Deep-bodied mandolin, with fingerboard width & spacing adjusted with the guitarist in mind.
Back in the early 90′s I was playing guitar and mandolin in several bands, trying to make a living. Which is to say that I was also working as a cabinet maker’s assistant. I was getting a lot of gigs playing mandolin as it was around the time that Irish and Scottish music was gaining popularity. I needed a better instrument, and looking around the workshop, I thought how hard could this be.
I actually started out building a mandolin – an F5 that I still use to this day. The A style (the round hole gibson A-style) was more suited to the open comping as opposed to the percussive muted style of bluegrass comping. I made mostly A-style oval holes later, with side ports, even though my earliest musical training was on violin, I have adjusted the fingerboard width and spacing with the guitarist in mind. The body is a little deeper, also to expand that percussive ‘chunk’ on the low strings.
The 6B – My friend, musician and luthier Jeremy Hamm, suggested that I start doing some with f-holes, presumably to appease his blue grass leanings. I had to do it my way and borrowed an idea from my electric guitars – the ‘edge-ports’. It seemed like a good fit. Lovely resonate projection and a design reminiscent of Kay Krafts of the 50′s and 60′s.
The bracing is parallel or hybrid x (bass tone bar, treble leg crosses the tone bar). Shaped the overall tonal character:
X = brighter, focussed.
Parallel = warmer mid volume.
Beardsell guitars come in several body shapes and styles: large, medium, and small bodied steel-string acoustic, solid-body electric, semi-acoustic arch top electric, nylon string, manouche-style, and harp guitar (we even make a pretty sweet mandolin and a killer electric banjo).
Get an eyeful of the photos in the various galleries strewn throughout the site. See something you like that's almost-but-not-quite what you're looking for? Feel free to order "off the menu," as many already have. Truth be told, we've created many "hybrid" instruments over the years, with most features available on one model transferrable (within reason) to just about anything else (like an archtop-style custom brass tailpiece on a steel-string flattop, or a multi-scale classical guitar, or a cutaway banjolectric, or... well, you get the idea).
Venetian or Florentine cutaways, unconventional fingerboard extensions, wacky amplification solutions, sideports (with or without sliding covers), whimsical logo styles, personalized inlays, motorized, remote-controlled attachments of dubious form and function... it's all to play for. Whatever you have in mind, Al will be happy to discuss various options and possibilities with you.