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Thread: 4-string Mandocello

  1. #26
    Registered User
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    Mar 2006
    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles


    If electric is OK, then the Ibanez Mikro Bass is probably worth looking at as well. At the very least, it's hard to argue with $169.00
    Affordable lots in the Dutch Caribbean
    Bought a tricordia

  2. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan


    I have wandered down this path...

    This was an old Kay archtop I found next to a dumpster, with the neck badly broken away from the neck block. It sat around my house for a few years before I finally decided to do something with it. I woke up one Saturday morning and decided to give myself until midnight to create a working instrument. The picture below is what I ended up with. We have decided to call it a Guilo (combining guitar and cello).

    With the intonation set correctly it has a scale length of 25 3/4" to 26", depending on which string you measure. I narrowed the neck, re-fretted it, re-cut the nut, cut off the parts of the headstock that were no longer needed, glued and bolted the neck to the body, added a standard mandolin tailpiece and worked an old archtop bridge to fit. I use half a set of D'Addario mandocello strings on it.

    It was great fun to do and yes, I was actually playing it by about 11:00 that evening. While not exactly pretty, it sounds and plays better than it has a right to.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #28
    Modulator ;) PhilGE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Northern IN
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    Just spoke to my local luthier, Jim Shenk, today. I think we'll use a 27" scale length with a moderate depth to the sides. Guitar shape still remains to be chosen, though he's leaning towards larger sizes. We'll probably go with 5 strings, not 4, after playing around with a Baritone Guitar recently. Tuning will be CGDAE. Sound port is still an option. May be started by mid-winter.

  4. #29

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    Is there something as a 4-string electric solidbody mandocello with magnetic pickups on the market?

    For my purposes it should have a neck aprox. as wide (or, better, as narrow) as a cello neck.
    - A guitar- or shortscale bassneck would be much too wide.
    The neck shape should be the one of a cello / a mandolin ("parabola"- shape).
    The scale should be more or less that of a cello.
    Do I ask for too much?

    Shortscale Ibanez GSRM 20 bass is 28,6''
    Cello scale is 27,5''
    And the D'Addario strings mentioned above are designed for an even shorter scale.

    So some of the above posts are a bit disorienting. Isn't there a "standard" scale for a mandocello?
    Last edited by catgut; Dec-19-2010 at 1:35pm.

  5. #30

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    Will a scale of 737 mm work too or is this too long?

  6. #31

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    Schecter made a 5 string solidbody mandocello of sorts called the Cello Blaster, I never see them for sale used any more though. They have a 26.5 inch scale length, more of a bouzouki scale length than a short scale bass. I feel like bass pickups might not be as well suited as guitar/baritone pickups.

  7. #32

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    I'm tooling up to make a five string, 24.75" mandocello with an ES-335 body shape. Hopefully, I'll have it done later this fall.

  8. #33
    Registered User
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    Mar 2015
    Surrey, BC (Vancouver)

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    My K1 is about 24.625".

    Eastwood's Tenor Baritone has a 26" scale length. The neck profile is probably not what you're after.

  9. #34
    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Now in the Pacific Northwest

    Default Re: 4-string Mandocello

    I saw Sean Tyrrell a couple of years back. He was backing himself using an old Gibson A style with four strings (with, I think, bass tuners). He got a really nice tone out of it. Obviously, not like anything else that I was hearing.
    Pete Braccio

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