Custom F5 Mandolin #32 98


(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)

This is another of those projects that slipped through with hardly any construction or finished-instrument photos. I'd built it with the intention of keeping it for my own, but that just didn't happen. This x-braced, red-spruce topped instrument had a blistered maple back and ebony and nickel appointments. This instrument was so powerful, right out of the finishing room, that I removed the normal J74 strings and replaced them with stainless strings to tone it down to where it didn't overpower the banjo. This was a banjo killer with one hand tied behind its back! Like a goodly number of my instruments, this one went to a member of the band Aurora Celtic, Mike Broderick in this instance.

Construction Photos

I have only two: a shot of the x-bracing, and one of the screen of my laptop during tap tuning. Along with deflection tuning, this tuning program gives me a visual picture of what my instruments are doing -- not just the fundamental tap tones, but of the sustain and the strength and clarity of the harmonics. It's a program I'd hate to build without, and makes up a core element of my New Vintage designs, where traditional materials and methods are married to the latest in technology.

Thanks for watching this project

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