04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

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04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby noma » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:33 am

Hey guys! As the title of this thread reads, I bought a mandoloncello, or mandocello for short. Music nerds probably know about this one already, though it is very rarely ever used; for everyone else, think violin - viola - (violon)cello - double bass. Analogous to that, the mandolin family has mandolin, mandola, mandoloncello, and mandobass. The latter, to my knowledge, is not produced by anyone anymore. You can find examples of mandobass playing on Youtube though. It's very similar to a double bass or bass guitar, but... quite impractical.
Mandocello, unlike mandobass, has double courses like the more familiar instruments in the mando family, and is tuned an octave below the mandola (CGDA, like a cello). The sound is very rich and beautiful. Unfortunately, this instrument is not only hard to find, but also very expensive. Since last year or so though, Thomann, Europe's largest online retailer of musical instruments, have been selling their own store brand mandocello for 470 euros, which equals 500 U.S. dollars. This is really inexpensive for a mandocello, especially one actually made in Europe. I immediately knew I had to buy it when I first saw it in their catalog. :D
So, it arrived some days ago and I am very pleased with the sound. Will upload some samples later.

Some photos:

mandocello.JPG
mandocello.JPG (385.42 KiB) Viewed 1042 times
snail atop mandocello.JPG
snail atop mandocello.JPG (460.38 KiB) Viewed 1042 times


Snail was added in order to give an impression of the instrument's actual size. I picked him up from the roadside yesterday. He's a happy little guy. Last night he pooped three times within half an hour.

BTW - what is the most unusual instrument you own, or have ever played? :)
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby ken » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:43 am

I had an Optigan for a while. I couldn't believe it when I saw it in the thrift store.

http://www.synthmuseum.com/opt/opt3500201.html
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby Chumpy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:38 am

Nice pictures noma, but we gotta hear it! Post some audio of what it sounds like plz, perhaps something medieval sounding.
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby noma » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:39 pm

I recorded two improvised demos to showcase some different styles that sound cool on the mandocello. The first demo uses only the three top courses of the instrument; the second one, only the bottom two.
The strings on this instrument are nowhere as tense as those of, for example, mandolins or 12-string guitars. It's very comfortable to play, but the strings are easy to accidentally bend, which you can hear in the second MP3. (Or perhaps I just suck at placing my fingers precisely. :lol: )

By the way, these recordings were left fairly untreated, save for a little compression. The reverb you hear comes from within the instrument's body.
Attachments
mandocello01.mp3
(3.44 MiB) Downloaded 18 times
mandocello02.mp3
(2.13 MiB) Downloaded 10 times
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:06 pm

Oh man I've been looking for an affordable mandocello for years. Where did you end up finding it, and how much did it cost if you don't mind my asking?

I think my most obscure instrument is the SIDstation, or maybe the Yamaha TX7 (a less-known rackmount version of the venerable DX7). I also just built myself a Sawbench, and have an unassembled ST4 kit waiting for some love (but honestly I don't know where I'm going to fit it, the rackmount case is way bigger than I expected and I still don't have a rack for all my years of talking about getting one).
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby Chumpy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:18 pm

Sounds great Noma, I really dig it. I thought both recordings were actually quite listenable on their own, not bad!
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby noma » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:39 pm

fluffy wrote:Oh man I've been looking for an affordable mandocello for years. Where did you end up finding it, and how much did it cost if you don't mind my asking?

I think I mentioned it before, but never mind ;) I found it in Thomann's online store. Thomann is a large German online musical instruments retailer. They sell a number of house brands, including the Thomann brand itself, which are usually inexpensive. My mandocello cost 470 euros, which equals 500 dollars; it's only 420 dollars for U.S. customers though (just looked it up).
For some strange reasons, Thomann sells two different versios of the instrument, "standard" and "C tuning". The cheaper "standard" version is in GDAE tuning, which makes it an octave mandolin rather than a mandocello. If you want that sound, I definitely recommend you go for an Irish bouzouki though. :)
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:01 pm

ken wrote:I had an Optigan for a while. I couldn't believe it when I saw it in the thrift store.

http://www.synthmuseum.com/opt/opt3500201.html

OMG JEALOUS

here are a bunch more instruments that I've been obsessed with having at some point:

  • Optigan
  • Hurdy-Gurdy
  • Autoharp
  • A decent singing voice
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby fluffy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:02 pm

noma wrote:
fluffy wrote:Oh man I've been looking for an affordable mandocello for years. Where did you end up finding it, and how much did it cost if you don't mind my asking?

I think I mentioned it before, but never mind ;)

Oh, so you did, I was just too excited by the mandocello to actually read your whole post!
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:10 am

I love the tone of that thing. What a great instrument.
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby noma » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:13 pm

Chumpy wrote:Sounds great Noma, I really dig it. I thought both recordings were actually quite listenable on their own, not bad!

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:I love the tone of that thing. What a great instrument.

Thanks! British '60s/'70s folk (and sometimes, rock, blues, jazz, etc. etc.) singer-songwriters and gifted guitarists, Richard Chapman and Nick Drake, who both loved unusual guitar tunings, influenced my style here. In fact, those two guys were the ones who inspired me to experiment with different tunings on guitar, Open D especially, and with mandolins, bouzouki and so on, in the first place. :)

I like quirky instruments. I used to own a Stylophone, but it's broken now. Might just buy a new one someday, as the "new" Stylo is like super cheap.
I am also the proud (?) owner of a Suzuki Andes:
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby noma » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:23 pm

fluffy wrote:here are a bunch more instruments that I've been obsessed with having at some point:

  • (...)
  • Autoharp
  • (...)

I actually have an old autoharp sitting around somewhere. It belonged to someone's grandpa and it needs to get cleaned, as well as new strings. As I have to take off all the strings anyway, I plan on doing some reassembling, particularly in replacing two of the chord bars with Bm and F#m, which is more useful for me. Will open a separate thread on this once the new strings and chord bars have arrived in the mail. :)
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby Lunkhead » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:40 pm

noma wrote:I am also the proud (?) owner of a Suzuki Andes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaNLBSuU9pk


Oh man. That instrument is so cool! I had never even heard of that before. Amazing. Also, that video is great, and that presenter guy is also super awesome. Thanks for sharing that. /me goes to look for an Andes...
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby roymond » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:39 pm

I have an electric kazoo, a palm pick-up, a cute mouth harp I bought from a Red Dzao girl in Vietnam. Maybe I need to record a song with just these items.
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby MicahSommer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:23 pm

The weirdest instrument I own is my accordion... and also my three other accordions.
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby Caravan Ray » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:44 pm

I got a sitar from India.

But it needs new strings - and that all seems a bit too difficult
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Re: 04/05/2017 I bought a mandoloncello.

Postby j$ » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:03 pm

On my phone, the thread title reads "04/05/2017 I bought a man ...."

i always had my suspicions :)
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