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Thread: Mods royale

  1. #1
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Of #course, I'm on record as being thrilled with my Draleon Royale except for a few minor things. I addressed them by having the frets replaced with larger ones and added a custom pickguard made by fellow café-er Doug Edwards. I asked him to make me something cosmetically understated to match the rest of the instrument, rosewood and more matte in finish. I sent him a pattern cut-out to mirror the silhouette of the instrument's cutaway, and am very pleased with the results. Doug is just getting started making these, but he's very talented and easy to work with.

    Thanks, Doug!
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    Ted Eschliman

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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Different view with the gold strap button I added:
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    Ted Eschliman

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  3. #3
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    A view showing the body:

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    Ted Eschliman

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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    A bigger picture of neck and body:

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  5. #5
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    I mentioned frets. I know we've had several fret discussion threads about the benefits/preferences of larger frets, and this is my first hands-on experience with changing size frets on the same instrument. New strings, an extended period working with mandola, let alone an instrument in "stasis" for a while during customization prevents me from making any snap judgments, but I hope to document my observations over the next couple days as the new frets and I get acquainted.

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    Ted Eschliman

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  6. #6
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Good looking pic guard!
    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  7. #7
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    For your computer desktop: 1024x768 Royale Wallpaper.
    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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    Very nice Ted! Something similar might have to happen to my Royale...

    Who did the refret?

    I just caught your full Royale review a few days ago. It's nice to know I'm not alone—I am absolutely sick-in-love with mine!
    ~Blue in the Face
    "playin' what we like, how we like"

    ~babblingfool.com

  9. #9
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Very nice Ted!

    I also just received a pickguard from Doug. Did you install it yourself? I can't seem to screw up the courage to do it myself...
    Jason Anderson

    "...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse

    Stumbling Towards Competence

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    Doug made me a beautiful armrest, extremely easy to work with and great work. In fact I think I still owe him some pictures of the armrest, oops sorry Doug.
    Tim
    Passernig F5

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    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    The pickgaurd and installation look like very clean work, but I have to say I think it breaks up the otherwise very attractive lines of the mandolin. No offense is intended, just my opinion. I would love to test drive one of those some day.

    Chip

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    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    I like the bigger frets, looking good. Ted did it make a change in the tone?

  13. #13
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    I had the fretwork done by one of my techs in my repair shop; some things best left to a trained professional. (I don't do my own taxes, plumbing or heart surgery, either.) Dustin also put on the pickguard after the fret job.

    It's still early to accurately document the change in feel and sound, and that in itself has been a lesson for me. So many variables affect judgment--new strings, switching back from a recent bconcentrated effort to get better at mandola spacing, an instrument ripped apart and reassembled after a few weeks of no playing, these factors beg some patient evaluation. The biggest thing is I'm still zeroing in on bridge height. I usually like my action at optimal low, but the fretwork is so good, I'm experimenting with higher action and that's giving me much more body. (Never thought I'd go there!) I will say it feels great and that's largely because I've grown to prefer Rigel-like frets. I also had him put a 7" radius on the fingerboard (yet another "variable").

    I'm going to give it a few days of playing for more specifics, but like I say, I don't know how anyone can do justice with accurate criticisms of gear, picks, bridges, frets, etc in snap judgments and uncontroled environments. (The exception, though, Doug's pickguard rocks!)
    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

  14. #14

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    Ted,
    as the designer of this mandolin I am absoloutely horrified that you would consider modifying my perfect vision........ just joking. I am in awe, it's beautiful. To be honest the reason it didn't have a finger rest was because I could never get a design that worked for me and the cutaway is so extreme it would always be necessary to extend into the open area in order to fix it firmly to the instrument. Doug has solved that problem beautifully, his eye is so good, the aesthetics are really interesting. I was always trying to cover up those drawbacks and he has seized them boldly and done magic.

    I agree totally with you about the frets, I sent big frets out to the workshop and they decided that I had sent guitar frets in error so they ran the standard mando frets that they had on hand. It will be fat frets from now on.
    Congrats to Dustin also....... wow!
    Gordon

  15. #15

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    I just looked at the pictures again, don't you think that it's begging for one of those gold plated Kent Armstrong floating mandolin pickups now. It would attach perfectly to the finger rest and........ wow.
    G.

  16. #16

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    Chip,
    Let's do a mandotasting. I have a Draleon here that has some lacquer checking (it was out on the road with our salesman Andy this winter and got frozen somewhere in the icy wastes of New England). It plays great and it sounds great and it will give you a good feel for the tone etc. Email me your address and I'll send it on to you (roberts.gordon@gmail.com ). The way this works is you keep it for a week or so and then pack it up and send it on to the next person in line. I've done this a few times with instruments on the cafe and amazingly they all returned to me months later with hardly a scratch. Anyone else wanting a turn drop me a line also,
    Gordon

  17. #17
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (MandoGordon @ April 27 2007, 07:33)
    Doug has solved that problem beautifully, his eye is so good, the aesthetics are really interesting. I was always trying to cover up those drawbacks and he has seized them boldly and done magic.
    No credit for the design, Ted designed and drawed it out. I was only the provider. I placed a label on the back crediting Ted's design. He did good.

    I suggested a longer design with binding and a cut out for the oval so the rosette would be seen. Ted made a good choice to go without the binding.
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  18. #18
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Proud Papa and designer of the Draleon series guitar and mandolin, Gordon Roberts:


    .
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    Ted Eschliman

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    Jason Wicklund DryBones's Avatar
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    Gordon,
    Do you have a lefty yet for tasting?
    Jason

    Lefty JBovier F5 Tradition, Lefty Mid-Mo M1

  20. #20

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    I have a lefty guitar but no lefty mandos yet, sorry.
    G.

  21. #21
    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    Gordon, I'm in for tasting! #I'll PM you and we can get the ball rolling. #It should be a fun thread as we send it along to other Cafe members.

    Chip




  22. #22

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    Chip,
    you're in. I think we should halt the signups for now as we are stretching into late summer already. I'll be sending out the mando any day now.
    Gordon

  23. #23

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    Sorry for the delay, I was waiting for a case to arrive but it's still not here. The guys at Cedar Creek found me a really cool camo case that fits pretty well so I'm just going to send it out in that. Monsieur Royale is hitting the road!
    Gordon
    ps. Lovely to see a couple of Draleon Royale owners at Django In June last week in Northampton, MA. Jazz mando is alive and well methinks!

  24. #24
    Brentrup Evangelist Larry S Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (MandoGordon @ June 19 2007, 09:07)
    Lovely to see a couple of Draleon Royale owners at Django In June last week in Northampton, MA. Jazz mando is alive and well methinks!
    I was there with my Draleon Royale and had a great time! Lots of great guitars and mandos there.

    The classes really changed how I was thinking about music. Great stuff.

    Here's a picture with some of the teachers, including Stephane Wrembel (far right). It was really inspiring to hear Gypsy Jazz being played live everywhere in the dorms, from Pros to newbies all just having fun.

    Larry (End of Hijack)
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  25. #25
    Registered User Steve Davis's Avatar
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    I wonder whatever became of the travelling mandolin. It was supposed to head my way in June but it still hasn't arrived.
    Steve Davis

    I should really be practicing instead of sitting in front of the computer.

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