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Thread: an experiment in octave mandos

  1. #1

    Default an experiment in octave mandos

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    a friend was making this as an experiment. he was thinking six string weird guitar with cylunder/arch top and back, the body is 12 incges wide. i think this would make a much better octave mandolin. but could it sound good with five courses or should we stick to four? i like the idea. it's rainy day project, no hurry.

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    maybe just a regular mandolin or even mandola??? the body is bigger than is mandolins but not much bigger

  2. #2

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    77 views and no helpful opinions? waa????

  3. #3
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    If it's an experiment, do what you like? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    It seems small for a guitar, what would the approximate scale length be?

  6. #5

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    well i was hoping others might suggest the best scale length. those with experience in trying things. i love the idea of a cylinder front and back

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    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    It is certainly in the mandola relm. If it were a guitar, the strings would be fairly close together. How wide would the neck be? And how much pressure would the top support? And how about a small tenor (soprano) guitar? Lots of possibilities I suppose.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  8. #7

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    it is nice bird's eye maple from the local lumber yard and the top was made from some old european spruce blanks he got from a friend who got them from a deceased fiddle maker who imported them around 1960, so very well aged but triangular blanks--presto cylinder carved top

  9. #8

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    How about a waldzither just to make things more interesting?

  10. #9

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    that might be interesting.

  11. #10
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    My waldzither was converted to an OM, so I vote OM.

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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    5 string tenor CGDAE ? Love the body.
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  13. #12
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Actually, the body size is such that it might be better as a mandola. That birdseye is absolutely gorgeous, BTW.

  14. #13
    Registered User Papalobo's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    I think a 5 course octave would be nice , I play 5 string fiddle so I like that range

  15. #14

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Papalobo View Post
    I think a 5 course octave would be nice , I play 5 string fiddle so I like that range
    i wonder or even doubt whether five courses would sound good on a 12 inch body. wouldn't the bridge be too wide and smother the top tone?

  16. #15

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by bbcee View Post
    Actually, the body size is such that it might be better as a mandola. That birdseye is absolutely gorgeous, BTW.
    i was wondering mandola. i just didn't play mandola untill i got a gold tone in a trade.,, that's the quandry?? would it sound and play better as an octave mandolin or a mandola, and is the body too small for five courses, because a five course bridge would smother the top resonating. so i ponder. i'll let you know when we decide.

    the birdseye is great. he got several very thick boards from a regular lumber yard that lets him wander around tap toning and looking and charges construction rates.. the owner comes over and learns how to make guitars!!

  17. #16

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    well he decided on a 22 inch scale octave mandolin, it was made on order to a woman who wanted a six string guitar. mandolin then she cancelled. as an octave mandolin it absolutely sings. next version we are thinking of a wider body with two points at the neck joint and five courses. sorry i tried to upload pics but the site kept saying upload failed.

  18. #17

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

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    got pics to load.(i hope) he over did the sunburst but it was a prototype. came out so well we are plotting a two point five course version to be two inches wider and three longer

  19. #18
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Well OK I'll give some thoughts -- just notice the string today - I'm not on the site as much these days.

    1) as noted with a 12" wide body this would have to be an octave mandolin? Too big for a mandola (or it would be a very big mandola IMO) -- so I think you want a scale length of 12 - 22"? That seems best to me anyway.

    2) The cylinder back of course was tried by Vega in the 1920s and I guess it worked OK. I fixed some things on a Vega CB for a friend a couple of months ago and I thought it was a nice looking and good sounding mandolin.

    3) Cylinder top? Don't think I ever saw that before and i wonder how easy it will be to pick? You'll have to "pick over" that hump on top?

    I like your idea of five courses but what range are you going for? Surely not down to C2 (mandocello range) on a 21" scale?

    Good luck with the project!
    Bernie
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  20. #19

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Well OK I'll give some thoughts -- just notice the string today - I'm not on the site as much these days.

    1) as noted with a 12" wide body this would have to be an octave mandolin? Too big for a mandola (or it would be a very big mandola IMO) -- so I think you want a scale length of 12 - 22"? That seems best to me anyway.

    2) The cylinder back of course was tried by Vega in the 1920s and I guess it worked OK. I fixed some things on a Vega CB for a friend a couple of months ago and I thought it was a nice looking and good sounding mandolin.

    3) Cylinder top? Don't think I ever saw that before and i wonder how easy it will be to pick? You'll have to "pick over" that hump on top?

    I like your idea of five courses but what range are you going for? Surely not down to C2 (mandocello range) on a 21" scale?

    Good luck with the project!
    the arch top isn't a priblen as my hand is comming over the tail piece on the cylinder.

    i was thinking of adding the fifth string on the high end, adada, or gdadg. i don;t play bass on citterns, if i want a bassy tone i play guitar. i want the easy access to the mandolin range up the fifth string. the high a is the top string of a mandola so running up the neck i can get to much of the mandolin range and down to the low end of a bouzouki on one instrument.

    my builder friend is up for it, and we have more birds eye maple and lots of aged german spruce in the triangular bolts.

  21. #20
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    3) Cylinder top? Don't think I ever saw that before and i wonder how easy it will be to pick? You'll have to "pick over" that hump on top?
    Howe-Orme instruments had cylinder tops. I also had a Vega cylinder guitar with a top like that.

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  23. #21

    Default Re: an experiment in octave mandos

    Nigel Forster also makes superb cylinder-top instruments.

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