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Thread: New five course mandocello

  1. #1
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default New five course mandocello

    A five course mandocello (with added high e string). Carved sitka soundboard, Australian blackwood body and mahogany neck. 25" scale, 14" wide body, 3" deep and slightly deeper at the tail. CF re-enforced linings under the soundboard and CF tubes from the neckblock to the tailblock. Wonderfully resonant with even response across the courses and very stable under the string tension. Strung 12, 20w, 32, 42, 70. I am quite pleased with it.

    Cheers


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  3. #2
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Would live to hear it. I looked into a couple of advertised liuto cantabiles, but one outfit simply said "We don't make those." Wish they would not advertise them! I did not hear back from another company that listed one, but when I looked again later it said SOLD. My wife just got a 5 string cello (also CF) so I want to keep up. Is this your own work, or where was it made and/or purchased?
    By the way, watching NSW TV's Brokenwood Mysteries and Deep Water on Netfilx: getting used to the accent. I try to hear it when I read your book.
    By the way, I will have news about more Solo Mandocello music soon, hope you're interested.
    Jim

  4. #3
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    I built it here in Canberra for a customer in Victoria and being delivered next week. His wife is a cellist as well while the buyer is graduating up from a mandolin. I will see if I can get someone to record something before leaves home.

    Anyway, we don't have accents. Only Americans have accents 8-)

    Cheers

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  6. #4
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Well, actually, it's not only Americans with accents; I understand New Zealanders have a very noticeable accent too.
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  7. #5
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Oh, I'd love to hear it too! (The instrument, not the accent
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    I built it here in Canberra for a customer in Victoria and being delivered next week. His wife is a cellist as well while the buyer is graduating up from a mandolin. I will see if I can get someone to record something before leaves home.
    Anyway, we don't have accents. Only Americans have accents 8-)
    Cheers
    I see; too bad it's not still on the market. But I have too much invested in my K4 to think about another big instrument.
    Actually, only Americans from New Jersey have an accent.

  9. #7

    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    I built it here in Canberra for a customer in Victoria and being delivered next week. His wife is a cellist as well while the buyer is graduating up from a mandolin. I will see if I can get someone to record something before leaves home.

    Anyway, we don't have accents. Only Americans have accents 8-)

    Cheers
    Actually the American accent is closer to the traditional English accent. At the time of the settlement in the early 1600s of the U.S. the British accent was closer to the American accent than it is today. At some point later on in Britian it became fashionable for the upper class to speak with a soft r like hahd, instead of a hard r. Among other things. Eventually it caught on in the rest of society there too.

  10. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    True dat. If you want to know what Elizabethans sounded like, go to Appalachia.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    When my choirs performed 16th Century French chansons at a college on the Canadian border (Potsdam NY) the French professor told me Quebecois was closer to the period pronunciation than modern Parisian. And when Scots musicians wanted to revive traditional music styles, they went to Nova Scotia. It's a strange counter-intuitive phenomenon, but the "colonial affect" happens in language as well as music. Transplants seem to hold on to the old ways while the "homeland" progresses.

    Wait.... what does this have to do with mandocellos????

  12. #10

    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    So when does the Five-Course Mandocello Book come out? :-)

    Classy and sharp.

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  14. #11
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    So when does the Five-Course Mandocello Book come out? :-)
    Thank you for the kind words.

    Maybe a mandolin family book, looking at mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins, bouzoukis and mandocellos. Just an idea at the moment, pulling in elements of the other books with a few new ideas.

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  16. #12
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Not my place to announce or advertise just yet, but I will be talking about a new mandocello method book at October's CMSA. Only 8 strings, though.

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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Hi Graham,

    Thank you so much for so fastidiously and beautifully hand crafting my MandoCello for me. It is a stunning instrument with wonderful resonance and sustain and compliments my Mandolin perfectly. I have been playing it pretty much none stop since it arrived, apart from occasionally picking up the Mandolin, so it doesn't feel too left out! Once I've got my head (and left hand) more comfortably around the fretboard, I'll send you a video of me playing it. Thanks also for posting the extra strings and the book, the latter a delightful surprise!

    Cheers
    Andy
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    I know I'm down-under, but an upside down photo?

  20. #15
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by briwayjones View Post
    Actually the American accent is closer to the traditional English accent. At the time of the settlement in the early 1600s of the U.S. the British accent was closer to the American accent than it is today. At some point later on in Britian it became fashionable for the upper class to speak with a soft r like hahd, instead of a hard r. Among other things. Eventually it caught on in the rest of society there too.
    Maybe Aussies used to order fush & Chups back in the day too 8-)

  21. #16

    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    When my choirs performed 16th Century French chansons at a college on the Canadian border (Potsdam NY) the French professor told me Quebecois was closer to the period pronunciation than modern Parisian. And when Scots musicians wanted to revive traditional music styles, they went to Nova Scotia. It's a strange counter-intuitive phenomenon, but the "colonial affect" happens in language as well as music. Transplants seem to hold on to the old ways while the "homeland" progresses.

    Wait.... what does this have to do with mandocellos????
    yes, but there is a reason. many colonial areas were cut off from the mainstream for decades or even centuries and still spoke like they did when they first settled. cape breton missed the whole industrial revolution until the 1880s, quebec stayed catholic and very traditional when france was revolutionary, then anti clerical then a republic. appalachia was out of touch with most minstream developments. etc etc.

  22. #17

    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    yes, but there is a reason. many colonial areas were cut off from the mainstream for decades or even centuries and still spoke like they did when they first settled. cape breton missed the whole industrial revolution until the 1880s, quebec stayed catholic and very traditional when france was revolutionary, then anti clerical then a republic. appalachia was out of touch with most minstream developments. etc etc.
    So that explains why the photo is upside down. I thought it was a longitude thing. :-)

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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    yes, but there is a reason. many colonial areas were cut off from the mainstream for decades or even centuries and still spoke like they did when they first settled. cape breton missed the whole industrial revolution until the 1880s, quebec stayed catholic and very traditional when france was revolutionary, then anti clerical then a republic. appalachia was out of touch with most minstream developments. etc etc.
    Again, not much to do with CBOM, but a very interesting and enlightening discussion. Sometimes the hold-outs are quite intentional. Are you familiar with the motto "L'Algiers est la France" used by colonials when Algeria gained independence--as if the remaining colonials were the only "true French" abandoned by their homeland. I remember learning the names of nations in Africa when I was in grade school: Rhodesia, Belgian Congo. Nobody told us then how racist, oppressive, and imperialist these names were. In a post-colonial internet-obsessed world, I wonder how many traditions and customs are held on to and how many will die. Some for the better, some sadly lost.

  24. #19
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Well, having known both Rhodesians and Zimbabweans, they definitely make a distinction and can get offended if mislabeled. I've also noticed a huge difference between countries colonized by England and the ones colonized by other countries (particularly Portugal) but this isn't the place to discuss that
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  25. #20
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    So when does the Five-Course Mandocello Book come out? :-)
    It has been out for decades. Where have you been?

    Liuto was Raffaele Calace's favorite instrument. Go to federmandolino.it to find all his compositions including a bunch of pieces for liuto. Scroll to bottom of the page for his metodo.
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  27. #21
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    As a fellow ten stringer, I approve. Gorgeous instrument!
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  28. #22
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Looking good Graham - these are fun aren't they?

  29. #23

    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    It has been out for decades. Where have you been?

    Liuto was Raffaele Calace's favorite instrument. Go to federmandolino.it to find all his compositions including a bunch of pieces for liuto. Scroll to bottom of the page for his metodo.
    That's a good one, for sure... I was just making a joke since Graham seems to always be working on a new and useful book.

  30. #24
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    A five course mandocello (with added high e string). Carved sitka soundboard, Australian blackwood body and mahogany neck. 25" scale, 14" wide body, 3" deep and slightly deeper at the tail. CF re-enforced linings under the soundboard and CF tubes from the neckblock to the tailblock. Wonderfully resonant with even response across the courses and very stable under the string tension. Strung 12, 20w, 32, 42, 70. I am quite pleased with it.

    Cheers
    Beautiful instrument! Could you also mention how wide you made the nut? Any radius to the fret board? Thanks! Did you try 0.074" strings for the C course? That would allow a bit more tension on it.
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Sep-29-2019 at 8:21pm.
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  31. #25
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: New five course mandocello

    Hello Bernie

    Nut is 48mm / 1 7/8" wide (I think). That is the width of the headstock shape at the nut. I didn't make up a template as I figured this was a one-off, so I layed it out based on my standard 34mm bouzouki width and added the extra space for the C strings. The fretboard has a compound radius. I take off around .75mm off each edge of the fretboard and sand until it is curved all the way across. The edges of the fretboard stay the same height. That was the way I was taught many years ago and I have no idea of the radii. I did that for years before I found it is was called a compound radius. I just think of it as a section of a cone. I went with the .070" C strings as I didn't think it needed any more tension for it to work.

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