Mandora / Gallichon

7course Mandora based on the Hans Frei body (Vienna KHM C34)

This Mandora has a string length of 72cm with figured maple ribs and an ebonised maple neck and pegbox, to order from £1896.

You can enjoy it being played here by Rod Blocksidge, originally this instrument was double strung but later converted to a single strung 8crs mandora heared here
An example of another form of mandora is seen below

Of course the mandora can be made with a peg box like the one above too.

7 course student Mandora / Gallichon

Based on the Hans Frei (KHM C34) 72cm string length, English yew body, alpine spruce soundboard, bog oak fingerboard (the eco alternative to ebony) lime wood sickle peg box, pear wood pegs and bridge. Nylgut strings. £1405 case extra cost £588

Listen to it here being played by Richard Mackenzie and more about the instrument and its music hear on Lady Lovely Lutes' radio show here

The 8crs Single strung (Electric) Mandora

This latest creation has been an instrument I had planned to do before so was pleased to make it as a commissioned instrument for Mandora music and onwards. There are some surviving 8crs Mandora manuscripts I'm told and this instrument will be used for modern music too by the ensemble Vectian: The sound is in-between the Early Romantic guitar with it's single strings, higher tension and the body of the mandora. An article written by Chris Hirst about this instrument and it's historical inspiration for it can be read in the Lute Society news Number 126 July 2018.

Such instruments would have been played between 1800-1830 as seen above by a painting by Friedrich von Amerling, the metal frets making it a step closer to the Romantic Guitar yet with the qualities of the lute. Composer Simon Moilitor (1766-1848) of Neckarsulm preferred such an instrument and is commemorated as seen below.

The body is English Yew, alpine spruce top with protective ebony edging, Ebony fingerboard with metal guitar fretting, plain maple neck, lime wood pegbox, pear pegs and bridge.Strung in Nylgut NNG and D basses tuned e',b,g,d,A,E,D,C. Pickups are mounted inside for increased volume but was noticeably louder than the previous double strung mandora due to higher string tension. Here it being played below:

£1445, excluding case

New! for sale, 7/8crs Electric Mandora based on the Frei Body (KHM C34)

This hybrid Mandora brings together the 19th century Electric Mandora made and played by Chris Hirst (hear it here, and here in ensemble and the traditional Mandora as an un-amplified 7/8 crs conversion heared here played by Rod Blocksidge. So it can be played as a 7crs double strung Mandora (tuned d', a, f, C, G, D, C) or restrung to it's current state (tuned e, b, g, d, A, E, D, C). Dare I say it could be tuned as a renaissance lute in e with lute intervals just by tuning down a semitone, so 3 instruments in one potentially. 

Having converted Rod Blocksidges' Mandora from 7 to 8crs single recently (as heared in the link above) I decided to apply this to the 8 crs 19th century mandora I had made for Christ Hirst who uses it for modern ensemble music, hence the amplification. So by drilling the bridge with holes for 7 crs double and 8crs single and a nut that caters for both stringing then it combines the best of both Mandoras and more value for money for the player. Rod tells me the 8 crs can be used to play rare Russian music requiring 8 crs. 

The strings for 7 crs double and 8crs single have been adjusted to have the same overall tension, the neck and sickle pegbox are ebonised to be in keeping with guitars from the same period, and metal frets which worked just as well as gut, the back is in English yew pegs and bridge in Natural pearwood. The Hans Frei body (C34) is a popular choice, not too deep as later baroque lute bodies can be, once plugged in it's certainly loud enough!

£ 1445, case not included in price

Other instruments to order:

Hans Frei (attributed to) (Vienna KHM C37) String length 58.7cm in g', 12cm deep, 26cm wide.