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Thread: Mandocello

  1. #1

    Default Mandocello

    Hi Folks
    Iím looking at potentially buying a mandocello. Iíve come across a British make called Hathway. The instruments look good but they donít have an adjustable bridge. My original mandolin didnít have an adjustable bridge & that was a cheap instrument, whereas my Eastman mando is a thing of beauty, was more expensive but does have an adjustable bridge.
    I kind of feel that Iím probably getting overly concerned about the bridge & that this isnít necessarily a prerequisite of a good instrument.
    Could any of you provide any guidance please & is anyone familiar with Hathway?
    Cheers
    Martin

  2. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    I know nothing but what turned up on a Google search. Here's a thread about his octave mandolins.

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  4. #4
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    Never heard of Hathway but I do know that bridges can be replaced.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandocello

    Itíd be interesting to know how they compare with the Gold Tone mandocello. Both are comparable prices but seem to be completely different instruments.

  6. #6
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    Paul Hathway has been building instruments for a few decades now. https://www.paulhathway.com/about-us/ Being in the US, I've only played one of his instruments, which was a mandocello that someone in the area was selling over a decade ago now. I remember it having a good, but not great tone. Since this was going to be my first mandocello, I was tempted by the sub-$1K asking price, but passed only because the neck didn't suit me well.

    I'm not sure if Hathway is still building, since the price list on his website is from 2015. https://www.paulhathway.com/price-list-for-2015/

    As jaycat mentioned, "bridges can be replaced" --- and quite easily on a mando family instrument, since no glue is involved. So, if you really like the instrument, I wouldn't see that as a dealbreaker.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mandocello

    I'm a big fan of Hathaway instruments. For the £700 to £1000 pricepoint, they are some the best instruments in the UK right now IMO. However I have only played recent productions - Mando, OMs, picolo mandos. Some instruments have more X factor than others.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mandocello

    The Eastern mandocello are very nice and they sound very cool

  9. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by slickmando View Post
    The Eastern mandocello are very nice and they sound very cool
    I tried one of the Eastman mandocellos and was not impressed. It is basically one of there archtop guitars converted with eight strings. I played a couple of them and for some reason they came not properly set up from the factory. The lowest courses were too far apart. Since it was based on a guitar the scale is long which is fine for the tone of a mandocello but the neck IMHO was too wide. I suppose you could get used to the wider fretboard. I wrote to Eastman and their were not very responsive about it. This was a few years ago but I don;t even know if Eastman MCs are still available.

    MartP: what is your intent for the mandocello? Are you playing classical in a mandolin ensemble? Just using it for a different tonal flavor? Frankly I have gotten a lot more general use out of an octave mandolin that a mandocello. Just my two cents, that's all.

    As for the bridge, if it is set up properly it should not be a problem.

    =============
    I just checked online a d it seems they are still available and imported here. Here's the page on the Eastman website. https://www.eastmanguitars.com/mdc805

    List price is over $3000. I hope they got their setup worked out.
    Jim

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  10. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    Actually that video is not of a mandocello but more the same range as an octave mandolin: "Arrangement for 10-string cittern of a 16th century Italian dance tune. Cittern made by Paul Hathaway, tuned GDGcf."
    Jim

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Mandocello

    I have a classic 1912 Gibson K4 which I am afraid to take on an airplane. To travel, I purchased a German made Thomann mandocello (at that time around $700 usd) which surprised me with its tone and ease of play. And suggestions on bridge set-up or replacement are dead on, even my old Gibson needed some of that by a fine luthier.
    I am not comparing it to my Gibson or any of the finer higher end instruments, but if you want to try the instrument out, it is a decent starter, then you can decide on investing "up."
    By the way, regarding Jim Garber's comment on usage, I am playing classical and orchestral music and studying with an Italian master. I use the K4 once in a while with a string band, but I mostly use my Stiver F5). The mandocello is not an instrument built for bluegrass licks and chop chords, although I do see people using them that way.
    Also, I see a lot of people suggesting the octave, and I know some fine octave players, but [bias alert] I love the deep and serious MC tone as well as the cello literature that sounds best in the intended octave.
    jim
    Jim

    Dr James S Imhoff
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    1912 Gibson K4 Mandocello; Thomann Mandocello; Stiver F5; ?American? Bowlback; Martin 00016; coming: Dusepo Cittern/liuto cantabile

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