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Thread: My latest Octave

  1. #1
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default My latest Octave

    https://plus.google.com/photos/10296...49961858374145

    Above is a link to my latest octave build, OM012, using my tenor guitar body design this time. I will be adding further pictures to my Picasa page as the instrument progresses, as I have decided to close down my website as I was not keeping it up to date!

    The back and sides are mahogany and the top is a single piece of cherry. Neck is reclaimed mahogany (from an old wardrobe which was over 100 years old!) and fingerboard is black American Walnut. The finish will be Tru Oil.

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  3. #2
    RedKnucklesUnclesCousin GKWilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Can't wait to see [and hear] the finished product John.
    Your instruments sound like they were born in Scotland.
    And, for Scottish music.
    Gary
    vincit qui se vincit

  4. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    I didn't know that you were a builder John.That Octave looks as though it's going to be seriously good, & your workmanship is impeccable !,
    Ivan
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  5. #4
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Thanks for the encouraging words, fellows. I've been building since I retired from teaching in 2003, Ivan, and still enjoying it immensely. Have just added another link to a bouzouki in the sub-forum here. It's still quite a feeling to hear an instrument for its first time and I'm looking forward to hearing what this octave might manage.

  6. #5
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    John - I'm a great admirer of anybody who can create such wonderful instruments & wish i had the skill to do as much myself. I've often wondered if builders who have been building for a long time,can in any way 'predict' what an instrument will sound like,but i came to the conclusion that each instrument is a 'sonic adventure' in itself. I wonder how many builders,who,having built their 'Xth' mandolin,string it up only to find that it's it's got that 'something special' about it,despite it being built to the same 'spec.' as their others. That must be a very special moment when it does happen,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  7. #6
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Ivan, I'd have to admit to that "certain unpredictability" in my own efforts. Every instrument I have made has been that wee bit different in tone - attested to by others who hear them too, not just my own hearing! I have a two-point mandolin here which our accordionist reckons is my best-sounding, but I prefer another one for sound.
    While I am assembling the body I do tap and listen, but there is no attempt to tune to any particular tone or use electronics or other devices to get the sound set up; I tap with a knuckle on back and front and get an idea that I like a particular "noise". With the soundboard glued to the sides I get a particular resonance which I can say will probably give me a good sound in the finished instrument, and when i then glue on the back there is a different resonance. Aaah, the appliance of science.....

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    Resonate globally Pete Jenner's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Thanks for posting this John. I love having a sticky beak at other's work. I do 'tap tuning' the same way as you.
    The more I learn, the less I know.

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  9. #8
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Quote - "Aaah, the appliance of science..... ". I wonder if Antonio Stradivari had all these problems ?. I once put forward the theory on here,that if we could go back in time to visit his workshop,we'd find him cobbling together Violins made from old orange boxes. I think that the screams would be echoing throughout the Space/Time continuum to this day !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  10. #9
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    A picture taken today at noon of my tenor-guitar-bodied octave i have just finished. Will try to post a sound clip in the next few days (waiting for Tru Oil to dry on the neck which I have reshaped after testing it out for a few days to see how it feels. It was a bit bulky, I felt.

    The build pictures are at my Picasa page as linked above - here is the most current link:

    https://plus.google.com/photos/10296...49961858374145
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #10
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Lovely work, John.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  13. #11

    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Very nice. Looks to be a player!

  14. #12
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Here is a quick recording I did this evening of two tunes, "The Galley of Lorne" and Cameron MacFadyen". Recorded into Reaper via 1 condenser mic and with no effects; just a straight rendering to mp3 format from the original wav file. The drone effect is the D strings ringing.


  15. #13
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    A quick recording, as above. The link seems not to have worked above, so trying again. I have loaded the tune into the mp3 section of the forum and linked to this, so here's hoping this time!

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/at...1&d=1407858949

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    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Great John! Thanks.
    2020 Pava Pro A5
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  18. #15
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    What an outlandish bridge design!
    Sounds like you were picking quite near the bridge, this instrument might respond even more when picked further up.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  19. #16
    RedKnucklesUnclesCousin GKWilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Another beauty John.
    You know how I love your Tenor's.
    They have an Old World/Updated charm.
    I'm sure your new Octave has your signature sound.
    But, my computer [and Apples in general, I think]
    have trouble with the Cafe Forum MP3's.
    Hope you post more here ,or at Octave, or at SAW group.
    Gary
    vincit qui se vincit

  20. #17
    Wood and Wire Perry Babasin's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Beautiful! I love the "Classical Guitar" styling and detailing, and the wood is gorgeous! Nice work!
    ===================================
    ... I'm a California Man!

  21. #18
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: My latest Octave

    Many thanks for all the kind comments, folks.

    Bertram, the bridge came about as a result of my researching in the Cafe here and finding threads on using maple for bridges and having holes in them - the ebony was an afterthought I had tried before on another instrument but in this case was necessary as I trimmed the all-maple bridge down just too much and introduced some buzz up the fingerboard towards the neck join. I planed off the maple top, having noted the amount of compensation I had put into each course, then glued on an ebony strip and planed this to size and cut in the compensation areas. It seems to work well. Re your comment about the tone, you are right again - I can get a lot of variation by playing either at the bridge or further up towards the soundhole.

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