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Thread: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

  1. #1
    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Default New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Here´s a very interesting new bowlback design by Corrado Giacomel and also some wonderful mandolin playing. They seem to be archtop instruments with a bowl that looks somewhat flatter than a traditional one and they still have "sides". The neck joints also look like the ones on archtop mandolins. To me it sounds sweeter than a common archtop with less midrange accentuation and a less percussive attack.
    I´d really like to hear it being played solo. Unfortunately there´s no recording of the one with the oval hole.



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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    I understand that Carlo's new Giacomel also has an internal soundboard. Sounded very nice here in Seattle a few weeks ago.
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  4. #3
    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    You´ve heard it in person? Interesting. Could you give some more details about the construction and how it sounded, please? Does it have a carved top? Is Carlo still playing his Pandini or is this his main instrument now?
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    Registered User Kieran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing this.

  6. #5
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Didn't get a close look ... perhaps pbeidler will chime in here, since Carlo stayed at his house while in town. Very clear and sweet from across the room, with good projection. I don't think Carlo has ditched the Pandini entirely. He came to Seattle directly from an engagement in Minsk where he played the Vivaldi double concerto on a traditional bowlback -- although he might well have borrowed that one, I dunno. You might expect some nasal quality from those F-holes but I can't say I noticed any.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    great tone and playing,
    clever arrangments

    such progressive mando designs-beautifully done-great woods, lovely details

    and the voicing sounds particularly sweet to me-i agree so much sweeter than your typical f archtop
    i can see this in BG, classical, celtic, very versatile
    clear not plinky, more sustain, nice balance as best as i can tell on the computer

    the second clip knocks me out-vivaldi in the pocket

  8. #7
    Registered User mandowilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Carlo let me play his for about 10 minutes at ROW mandolin camp a few weeks back and it is a fabulous instrument. The neck is shorter than my Collings, so much so that I was able to reach the 9th fret with my pinky finger from the first position. Very balanced tone that I would describe as clear and round, not percussive at all. It was so easy to play that my first thought was that it was like playing with a toy.
    It does have a carved top and the back is a bowl albeit a shallow one. There is also a second soundboard mounted inside of the instrument. it is fitted with what appears to be a bone bridge saddle. I asked Carlo and he was not sure about that. He had it strung with what appeared to me to be flatwound strings.
    willi

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    ohhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnnn
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  10. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    I played the Giacomel mandolin for a few minutes when Carlo was in New York. It is a very nicely made instrument but I am not completely sure of Corrado's intent in the design. It certainly sounds excellent in Carlo's hands but i am not sure that it is a significant improvement over the tonal qualities and volume of his Pandini. Granted, I am very used to hearing Carlo play his Pandini. I am also not so sure about the intent and purpose of the secondary internal soundboard. This is not IIRC a Virzi type arrangement but more like an internal spruce place with f-holes the full length of the inside.

    Carlo was mostly pleased with the access to the upper fretboard this mandolin provides. Personally, I would love to hear a version with an oval hole and no secondary soundboard. Don't get me wrong, tho, this is a quality instrument and I do look fwd to seeing variations on this theme.
    Jim

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  11. #10
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Beautiful!
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    Beautiful!
    I agree. It's one of the most appealing classical designs I've seen. And, it sounds fantastic. Corrado is an amazing talent.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    MAS alert.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  14. #13
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    MAS alert.
    You can say that again. I watched these clips several times last night and was afraid I was going to start drooling on my computer. I really go for this design, both in how it looks and how it sounds. I am afraid it's outside my budget at the moment, but I am definitely suffering an extreme, acute recurrence of my usually subclinical MAS!
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

  15. #14
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

    I had the pleasure of playing one of these in Corrado's workshop a couple of weeks ago. Although the one in the shop was an oval hole instead of f holes, as in the video.

    I thought it was one of the most fascinating and unique mandolins I've ever played. I played classical mandolin for a period, and own a De Megglio and an Emberger. The tone and voice of the Giacomel bowlback mandolin reminded me of the Emberger and that Roman mandolin sound to some extent, but with an added layer of thickness and complexity. More harmonically dense, less pure tone, more grit. But with lots of range both in dynamics and timbre. Hard to describe sound in words, but that was my humble take on it.

    Fit and finish were superb. Corrado explained the internal sound board to me; he said the sound board effectively does all the work and makes the actual bowlback act similar to the role of a ToneGard on a mandolin or a double backed classical guitar. It allows the resonating plate to be free to vibrate without any dampening from the belly of the player.

    I don't see myself ever buying another bowlback mandolin, but if I did I would certainly look at this unique design. Although it's hard not to get really excited about mandolins in Corrado's company. His enthusiasm is highly infectious. He's as unique and fascinating as his wonderful instruments.

  16. #15
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Italian Bowlback - Corrado Giacomel

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