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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:54 am
Posts: 1
State: Oklahoma
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I bought a Saga AM-10 A style mandolin kit a long while back off of facebook. Think I gave like $80 for it.

Anyways, if you're unfamiliar the kit is all solid wood, carved spruce top, flamed maple back & sides.

Here is a link to the kit: ... dolin-kit/

Anyways, I'd like to gather as much advice from experienced luthiers as possible before beginning the build. I would think being all solid wood materials, there is no reason I couldnt make it a fairly high quality great sounding instrument if I do some homework & do everything I can to do it right.

So first off, the top on this seems pretty thick, I was wondering if it would be wise to carve it down anymore to possibly resonate better. If so, what should I be looking for? Any specific measurements or perhaps any certain sounds when tapping? Are there any specific methods I should look into?

On the bracing, is there any particular bracing pattern that I should go with? Also, I've seen a bit of discussion on "tap tuning" when it comes to bracing, which it is very apparent can dramatically change the voice of the instrument. I'd like as much information, documentation and advice as I can get here.

What would you do if you were building this kit to make it into a great sounding high quality instrument?

One particular problem I have with my current mando, its an older Oscar Schmidt, is the frets are awful. A few of them are not glued down & popping up on one end or the other which of course causes problems. How can I ensure I wont have similar problems with this one?

I dont know if it will matter to you in helping me here, but I know every musician has their own opinion of what sounds good. So, as far as my personal preference in sound, I've honestly not played Mando long enough to develop a preference nor a knowledge of mass produced mandos to compare. But in general terms of tone, I like crisp, wet, and very well balanced mids. If you're a guitar player, think of a Taylor 114ce. I play a bit of a everything. Love Celtic/irish stuff, a lot of original heavily melodic lead type stuff, for comparison, say something like Song of Storms from Zelda or the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. Love some bluegrass as well.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by CMDesign79 on Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 5318
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Calling Ernie Kleinman - this is right up your alley.

"Act your age, not your shoe size" - Prince

These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: CMDesign79 (Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:13 pm)
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