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Thread: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

    Hi everyone, this is my first post on the forum. I’ve been reading and learning so much from this site since I started playing about six years ago, such a wealth of information. I’ve just acquired a new mandolin and thought I’d add my thoughts on it for anyone else searching for mandolins by Carlo Mazzaccara. I had read a few posts about his mandolins, specifically the Lucia model, by August Watters, and Tim Logan which pointed me in the direction of this luthier.
    First off, it’s a beautiful mandolin, I’ve been bitten hard by the classical bug and I’m new to bowl backs so the change of tone was a breath of fresh air, loud, chiming, bell like highs, lovely sustain, nice bass too.
    My point of reference comes from my other mandolins, a vega cylinder back, Shipley 10 string, Thijs Van Der Harst flat back F hole and an Eastman 504. So this one really is so different in tone to anything I’ve experienced before.
    Carlo was wonderful to deal with, the shipping container he made himself from wood took me about 30 mins to open with a hammer and chisel! It was well protected and arrived fast to the UK from Italy. He sent lots of photos and gave me advice about strings - optima green or red. But included a set of Dogal Calace dolce as the strings on the instrument were a few months old.
    I decided to string it up straight away with Calace Medios, but this threw the intonation on the A course too sharp, so I swapped out the A course for optima green A (.13 as opposed to .14 in the Dogal set) which flattened the A course intonation sufficiently.
    I’ve only had it a few days and getting used to position shifting without it moving around too much, as I’m new to this shape.
    The first thing that struck me was just how sweet tremolo sounds on this mandolin. I’d always been a bit disappointed by the sound of my tremolo on every mandolin I’ve played until this one. I really feel like I’ve found ’the one’ .
    Anyway enough of my rambling, I just wanted to leave a short review for anyone else who was looking for a contemporary Italian mandolin.
    Oh yes, I should add that I bought it directly from Carlo rather than buying through EBay, it cost 2,500 euros, soft case and shipping in a wood box included.
    Oh and I wanted to add too that I’ve pretty much changed pick entirely for this mandolin. It sounds best to my ears with Galli heavy 1mm picks and the Galli Carlo Aonzo signature pick (which feels a little under 1mm but I may be wrong)
    Last edited by Lyonsa; Oct-18-2020 at 6:46am.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

    This looks like a beautiful mandolin, and from what you describe, an excellent sound as well. Congratulations and many happy years of enjoying this instrument!

  6. #4
    Registered User Dean Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    East coast of Australia

    Default Re: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

    Beautiful mandolin! Congratulations!

  7. #5
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Shutesbury, MA

    Default Re: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

    Congratulations on a great mandolin. I did go to the Dogal R92b's and A Gali pick as well. It just demands a different pick than my arch backs!!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  8. #6

    Default Re: Mazzaccara Classico A style mandolin

    Thanks guys! I’ve been struggling a little with tuning these past few weeks, did you have a similar problem Tim? My strings were getting stuck in the nut/bridge slots. They were extremely deep, so I had to file the tops of them down quite a lot in an attempt to reduce friction. Originally I assumed it was just the strings settling in, but I was getting that tell tale pinging sound when tuning and playing. Still constantly tuning as much as playing but I love it to bits all the same :-)

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