Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mandocello is completed

As you can see the mandocello is now completed and will soon go off to its new home. It was built to my new shape which has been designated “Model 2”.

My intention was to design a shape that could be used for a variety of multi-course instruments as well as guitars. Most luthiers and players agree that the “sweet spot” for the placement of the bridge is the centre of the lower bout, which is why the sound of a 12 fret neck guitar is often preferred. Starting with this premise I designed the shape from scratch and as you can see the bridge is in what many would consider the correct place.
Having positioned the bridge correctly I turned my attention to the upper bout. As many players wish to gain access to the upper frets, I wanted this shape to be designed for a 14 fret neck with a cutaway and not look like a traditional shaped instrument with a bit chopped out. Also when designing this shape, I did not want an instrument that was yet another derivative of an American one or tied to a particular time or place: I wanted it to look at home on the Star Ship Enterprise or in King Arthur’s court! One great advantage that this shape has for the mandocello and cittern, over the more traditional pear shape, is that it has a waist and you can sit down and comfortably play it.
I love the shape and early next year I intend to build a steel string acoustic guitar to this shape.

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