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Double-chambered mandolin

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Willie-O 27 Nov 03 - 08:24 AM
Willie-O 27 Nov 03 - 08:26 AM
nickp 27 Nov 03 - 11:45 AM
Cattail 27 Nov 03 - 05:07 PM
Willie-O 28 Nov 03 - 07:25 AM
dick greenhaus 28 Nov 03 - 07:27 AM
nickp 28 Nov 03 - 07:46 AM
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Subject: Double-chambered mandolin
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 08:24 AM

Who was asking about building a double-chambered instrument awhile ago? I know this wasn't what you had in mind, but it sure sounds interesting. New at the Twelfth Fret, description reads:

"What a cool old mandolin! This one is really unique in that it has a double sound chamber! This instrument has a second top (complete with sound holes), about 1 1/4" below the normal top that gives this instrument excellent volume and a pleasing distinctive tone!"

It is a "The Dayton", from the 20's.

The pictures show a black top A-style mando reminiscent of a Gibson A, except that the sides have a white band partway down, and below the band the sides change to wood colour. You can't see any evidence of the second top in the pictures so it must have an enlarged soundhole.

The price is reasonable (under $800 Cdn) if it is as playable as is implied in the listing.   

I guess this is like a 4-wheel drive mandolin. And I guess the second top doesn't need much, or any bracing since it doesn't have a structural function...hmm.
I wanna try it!   Must go Toronto, SOON.


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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 08:26 AM

Link to the Twelfth Fret Vintage & Used Page; scroll down or search for "The Dayton"


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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: nickp
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 11:45 AM

Nearly bought a mandocello version about 25 years ago - uninspiring European budget design - not like this one - but none the worse for that. It weighed a huge amount though and although a little louder, the sound was very 'boxy'. Always regretted not getting it - in the week between seeing it and going back to get it, the shopowner had died and the shop had shut. Mind you, I had intended getting rid of the 'resonator' back and putting a plain one on!

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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: Cattail
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 05:07 PM

Willie-O, I think you will find that the person asking about making
a double chambered instrument was Bee-Dubya-Ell, in the "hypothetical
luthiery question" thread, posted on 19 November 03.


Cattail !

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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: Willie-O
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 07:25 AM

Thanks Cattail.

Nickp, a mandocello with a resonator back like a bluegrass banjo--or something else? I'm having trouble picturing that...

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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 07:27 AM

Back in the '50s, a man named Tieri made a sort of double-soundbox mandolin--a very thin (and probably over-fragile) roundback built into a robust resonator/shell. Heavy, but sounded very good.

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Subject: RE: Double-chambered mandolin
From: nickp
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 07:46 AM

Hi Willie-O

As far as I remember both inner and outer 'sides' were more or less 'full depth' - about 4 inches - although obviously the inner was a little shorter for clearance and sound transfer. What I can't remember is whether the top or bottom was 'outside'. Whichever was on the outside, the gap between the two sets of sides was about 1/4 inch. Wish I'd taken more notice....

I have a suspicion that it was the 'top' that went 'outside' as there were some slots cut into the 'out' side close to the front of the instrument and if it was the other way round there wouldn't have been the strength for that. I think they were decorative unless they were to project some of the sound towards the player (I find most of my mandolin sound goes straight out away from me). Built in foldback perhaps!!! I have seen similar slots on some European normal mandolins and have always assumed that they were just for hanging ribbons from (aaaarghh!!) or attaching a strap to.

Fortunately not related to a banjo - I prefer mine with open backs!


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