ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS

“…some of the most creative designs I have ever seen” — emando.com

“…just a quick note to let you know that the wonderful instrument you built some 12 years back is still going strong after being carted around the world … A great testament to your workmanship.” — Stuart Cox

 

                      The Pizza Fiddle

                      The Pizza Fiddle

 

The designs on this site have evolved over many years, having started making electric mandolins in 1991, out of necessity, as in those days before the internet and ebay, such instruments were rare and hard to track down. They can be split into two definite groups, custom and seriously custom, usually starting life as a cartoon and after much problem solving in the shed end up as a finished instrument. On this site you will find a record of the range of instruments produced to date. As well as design considerations, three other criteria were equally important, these being playability, tune-ability and tone. Features such as low, fast actions, custom-built Kent Armstrong pickups and top quality hardware help to achieve this end, producing an extremely playable and versatile instrument, hand made and hand finished.

Around 1995 I was introduced to the music of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and, more importantly, Cliff Bruner and his Texas Wanderers with the incredible Leo Raley playing an electric four string mandolin, way back in the 1930's, his fantastic Hawaiian inspired melodic take-offs a raucous celebration of a new fangled invention, the electric pickup.

I wanted to sound like that! But again there was very little information on these instruments and a trawl around London music shops produced  just one 1958 Fender going for an astronomical price. So it was back to the shed, and eventually coming up with the Long Gone Lonesome model shown here.

                  The Mandanglin

                  The Mandanglin

Leo Raley seated left with Cliff Bruner's band with the remarkable Bob Dunn on lap steel seated to the right

Leo Raley seated left with Cliff Bruner's band with the remarkable Bob Dunn on lap steel seated to the right