I built my first mandolin in 2010. The process drew on many of the skills and techniques I had developed over the preceding years working on a variety of instruments. Ten years on, there is still a sense of excitement as each new creation is strung and tuned to pitch, and its voice heard for the first time.
As a gigging musician, I had often encountered feedback issues when trying to amplify acoustic mandolins in a band setting. I looked into electric mandolins, but found that most were created for those wanting an electric guitar look and feel. These felt out of place with the traditional music many players love.
I decided to design my own electric mandolins, with the aim of producing instruments that are as faithful as possible to the natural and organic feel you get from a well made acoustic folk instrument. I use all solid tone woods, and finish them with oils, rather than the heavy lacquers used on many modern instruments. The result is a range of instruments that allows both the richness and texture of the woods to come through.
When it came to the pickup, I worked with Pete at Almuse in Grantham. We developed a custom single coil pickup that produces a bright, clean tone, which closely replicates the sound of an acoustic mandolin.
I don’t produce large quantities of mandolins, as I am committed to the principle of genuinely hand building each one myself. When a mandolin is complete it is placed on my Mandolins for Sale page.