID:	139317 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cali Backs.jpg 
Views:	208 
Size:	91.0 KB 
ID:	139319

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Front.jpg 
Views:	254 
Size:	101.9 KB 
ID:	139320 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Full Front.jpg 
Views:	231 
Size:	137.9 KB 
ID:	139321
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Glow Back.jpg 
Views:	199 
Size:	106.9 KB 
ID:	139322 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tail.jpg 
Views:	260 
Size:	124.1 KB 
ID:	139324

    Specs for the CaliMando are --
    • Top - Curly salvaged Redwood
    • Back, Sides and Headstock overlays - Cury Claro Walnut
    • Binding, Armrest and Cutaway - Quilted Maple
    • Fingerboard - Rosewood with Gold EVO frets, Abalone dots
    • Tuners - Rubner
    • Bridge - Sorensen Killer Bridge in Ebony
    • Tailpiece - Sorensen Killer Tail in Claro Walnut
    • Pickup - K&K Twin internal
    • Finish - Shellac French Polish


    While the CaliMando has nice pop and chop, I think that body style really lends itself to a more jazzy type of play. I really like the results and would love to build this design again.

    Steve
    Are the bindings 'rounded off' at the cutaway and lower bout where the right arm touches the body? Very nice! They must be very comfortable.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  11. #9
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Bill,
    I'll try to get some sound before the mandolin heads out to the owner.

    Robert,
    I tend to use specific graduations and tonebar shaping to adjust tone for different styles of play. I work to have these results be similar for the different body shapes.

    Doug,
    Yes the built-in armrest and cutaway easements are rounded for player comfort.

    Steve

  12. The following members say thank you to Steve Sorensen for this post:


  13. #10
    gary nava; luthier GarY Nava's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Norfolk Fenland. UK
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Very nice work Steve, I always like to see a different design.
    Cheers Gary

  14. #11
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,020

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    That hits the spot! Great work as ever!

  15. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    DeKalb, IL
    Posts
    3,448

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Very nice!!

  16. #13
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Nice work Steve!
    The maple binding is a nice feature!

  17. #14
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    5,246

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    I need to play this!

  18. #15
    Registered User tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,360

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Dang, how sexy are those "bare" necks?? Fantastic!
    Clark Beavans

  19. #16
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    The Californian UPDATE --

    While The CaliMando is out traveling the world with it's owner, I have kept The Californian guitar as a demo instrument, and lugged it all over for festivals and shows.

    So . . . it was so exciting to have George Gruhn drop by my little booth at IBMA 2018 to play some mandolins and The Californian prototype guitar.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	VX.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	452.4 KB 
ID:	171703

    It was even more exciting to have him wander back into the booth, the next evening, as the Convention Center was closing, to play the guitar some more. "Now that this place is quiet, I can actually hear this guitar."

    George has a very interesting playing style, which is a variation on the Ma Carter thumb and forefinger, and actually plays quite well. He noted that, "As a player, I've earned exactly $49 over my career."

    As the staff of the convention hall were trying to kick us out for the night, George continued to play and explore the guitar.

    Finally he said, "I've never seen a guitar with this kind of design. I've never heard a guitar with this balanced tone. I've never felt a guitar that is so easy to play. I would like to buy it for my collection and show it to some friends at the Opry. Will you take a check?"

    I said, "Yes."

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Californian.jpg 
Views:	84 
Size:	171.3 KB 
ID:	171702

    Only later, did I learn that he had come straight from a ceremony where he was honored by the IBMA with a Lifetime Achievement Award . . . to pick that guitar.

    Wow!
    Steve

  20. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Steve Sorensen For This Useful Post:


  21. #17
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Congratulations Steve! That is just cool! George is such an incredible authority on stringed instruments. Years ago I went to Nashville with some friends to go to Gruhns. One friend was looking for a real nice D28. While we were playing in the showroom, George walked up and asked my friend how he liked the guitar he was playing. My friend said, "do you have any good ones?". George said ya'll follow me and took us upstairs to the room with pre-war herringbones and Loars. He said if you need something, I'll be downstairs.
    That was a great trip! George is very cool!

  22. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,660

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Steve, you don’t need any validation, but, there ya go!
    Chuck

  23. #19
    Registered User usqebach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Steve,
    I've been a follower of your work for some time, and am amazed by the wide range of styles you make and the quality with which you make each one.

    Seeing the 2015 date on the original post tells me that this build got past me when it was first made. And I haven't seen other references lately. (Sorry, I'm not in the market for any new instrument at this time, just a passive admirer).

    This model does have some different design elements (rounded armrest area, maple binding, coloration, etc) than I'm used to from you.

    1) Once done (or also said, "Done once"), have you incorporated these elements into other subsequent mandolins? and,

    2) With the passage of 3 years and many subsequent builds, would you do anything differently to this model today?

    Just curious; thanks so much for your time and attention.

    Jim Sims
    Jim Sims

    " Amateurs practice until they get it right - professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."
    "Me?... I don't practice."

    iiimandolin#19
    1917 Gibson A-1 Pumpkintop

    www.sedentaryramblers.com

  24. #20
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Re: Introducing the Sorensen CaliMando - The Californian Mandolin

    Jim,

    I think you are asking about the guitar-bodied "Cali-mando" mandolin --

    1. I did end up incorporating the built in armrest in the FX, VX, and Stratus builds. The response from players has been to consistently praise the comfort for their right arm.

    2. I was really pleased with the results of the mandolin build. Very little that I would change. I will be building another Californian guitar later this year. I will probably tweak the graduations for the top slightly to match other large body builds that I have done since that guitar was built.

    Steve

  25. The following members say thank you to Steve Sorensen for this post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •