I designed my special mandolin in about 1982. It is technically a flat backed instrument although it actually has a satisfying curve to it's back. The front has a folded line across it, which refers back to the traditional shell back mandolins.
A customer had brought me a 12 string Sicilian shell back mandolin for repair and when it was done I found it so lovely to play that I decided to make a 12 string one myself.
The strings are in four courses of three and it seems to be as easy to play as the more usual 8 strings. In fact I find it easier as the plectrum glides over the three strings so nicely. Obviously it takes proportionally longer to tune but I find that doesn't bother me personally. I can make it as an eight string instrument if you would prefer and in theory it could be made with sixteen strings but the head would be a bit out of proportion .
My mandolin is a loud instrument with a brilliant tone but can be supplied with a Fishman pickup and jack socket if required.. I recommend that you use a Fishman Pro EQ pre amp with it as apart from its other excelent functions it has good feedback dampening capability.
Please send any queries about this subject to me.
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