I built this electric mandolin to display at the Vancouver International Guitar Show, August 2018. It has since sold through The Music Emporium in Lexington MA. This one has a standard 13-7/8” scale length and a nut width of 1-1/8” I’ll be making a few different versions of these in the coming months.
I like to think that this is the kind of electric guitar I would have made if I lived in Milano in the 60's. This electric was designed and built for Kevin Briet. Kevin had an idea to have one of my electrics with a solid body instead of hollow as per usual. His other request was to use Mojo (UK) goldfoil humbuckers. These great sounding pickups can be split into goldfoil style singles. Instead of push-pull pots, I found these button switches which gave the guitar a bit more of a 60's Italian Euro vibe as in Wandre, Goya, Eko..etc...then Kevin asked if the switches could somehow light up. Hmmm...after thinking about this, and talking to my genius friend Mark Kett, it became a reality. The lights run on three 2032 batteries ganged up into 9 volts. I fabricated a nylon housing to hold them in a cavity in the back of the body.
I machined all of the red parts from a block of plastic that I cast, and I machined the tailpiece from a block of aluminum. In keeping with the 60's Italian theme, we put photos of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni looking out from the pickup covers. The K & B engraved on the vol and tone and the Stella Bella Strada script under the back painted plexi pickguard were engraved by Mark Kett...what would I do without him! The tuner buttons alternate between Ivoroid and ebony. Lastly, the red transparent switch tip was inspired by an old Gaggia espresso machine lever handle - the cherry on the top as they say.
This electric was recently sold at The Music Emporium in Lexington MA. The visual presentation and care that they put into promoting every new and vintage instrument that comes through their shop is outstanding.