This was quite an interesting build for me, a multi-scale 10 string mandolin. Tuned from a bottom C through standard mandolin up to top E. The longer scale on the bass side allows for extra tension on the C string. Extra tension eliminates some of the sloppy tenancies of using thicker strings to tune down to C.
Proving to be a head scratcher to start with, but eventually coming round to it. The 12th fret/ body join is the only fret which could be considered truly straight to a standard fingerboard.
Slightly larger than a standard mandolin, with this body you get the extra depth to really use those lower tones. Remarkably the multi-scale doesn’t take much getting used to, once played for 5 minutes your hand rapidly become accustom to it.
As always with these larger instruments I make hand-cut solid brass tailpieces. Anchoring the strings to the tailblock this way really helps get the full tonal potential out of your instrument.
I’m really pleased to have finished this arch-top mandolin. With a carved spruce top, three piece English walnut back and cantilevered fingerboard, it represents the first arch-top made to the same size and specs as my flat-tops. The flat back and carve top combination follows in the footsteps of some of my favourite British luthiers and the growing celtic mandolin tradition.
It is the prettiest new mandolin photographed in the grubbiest corner of my workshop – there are grand plans to reconcile this very soon!