Mandobass (bouzoukibass)

The mandobass, or octave-bouzouki: 2 octaves on the neck for this bass guitar which is played like a bouzouki. Some explanations in the video… Perhaps an acoustic version to come if the demand pops up!

Philippe Berne’s mandobass is part of the mandolin family, tuned GDAE but 2 octaves below. Versatile instrument, with a scalelength of 76 cm, allowing you to play 2 octaves at the end of the neck. It partially covers the ranges of the guitar and bass at the same time. Equipped with a humbucker pickup, floating bridge and a string height adjustment system which is compatible with folk guitar strings.

The first video below: introduction to the mandolin family mandola bouzouki cittern sazouk, 7 models from the workshop in 2019…

Here are the explanations given in the video:

The tuning is in GDAE, so you can play it like a bouzouki, but an octave below. What’s also interesting with this instrument is that you can have 2 scales at the end of the neck which is good as there is quite a fine range between the lowest string and the highest one (G and E) which allows to make chords, it’s not really like a bass, neither is it really like a bouzouki. The instrument becomes a mandocello when being played with a capo, the equivalent of a cello that is plucked. And then the 12th fret becomes the equivalent of a bouzouki. I made this instrument so that it could get guitar strings because you have to get quite a thin gauge for the last string, so I made the instrument according to the longest possible length of a guitar, that is to say I must have about a 820 mm scale. The instrument can be made in alto version (CGDA which gives a highest pitch). There is an active piezo mic with volume and tune. I made a body that is hollower to get the most acoustic sound possible as well. It’s a soundboard, it’s hollow inside, the bridge is just pinched, the piezo mic is within the sounboard, which allows to make different harmonic settings for all the possible chords or strings.

GDAE or GDAD tuning, steel strings. Latest models: – walnut body, apricot soundboard, maple neck, whitebeam fingerboard, active Piezo pickup (tone volume adjustment), oil-bath bass tuners – alder and whitebeam body, jujube soundboard plate, ash neck, alder fingerboard, free bridge, humbucking pickup (tone volume adjustment), inclination of the neck adjustable using a key.