I have built many 10 string mandolins and have long been fascinated with the challenges of building this small instrument with a big range. The “Artist” combines playability and great tone with distinctive design. (Tuned in fifths CGDAE low to high – the 10-string mandolin covers a large frequency range.) I have used all the knowledge I have gained from previous 10-string builds to come up with something new.
Both standard mandolin and multi-scale or “fan-fret” fingerboards are possible for the Artist.
For a “standard” scale I use 365mm.
For the fan-fretted version I suggest 388mm for the C course down to 365mm for the E course. This creates an well balanced and evenly tensioned set of strings that are surprisingly easy to play!
Where 10-string mandolins have a tendency to be ‘head heavy’ , the “Artist” is beautifully balanced with a lighter, Brazilian mahogany neck and super light Gotoh ‘Stealth’ tuners.
As with all my instruments , there are no compromises, great tonewoods are used throughout. Hand-cleft spruce for the top, beautiful English Sycamore for the back and sides and Brazilian mahogany for the neck.
The body is bound with ebony or bird’s eye maple and ebony is used for the fingerboard, the front and back of the head.
Spruce carved top
English Sycamore carved back
Brazilian Mahogany neck
Polished Ebony bridge
Ebony facing to front and back of head
Birds’ eye maple or Ebony binding
Clear satin finish – colours optional
Allen cast bronze tailpiece.
Gotoh “Stealth” tuners
Bone or black “Tusq” nut and saddle
Two way adjustable truss rod
Many of the items in the above spec can be customised.